Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph - Hamburg New York


FSSJ History
The Legacy of the FSSJ

Mission and Ministry
Parish Ministries
Health Care
Peace & Justice

Associate Program

Current FSSJ News

Prayer Requests

Contact Us


Current FSSJ News

Sister Jean Marie, Sister Marcia Ann, Sister Judith Elaine
  The Leadership Team of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph was elected at the Congregation's 22nd General Chapter in July of 2018. Elected were Sr. Marcia Ann Fiutko, General Minister, Sr. Jean Marie Cherry, General Councilor and Sr. Judith Elaine Salzman, General Councilor.

FSSJ Chapter Commitment

The Leadership Team will lead the members in fulfilling their Chapter commitment which reads in part: We... Embrace our Sacred explore ways to embrace full participation in our community life, new expressions for our mission, and hope-filled plans for our future. We welcome God's invitation to co-create our future possibilities for the common good of God's people.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CONVENT: An Oasis of Franciscan Hospitality

Is your church, school, organization, business or special interest group looking for a comfortable and lovely setting for an upcoming meeting, a day retreat or in-service session? Immaculate Conception Convent is the ideal location for your next event. Located at 5229 South Park Avenue in Hamburg, New York, our facility is open to various groups. Whether an evening meeting or a full day event with lunch included…we will make your stay comfortable and peaceful.
Immaculate Conception Convent
Conference Room
  Our large meeting room and chapel will accommodate 100 guests. Looking for something a bit smaller? Our conference room seats 12 and a smaller meeting room seats 8 guests. There are also two comfortable sitting rooms, a library and Wi-Fi access for your convenience. During breaks, you can stroll through our outdoor space with park-like settings. For further information and availability, please contact Sister Ann Lyons, Director of Programs, at 716-649-1205 (ext. 1010) or e-mail: To print out a tri-fold brochure, please click here. You may also stop in and take a tour of our facility.
Community Room
One of two sittings rooms
Outdoor space behind convent
ICC entrance


PLEASE NOTE: Beginning June 30, 2016, all transcripts and employee records will be available through Nancy DiBerardino at the Diocese of Buffalo. The main phone number is (716) 847-8700.

Sister Jean Cherry, Administrator
Immaculata Academy
  The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph proclaimed their property to be a peace site when a Peace Pole was installed in front of the convent nearly 15 years ago. Each year since then, the Sisters and invited guests have gathered to pray for peace in general and for a particular issue regarding peace. This year the focus is on gun legislation and the dire need to end senseless killings by citizens upon other citizens. This is in conjunction with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
As we have seen in the news in the last several months, we have been immersed in the tragic stories of loss caused by senseless mass killing in our country. A disturbed man … in Sutherland, TX … another shooting in California … 58 killed and 500 injured in Las Vegas … 49 killed and 58 injured in Orlando… At moments like these, wisdom counsels us to express our solidarity with the victims, to reach out to others in compassion, and to reflect on the violence that plagues our society.
We will be able to create meaningful changes when more of us are engaged and make gun violence prevention a priority. Loving God and our neighbor as ourselves moves us to be involved in whatever way we can in movements of peace and non-violence, and in actions for the relief of victims of these tragedies. This might take the form of political activism of some kind such as:

• Pledging ourselves to make a difference by remembering those who have been lost and committing ourselves to helping our local community promote gun safety.
• Calling upon our local, state and national leaders to promote policies and legislation that will reduce the impact of gun violence.
• Urging unqualified support of expanded background checks, essential legislation endorsed by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

May we join together in prayer and action so that we can bring about new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families.
The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph were recently able to witness one of their beloved ministries come full circle. As part of their mission to minister to God’s people where there is great need, in 1949 the sisters began operating and sponsoring St. Mary’s Home for the Aging in Detroit, Michigan which moved in 1960 to Livonia, MI as Marycrest Manor. For decades, the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph attended to the health and social needs of aging in the Detroit/Livonia area. The sisters always desired to give their very best to the residents. When it became clear in the early 2000s that they were no longer able to provide the quality of care they wished to offer, they sought out a partner with similar values who could carry on the healing mission of Jesus.  
Legacy Walk - that was then...
That partner is Trinity Health Senior Living who took on the sponsorship of the institution and has grown it into a continuum of care facility. The original nursing home, Marycrest Manor, was updated and continues to serve those with critical needs. In the past ten years, Trinity Health has added a state-of-the-art independent living component and most recently, assisted living and rehabilitation components. In early October, Sister Sharon Goodremote, who serves on the Leadership Team of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, was able to join Sister Judith Salzman and Sister Alexine Machowicz , who continue to minister at Marycrest, for the grand opening of the completed Marycrest complex.
Legacy Walk - this is now.
  The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph combined their spirit of generosity and their Franciscan values of poverty and minority by letting go of some of their congregational religious items and sacramentals. Several of the statues and prints that had adorned the hallways of the convent were given to Hilbert College, founded by the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joesph, to be strategically placed for the campus body’s inspiration. A large Sacred Heart statue, along with other smaller items were donated to Nicaragua to be placed in a church which already has the pews of the sisters’ former motherhouse. In order to eliminate paper and plastic waste, the sisters wrapped the items in donated summer clothing which can be used by the parishioners in Nicaragua. A sleeping bag was used to wrap and protect the large statue. The sisters are pleased that these items are going to two “good homes” where they will be cherished much as they were in the convent.
To Hilbert College
Wrapped sacramentals
To Nicaragua

