From Our August 2019 Newsletter

Our Next Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, August 11th at 12:30 pm.

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.

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

Ceremony of Introduction and Welcoming

[As was announced during our July gathering, we will hold the ceremony this month.] Our initial formation group has completed the primary discernment of Orientation. They will now be moving into the Inquiry Phase which marks the formal beginning of their actual initial formation. This means we will be taking a few minutes during the July gathering for the Ceremony of Introduction and Welcoming.

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.

  • Joan G. – recover from heart and respiratory problems
  • Terry L. – confirm and treat possible lupus
  • Bill M. – vision problems
  • Bill McS. – heal health problems
  • Carol – return to health
  • Kathy T. – to become pain free so can return to work
  • Ray J. – healing from 6/14 surgery
  • Bob – cancer
  • Rita – cancer
  • Antoinette – cancer
  • Trish – mental illness and addiction issues
  • Trish’s grandmother – that she will find a way to help her
  • B.A. – heal from stress of business
  • Jamie – safe delivery and healthy baby
  • Linda C. – healing from pancreatic cancer
  • Linda G. – healing from asthma and upper respiratory infection
  • CW – wisdom and guidance
  • Michelle – healing from anxiety
  • Andrew – job security – possible lay off
  • Velvet – healing from shingles
  • FA – healing from back and neck pain
  • Piccone family – healing from health issues
  • Helen F. – healing from cancer surgery
  • Michelle – healing from anxiety
  • Andrew – employment

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear (especially men’s boxer shorts) — All Sizes
  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Baby Formula
  • Powdered Milk
  • Oatmeal (not instant or “one minute” please)
  • Spray Air Freshener or Deodorizer
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Spray cleaners (Lysol, Formula 409, disinfectants, cleanser, or similar items)
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

Br. Kip will be facilitating our August ongoing formation session. This month’s theme will be “Theological Reflection.” There’s no homework but please bring a bible, a notebook, and pen.

Random Food for Thought

Francis and his brothers in faith were then — and they remain today — a confirmation of how God renews the Church through a kind of gentle rebellion against the world; an uprising of personal holiness; a radical commitment to Christian poverty, chastity and obedience in service to the Church and the poor.

The Franciscan revolution of love teaches a lesson that Catholics too often forget. Rules, discipline, and fidelity to doctrine and tradition are vital to the mission of the Church. But none of them can animate or sustain Catholic life if we lack the core of what it means to be a Christian. If we really want God to renew the Church, then we need to act like it. We need to take the Gospel seriously. And that means we need to live it as a guide to our daily behavior and choices – without excuses.

Christian discipleship is not about how generous we feel, or our good intentions, or even how well we do certain religious duties. It’s about being converted in our lives according to the pattern of Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Remarks at CALL (Catholic Association of Latino Leaders) Conference, Houston, Texas, Aug. 16, 2014 via
Catholic Philly

– – – – – –

Thus we find the SFO Rule (Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, 1978) is not as specific or as secure as the former rules, but perhaps in the long run it is more demanding. It calls for an intense and personal relationship with God and a mature decision to be responsible for one’s own actions. It suggests a creative mind to seek out new and better ways of acting and an open-ended stance that says, “Just doing this or that isn’t enough for fulfilling the demands of gospel life, my potential is limitless!”

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

From Our July 2019 Newsletter

Our Next Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, July 14th at 12:30 pm.

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.

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

Ceremony of Introduction
and Welcoming

Our initial formation group has completed the primary discernment of Orientation. They will now be moving into the Inquiry Phase which marks the formal beginning of their actual initial formation. This means we will be taking a few minutes during the July gathering for the Ceremony of Introduction and Welcoming.

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.

