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Ongoing formation materials for February…

…are now available here.

From Our January 2014 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

Our January Gathering

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

Fair Share

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

St. Francis Inn Needs:

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

We will miss you Loretta

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

Mothers’ Home Mornings Apostolate

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

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

Formation Information

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

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

• • •

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

~ Zachary Hayes OFM, Bonaventure: Mystical Writings

• • •

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

~ Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Ongoing formation materials for January…

…are now available here.

From Our December 2013 Newsletter

Our December Gathering

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

December Profession Anniversaries

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

St. Francis Inn Needs:

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

Formation Information

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

- – -

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

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

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

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

- – -

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

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

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

Our Christmas Gathering

Click here for full-sized version.

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From Our November 2013 Newsletter

Our November Gathering

We will hold our monthly gathering on Sunday, November 10th at 12:30 pm in Conway Hall. We will hold ongoing formation until 1:30 followed by a 15 minute coffee/tea break. We will then proceed to St. Francis Church for our annual Mass of Remembrance at approximately 1:45 p.m. Fr. Quan 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

December Gathering: Something New This Year

This year, our December gathering  will be held at Central Park Restaurant on Baltimore Pike in Springfield (next to the Best Buy) on Sunday the 8th from Noon to 3:00. We will begin with a brief fraternity meeting before celebrating our annual creche ceremony. This will be followed by a buffet lunch and party. Spouses, children, and grandchildren are welcome.

November Profession Anniversaries

  • Marie Gilligan 1998
  • Terry Ritter 1998
  • Frances Lay 1996
  • Virginia Drew 2000
  • Carmella Patterson 2006
  • Carmen Lombertino 2004
  • Robert Mulhern 1947
  • Adele Malloy2008
  • Lee Potts 2008
  • Robert Santoliquito 2008

St. Francis Inn Needs:

  • Prayers
  • Enfamil (or any type formula)
  • All types of toiletries (travel size)
  • Cereal = Oatmeal (Quick Oats)
  • Extremely needed  – men’s white socks +
    M & L underwear

Formation Information

During our November ongoing formation session, we will listen to and discussing a talk entitled “’Spirit and Life:’ Francis’s Reading of the Gospel” by Br. William Short, O.F.M. from the CD collection St. Francis of Assisi: A New Way of Being Christian. This CD has been provided to all the fraternities in the  St. Katharine Drexel Region by the regional council.

- – -

For there are some who long to know for the sole purpose of knowing, and that is shameful curiosity; others who long to know in order to become known, and that is shameful vanity. To such as these we may apply the words of the Satirist: “Your knowledge counts for nothing unless your friends know you have it.” There are others still who long for knowledge in order to sell its fruits for money or honors, and this is shameful profiteering; others again who long to know in order to be of service, and this is charity. Finally there are those who long to know in order to benefit themselves, and this is prudence.

~ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon 36 on The Song of Songs: The acquiring of knowledge

- – -

For he was not a dull listener of the Gospels, but commending all things he had heard to his compendious memory, he diligently strove to implement them to the letter.

~ Thomas of Celano, First Life of St. Francis

Ongoing formation materials for November…

…are now available here.

From Our October 2013 Newsletter

Our October Gathering

Instead of our usual Sunday gathering, our next meeting will be our annual Day of Recollection and will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the Divine Providence Village in Springfield. We will gather at 9:00 a.m.  Please remember to bring a brown bag lunch, drinks will be provided. You will also need to bring your Liturgy of the Hours for morning prayer, your rosary and your ritual book. Fr. Dennis will be our Celebrant and Retreat Master.  The theme for the day will be ”The year of Faith and Franciscan Spirituality.”

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

October Profession Anniversaries

  • Rita Dourdoufis 2003

St. Francis Inn Needs:

  • Baby formula
  • Toiletries
  • Oatmeal
  • Men’s white socks
  • Men’s underwear
  • PRAYERS!

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 Faith and Franciscan Spirituality.

Ongoing formation will continue in November with a selection from a series of recorded lectures by Br. William Short, O.F.M. called St. Francis of Assisi: A New Way of Being Christian. Readings to go with the recording will be distributed at the Day of Recollection and will, as always, be available online at: http://www.stfrancisfraternity.org/ongoing-formation. Please contact Lee if you won’t be at the October gathering and you can’t get it online.

•  •  •

In Porta Fidei, Benedict listed three reasons for calling a Year of Faith. He hoped Christians would be led to profess the faith more fully and with conviction; to deepen their encounter with Jesus Christ in the Liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, and to witness the faith more credibly by the example of their lives. He stressed that “A Christian may never think of belief as a private act. Faith [involves] choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him.” Therefore faith, “precisely because it is a free act, also demands social responsibility for what one believes.”

~Archbishop Chaput, from remarks delivered October 1 at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as part of a Year of Faith discussion series.

From Our September 2013 Newsletter

Our September Gathering

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

2013 Day of Recollection

Hold the date — October 12th. This year’s Day of Recollection will be held at Divine Providence Village in Springfield. Directions and a program will be provided at our next gathering. You will need to bring a brown bag lunch and Fran and Suzanne are planning other refreshments.

Formation Information

In September, we will continue where we left off in Finding Identity as a Secular Franciscan by Edward M. Zablocki, OFS (at the top of page 3). Our discussion will focus on exploring the secular aspects of our Secular Franciscan spirituality. You should have gotten a copy of this paper as well as the handout with all the information you need to prepare at our last meeting. If you don’t have the handout or the paper but have web access, you can download them from this page on the fraternity’s website: http://www.stfrancisfraternity.org/ongoing-formation. If you don’t have internet, contact Lee and he’ll try to get it to you before the meeting.

• • •

The secular world is the place where lay people exercise their leadership most naturally. It’s the environment of their everyday lives and their primary mission field. Bishops can counsel and teach, but their role in practical political affairs like the fight for religious liberty can only be indirect and secondary.

If lay people don’t love their Catholic faith enough to struggle for it in the public square, nothing the bishops do will finally matter.

~Archbishop Chaput

Ongoing formation materials for September…

…are now available here.