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From Our April 2016 Newsletter

Our February Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday,  April 10th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will participate in ongoing formation, recite the Franciscan Crown Rosary and, after our regular meeting and prayers, we will proceed to St. Francis Church for Benediction.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Communion Breakfast

Our annual communion breakfast will be in May. As usual, it will be the first Sunday of the month instead of the second to accommodate Mother’s Day. We will meet at Conway Hall at 11:00 to set up then and proceed to the Church for 11:30 Mass. We will sit together as a group. There will be a pot luck breakfast after Mass around 12:30. Be sure to bring your special dish to share. We will sing a hymn and crown the Blessed Mother. Our speaker will be Fr. Quan Tran.

Pastoral/Fraternal Visit

The regional leadership’s pastoral/fraternal visit during our March gathering was a great success and we are now on target for holding elections again this Summer. Thanks to all of you who had to make a special effort to attend this important gathering.

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Conversion of children and grandchildren
  • Mary: Pain in legs and back
  • Mary: Job offers, financial help
  • A good job for my son
  • Walt: Healing of physical and mental health and ability to keep job
  • Monsignor M: Melanoma
  • Ray: Breast lump
  • Emma: Breast cancer
  • Marylou: Diabetes
  • Kathy: Conversion of family members
  • Bernadette: Continued healing of cancer
  • Dennis: Positive check-up
  • Patricia: Bipolar medications
  • Karen: Peace and employment
  • Frank: Infection
  • Celina: Infection

2016 Fairshare

Please remember that this year’s Fairshare contribution of $30 was due at our March meeting.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Oatmeal
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Baby Diapers (especially size 4)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Toilet Paper
  • Men’s Underwear

Ongoing formation

Marie Gilligan has graciously agreed to lead April’s Ongoing formation session. It may or may not be related to the quotes below.

Food for thought

I have come to think that care of the soul requires a high degree of resistance to the culture around us, simply because that culture is dedicated to values that have no concern for the soul. To preserve our precious hearts, we may have to live economically against the grain, perhaps so as not to be forced into soul-maiming work just to place bread on the table or put our children through college. We may not want to be plugged into electronic media and have our thoughts laundered daily with biased news, superficial commentary, and “lite” entertainment. We may not want to contribute to disastrous pollution of nature or participate in the current value-empty philosophy of education. This comtemptus mundi is not a misanthropic, superior rejection of life’s pleasures but, rather, a compassionate attempt to find more grounded pleasure and communal fulfillment in deep appreciation for life relieved of ambition and control.

~ Thomas Moore in the introduction of Thomas Merton’s classic Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Merton was a Secular Franciscan before becoming a Trappist monk.

•  •  •  •  •

Our [Secular] Franciscan vision, understood and embraced, brings a particular spirit to the Church and the world. Our lives will show that spirit in all areas of human life both in our service in the Church and in our mission to the world. Our profession of the SFO Rule consecrates us. Though we are in the world we choose not to be influenced by its non-gospel values, attitudes, or policies. In that sense secular Franciscans ‘leave the world.’

~ Lester Bach, OFM Cap, The Franciscan Journey: Embracing the Franciscan Vision

 

 

From Our March 2016 Newsletter

Our March Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday,  March 13th at 1:00 pm in Conway Hall. Please note that due to the regional council’s fraternal/pastorial visit, we will be starting a half hour later than usual.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Mary – Lou Hips: Arthritis
  • Edward – Liver/Lungs
  • Frank – UTI (Bladder)
  • Joe – Return: Catholic Faith
  • Paul – Heart Condition
  • Pat – Operation: Pelvis
  • Chris – Find Nursing Home
  • Melody – Liver Transplant
  • Frank (86) – Hospice
  • Jamie – Heroin Addiction
  • Jeremy – Alcohol Problem
  • Peggy – Fractured Hip
  • Mark – Bone Cancer
  • Anna – Safe Delivery
  • Joseph – Discern: Vocation
  • Betty – Pain: Shingles

2016 Fairshare

Please remember that this year’s Fairshare contribution of $30 is due by our March meeting.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Coffee
  • Oatmeal
  • Laundry Soap
  • Sugar
  • Big Bars of Soap
  • Size 4 Baby Diapers
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Prayers

Ongoing Formation

There will be no ongoing formation during our March gathering.