  • Joan G. – recover from heart and respiratory problems
  • Terry L. – confirm and treat possible lupus
  • Bill M. – vision problems
  • Bill McS. – heal health problems
  • Carol – return to health
  • Kathy T. – to become pain free so can return to work
  • Ray J. – healing from 6/14 surgery
  • Bob – cancer
  • Rita – cancer
  • Antoinette – cancer
  • Trish – mental illness and addiction issues
  • Trish’s grandmother – that she will find a way to help her
  • B.A. – heal from stress of business
  • Jamie – safe delivery and healthy baby
  • Linda C. – healing from pancreatic cancer
  • Linda G. – healing from asthma and upper respiratory infection
  • CW – wisdom and guidance
  • Michelle – healing from anxiety
  • Andrew – job security – possible lay off
  • Velvet – healing from shingles
  • FA – healing from back and neck pain
  • Piccone family – healing from health issues
  • Helen F. – healing from cancer surgery
  • Michelle – healing from anxiety
  • Andrew – employment

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear (especially men’s boxer shorts) — All Sizes
  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Baby Formula
  • Powdered Milk
  • Oatmeal (not instant or “one minute” please)
  • Spray Air Freshener or Deodorizer
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Spray cleaners (Lysol, Formula 409, disinfectants, cleanser, or similar items)
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

Our July Ongoing Formation session will be about Prayer and St. Francis. Please read the attached handout by Deacon Dave Ream, O.F.S as well as the passages below and prepare to actively participate in a lively discussion about this fascinating subject.

Food for Thought

Francis, through his prayerful relationship with Jesus, grew in his love for everyone. Like Jesus, Francis is willing to give his life for the sake of other people. This is the ordinary result of a prayerful spirit. It seeks the spirit of Jesus and is responsive to the Holy Spirit.

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

St. Francis set his eyes on the example of Christ in his practice of prayer, and he urged his followers to do the same. From the time St. Francis discovered God as his Father, he developed a heart-to-heart contract with God whom he came to know in prayer. His constant life of prayer is the best explanation of the spiritual success of his life.

Philip Marquard OFM, Called to Live the Dynamic Power of the Gospel: Commentary on the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO Resource Library)

Those who seek God along the path of Franciscan prayer are to be transformed by the one they seek, the one they claim to love. Prayer centered on relationship with Christ, the Word of God incarnate, cannot help but change the life of the believer and the way one lives. Those who enter into Franciscan prayer, therefore, must be ready for change; they each must be willing to become “another Christ,” for this is where the path of prayer leads, to a new birth of Christ in the lives of the believers.

Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

A Franciscan approach to ministry must always be rooted in a life of lived prayer. Those who adopt a Franciscan approach to ministry are not just people who pray, but people whose whole life serves as a prayer by their words and actions. Lived prayer is the openness to ongoing conversion that allows God to enter one’s life and transform it from the preoccupations of worldly concerns and triviality to an expression of authentic Gospel living – following Christ’s footsteps and working as God’s instrument of peace today.

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

From Our June 2019 Newsletter

Our Next Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, June 9th at 12:30 pm.

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.

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 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.

  • Jeanne Bass – Repose of her soul
  • Kathy Howard – repose of her soul
  • Mike – healing from cancer
  • Friel – for loss of their son and for the family
  • Vinnie – healing from massive heart attack
  • Mary Elaine – cancer
  • Antoinette – cancer
  • Jenny – cancer
  • Mary – general healing
  • Tom – general healing
  • Ellen – safe transition for peace and peaceful death
  • Susan S. – Recovering from brain tumor operation
  • Prayer of thanks for recovery of Ellen from breast cancer and grandson’s first Holy Communion
  • Carol – return to good health
  • Jim Coyle – happy repose of his soul
  • Jimmy M. – repose of his soul
  • Chris S. – repose of his soul
  • Gordon Johnston – kidney surgery with bad lungs
  • Trish – Mental illness and addiction issues
  • CW – inner peace and spiritual health
  • Michelle – healing from anxiety and heart problems

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear (especially men’s boxer shorts) —
    All Sizes
  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Baby Formula
  • Powdered Milk
  • Oatmeal (not instant or “one minute”)
  • Spray Air Freshener or Deodorizer
  • Cleaning Supplies: Spray cleaners
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

Sorry for the confusion I caused in May, let’s try it again. Our June ongoing formation session will be what I was planning for last month. We will be focusing on what it means to be part of the Franciscan family. It will involve a group formation activity that will lead into a discussion period. We hope that everyone will engage fully and participate fully.

Food for Thought

“…, (Francis) founded a true Order, that of the Tertiaries, not restricted by religious vows, as the two preceding (Orders), but similarly conformed to simplicity of customs and to a spirit of penitence. So, he was the first to conceive and happily carry out, with the help of God, what no founder of regulars (religious Orders) had previously contrived,  to have the religious life practiced by all.”

