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

 

 

From Our March 2016 Newsletter

Our March Gathering

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

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

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

–from The Lay Franciscan Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

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

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

2016 Fairshare

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

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

Ongoing Formation

There will be no ongoing formation during our March gathering.

Food for Thought

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

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

•  •  •  •

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

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

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

 

From Our February 2016 Newsletter

Our February Gathering

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

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

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

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

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

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

2016 Fairshare

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

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

Ongoing Formation

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

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

• • • • •

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

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

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

Confession, anyone?

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

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

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

• • • • •

Questions:

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

From Our December 2015 Newsletter

Our December Gathering

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

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

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

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Prayer Petitions

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

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

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

Formation Information

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

From Our November 2015 Newsletter

Our November Gathering

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

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

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

Regional Council’s Fraternal/Pastoral Visit

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

NAFRA Elections

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

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

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

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

Prayer Petitions

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

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

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

Formation Information

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

Food for Thought

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

~ St. Francis, Canticle of the Sun

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

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

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

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

From Our October 2015 Newsletter

Our October Gathering

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

Schedule:

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

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

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

–from The Lay Franciscan* Monthly Pledge

Regional Council’s Fraternal/Pastoral Visit

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

Prayer Petitions

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

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

St. Francis Inn Needs

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

Annual Day of Recollection

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

Formation Information

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

Food for Thought

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

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

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

• • •

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

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

– August, 2015