Food for Thought

Jesus has always many who love His heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting. All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him. Many follow Him to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the chalice of His passion. Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the cross. Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection.Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks. What power there is in pure love for Jesus—love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!

~Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Book II, Chapter XI.

•  •  •  •

Of course, unless we understand our own sinfulness, unless we understand the urgency of repentance and reconciliation, the Cross makes no sense; the Resurrection makes no sense. Easter joy is the joy of deliverance and new life. If we don’t believe in our bones that we really do desperately need these things, Easter is just another excuse for a holiday sale; and the Sacrament of Penance, and our fasting and almsgiving, are a waste of time.

But in the silence of our own hearts, if we’re honest, we know we hunger for something more than our own selfishness and mistakes. We were made for glory, and we’re empty of that glory until God fills us with his presence. All things are made new in the victory of Jesus Christ – even sinners like you and me. The blood of the Cross washes away death. It purifies us as vessels for God’s new life. The Resurrection fills us with God’s own life.

~ Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, “Three simple questions on the threshold of Lent – Catholic Philly”

 

From Our February 2016 Newsletter

Our February Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, February 14th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will participate in ongoing formation, recite the Franciscan Crown Rosary and, after our regular meeting and prayers, we will proceed to St. Francis Church for Benediction.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Albert: Pace Maker
  • Mark: Bone Cancer
  • Pat: Heart Valve Surgery
  • Grace: Breast Cancer
  • Bob: Weak Heart Condition
  • Lucille: Lung Cancer
  • Camillo: Heart Surgery
  • Rita: Breast Cancer
  • Lucy Ann: Find A Spouse
  • Jane: Keep Family Together
  • Richard: Holy Spirit’s Guidance
  • Johnny: Healthy Grandchild
  • Richard: Business Success

2016 Fairshare

Please remember that this year’s Fairshare contribution of $30 is due by our March meeting.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Oatmeal
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Baby Diapers (especially size 4)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Toilet Paper
  • Men’s Underwear and Undershirts

Ongoing Formation

For our next session, I would like to focus on the specifically secular aspect of our Franciscan calling (one of the primary attributes that differentiates us from the other branches of the Franciscan family). This topic was brought to mind by what our inquirers covered in their initial formation session in January.

To prepare, please read the following passage by Catholic author and blogger Heather King and take time to carefully consider the questions that follow it.

• • • • •

Sometimes we wonder whether our lives in Christ are bearing fruit. Here, my brothers and sisters, are some pretty good signs.

In spite of our own suffering, loneliness, and pain, we’re welcoming. We’re warm. We’re kind.

A good barometer is to observe how we approach, think about, and respond to our fellow parishioners during the Sign of Peace at Mass

Confession, anyone?

We’re in immediate, intimate contact with a few active drunks, someone who’s headed into or has just emerged from a psych ward, an incarcerated felon or two, several porn addicts, a young girl who’s pregnant out of wedlock, several women who have had abortions and are in silent, excruciating mourning, at least one stripper, several people in desperately unhappy marriages, about to be evicted from their apartments, or dying, a minimum-wage worker or two, at least three people who are certifiably insane, at least one U.S. Army chaplain and one peace activist (even better if they’re both priests and the latter is in solitary confinement in a federal prison), several homeless people (the more the better) and a scad of gay people, transgender folks, and sex and love addicts of all stripes.

If that’s not part of our circle, we’re not getting out enough. If we aren’t sharing our struggles and hearts with that circle, at the very least in prayer, something is wrong. Because those are the people Christ hung out with. Because “those people” are us: suffering, struggling humans. Because if we’re going to be inviting people to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience, we surely need to be inviting each other into our homes, our tables, our hemorrhaging, conflicted hearts.

If we’re afraid all that is going to “lower our standards,” we’re very much mistaken. For the follower of Christ, no standard is lower than self-righteous fear.

• • • • •

Questions:

  1. What was the first, immediate reaction that this passage provoked in you?
  2. How is King’s description of a life in Christ similar to the ministry of St. Francis?
  3. Do we, as a fraternity and as individuals, have an outward focus and sense of mission or are we essentially inwardly focused?
  4. What specific concrete actions can we take as a fraternity and as individuals in order to “go forth as witnesses and instuments of her [the Church’s] mission among all people.”

From Our December 2015 Newsletter

Our December Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, December 13th at 1:00 pm and it will be our annual Christmas party. Please see page 2 of the newsletter for details.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • June: Leukemia (Cancer)
  • Carol: Stroke (Eating Problem)
  • Mary: Spinal Stenosis
  • Jim: Leg Injury
  • Dennis: Lung & Heart Issues
  • Frank (86): Balance (Fall)
  • Frances: Infection (Kidney)
  • David & Angela: Communication
  • Larry: Multiple Health Problems
  • Emma: Cancer
  • Jane: Hospice
  • Janice: Depression
  • Patricia: Fluid In Heart
  • Lisa: Lymphoma
  • Lilly (4): Autism
  • Vincent: Concussion (Fracture)
  • Grace: Breast Cancer

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Baby Formula
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Underwear (S, M)
  • Men’s Undershirt (L, XL)
  • Men’s T-Shirts (L, XL, 2X)

Formation Information

Due to the December gathering being our Christmas party, we won’t be having ongoing formation. We’ll start back up in January.

From Our November 2015 Newsletter

Our November Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, November 8th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will have ongoing formation followed by social time. Around 2:15 we will proceed to St. Francis Church for our annual Mass of Remembrance. Father Tran will be our celebrant.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”
–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Regional Council’s Fraternal/Pastoral Visit

The Pastoral Visit has been postponed and will be rescheduled for sometime in early 2016.

NAFRA Elections

On October 17th, Regional Secular Franciscan leaders met to hold elections for the national executive council of the Secular Franciscan Order in the U.S.

Here are the results: National Vice Minister MARY BITTNER, OFS; National Minister JAN PARKER, OFS; National Councilor JOAN GEIGER, OFS; National Councilor AWILDA GUADALUPE, OFS; National Treasurer JERRY ROUSSEAU, OFS; International Councilor MARY STRONACH, OFS; National Councilor MARY FRANCES CHARSKY, OFS, and Br. BOB BRADY, OFM, president-in-turn of the Conference of National Spiritual Assistants. And I am pleased to announce that our regional minister MATTIE WARD, OFS, has been elected to the office National Secretary.

The SFO constitution requires that Mattie immeadiately reliquish her regional office upon election to national office, so I am also pleased to announce that our own Kate Kleinert will be serving as Regional Minister until the elections take place this January.

Please keep all of these brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Ray – COPD & Kidney Stones
  • Marie – Pulmonary Heart Disease
  • My Adult Children – Conversion
  • Joe To Know God’s Will
  • Frank (Son) – Healing of Wounds
  • My Friend – End Of Cancer
  • Grace – Breast Cancer
  • My Nephew – Return To Church
  • Mike – Employment
  • Lisa Cancer
  • Cynthia – Employment
  • Larry – Health Issues
  • Bill – Repeating Infections

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Baby Formula
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Underwear (S, M)
  • Men’s Undershirt (L, XL)
  • Men’s T-Shirts (L, XL, 2X)

Formation Information

I was taken a little bit by surprise this month when regional asked to reschedule their pastoral visit. I also have unexpectedly been away for work twice in during two weeks leading up to our November gathering. All of this is leading up to me saying that I’m not exactly sure what we are going to be doing for ongoing formation this month. I do know that I think, given we are having our traditional Mass of Rememberence, that perhaps we should talk about the Franciscan approach to death. Please prayerfully meditate on this subject and be prepared to contribute to a lively discussion when we gather.

Food for Thought

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.

~ St. Francis, Canticle of the Sun

Even death itself, considered by all to be so terrible and hateful, was exhorted to give praise, while he himself, going joyfully to meet it, invited it to make its abode with him. “Welcome,” he said, “my sister death.”

~ Thomas of Celano, The Second Life of St. Francis of Assisi

As he approached his own earthly end, Francis, recalling the love of God made manifest in the gift of creation, looked forward with hope to his share in the resurrection of Christ. There was no longer a need to avoid or exploit death, because death was his sister, closer to him than the fear of the unknown. With arms extended, Francis did not cower from his destiny in fear and anxiety but embraced his sister bodily death with his whole heart and left this world in peace. abode with him. “Welcome,” he said, “my sister death.”

~ Daniel P. Horan, Embracing Sister Death: The Fraternal Worldview of Francis of Assisi as a Source for Christian Eschatological Hope

From Our October 2015 Newsletter

Our October Gathering

Instead of the usual Sunday gathering, our next meeting will be our annual Day of Recollection and will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Divine Providence Village in Springfield. Please note that is a week later than it usually would be. We will begin at 9:00 a.m. Please remember to bring a brown bag lunch. Drinks will be provided. Fr. Dennis Weber will be our Celebrant and Retreat Master. The theme for the day will be “Year of Mercy.”

Schedule:

  • 9:00 am Gathering and Fellowship (Coffee/tea, light refreshment will be available)
  • 9:30 am Prayer (Bring Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours)
  • 10:15 am Conference with Fr. Dennis
  • 11:00 am Mass
  • 12:00 pm Brown Bag Lunch
  • 1:00 pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • 2:30 pm Benediction

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Regional Council’s Fraternal/Pastoral Visit

A group from the regional council with be visiting during our November meeting. We will still be celebrating our annual Mass of Remembrance. The details and schedule are still be finalized. More information will be provided in the November newsletter.

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Jennifer: Illness/Medication
  • Carolyn: Pneumonia
  • Frank: Skin Cancer
  • John: Alzheimer’s
  • Rose Marie: Balance Walker
  • Jim: Knee Surgery
  • Mary Louise: Cataracts
  • Danny: Divorce Pending
  • Selma: Vertebrate Pain
  • Christine: Foot Bleeding
  • Jean: Lung Cancer
  • Eleanor: Heart Failure
  • Terrance & Julie: Drug Abuse
  • Sue: Brain Tumor

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Baby Formula
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Underwear (S, M)
  • Men’s Undershirt (L, XL)
  • Men’s T-Shirts (L, XL, 2X)

Annual Day of Recollection

Don’t forget that October is our annual day of recollection and our gathering takes place on Saturday not Sunday, see page one of this newsletter for details.

Formation Information

There will be no formal ongoing formation in October during our Day of Recollection, but Fr. Dennis will be speaking about the Year of Mercy.

Food for Thought

The call of Jesus pushes each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we are dealing with a person. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see how much generosity everyone is capable. No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness. The greater the sin, so much the greater must be the love that the Church expresses toward those who convert.

Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. For this reason, I have decided to call an extraordinary Jubilee that is to have the mercy of God at its center. It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord’s words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (cf. Lk 6:36).”

~ Pope Francis, homily and announcement of Year of Mercy, *St. Peter’s Basilica, 3/13/2015

• • •

Then Friar Matthew said, “… do you not remember that the mercy of God is greater than all the sins of the world, and that Christ the Blessed, our Savior, paid to redeem us at an infinite price? Be of good hope that for certain you are saved.”

~ The Little Flowers of St. Francis, *Chapter 45

– August, 2015

August and September Ongoing Formation Materials

Ongoing formation materials for our August and September meeting have been uploaded to the site and are available on the archive page. Sorry for the delay on the stuff for August.

We covered Article 9 of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order in August and, in September, we’re covering Article 10.