Benedict XV, Encyclical “Sacra Propediem January 6, 1921

“…you are also an ‘Order,’ as the Pope said (Pius XII): A Lay Order, but a Real Order;” and after all, Benedict XV had already spoken of “Ordo veri nominis”. This ancient term – we can say medieval – “Order” means nothing more than your intimate belonging to the large Franciscan family. The word “Order” means the participation in the discipline and actual austerity of that spirituality, while remaining in the autonomy typical of your lay and secular condition, which, moreover, often entails sacrifices which are not lesser than those experienced in the religious and priestly life.”

John Paul II, June 14, 1988, General Chapter, SFO

Profession produces «incorporation into the Secular Franciscan Order»; it therefore implies incorporation into a family – the Franciscan family – which is life-giving, with all the consequences that derive from belonging to the same spiritual family.

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

To foster communion among members, the council should organize regular and frequent meetings of the community as well as meeting with other Franciscan groups, especially with youth groups. It should adopt appropriate means for growth in Franciscan and ecclesial life and encourage everyone to a life of fraternity. The communion continues with deceased brothers and sisters through prayer for them.

~  The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, Article 24

From Our April 2019 Newsletter

Exciting News!
Our Fraternity Has a New Home

Our Lady of Peace Parish
208 Milmont Ave, Milmont Park, PA 19033

Thanks to the efforts of Br. Kip and the generosity of his friend, Rev. Joseph Devlin, pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish, we have a new place to gather now that Conway Hall is unavailable for the foreseeable future.

We will still begin our official gathering at our usual 12:30 pm but Br. Kip would like us to try to attend Mass together at 11:30 am, especially this first month here. Initial Formation for inquirers and candidates will now be held at 9:30 am so that group will be definitely attending Mass. Perhaps we can all try to all sit together. The meeting place in the former convent which is to the right of the church. Park anywhere behind the church.

Our Next Gathering

We will hold our next monthly gathering on
April 14th. 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.

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 Installation

Our new location is not the only big news to report this month. We’re also excited to announce that Brother Kip has officially been named our new spiritual assistant by the regional provincial.

To celebrate this important occasion, we will hold the Rite of Installation for a Spiritual Assistant (yes that’s a thing), during the April meeting.

Our former Fraternity Minister (current Regional Minister) Kate Kleinert has kindly agreed to serve as presider during the Rite.

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.

  • Trish special intentions
  • Antoinette – cancer
  • Piccone’s – health
  • Betty – Health and family healing
  • Tristan – physical and mental health
  • Billy – mass in his lungs
  • Gretchen – speedy recovery from surgery
  • Lee’s Dad – recovery from surgery
  • J&J – blessing of their marriage
  • End of Abortion
  • Rosemarie – healing from surgery and for her family
  • Phyllis – going through chemotherapy

Annual Fair Share

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

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

Regional Elections

Elections for the Regional Executive Council were held at the St. Francis Retreat House in Easton on Saturday March 23rd. The following people have been elected to Regional positions:

  • Kate Kleinert – Minister
  • Gretchen Bienkowski – Vice Minister
  • Justin Carisio – Formation Director
  • Teresa Redder – Secretary
  • Frank Urso – Treasurer
  • Cindy Louden – Councillor at Large
  • Ted Bienkowski – Councillor at Large

Please keep the newly elected Council in your prayers as they prepare to serve you for the next three years!

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Baby Formula
  • Powdered Milk
  • Oatmeal (not instant or “one minute” please)
  • Spray Air Freshener or Deodorizer
  • Spray cleaners (Lysol, Formula 409, disinfectants, cleanser, or similar items)
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Towels
  • Prayers

Formation Information

Brother Kip’s postulant class will provide our April ongoing formation session and the topic will be penance.

Food for Thought

The term Penance in Franciscanism is equivalent to the biblical meaning of metanoia, understood as an intimate conversion of the heart to God, as a vital altitude, a continuous state of being. It is not a question of doing penance but of being penitent.

Fr. Lino Temperini, Penitential Spirituality in the Franciscan Sources

From Our December 2018 Newsletter

Our December Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, December 9th 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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

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.

  • Ann Fuselli, OFS, repose of her soul and celebration of her life
  • Kathy Cerone as she begins her journey as a professed Secular Franciscan
  • A – Conversion of family
  • Patty – Acceptance of God’s will and prayers for family for loss of child
  • Mally – Hospice
  • Carol – Return to sacraments
  • Stella – Recover from recent loss
  • Betty – Health
  • Cloud – Redemption
  • Mary – Vertigo, baptism of grandchildren
  • Joselyn – Safe delivery of baby
  • Heather – Conceive, acceptance of
    God’s will
  • Mary and her friend – special intention
  • J – Recovery
  • C – Clarity and peace of mind
  • Mary P. – Healing from illness

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear (especially men’s boxer shorts) — All Sizes
  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Diapers – Sizes 4, 5, 6, & Toddler (3T-4T & 4T-5T)
  • Baby Formula
  • Powdered Milk
  • Spray Air Freshener or Deodorizer
  • Toiletries — All Sizes (large & small) & Types (soap, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, and
    the like)
  • 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.

Click image to enlarge…

Click for Larger Image

From Our November 2018 Newsletter

Our November Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, November 11th 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 and formation, we will proceed at around 2:00 to St. Francis Church for the Profession Mass of Kathy Cerone. We will also be remembering the deceased members of our fraternity during this Mass. Refreshments will be served after Mass in Conway Hall.

Please be sure to keep Kathy 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.”

~ The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

  • Angel – Emotional and family healing
  • Marian McCole, OFS – recovery from pacemaker implant
  • Brother Larry – repose of his soul
  • Olga – 100 years old – restoration of health and healing
  • Success of the New National Executive Counsel
  • Peg McNally, OSF – repose of her soul
  • Brother Kip and family – loss of mother, pray for repose of her soul and for the family
  • K. Cerone – Chest pains, inflammation
    of chest
  • Karen – successful settlement on new home
  • Adreana – incurable disease
  • Vivian – pancreatic cancer
  • Chris – cancer
  • Rita – cancer
  • Barbara – cancer
  • Terry – conversion of family
  • Jessie – special intention
  • Ray Sabath, OFS – repose of his soul
  • Patti R. – physical healing and family healing
  • Kathy Tierno, OSF – knee replacement
  • Rose and Carmen – very sick
  • Sister Jean Marie Seaman, OSF – second knee replacement
  • Victims of Hurricane Michael and Pittsburg Shooting

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear (especially men’s boxer shorts) — All Sizes
  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Diapers – Sizes 4, 5, 6, 3T-4T & 4T-5T
  • Baby Formula
  • Powdered Milk
  • Spray Air Freshener or Deodorizer
  • Toiletries — All Sizes (large & small) & Types (soap, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, and the like)
  • Prayers

Formation Information

We may or may not have a formal ongoing formation session at our November 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

From Our September 2018 Newsletter

Our September Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, September 9th 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

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.

  • Judy A. – overall health
  • Joe – Kidney testing
  • Lillian Schieman – repose of her soul
  • Betty, John, Bob and family – healing
  • Patti – physical and domestic healing
  • Midge – in hospice
  • Wendy and Vince – healing and grace
  • Bill – repose of his soul
  • Cindy – spiritual and mental healing
  • J – strength and spiritual guidance
  • Anthony – major heart valve leak and strength for his family

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel Size Toiletries
  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear (especially men’s boxer shorts) — All Sizes
  • Men’s Shoes — All Sizes
  • Diapers — All Sizes
  • Baby Formula & Baby Food
  • Powdered Lemonade & Iced Tea
  • Prayers

Formation Information

In September, our candidate for Profession, Kathy Cerone, will be using the formation session to bring us all up to date with the apostolate she has organized to visit the sick and homebound member’s of our fraternity.

Food for Thought

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

~ Matt. 22:39

– – – – –

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

~ Matt. 25:40

– – – – –

The Beatitudes*

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,*
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 – – – – –

Insertion into a local fraternity and participation in fraternity life is essential for belonging to the OFS. Appropriate initiatives should be adopted according to the directives of the national statutes, to keep those brothers and sisters united to the fraternity who — for valid reasons of health, family, work, or distance — cannot actively participate in community life.

