From Our September 2017 Newsletter

Our September Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, September 10th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will participate in ongoing formation, have some social time with our fraternal family, and then recite the Franciscan Crown Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Please do your best to arrive on time (or even a little early) so we can begin our gathering promptly at 12:30.

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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s and Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Coffee
  • Deodorant
  • Travel size shampoo
  • Sugar
  • Prayers

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Emily Maxlowe – surgery
  • C.B. – spiritual guidance and growth
  • T.L. – addiction and overall health issues
  • J.W. – growth and direction
  • Marilyn – divorce and guidance, mental healing
  • Bayleigh – healing from epilepsy

Formation Information

It looks as if I’m going to be missing the September gathering but Brother Kip has been kind enough to offer to do the ongoing formation session. In order to prepare, please read the handout included with the newsletter. It is a  transcript of the third in a series of lectures Pope Benedict XVI gave about St. Bonaventure. Brother Kip’s talk will be on Renewing the Rule in Your Heart.

Food for thought

For those who are “called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi” (Article #1), particularly through the Secular Franciscan Order, the rule of life becomes the central focus and basic font for setting forth the evangelical goals of life, for unraveling the meaning of the gospel commitment, and for detailing the means to be evangelized and to evangelize others with the supportive context of life in fraternity.

For this reason, the rule needs to be read, understood, digested, and absorbed into the personal and communal existence of every Secular Franciscan.

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

– – – – –

Perhaps, you will not be required to pour out your blood as a martyr, but you will certainly be asked to give a coherent and steadfast witness in fulfilling the promises made at your Baptism and Confirmation, which you renewed and confirmed with your profession in the Franciscan Secular Order. By virtue of this profession, the Rule and the General Constitutions must represent for each of you the point of reference for daily living, based on your explicit vocation and special identity (cf. Promulgation of the General Constitutions of the SFO). If you are truly driven by the Spirit to reach the perfection of charity in your secular state, “it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity” (Novo Millennio ineunte, n. 31). You must be sincerely dedicated to that “high standard of ordinary Christian living” (ibid.), to which I invited all the faithful at the end of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

~ John Paul II , Address to the Secular Franciscan Order, Friday, 22 November 2002

– – – – –

Living the spirit spelled out in the Rule and Constitutions is the criterion that proves the legitimacy of our calling. Our vocation expects us to give flesh, in daily life, to the words of our Franciscan profession. Love of people, conversion, reconciliation, forgiveness, contemplation, love for all of creation, prayerfulness, etc. become normal for us.

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

From Our July 2017 Newsletter

Our July Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, July 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.

Please do your best to arrive on time (or even a little early) so we can begin our gathering promptly at 12:30.

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.”
~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Mary – pain relief
  • Tom- surgery
  • Sue – neck surgery
  • Pereira family – healing
  • Ken – repose of his soul
  • Raven – repose of her soul
  • Scotting family – peace and healing
  • Kathy – special intention
  • R – conversion of his family
  • Amanda – addiction
  • Psych Choices – mental health of patients
  • John and Diane – family healing
  • John Gallagher – repose of his soul
  • David – stage 4 cancer

Formation Information

During our July ongoing formation session, we will continue looking at the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order with a discussion of Article 15. Please ponder these passages, we well as the rule itself, in preparation for our gathering.

The ministry of promoting justice and peace must, therefore, touch the attitudes and actions of every Secular Franciscan. As important as it is, it is not enough merely to pray for social justice to happen. We have to make it happen! “Individually and collectively” the Secular Franciscans are called to be in the front lines in securing rights for the common good.

~  Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to Proclaim Christ: Short reflections on the SFO Rule

– – – – –

A vast field for the apostolate has opened up on the national and international levels where most of all the laity are called upon to be stewards of Christian wisdom. In loyalty to their country and in faithful fulfillment of their civic obligations, Catholics should feel themselves obliged to promote the true common good. Thus, they should make the weight of their opinion felt, so that civil authority may act with justice, and laws may conform to moral precepts and the common good. Catholics skilled in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine should not refuse to administer public affairs, since by performing this office in a worthy manner they can simultaneously advance the common good and prepare the way for the gospel.

