Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Marble Orchard in Lewiston

Here's a unique event coming up the next two weekends

For Immediate Release: July 15, 2008
From: Eva Nicklas, Lewiston Council on the Arts - 754-0166

The Marble Orchard: Star of Niagara
100 Years of Faith, Hope and Sheer Determination!

(Lewiston, NY) The Marble Orchard: Star of Niagara is a unique series of vignettes that tell the stories of the early Sisters of St. Francis. As part of the yearlong Centennial Celebration, the program will take place at Stella Niagara, 4421 Lower River Rd., located in the Town of Lewiston, on Sat., Aug. 16 at 7:00 PM, Sun. Aug. 17 at 2:00 PM, Sat., Aug. 23 at 7:00 PM and Sun., Aug. 24 at 2:00PM.

The audience will step back in time and experience what life was like 100 years ago for the founders of Stella Niagara, now a magnificent motherhouse, an institute for learning, a hospitality center, retirement home for the elderly sisters and a peace site.

In 1908, a handful of energetic and determined Franciscan Sisters left the noise and commotion of Buffalo for the quiet and calm of the March farm on River Road. There they built a convent and school. Armed with little more than faith and willpower, they battled the elements and extreme poverty with steadfast determination.

Set in the secluded and peaceful cemetery on the grounds of Stella Niagara, you will meet the early superior, Mother Leonarda. Tough, but with a heart of gold, she led the younger sisters through desperate times of poverty. In the difficult times, complaints were not heard and prayers were always answered. God did provide. Freddie the chauffeur drove 3 million miles without a single accident or traffic ticket. As the trusted keeper of the secrets, what was discussed in Freddie’s car, stayed in Freddie’s car! Father Heim served as chaplain at Stella for almost 40 years. He will recall what it was like to be a German priest in America during the war years. These stories, and more, will come to life thanks to the volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to the project.

The stories, painstakingly researched, grew out of Centennial Year collaboration between Lewiston Council on the Arts and the Sisters of St. Francis. Admission is $10 adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets will be sold at the door.

For more information call
Eva Nicklas, Lewiston Council on the Arts 716-754-0166
Sister Beth Brosmer, Stella Niagara 716-754-2193.

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