2001, the National Elective Chapter of the Secular Franciscan Order in Oceania
faced the situation of declining and aging membership and set "Promotion of
the Secular Franciscan Vocation" as one of its goals. The National
Executive immediately formed the Committee for Evangelisation and Promotion
(known as the National Promotion Committee) to facilitate the implementation of
this goal. The Committee's three-year plan was published as, "A Program for
Vocations" in the Oceania Newsletter of March 2002, and was supported in
the same issue by an Editorial written by the National Minister, Peter Keogh. At
the heart of the program was the conducting of promotion workshops in regional
centres with a view to preparing key local fraternity representatives for the
task of promoting vocations.
the meeting of the National Council in June 2002, the Committee reported
the workshop was ready to be taken to the regional fraternities. However, some
councillors were not in favour of this process, so the Council gave the
Committee a mandate to conduct only three promotion workshops, all in NSW. The
mandate was later extended to Brisbane and Melbourne, where workshops were
conducted in early 2003.
National Promotion Committee set up a communications network with eight Regional
Vocations Promoters. This network then needed to be extended by the appointment
of local Fraternity Vocations Promoters. Slowly, local Fraternity Vocations
Promoters were appointed and informed about the name and contact details of
their Regional Promoter. They were asked to keep the Regional Promoter informed
of their activities. The National Promotion Committee monitored any promotion
programs through this network of regional and local Fraternity Vocations
2002 workshop handbook was expanded in the light of the experience of the first
three workshops conducted in NSW in late 2002. The resulting text was then
distributed to all regional executives in early 2003. Those regional
fraternities whose representatives requested the workshop handbook, rather than
a visit by the national presentation team, could then participate in the program
using their own presenters.
these workshops, the National Promotion Committee intended that local
fraternities would have suitably prepared promotion teams. The effectiveness of
what was done was largely in the hands of the Regional and Local Councils and
their Vocations Promoters. The follow-up after these workshops was seen to be
vitally important, particularly for the preparation of this Manual.
National Promotion Committee indicated the steps that the local fraternities
were to take. They were asked to conduct a promotion project during 2003.
Fraternities were to base their promotion project on the concepts discussed at
the workshop, and were asked to report, by November 2003, on what they had
learnt from their project. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire, which
focussed particularly on what aspects of their promotion project worked well and
what aspects were less effective for them.
The National Promotion Committee aimed at presenting to the 2004 National Chapter this draft of a promotion manual for discussion and adoption. This manual is based on the experience of the five workshops and on the subsequent experience of the regional and local Fraternities in Oceania who reported on their 2003 promotion projects