~ Vatican II, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

– – – – –

Above all, we must be informed. Our fraternities should be studying questions of peace and justice and deciding what Franciscan positions must be. If those positions seem to encroach on our comfortable way of life, nag at our prejudices, perhaps it is only a sign that the positions are good and true-Christlike. We have to be prepared to sacrifice. When decisions and their carrying-out seem hard, perhaps we can be buoyed up as Francis often must have been-by contemplation of the cross carried on the aching shoulder of a great King crowned with thorns. Then our sacrifices in the name of peace and justice may come to seem small indeed.

~  Adelaide N. Sabath, OFS, Called to Make Present the Charism: Ongoing Formation for Secular Franciscans Based on the Footnotes of the SFO Rule

Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-14 (this is part of the passage in last month’s newsletter that Br. Kip used to talk about what it means to be a Franciscan penitent.

From Our June 2017 Newsletter

Our June Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, June 11th 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.

Please do your best to arrive on time (or even a little early) so we can begin our gathering promptly at 12:30.

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.”
~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Mrs. Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Walt – heal shoulder
  • Frances – heart health
  • Frank – dental health
  • Larry – heal ribs
  • KC – conversion of family
  • Anne – left eye
  • Cloud – mental health
  • Jeannette and Bill – health
  • McDonald Family – Grieving/healing
  • Stefanie, Annabella and Ed – Recovery from sickness
  • Carol and Joan – good health
  • Vince – transplant/health
  • Betty – Clean bill of health
  • Arnold – leukemia
  • Carol – mental and physical health
  • Mike and Betty – conversion of family and healing from loss
  • Julie and Gregg – divorce/healing
  • Pat -Physical health deteriorating from botched surgery
  • David – stage 4 cancer

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

At out June gathering, Brother Kip will be talking about expectations related to the role of a Fraternity’s Spiritual Assistant as well as what it means to be a Franciscan Penitent. In preparation for his talk, please review the material below.

– – – – –

I speak to you, as best I can, about the state of your soul. You must consider as grace all that impedes you from loving the Lord God and whoever has become an impediment to you, whether brothers or others, even if they lay hands on you. And may you want it to be this way and not otherwise. And let this be for you the true obedience of the Lord God and my true obedience, for I know with certitude that it is true obedience. And love those who do those things to you and do not wish anything different from them, unless it is something the Lord God shall have given you. And love them in this and do not wish that they be better Christians. And let this be more than a hermitage for you.

~ St. Francis, A Letter to a Minister

– – – – –

3  “Why do we fast, but you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, but you take no note?”
See, on your fast day you carry out your
own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.

4  See, you fast only to quarrel and fight
and to strike with a wicked fist!
Do not fast as you do today
to make your voice heard on high!

5  Is this the manner of fasting I would choose,
a day to afflict oneself?
To bow one’s head like a reed,
and lie upon sackcloth and ashes?
Is this what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

6  Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking off every yoke?

7  Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry,
bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own flesh?

8  Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

9  Then you shall call, and the LORD
will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: “Here
I am!”
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the accusing finger, and malicious speech;

10  If you lavish your food on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then your light shall rise in the darkness,
and your gloom shall become like midday;

11  Then the LORD will guide you always
and satisfy your thirst in parched places,
will give strength to your bones
And you shall be like a watered garden,
like a flowing spring whose waters never fail.

12  Your people shall rebuild the ancient ruins;
the foundations from ages past you shall
raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined dwellings.”

13  If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
from following your own pursuits on my
holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
the LORD’s holy day glorious;
If you glorify it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs—

14  Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

~ Isaiah 58:3-14

From Our May 2017 Newsletter

Our May Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, May 7TH at 11:00 am in Conway Hall. PLEASE NOTE: This will be our annual communion breakfast and 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 should try to 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.

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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Mrs. Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if
you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated
each month.

  • Mary and Tom – health and employment
  • Marie – mental and spiritual health
  • Fr. Kozak – physical, spiritual and emotional health
  • Holmes Family- peace and acceptance
  • Rita – cancer healing
  • Bill – repose of his soul and peace within his family
  • Bill – health issues
  • Frank – dental problems
  • Rosa – ankle surgery
  • Jim – broken foot
  • Marie – clean bill of health
  • Anne – dental health
  • Terry- conversion of family
  • Nicole – repose of soul and family healing
  • Cindy – family healing
  • JW – physical, spiritual and emotional health

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant & Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

There will be no formal ongoing formation session in May. Fr. Quan Tran will be speaking to us during our communion breakfast. Plans for June formation are not set yet but details will be in the next newsletter

Food for Thought

The Latin words sine proprio in the writings of Francis are usually translated poverty, but that is a quite inadequate translation of them. They refer, rather, to a way of living without grasping (and are thus far more about attitudes and values than about intrinsic wealth or the lack of it).

