The San Damiano Cross was a favorite image of St. Francis of Assisi. This crucifix is perhaps the most sacred icon of the entire Franciscan Order, including all of its friars and sisters!
At Most Holy Trinity, we lead our liturgical processions with the San Damiano
Cross. It is also the centerpiece of the sisters' chapel in their convent at Trinity.
The sisters of Most Holy Trinity -- St. Mary live a
communal life according to the Rule of St. Francis and the Constitutions
of the Suore Francescane Missionarie di Assisi. The sisters, like their brother friars, desire to live
together “as a family.” They share their Franciscan life and
spirituality by praying together and recreating together, by having
common meals and by supporting one another in their respective
Are you interested in learning more about the life of our sisters?
Are you interested in becoming a Franciscan Missionary Sister of Assisi?
You may reach the sisters' vocation director at the following
address and phone number:
Suore Francescane Missionarie di Assisi
1039 Northampton St
Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040-1320
The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi (sfma, Suore Francescane Missionarie di Assisi) who live and minister at Trinity are members of the Vice Province of the Immaculate Conception--USA, headquartered in Holyoke, Massachusetts. In great part due to the efforts of Sister Theresa Mwelva, sfma, the community's Vice Provincial, and Friar Timothy Dore, OFM Conv., Parochial Vicar of the parish, the dream of bringing the sisters to Brooklyn was to become a reality. They began serving the Parish of Most Holy Trinity--St. Mary in September of 2011 while Friar Santo Cricchio, OFM Conv., was the pastor. All of the friars, and all of our parishioners, welcomed the sisters with great enthusiasm upon their arrival. The first to come to Most Holy Trinity--St. Mary were Sr. Mercedes Soggiu, sfma, Sr. Carol Woods, sfma, and Sr. Annie Mbewe, sfma; these sister were a great complement to the presence of the Franciscan Friars who had
served the parish since 1981.
Sister Theresa Mwelva, sfma, the Vice Provincial of the sisters' Immaculate Conception Vice Province--USA, accompanied Sisters Carol Woods, sfma, Mercedes Soggiu, sfma, and Annie Mbewe, sfma, on the day they first arrived in the parish in the summer of 2011.
The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi and the Conventual Franciscan Friars, both communities which are now serving at Most Holy Trinity--St. Mary, are literaly brother and sister communities. The sisters' community was founded over three hundred years ago by Mother Angela del Giglio with the help of Conventual Franciscan Friar Joseph Anthony Marcheselli. The two communities have worked together in many places throughout the world for all of those more than three-hundred years! When the sisters came to Trinity and to Brooklyn, it was the realization of a dream that both communities had for many years. We at Trinity are grateful that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Ordinary of the Diocese of Brooklyn, gave the FMSA sisters permission to realize the dream of establishing a convent and ministry site for the their community here at Most Holy Trinity–St. Mary.
The following announcement about the sisters' arrival at Trinity appeared in the parish's bulletin during the summer of 2011:
We are very pleased to announce that we have invited a community of religious sisters, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi, to establish a convent and ministry site at Most Holy Trinity–St. Mary. We are very grateful that Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, has given the sisters permission to come and live and work with us in our parish! Thanks be to God, three sisters, Sr. Mercedes, Sr. Carol and Sr. Annie will be taking up residence at Trinity in the beginning of September, 2011. They will reside in the convent apartment located on our property (above the Thrift Shop) that until three years ago housed the Dominican Sisters (Sr. Eve being the last of the Dominican Sisters to live at Trinity). The parish of Most Holy Trinity had been served by the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Amityville for nearly one-hundred and fifty-six years. The parish of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary ("St. Mary's, Maujer Street") had been served by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood for nearly one-hundred and twenty-eight years. Our parish of Most Holy Trinity–St. Mary has had a long and proud history of service by these dedicated women religious; to them, we are forever grateful. We believe that the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi will faithfully continue the tradition of service by women religious to the people of our community. The Conventual Franciscan Friars who staff our parish, and the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi, are "brother" and "sister" communities; they have worked together in many places throughout the world for more than three-hundred years! Please plan to join us as we welcome the sisters to our parish community (more information about the sisters, and the welcoming of them to our parish, will be posted in the bulletin within the next couple of weeks). Let us be grateful to God for the blessings the sisters will bring to our parish community!
There are three knots on the Franciscan Cord; they represent the
vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. The Tau Cross, formed by the
Greek letter "T" was a favorite of St. Francis; it recalls a passage from
chapter nine of the Prophet Ezekiel in which the chosen are marked with the sign of a cross. During
the lifetime of St. Francis, Pope Innocent III referred to the passage from
Ezekiel as he opened the Fourth Lateran Council; he stated that all who are
marked with the sign of the Tau will share in the Passover of Christ. St.
Francis adopted the Tau Cross as his own monogram and as a symbol for his
A favorite expression of St. Francis
of Assisi was the Latin phrase “Pax et Bonum.” The saint would greet others with
these words, translated as “Peace and all good” in English. “Pax et Bonum” is
now used as a motto for Franciscans throughout the world. May peace and
all that is good be yours!
Peace and all good! -- Friede und alles Gute!
-- Pokoj i dobro! -- Paz y
The Sisters of Most Holy Trinity -- St. Mary belong to the Vice Province of the Immaculate Conception--USA. Visit their web site at: