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From our April 2014 Newsletter

Our April Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, April 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.

IMPORTANT: Please remember that we now gather at 12:30. And please try to get there a little early so we can begin on time.

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

  •  Tea Bags
  • Butter & Sugar
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Pine-Sol
  • Men & Women Gloves
  • Men & Women Shoes & Boots
  • Toiletries (travel size)

April Profession Anniversaries

  • Dorothy Leaf 1950
  • Pat Simon 2012
  • Frances Urso 2012
  • Francis Urso 2012

Communion Breakfast

Don’t forget, May will be our annual communion breakfast and it will be the first Sunday of the month instead of the usual second. We will, of course, attend Mass before a potluck breakfast. Details to follow in the newsletter and at the April Meeting.

Mothers’ Home Mornings Apostolate

Our next visit will be next Saturday the 19th. Please plan on meeting there at 9:00 am sharp. We should be done by Noon. Mothers’ Home is right next to BVM Church in Darby and some of our members found it convenient to attend 8:15 am Mass there before digging into work.

We will have a signup sheet at our April gathering so we can call ahead to let them know how many people to expect. Please let Lee know if you have any questions.

Formation Information

By discussing Article 1 during our April gathering, we take the first steps of a journey that will see us through the entire Secular Franciscan Rule. Please be sure to review the readings and questions on the handout which was distrubuted in March. If you didn’t get the handout, and have not been able to download it from the website, please let Lee know and he’ll try to get them in the mail to you in time for the gathering.

There will be no ongoing formation activites during our May gathering as it is out annual communion breakfast.

Here are some additional thoughts to help guide our formation session:

It is therefore quite clear that all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love, and by this holiness a more human manner of life is fostered also in earthly society. In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that, following in his footsteps and conformed to his image, doing the will of God in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory God and to the service of their neighbor.

~ Lumen Gentium, 40

• • •

The rule begins by putting things in perspective. It points out that the Secular Franciscan Order is part of a larger family. This is both humbling and reassuring.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to * Follow Christ

 

From our March 2014 Newsletter

Our March Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, March 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.

IMPORTANT: Please remember that we now gather at 12:30. And please try to get there a little early so we can begin on time.

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Winter Coats/Jackets
  • Hats and Gloves
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Shoes/boots
  • Socks
  • Thermal Underwear
  • Powdered Milk
  • Sugar
  • Pine Sol
  • Bleach
  • Feminine Products
  • Toiletries (travel size: deodorant, toothpaste, soap, shampoo)

Mothers’ Home Mornings Apostolate

Our next visit will be next Saturday the 15th. Please plan on meeting there at 9:00 am sharp. We should be done by Noon. Mothers’ Home is right next to BVM Church in Darby and some of our members found it convenient to attend 8:15 am Mass there before digging into work.

We will have a signup sheet at our March gathering so we can call ahead to let them know how many people to expect. Please let Lee know if you have any questions.

Communion Breakfast

Don’t forget, May will be our annual communion breakfast. Details to follow in the newsletter and at the April Meeting.

Formation Information

Okay, a change in plans regarding our earlier change in plans. We will cover in March the material we were going to cover during our cancelled February gathering. We will be discussing some broad ideas related to the SFO Rule in order to created a framework for our upcoming discussions of each rule individually on a month-by-month basis. If you didn’t receive the reading assignments at the January gathering, and have not been able to download them from the website, please let Lee know and he’ll try to get them in the mail to you in time for the gathering.

We will not be listening to and discussing a talk from the CD as mentioned in the February newsletter.

February Gathering Cancelled

Due to the weather and the forecast of more snow, we have decided to cancel tomorrow’s meeting. We have members who do not have power so please keep them in your prayers.

The ongoing formation material that we were going to cover tomorrow will be done in March.

Please let Lee know if you will be going to our monthly Mothers’ Home Morning next Saturday (February 15).

From our February 2014 Newsletter

Our February Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, February 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

Fair Share

There will be an extra small envelope in your January and February newsletter for our Fair Share Contribution to allow you to pay in two installments. The Fair Share will remain the same at $30. The Fair Share is not meant to be a hardship on anyone. If your financial circumstances makes it hard to pay please let a council member know.

St. Francis Inn Needs:

  • Winter Coats/Jackets
  • Hats and Gloves
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Shoes/boots
  • Socks
  • Thermal Underwear
  • Powdered Milk
  • Sugar
  • Pine Sol
  • Bleach
  • Feminine Products
  • Toiletries (travel size: deodorant, toothpaste, soap, shampoo)

Mothers’ Home Mornings Apostolate

Last month, several of our members volunteered at The Mothers’ Home in Darby for the first of what we hope will be many, many Saturday morning visits. Some of us helped get parts of the 3rd floor ready for new flooring and others worked on sorting and organizing donated baby clothes. We’re hoping to make these monthly visits one of our fraternity’s ongoing service apostolates.

Our next visit will be next Saturday the 15th. Please plan on meeting there at 9:00 am sharp. We should be done by Noon. Mothers’ Home is right next to BVM Church in Darby and some of our members found it convenient to attend 8:15 am Mass there before digging into work.

We will have a signup sheet at our February gathering so we can call ahead to let them know how many people to expect. Please let Lee know if you have any questions.

Formation Information

At our February gathering, we will be discussing some broad ideas related to the SFO Rule in order to created a framework for our upcoming discussions of each rule individually on a month-by-month basis. If you didn’t receive the reading assignments at the January gathering, and have not been able to download them from the website, please let Lee know and he’ll try to get them in the mail to you in time for the gathering.

There will be a slight change in the plans mentioned in January. In March, we will again be listening to and discussing a talk from the CD by Br. William Short, OFM that we used a couple months ago. I hope to begin our series of discussions on the SFO Rule in April. Details will follow.

• • •

Forming Secular Franciscans to understand the secular spirituality that was an essential element in the development of the SFO Rule must be where we begin. We need to be converted to the vision of the Church which has been telling us that we will grow in holiness by participating in that discordant, untidy, unpredictable place we call the “world.” That it is a primary school for holiness.

~Edward M. Zablocki OFS, Finding Identity as a Secular Franciscan

• • •

A Franciscan’s life, therefore, is to be marked by continual contemplation, reflection, and emulation of the Gospel. The way of life is not about particular tasks, responsibilities, duties or rules (although they certainly exist and rightly so), but about the style of living in whatever context one finds him or herself.

~Daniel Horan OFM, Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith

Mothers’ Home Morning

Today, several of our members volunteered at The Mothers’ Home in Darby. Some of us helped get parts of the 3rd floor ready for new flooring and others worked on sorting and organizing donated baby clothes. We’re hoping to make these monthly visits one of our fraternity’s ongoing service apostolates.

Founded in 1991, The Mothers’ Home has provided shelter and care to more than 475 mothers and their babies. Their mission is to provide a safe haven for vulnerable, pregnant women in a crisis who choose life as a sacred gift.

Here are some photos from the visit:

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Ongoing formation materials for February…

…are now available here.

From Our January 2014 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

Our January Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, January 12th 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.

Fair Share

There will be an extra small envelope in your January and February newsletter for our Fair Share Contribution to allow you to pay in two installments. The Fair Share will remain the same at $30. The Fair Shareis not meant to be a hardship on anyone. If your financial circumstances makes it hard to pay please let a council member know.

St. Francis Inn Needs:

  • Men & Women Winter Hats & Scarves
  • Blankets & Quilts
  • Winter Coats
  • Adult & Children Gloves
  • Men & Womens Thermal Underwear
  • Small Size Toiletries
  • Furniture for Thea Bowman Center
  • Prayers

We will miss you Loretta

As you most likely already know, Loretta Ferraro is leaving the area and moving to Harrisburg. Loretta has been a faithful, active member of the fraternity for 25 years. She has served on council and was our activity director for many years. She has also been a great friend to us all. Loretta, we will all miss you very much. Our prayers will be with you.

Mothers’ Home Mornings Apostolate

We’re are pleased to announce a new fraternity apostolate starting in January. The plan is for us to meet at the Mothers’ Home in Darby every month on the Saturday that follows our monthly fraternity gathering. Since our January gathering is on the 12th, we will be at the Mother’s Home on the 18th. Please plan on meeting there at 9:00 am sharp. The idea is for us to wrap up by Noon. We will have a signup sheet at the January gathering so we can call ahead to let them know how many people to expect. Please let Lee know if you have any questions.

Founded in 1991, Mothers’ Home has provided shelter and care to more than 475 mothers and their babies. Their mission is to provide a safe haven for vulnerable, pregnant women in a crisis who choose life as a sacred gift.

Formation Information

As outlined in the formation materials for January, we will begin the New Year with a discussion of SFO Rule 11. If you didn’t receive the materials at the Christmas party, and have not been able to download them from the website, please let Lee know and he’ll try to get them in the mail to you in time for the gathering.

In February, we will  begin reviewing the SFO Rules in detail, focusing on one rule each month. Details will follow.

• • •

“If humility of this sort is the first step in the journey, the journey does not end there. For humility opens one to an ever deeper and fuller life of grace that will find expression in an active love and a life of virtue. If spiritual poverty is genuine, it will express itself in our relations to all things. It can eventually express itself in the form of radical voluntary poverty, and such poverty is a furnace that purifies and leads ever more deeply into conformity with the poor and naked Christ.”

~ Zachary Hayes OFM, Bonaventure: Mystical Writings

• • •

“To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

~ Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Ongoing formation materials for January…

…are now available here.

From Our December 2013 Newsletter

Our December Gathering

Please note that we will are doing something new and very different this year and will be meeting at a slightly different time and will not be meeting at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Our December gathering  will be held at Central Park Restaurant on Baltimore Pike in Springfield (next to the Best Buy) on Sunday the 8th from Noon to 3:00. We will begin with a brief fraternity meeting before celebrating our annual creche ceremony. This will be followed by a buffet lunch and party. Spouses, children, and grandchildren are welcome.

December Profession Anniversaries

  • Marie Bair 1986
  • Veda Dugan 1986
  • Teresa McHugh 1986
  • Regina McGarry 1971
  • Claire Quinn 1975

St. Francis Inn Needs:

  • Men & Women Winter Hats & Scarves
  • Blankets & Quilts
  • Winter Coats
  • Adult & Children Gloves
  • Men & Women Thermal Underwear
  • Small Size Toiletries
  • Furniture for Thea Bowman Center
  • Prayers

Formation Information

Our regular formation activities will resume at out January gathering. In the meantime, here are some thoughts to enjoy as we prepare our hearts, minds and souls for the advent  season and the Christmas miracle.

- – -

It happened in the third year before his death, that in order to excite the inhabitants of Grecio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion, [St. Francis] determined to keep it with all possible solemnity; and lest he should be accused of lightness or novelty, he asked and obtained the permission of the sovereign Pontiff. Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed.

The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise. The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem.

A certain valiant and veracious soldier, Master John of Grecio, who, for the love of Christ, had left the warfare of this world, and become a dear friend of this holy man, affirmed that he beheld an Infant marvellously beautiful, sleeping in the manger, Whom the blessed Father Francis embraced with both his arms, as if he would awake Him from sleep. This vision of the devout soldier is credible, not only by reason of the sanctity of him that saw it, but by reason of the miracles which afterwards confirmed its truth.

~  St. Bonaventure, Life of St. Francis of Assisi

- – -

A certain amazed, astonished, joyful wonder is the spiritual climate of Christmas. We are amazed to see that the birth of Jesus Christ reverses everything that our insecure and acquisitive minds think power and mightiness should mean. The Word of God, through whom all things are created, is born as one of us, born to plain parents, born away from home, born into a people and a place that were considered important by no known criterion of human civilization.

But Christmas is not only astonishing because it is an amazing and even scandalous revelation of God; Christmas also invites us to wonder because it reveals who we really are, what creation really is

~ Fr. Charles, OFM Cap., Reek of Stupefaction.

Our Christmas Gathering

Click here for full-sized version.

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