For Francis the Eucharist is a sign of the sine proprio of Christ – he holds nothing of himself back for himself, but pours himself out totally in saving and redeeming grace to us in the Sacrament. And yet the Sacrament is also the means by which we may return all that we are and have to Christ, appropriating nothing of it to ourselves.

• • •

It was because Francis saw the humility and poverty of Christ, this pattern of living without grasping, so clearly expressed in the Eucharist that he had such a great veneration of it and urged his brothers to hold it in the same veneration. The Eucharist was, if you like, the symbol of so much of what he held to be at the heart of the Gospel. And the Eucharist lies at the heart of Franciscan spirituality still for the same reasons. It puts us in touch with the living Christ as nothing else can do. In the Eucharist we see expressed Christ’s pattern of living through dying, a pattern that we are also called to make our own. And as we do that we are following Christ after the example of St Francis in a particularly powerful way.

~ Gordon Plumb, St. Francis of Assisi and Eucharistic Adoration

From Our April 2017 Newsletter

Our April Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, April 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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Mrs. Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated
each month.

  • Marie – mental and spiritual health
  • Fr. Kozak – physical, spiritual and emotional health
  • Holmes Family- peace and acceptanceRita – cancer healing
  • Bill – repose of his soul and peace within his family
  • Bill – health issues
  • Frank – dental problems
  • Rosa – ankle surgery
  • Jim – broken footMarie – clean bill of health
  • Anne – dental health
  • Terry- conversion of family
  • Nicole – repose of soul and family healing
  • Cindy – family healing
  • JW – physical, spiritual and emotional health

Annual Fair Share

Please remember that this year’s Fairshare contribution of $30 was due in March. If you haven’t been able to make it to a gathering recently and would send in your Fairshare by mail, please send it to Mary Mead, 602 Marplewoods Dr., Springfield, Pa 19064.

The Fair Share is not meant to be a hardship on anyone. If your financial circumstances makes it difficult to contribute please let a council member know.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

I want to try something a little different during our ongoing formation session in April. I’d like to have a open discussion about the idea of “Franciscan fraternity”. Please ponder and pray the passages below and respond to the questions that follow. Although I am leaving room for you to write some notes (and I really hope you do) you will not need to turn your answers in and you only have to share if you want to.

As National Minister, I cannot mandate love or joy, so I will defer to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. After washing the feet of his disciples, our Lord said: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).

This love should be seen in our joy and our caring, regardless of disagreements or contentious discussions. Without others seeing our love and our joy, how can we ever keep the people we now have or receive from the Lord new membership and life?

~  Tom Bello OFS, National Minister’s Annual Report to the Order,
October 4, 2015

The fraternity, summoned by the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name, is an aspect of penitential life that is both highly meaningful and irreplaceable. The brothers help each other to grow in the love of God through reciprocal love, encouragement, fraternal correction and so forth. Together they overcome difficulties, are freed from selfishness, and give witness of conversion to God.

– – – – –

The local fraternity is the basic living organism of the whole SFO. It is the center for spiritual growth, apostolic outreach and loving union among members. Fraternity should be a place where we are offered an opportunity for conversion, for spiritual growth. There are two facets of Fraternity Life. One is internal calling, and the other is external calling; internal spiritual growth and external apostolic works. Both are important for the life of SFO. The Rule of SFO calls Secular Franciscans to go from Gospel (conversion) to life (apostolate).

~ Fr. Irudaysamy, OFM Cap, “Fraternity as a Fundamental Element of St. Francis Spirituality” (FUN Manual)

What are the most important qualities of a local Secular Franciscan fraternity?

How can our fraternity help it’s brothers and sisters to better live their Franciscan calling?

From Our March 2017 Newsletter

Our March Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, March 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.

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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Mrs. Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Patty – cure for cancer
  • Walt – rotary cuff operation
  • Claire Quinn – repose of her soul
  • Jack- healing
  • Rose – healing
  • Mary Lou – healing/rehab
  • Kathy – special intention
  • Walt – better job
  • Jamie – continued sobriety and healing
  • CC- spiritual strength

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Annual Fair Share

Please remember that this year’s Fairshare contribution of $30 is due this month.

The Fair Share is not meant to be a hardship on anyone. If your financial circumstances makes it difficult to contribute please let a council member know.

Formation Information

During our March ongoing formation session, we will continue looking at the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order with a discussion of Article 14. Please ponder these passages, we well as the rule itself, in preparation for our gathering.

Above all the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness. Take a Christian or a handful of Christians who, in the midst of their own community, show their capacity for understanding and acceptance, their sharing of life and destiny with other people, their solidarity with the efforts of all for whatever is noble and good. Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? Why are they in our midst? Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one. Here we have an initial act of evangelization. The above questions when asked, will discover whether they are people to whom Christ has never been proclaimed, or baptized people who do not practice, or people who live as nominal Christians but according to principles that are in no way Christian, or people who are seeking, and not without suffering, something or someone whom they sense but cannot name. Other questions will arise, deeper and more demanding ones, questions evoked by this witness which involves presence, sharing, solidarity, and which is an essential element, and generally the first one, in evangelization.”

All Christians are called to this witness, and in this way they can be real evangelizers.

Evangelii Nuntiandi, Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness Pope Paul VI

Before the San Damiano cross, the Lord called Francis to “rebuild my Church.” So, for Francis this rebuilding through service was the external manifestation of his interior conversion. But just as his interior conversion developed and deepened only gradually, so his service to his brothers and sisters and his understanding of it grew slowly. it began with the impersonal restoration of a country church. It grew into his continual, personal, loving care of lepers, the outcasts of society. It found expression as opportunities presented themselves-the arbitration of a dispute between a mayor and a bishop, the taming of the wolf at Gubbio, eating with a starving brother. It even extended to the social issues of his day: the oath of fealty and the bearing of arms-the cause of much civil unrest at the time. These he opposed vehemently but not negatively; he emphasized the positive aspects of fraternal service and the peace that results therefrom.

Our opportunities for building the kingdom may not be so spectacular. To build a more fraternal and evangelical world does not necessarily require that we do profound things to reach others; yet we are called to exercise a responsible, daily effort.

Called to Follow Christ, Benet A. Fonck, OFM

From Our February 2017 Newsletter

Our February Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, February 12th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will celebrate the Rite of Admission (see below), participate in an abbreviated  ongoing formation session, enjoy a time of fellowship, 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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Rite of Admission

We are very pleased and excited to announce that Kathy Cerone has completed her period of Inquiry and as she (along with the fraternity’s council) has discerned a clear calling, she will be admitted to the order during our February gathering. Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for this important milestone and begins the next phase of formation and discernment leading to the permanent commitment of Profession to the Secular Franciscan Order.

Annual Fair Share

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

The Fair Share is not meant to be a hardship on anyone. If your financial circumstances makes it difficult to contribute please let a council member know.

Prayer Petitions

Please contact Mrs. Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Al – in rehab for addiction
  • Nikki – physical discomfort
  • Sandra – mental health
  • Liz – addiction
  • Ray – carpal tunnel surgery
  • Repose of Barbara’s Soul
  • Repose of Rita’s Soul
  • Claire – spiritual and physical health
  • Rose – spiritual and physical health
  • Anne – for her and her family’s health
  • Jaime – spiritual growth and health, addiction

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

We will be beginning our February gathering with Kathy’s Rite of Admission and we will hold an abbreviate ongoing formation session if any time remains before we have our usual time of fellowship. As Kathy is entering the Candidacy phase of formation, let’s use that for our theme. Please ponder the passages below as preparation.

From: The Secular Franciscan Formation Process

Part III: The Candidacy Phase

When we look at the Secular Franciscan formation process, it is important to see it as a continuum, that is, each stage flowing into the next.  Aspects that are essential in the first phase, Orientation, will still be essential in the second, Inquiry, the third, Candidacy, and into the Ongoing Formation of professed members.

The time between the Rite of Admission and the Rite of Profession or Permanent Commitment to the Gospel is the Candidacy phase of formation.  This is a time for assisting and promoting the growth of the Candidate as a human person, as a Christian person, and as a Franciscan person.  All three dimensions are interrelated and, if the vocation is true, will blend into one harmonious human being.

As in all phases of formation, it is essential that resources allow for dialogue and sharing between the Candidates and the Fraternity as well as among the Candidates themselves.  This is a time for the Formation Director/Team to encourage the Candidates’ growth in Franciscan spirituality and the practice of Gospel values.  It is the time for the Candidates to take on a gradually more active role in the Fraternity and in society, especially by means of participation in Franciscan apostolates.

During Candidacy the Secular Franciscan Rule supplies the path, the approach, and the guide.  Therefore, considerable emphasis is placed on reading, understanding, digesting and incarnating the Rule.  The living out of the Rule is crucial in preparing for Profession since it provides the structure for growing in the spirit of penance and ongoing conversion within the context of the local Fraternity.

  • Candidacy is the most important stage in the Initial Formation process since its purpose is to prepare the Candidate for a life-long commitment to live the SFO Rule, a mature and enduring decision to participate as fully as possible in the Church’s life and mission according to the manner of Saint Francis.
  • This period of formation begins with the Rite of Admission into the Secular Franciscan Order, the public acceptance by the Order of the Candidate’s request and intention to live the Gospel life in the manner of Saint Francis as contained in the SFO Rule which has been approved by the Church.
  • During Candidacy, the entire Fraternity participates in and nurtures the growth and development of the Candidate’s evangelical living out of the SFO Rule.
  • It is important that the Candidate be given opportunities to experience, interiorize, integrate and live out the Gospel values presented in the SFO Rule.

From Our December 2016 Newsletter

Our December Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, December 11th 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 Mrs. Fran Urso at francesurs@aol.com or 610-202-8965 if you would like to include a petition in the newsletter. A new list will be generated each month.

  • Rich – able to walk again
  • Frank and Carol – breathing problems
  • Marylou – overall health
  • The Benner family
  • Anne F. and her son – health problems
  • Barbara – heal mental and physical health
  • Larry – congestive heart failure
  • Jaime – heal her addiction
  • Cynthia – heal family
  • Hobaugh family to deal with loss
  • The Viola family
  • Mike, Deborah, Trish, Liz and Sandy – job seeking
  • Frank – biopsy
  • Jill – speedy recovery broken ankle
  • Debbie – vertigo

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

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 2016 Newsletter

Our November Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, November 13th 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. Fr. Quan Trinh 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.”
~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

We need a volunteer who will be willing to collect prayer requests, type them up, and email them to Lee to be included in the newsletter. If you are willing, please let us know at our November gathering.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Dinner-size Forks
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Prayers

Christmas Gathering

This year’s Christmas gathering will be held on Sunday, December 11th from 1:00 to 4:00 at Anthony’s Restaurant in Drexel Hill. More details to follow in the December newsletter.

Ongoing Formation Information

After a long hiatus, let’s return to our journey through our Rule of Life, picking up up where we left off with Rule 12: Witnessing to the good yet to come and obligated to acquire purity of heart because of the vocation they have embraced, they should set themselves free to love God and their brothers and sisters.

Please consider this passage and meditate on the questopns that follow.

‘Purity of heart’ is the personal choice to develop the attitudes and establish the means to be continually ‘tuned in’ to God in order to have the freedom to seek and share the great treasure of the kingdom: loving God and neighbor. It is preoccupation (a ‘one-tracked heart,’ we might say) with the wealth of God’s kingdom: intimacy with the person of God and the faith, hope and charity that intimacy brings. It is striving for that cleanliness from sinfulness (loss of integrity, breaking of harmony, eroding the union with God) that soils the heart. It is placing limits on our attitudes and actions so that we can work toward true liberty: that moral stance that gives our inner and outer self complete reign to achieve a Christ-centered life and to give witness to the ‘ person and message of Jesus in our everyday dealings. (Called to Follow Christ, Benet A. Fonck, OFM)

Questions:

1 – What are the qualities within me which prevent me from acquiring purity of heart?

2 – What practices can I adopt to increase my purity of heart?

3 – Are there other ways to describe purity of heart? Other metaphors?

Food for Thought

Here are some things to keep in mind as we prepare for our annual Mass of Remembrance.

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 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