From Our September 2015 Newsletter

Our September Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, September 13th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will participate in ongoing formation, recite the Franciscan Crown Rosary and, after our regular meeting and prayers, we will proceed to St. Francis Church for Benediction.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390

“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Terry: Better Hearing
  • William: Tumors in Stomach
  • Al & Nick: Drug Addiction
  • Rita: Colon Cancer
  • Eleanor: Brain Cancer
  • Anna & Cliff: Upcoming Marriage
  • Bill: Kidney Stones
  • My Brother: Mental Health Issues
  • James & Keith: Return to Sacraments
  • Karen: Change Negative Attitude
  • Claire & John: Find Nursing Home
  • Steve: Grace To Forgive Friend
  • Bob: Open Heart Surgery
  • Brittany: Safe Delivery (Baby)
  • Larry: Heart Surgery
  • Frank: Back Injury
  • Dominic: Return To Sacraments

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Baby Formula
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Underwear (S, M)
  • Men’s Undershirt (L, XL)
  • Men’s T-Shirts (L, XL, 2X)

Annual Day of Recollection

This year’s retreat will be on Saturday October 17th. Our retreat master will be Fr. Dennis Weber. The Day of Recollection will be held at Divine Providence Village in Springfield from 9am to 3pm. We will bring our own lunches. Beverages will be provided. More details to follow.

Formation Information

In September, we will be continuing our journey through the Secular Franciscan Rule with a discussion of Article 10. Readings and questions for comtemplation are included with this newsletter and are available on our website. Please be sure to take time to prayerfully review this material in preparation.

Food for Thought

This life-style is basically typified by littleness and openness on a personal level (obedience, poverty, and purity of heart), together with others (community), and in an out-reach of service after the example of Jesus Christ the “Man for Others.”

“Littleness” is the quality which expresses the Secular Franciscans’ desire to be conformed to Christ in his self-emptying and to follow the Lord in humility and meekness, at the service of everyone, even to the point of taking the lowest place, not vying for power or prestige, and out of boldness risking ‘misunderstanding and non-acceptance for the sake of the gospel.

“Openness” is the quality which expresses the Secular Franciscans’ desire to be receptive and adaptable to the creative, inspiring, and transforming power of God’s presence revealed to us in the word and sacraments, the Church and the Social situation, other people and all of nature.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM

• • •

As Franciscans we are called by God to love. This love is a total surrender to God, manifested in how we serve God in one another, even those who are not one of us (cfr. Mark 9: 38). Our availability to respond “yes” whenever we are called by God’s will depends on how much, little, or not we are attached, subject, and ultimately controlled by persons, places, things in our life. They become the “center” and the “focus” of what we do and at times who we believe we are. Our “Center” must always be God, the Lord, Jesus!

~ Fr. Francis A. Sariego, O.F.M.Cap., From the Desk of Fr. Francis – August, 2015

From our August 2015 Newsletter

Our August Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, August 9th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will participate in ongoing formation, recite the Franciscan Crown Rosary and, after our regular meeting and prayers, we will proceed to St. Francis Church for Benediction.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390
“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”
–from The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Rich — Return To Sacraments
  • Mary Louise — Broken Hip
  • Terry — Healing: Left Eye
  • Charles — Dialysis: Cycler
  • Pat — Lungs: Fluid
  • Christine — Dementia
  • Michael — Lime Disease
  • John — Alzheimer’s
  • Cathy — Back Pain
  • Mary — Leg Pain
  • Kathleen — Peace: Acceptance
  • J & T — Sobriety: Drugs
  • Fraternity Sister — Grief: Brother’s Death
  • Rose — Left Shoulder: Surgery
  • Frank — Skin Cancer

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Baby Formula
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Underwear (S, M)
  • Men’s Undershirt (L, XL)
  • Men’s T-Shirts (L, XL, 2X)

Formation Information

In August, after a six month break we will be continuing our journey through the Secular Franciscan Rule with a discussion of Article 9. Readings and questions for comtemplation are included with this newsletter and are available on our website. Please be sure to take time to prayerfully review this material in preparation.

Food for Thought
On the left side of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Madonna at the sanctuary of La Verna there is a beautiful work by Andrea Della Robbia that depicts the scene of the Annunciation. Mary is portrayed seated on the left meditating on the Word of God, shown as an open book on her lap. The angel Gabriel is kneeling before her while God the Father is pictured in the upper right with His hands raised in supplication and surrounded by angels while He stares intently at Mary. The Holy Spirit is hovering in the air between Gabriel and the Virgin. The artist is trying to portray t he time in the Annunciation after the angel had explained God’s plan to her and was waiting for her response. Every one in the scene is in state of tense expectation – even God and the angels seem to be holding their breath in suspense. The most important event in salvation history awaits the response of a young girl in Nazareth. What will her answer be? It is a wonderful way of portraying the essential interaction and cooperation between God and humanity in the work of salvation. God expects and await s a human response before acting in the world – even the great event of the Incarnation required a simple yet radical human willingness to cooperate with the Divine will. The caption under the masterpiece provides Mary’s answer to God: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say” (Lk. 1:38). The Incarnation took place as a result of an incredible interplay between the Divine and the human.