Retirement is unheard of in religious life! St. Francis counseled, “…in the holy love which is God, I beg all of you…to serve…the Lord God…in whatever way you are best able to do so, for that is what God wants above all else.” (ER 22:25-26) The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph have always taken this to heart. Ministries change from time to time but the mission always remains. When the time comes that a sister is unable to “go out to ministry,” the ministry comes in to us. The photos show several sisters bagging rice to be sent to the poor in Nicaragua. This regularly-scheduled ministry, along with signing cards for Meals on Wheels, praying for those who call in with intentions, and other “in-house ministries,” affords the sisters the opportunity to keep in touch with the needs of God’s people and to contribute to the mission of the congregation.
Sisters Joyce, Anzelma, Ann Margaret, Lucille Ann and Michele Malota, Activities Director
Sisters Loretta, Deborah Marie, Helen D, Joyce, Teresina and Carlene Marie
May we be strangers no longer, but instead, brothers and sisters, as we continue together on this journey of hope!

Sr. Carol Czyzewski, FSSJ, represented the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph at the Climate Change March in Washington, DC. She joined with many faith groups to march in favor of protecting the steps being taken to address climate change. Despite the 90° temperatures, the marchers persevered for the sake of Sister Mother Earth.

Of her experience, Sr. Carol said, “What a powerful and emotional experience to join so many people of all ages, creeds, races, and issue advocates for truth and justice for human dignity and for mother earth--they came from many far away states! Their presence boosted my hope that wisdom and good will prevail even as political forces aim to endanger what sustains life and what promotes peace.

Pictured below: Sr. Carol and participants in the Climate Change March.

On Sunday, May 13, 2018, a renewal of vows will be held in the chapel when many of our sisters will be celebrating their Anniversaries of Profession. Each of the jubilarians, as well as all of the members of the congregation, strives daily to live out their charism statement, “We live in Fraternity, Simplicity, Servanthood and Joy,…” In Fraternity, they relate as sister with all persons to whom and with whom they minister. They see all of creation as sister or brother and therefore live the Gospel with a loving mindset. In Simplicity and humility, each of these jubilarians makes choices that reflect the goodness of God. Through Servanthood, our sisters continuously seek ways to be of service to God’s people in their interactions with others. With Joy is the hallmark of how they present themselves to the world each day, knowing that God is always with them.
Sr. Benedicta Dega
  Sisters Benedicta Dega and Alexine Machowicz are celebrating their 65th anniversary of profession and Sr. Emily Therese Bloom is celebrating her 70th.
Sr. Benedicta’s two Master degrees from Marquette University and Christ the King Seminary reflect her two major areas of ministry. She was a long-time educator at the elementary and high school levels in her earlier days of ministry. Sr. Benedicta then transferred her skills into various pastoral ministries including pastoral care and hospital chaplain. Sr. Benedicta currently serves as a dedicated pastoral volunteer at Autumn View HC facility in Hamburg, NY.
Sr. Alexine Machowicz became a full time and very dedicated elementary teacher after receiving her Bachelor degree in Education from Cardinal Stritch College in Detroit, MI. It was a natural fit for her as she has an infectious joyful spirit. Later in her life, Sr. Alexine shared her joy as the Activities Director for the residents at Marycrest Manor (now known as Sanctuary at Marycrest). Currently, Sr. Alexine volunteers as a pastoral visitor to those in the various levels of care at Sanctuary at Marycrest. 
Sr. Alexine Machowicz
Sr. Emily Therese Bloom
  Sr. Emily Therese Bloom used her teaching skills at the elementary, high school and college levels after receiving a Master in English from Niagara University. Her years of teaching were interrupted for a time when she offered to be one of the first group of missionaries of the congregation to serve in Brazil. After receiving her Master degree in Clinical Counseling, she offered those skills, along with her teaching abilities, at various institutions including as executive director of Boys Hope of Florida and as a jail and clinical counselor. Those ministries were also interrupted for a time when she served on the Leadership Team of the congregation, a role she held again later on in her career. Sr. Emily currently serves as an active and faithful volunteer at Gerard Place Housing Development Fund Company.
God’s blessings to all our Jubilarians and we prayerfully remember our deceased Jubilarians.

Dr. Brian Dougherty, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit, announced that Sister Geraldine Kaczynski, FSSJ, has been named the Archdiocese of Detroit Principal of the Year. Sister Geraldine will receive her award at a special dinner honoring outstanding teachers and scholar athletes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit on June 5th.

Sister Geraldine is well respected for her outstanding leadership in Catholic Education by her principal colleagues, clergy, and administrators in the Archdiocese.

In addition, Sister Geraldine was an honoree at the annual Franciscan Federation conference held in Buffalo, NY from June 16-19 at the Adam's Mark Hotel. She was one of "31 Sisters and Brothers of member congregations who, like St. Bonaventure, 'embodies the best of our teaching tradition' or 'who, in their ministry, embodies the values of being incarnational, personal, communal, transformative, engaging the heart and developing servant-leaders'." (See pictures below)
(Standing) Sisters Michael, Sharon, Marcia, and Emily Therese; (Seated) Sisters Joyce, Geraldine and Stephen
Sr. Geraldine receiving her award
Sisters Geraldine, Sharon and Marcia

  Human trafficking continues to be one of the worst evils of our time. The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, like many congregations of women religious, have taken a stand against this evil. In mid-February the sisters hosted a prayer service with and for members of the local area and parishes to awaken hearts and deepen commitments to work for a world of freedom for all. Human trafficking is as present in the US as it is across the globe.
Pope John Paul II said of Bakhita, “Was it not a moment of refreshment and renewal, offered by Christ the Good Shepherd to the whole Catholic community of the Sudan, when, in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, Josephine Bakhita was elevated to glory among the Blessed of the Church? She thus became a model of virtue and holiness of life for Christians. To religious believers everywhere she speaks of the value of reconciliation and love, for in her heart she overcame any feelings of hatred for those who had harmed her.”
May each of us ask God for the courage and wisdom exhibited by Josephine Bakhita so that we may stand in solidarity with those who are trafficked and that together we will find ways to the freedom that is God’s gift to all of us.

Below is a list of ways for you to get involved and be a voice for those who have none.

~ Pray
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

~ Support an Already Existing Organization
Every penny counts in the struggle for freedom. Your support matters.

~ Get Educated
Knowledge is power. Allow yourself to be informed.

~ Educate Others
Sharing is easy. Consider some ways to spread the message.
Visit FAASTINTERNATIONAL.ORG (Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking)

~ Advocate
Speak, Act, Do…all on behalf of those who cannot.

~ Volunteer
There are a variety of ways that YOU can help!

~ Report Cases
If you see something that doesn’t look right, report it. 1-888-373-7888.

~ Buy Slave Free Products
Support freedom with your purchases. Know where your goods come from.
Click on the following link for more information: GoodGuide

~ Get Your Church Involved
We believe that God has uniquely designed the church to be his avenue for hope and restoration for the world.

~ Sporting Events
For upcoming sporting events, write to coaches, athletes, hotels and/or sponsors about human trafficking: WithoutExploitationToolkit.pdf

Mary's Way
  As the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph sculpted their new home, they filled their new surroundings with symbols important to them in a beautiful park-like setting.

Now they invite you to join with them in remembering those special people and moments that have shaped our lives, as they create Mary’s Way and Joseph’s Green, places of gratitude and remembrance. Benches and winding walkways offer opportunities for prayer and reflection.

The focal point of Mary’s Way is the beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother that stood above the entrance of our former Motherhouse. Adorned with a simple stone shrine, she reminds us of standing in humble simplicity before our God. Our St. Joseph statue with the child Jesus, central to Joseph’s Green, reminds us of the gentle care with which Joseph raised the boy Jesus. For many years this statue graced the grounds of our former Motherhouse. As St. Joseph is the patron saint of a happy death, this area is a fitting place to remember your deceased loved ones.
Joseph's Green
  Incorporated into each of these venues are areas of brick/pavers where you can concretize the treasured thoughts of loved ones or special events. We invite you to purchase a brick/paver to celebrate the specialness of a relative or friend, to reverence the memory of a deceased loved one or mark a milestone event in life’s journey. As you and our sisters walk the grounds of our new Motherhouse, your cherished remembrances will be brought to the hearts and prayers of those who read the inscriptions. The engraved brick/pavers offer a meaning and lasting way to pay tribute.

For further information, you may contact Sr. Lynne Anne at (716) 649-1205 ext. 2125 or e-mail

Order Form

The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph have created a high school program entitled Franciscan Studies Program: Lessons on Franciscan Spirituality through the lives of St. Francis, St. Clare and Colette Hilbert, FSSJ. Each component/year focuses on one of the four Third Order core values of humility, poverty, conversion and contemplation. The two-week components are all inclusive with complete lesson plans; readings from Francis, Clare and Colette Hilbert, Foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph (these can be substituted by readings of other founders/Franciscans); reflection questions; study of a Franciscan symbol; prayer service; suggested assessements and a bibilography.

To purchase of copy of the 117 page program in a binder for forty dollars ($40.00),please contact Sr. Jean M. Cherry, FSSJ at

©2009 Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph

Website Hosting provided by SM Digital Creations ~ 716-254-6130