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.”

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>