~ The General Constitutions of the Secular Franciscan Order, Article 53.3

– – – – –

In addition to being present at regular gatherings we need to be attentive to the needs of OFS members who, for valid reasons, are unable to attend regular gatherings. Councils can design ways and means for communicating with them. Personal visits are made and we keep relationships alive.

Reasons for being absent from gatherings can be quite different. Each person needs special attention from the Franciscan fraternity family. Appointing someone for this ministry can help us avoid any form of neglect. What we learn over and over in the Constitutions is never to neglect the issues that surround us. That certainly applies to caring for fraternity members. Our actions show them that they are truly our brothers and sisters.

~ Lester Bach, OFM Cap, Giving Life to the Words – The Secular Franciscan Constitutions: A Spiritual Commentary

From Our August 2018 Newsletter

Our Next Gathering

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

PLEASE NOTE: Due to ongoing Conway Hall renovations, we will be meeting at a different venue in July and August:

St. Joseph Parish Hall
500 Woodlawn Ave.
Collingdale, PA 19023

Thanks for making these arrangements for us Marie!

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.

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 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.

  • Br. Kips new group of postulants
  • Kathy C. – healing from bypass operation
  • Gordon – lung problem
  • Paul – employment
  • Sue – health
  • Jacqueline – brain tumor
  • Carol – mental health
  • Steve – finances
  • Rose B.  – health
  • Betty S. – health
  • Anne – health
  • Jaime – spiritual and mental health
  • C – mental health
  • John M. – cancer and family healing
  • Mike – healing from paralysis due to spinal infection

Regional Annual Meeting

This year’s Saint Katharine Drexel Region Annual meeting will be held on November 17, 2018. All are welcome. Details to follow in upcoming newsletters.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel Size Toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.)
  • Men’s & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Diapers (especially 3T-4T & 4T-5T)
  • Baby Formula & Baby Food
  • Powdered Lemonade & Iced Tea
  • Spray Cleaners (e.g. Formula 409)
  • Bleach
  • Prayers

Formation Information

(Quick note: if you would be interested in helping with our fraternity’s formation activities, please let Lee, Frank, or any of the other council members know.)

For our August formation session we will be  reflecting on St. Francis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix. In preparation for this, please read and consider the following:

– – – – –

The Prayer before the Crucifix
(1205/06)

While Thomas of Celano and Saint Bonaventure characterize the early years of Francis’s life as a struggle to discern God’s will, the author of The Legend of the Three Companions, according to two manuscripts, summarizes Francis’s yearnings in this simple prayer and places it on his lips as he kneels before the Crucifix of the crumbling church of San Damiano in Assisi. The prayer may have been influenced by the liturgical opening prayer of the Eucharistic liturgy. This version of the prayer is based on the simple text found in the majority of Latin manuscripts. As it became more popular, the prayer was embellished and lost some of its simplicity.

Most High,

glorious God,

enlighten the darkness of my heart

and give me

true faith,

certain hope,

and perfect charity,

sense and knowledge,

Lord,

that I may carry out

Your holy and true command.

~  Francis of Assisi: Early Documents,
vol. 1, p. 40

From Our July 2018 Newsletter

(So sorry for the delay in posting the newsletter to the site.)

Our July Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, July 8th.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to ongoing Conway Hall renovations, we will be meeting at a different venue in July and August:

St. Joseph Parish Hall
500 Woodlawn Ave.
Collingdale, PA 19023


Thanks for making these arrangements for us Marie!

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.

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 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 F. – health issues, physical and mental, emotional and drug rehab
  • Kathy – heart health -double bypass surgery in July
  • John -homeless and destitute
  • Carol – mental health
  • Alice – Recovery from blood clot on brain for brother-in-law
  • Loretta – healing of back
  • Anne F. – physical healing
  • Frank – physical and spiritual healing
  • Dr. Tiangson – spread of PRO LIFE and NAPRO Technology (Creighton Model Fertility Care Instruction)
  • Rita – special intentions
  • Jamie – spiritual and mental health
  • C – spiritual and mental health
  • Mike – healing from paralysis and strength for his family
  • Joyce R – wrist and facial injury after
    a fall