~ Letter of the Minister General and General Council to All The Brothers and Sisters of the Third Regular Order of Saint Francis on The Occasion of the Solemnity of Nativity, 2011

• • •

Holy Virgin Mary, among the women born into the world, there is no one like you. Daughter and servant of the most high and supreme King and of the Father in heaven, Mother of our most holy Lord Jesus Christ, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us with Saint Michael the Archangel, all the powers of heaven and all the saints, at the side of your most holy beloved Son, our Lord and Teacher.

~ St. Francis, The Office of the Passion of the Lord, Marian Antiphon

From our July 2015 Newsletter

Our July Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, July 12th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall.

A Profession!
Yes, this is what I want.

After a brief gathering, which may include the Franciscan Crown Rosary, we will proceed at around 2:00 to St. Francis Church for the Profession Mass of Mary Meade. Refreshments will be served after Mass in Conway Hall.

Please be sure to keep Mary in your prayers as she makes her final preparations for this important moment in her life.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation to attend the monthly meeting, please call Pat Simon at 610-352-5390
“And we will be involved in the monthly meeting as an act of worship and a building of community.”

–from The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Antoinette if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Tommy: Healing Cancer
  • Lilly: Another Ear Surgery
  • Lisa: Healing Cancer
  • Annette: Arthritis, Knees
  • Terrace & Julie: Addictions
  • Terry: Cataract Operation
  • Geri Anne: Safe Pregnancy
  • Mary Lou: Bones Disease
  • Ann: Healing Car Accident
  • Vincent: Broken Femur
  • Dennie: Heart Condition

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Powdered Milk
  • Presweetened Drink Mix
  • Ketchup
  • Baby Formula
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disposable Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Underwear (S, M)
  • Men’s Undershirt (L, XL)
  • Men’s T-Shirts (L, XL, 2X)
  • Prayers

Formation Information

We may or may not have a formal ongoing formation session at out July gathering, but please prayerfully contemplate the following in light of the Profession we will be celebrating.

Profession and Commitment *to the Gospel Life

I, ______, by the grace of God,
renew my baptismal promises
and consecrate myself
to the service of his kingdom.
Therefore, in my secular state
I promise to live all the days of my life
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Secular Franciscan Order
by observing its rule of life.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit,
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and our holy father Saint Francis,
and the fraternal bonds of community
always be my help,
so that I may reach the goal
of perfect Christian love.

— — — — —

If I pause to think about it, such a declaration is enough to take my breath away. In consecrating ourselves “to service in His Kingdom,” we change our relationship to God’s infinite and eternal creation, which in itself is something that is always changing, always new, always becoming. We are no longer simply along for the ride, as it were. We can no longer live our lives as we have, focused solely on ourselves and our families and our careers and the countless irritations that make up modern life. In making our formal and public professions, we declare that Christ is the center of our lives, the balance point, the focus, the prime mover–our “All.” In consecrating our lives, we make Christ, as He is revealed in the gospels, the measure of all that we do.

~ Andrew Sapp OFS, Reflection: Profession & Our Franciscan Life

— — — — —

The moment of Profession is a specific moment. It doesn’t just happen. It is prepared for and is joyfully anticipated. It is specific, so that we know exactly what is happening and why. It is a moment not to be forgotten, whose impact is transformational and dictates all we do and say from the moment of profession on. Fr. Felice [Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap in Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment] says that it is the “foundational moment in the identity of the Professed.” This moment changes everything.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations”

— — — — —

Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order, as a promise to live the gospel in the manner of St Francis, aims to put before us the radical, light-filled and joyful style in which Francis listens to the gospel and commits himself to live it.

~ Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap, Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment