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Are you restless or hungry for more in your life? Are you seeking wisdom or looking for inspiration? The Gospel gave guidance to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi as they followed in the footprints of Jesus some 800 years ago. The witness of their lives and values continue to inspire those of us on a spiritual journey today. Join Sister Michelle L’Allier and her guest, ordinarily on the first and third Tuesday of each month, for a time of shared reflection and conversation.

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Sep 6, 2022

Join educator and health care provider, Athena Godet-Calogeras, as she is interviewed by guest host Darleen Pryds. Athena is a master storyteller of her journey ranging from urban life in New York and Chicago to the enchanted mountains of Western New York state.

For a video version of this episode, see:


From Athena’s interview:

“[With] a Franciscan scholar by the name of David Flood, … we began to hold weekly sessions on the Franciscan movement. He's an historian. … When I learned about what Francis and Clare, what they, and the other men and women at that time had to contend with and what they did to live a gospel life, it clicked with my own experience of what I was going through and what I was seeing on the streets of Uptown, which was a very poor, a diverse, ethnically diverse community where everybody could walk the streets, whether they were from halfway houses or in wheelchairs, whatever their color. And I just loved it. …. And I tell ya, it was in Chicago that I really became a Franciscan.”


“David would come in and perhaps we'd go through a discussion of the Testament. … He would talk about it from his scholarship, from an historical perspective, as well as his absolute passion for being a Franciscan. And we would have discussion and he would give us different things to read. And at one point during those sessions we said, where else can we read more of this kind, not the pious Saint Francis talking to the birds and that sort of thing. But this, this real man, these real men, Clare, these real women, where can we read more about it? And he said nowhere. That's when a small group of us started the Franciscan magazine in 1977 called Haversack.”

“I recall walking one day down Uptown streets and all of a sudden having this wonderful feeling, this is exactly where I belong. This fits so well. It integrates everything. Every part of me. So, so that was, that was the start and it's, it's Franciscan ever since.”


“I am by nature an activist.  I think it's by nature. When I was in Chicago, I had a big poster of a mother duck with baby ducks on the wall and it said, ‘Do something, lead, follow, or get out of the way’. Activism is sort of natural for me.” (see visual at the end of these show notes)


“I married Jean-Francois and his scholarship continues to inform me … Clare, I've gotten to know more of Clare and the [early Franciscan] women. Where I live now, we don't have a specific Franciscan base. The two of us are Franciscans, and all of our close friends who are active with us in all of the endeavors … they know we're Franciscan and they're attuned to it. And several of us have also formed a faith sharing group called "the breaking of the bread". We're Franciscan without initials, but we are Franciscans.”


“I always speak of a Franciscan movement; I do not think that Francis or Clare acted alone. There was a movement, there were people and that is so very important. It's building up the relationships, … keeping the Franciscan history current.  I go back to the readings and, again I have Jean-Francois, and every time we have ‘the breaking of the bread’, a meeting of our group, we have Franciscan texts; those people in the 13th century are dead, but they're still alive.  … I've had years and years of reading about Francis and Clare and the men and women in that early movement. That stays with me, and I can always go back to those.  I do go back to those pages, but as it is if people remember us, that means we’re still alive. So they're still alive, and so am I.”


With Veggie Wheels “we go to the people, not only will we give them vegetables and fruit from local farmers, but we will be able to relate. We will meet, we will have that exchange. As we saw in Francis's Testament, where he discovered that the leper was really his brother, his sister. You bring people from different socioeconomic status and you become friends; we get them involved in helping others.”


For a full transcript, please include episode number and email:



Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis:


Vatican Council II: a five-minute video about the Council by Franciscan friar Casey Cole: .To hear other podcast guests references as well as to see show note links (click on ‘Read More’), type ‘Vatican’ into the search bar of this website, and several options will come up to explore.


Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras, Margaret Carney, David Flood: bios with the Franciscan Institute:


Saints Francis and Clare:

The Testament, by Saint Francis:  

Saint Francis meets the leper: see . See also the earliest biography of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano (1C 17):  


Haversack magazine issues:

Scripture related to the choice of “haversack” as the title:

--Luke 9:3 Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic.” (cf. Mtt 10:10; Mk. 6:8; Lk 10:4)

--Luke 22:36 “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag…”


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande:

Frontline Episode based on Being Mortal: ----


Enchanted Mountains Village: The Village to Village Network: . The idea is to create a community of people 55+ to allow people to age well and happily in their homes through exchange of services, mutual support, and cultural and fun events. The Enchanted Mountains Village was officially launched on October 17, 2021, and is established as a non-profit organization:


Veggie Wheels

Video (on Facebook)