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Tissues
  • Travel Size Toiletries (soap,
    shampoo, etc)
  • Men’s (particularly boxers)
  • Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Diapers (especially #3)
  • Baby Wipes
  • Powdered Lemonade
  • Iced Tea
  • Spray Cleaners (e.g. Formula 409)
  • Bleach
  • Prayers

Formation Information

June 24rd marked the 40th anniversary of the Secular Franciscan Rule of 1978; the so called “New Rule.”  To mark this special milestone, our Minister General, Tibor Kauser, has announced the celebration of a Jubilee Year from June 6, 2018, to June 6, 2019 (the rule was actually approved on June 24, 1978, with the apostolic letter Seraphicus Patriarcha).

CIOFS, our international fraternity, has prepared a special gift for us to help us celebrate. It is a 12-minute video, entitled, “Forty years of the ‘New’ Rule. A Treasure for the OFS.”  It provides an historical perspective on the Rule of 1978 and a beautiful summary.

If the audio-visual equipment cooperates, we will be watching this video and will use it as the starting point for a broad discussion about how the Rule has impacted our lives and the ways we have found to live the rule as we have professed we would.

Food for Thought

I, [your name], 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.

~ “Profession or Commitment to the Gospel Life” From the Ritual of the Secular Franciscan Order

                        – – – – –

To celebrate our Rule is to make it live, only this way will we be faithful to the proposal of Jesus, who invites us to love one another as brothers. Francis of Assisi has given us the example of the grace of conversion as a great gift, which commits us to continue to follow the Franciscan path with courage and love. Our Rule, a truly Franciscan one, helps us to discover, how shall we live our vocation on a daily basis, what should our everyday life be like. We are not ‘Sunday Franciscans’ or ‘afternoon Franciscans’. The Rule has to inspire each moment of our life, so that we get to a kind of behavior, a habit.

~ June 24, 2018 letter from Tibor Kauser, CIOFS Minister General, to all his sisters and brothers in the Secular Franciscan Order, all over the world, celebrating the 40th anniversary of our Rule of Life

From Our June 2018 Newsletter

Our June Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, June 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

Clothing Drive

Consistent with our mission to spread love to all, we have committed our Fraternity to a clothing drive for the homeless. Please bring any old, discarded or unused clothing which you have or may secure. The clothing sorted, bagged, and taken to the Kensington homeless area for distribution.

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.

  • Ashlyn – safe delivery of baby
  • Repose of sounds recently departed
    in 2018
  • Persia family – healing and financial recovery and finding employment
  • Terrance and Julie – healing
  • Kathy – spiritual intention
  • Terry – conversion of family
  • Anne F.- Recovery from fall
  • Rose B. – Recovery from leg surgery
  • Mary P. – Diagnosed with heart murmur
  • Jamie – Recovery from addiction and anxiety and spiritual growth
  • C – mental and spiritual healing
  • David – success on new job
  • Baby Laura – healing brain tumor and relief from seizures
  • Mike – infection in spine causing paralysis – healing

July/August Meeting Place

The St. Francis Parish is going to be installing air conditioning in Conway Hall this summer so we will not have access to it for our July and August gatherings. We haven’t determined were we will be meeting for those two months but hope to have an update for you soon.

St. Francis Inn Needs

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper Towels
  • Men’s (particularly boxers) & Women’s Underwear
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Diapers (especially 3T-4T & 4T-5T)
  • Prayers

Formation Information

Due to some last minute travel plans as well as a number of other calendar conflicts, none of our usual formators will be available to attend our June gathering. I ask that everyone take some additional time for prayer and contemplation and use it to prepare to share ways God has worked in your life since our last gathering. This sharing will be a great way to support and strengthen each other in our Franciscan journey.

Food for Thought

The local fraternity is to be established canonically. It becomes the basic unit of the whole Order and a visible sign of the Church, the community of love. This should be the privileged place for developing a sense of Church and the Franciscan vocation and for enlivening the apostolic life of its members.

~ Article 22, Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order

 – – – – –

The fraternity, summoned by the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name, is an aspect of penitential life that is both highly meaningful and irreplaceable. (They) 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 OFMCap, Fraternity as a Fundamental Element of St. Francis Spirituality (FUN Manual)