Dear Fellow Secular Franciscans,

I am writing on behalf of the Sacred Heart Fraternity, Mosman, regarding a proposal we are placing on the Agenda of the NSW Regional Chapter to be held on the 6 - 8 November 1998.

For some time now I have been concerned that, mainly because of it's size, the costs of travel and the lack of Regional Executive able to undertake time consuming work of visiting local fraternities, the outlying and country areas of NSW and the ACT are not receiving the Animation and Guidance that the Regional Executive would want to give and that our Rule and Constitutions recommend that a Regional Council should give.

The Regional Council has managed to conduct Fraternity elections, but has been unable to provide adequate Fraternal and Pastoral Visitation. There are currently 23 Fraternities and Groups in the NSW Region, 12 of these in the metropolitan area of Sydney, which leaves the remaining 11 fraternities many Kilometres away from the seat of the Regional Fraternity. This in turn makes Regional Gatherings and fraternal visits to local fraternities difficult to organise. Most local members are precluded from attending these gatherings. Even within the Sydney area it is difficult to bring local fraternities together on a regular basis. Over the past 3 years Regional Gatherings in Sydney have been limited to around 30 attendees or less.

This is not a criticism of those involved (I am one) but a recognition of the difficulty involved for people to travel without public transport across the city to join together to celebrate Regional Fraternity. We then, need to address this situation together as a Region.

The Sacred Heart Fraternity has prepared a document "Regional Fraternity in the Year 2000". I believe that this document is worth studying by local Fraternities so that it can be discussed fully at the coming Regional Chapter. The resolution that is proposed at the conclusion of the paper is not a decision to immediately change, but a decision to establish a Task Force to look at the situation in conjunction with all the local fraternities and groups and to report back to a Regional Gathering on the proposal or a development of the proposal at a given time (late 1999). If the proposal finally put forward to the special Regional Gathering has the support of the majority of local seculars, the Regional Council would then prepare a submission to the National Council for it's meeting in early 2000, whose responsibility it would be to act on the requests of the members of the NSW Region.

The future life and growth of the Secular Franciscan Order in NSW is in our hands, I believe that now is the time to do something about it.

The Mosman Fraternity humbly asks each fraternity and group to think carefully about this proposal prior to the Regional Chapter, so that we can come together in November with some ideas or proposals on the subject. We ask you to support our proposal or submit an alternative that will see to the future of the Region.

If I can be of any assistance in discussing or clarifying the paper you are welcome to contact me at the above address or by Phone ( 02 ) 9905 1517 or by Fax ( 02 ) 9905 0272

I am your brother in Francis and Clare,

keoghsig.gif (790 bytes)

Peter Keogh sfo

Sacred Heart Fraternity Mosman

Paper "Regional Fraternity in the year 2000" enclosed.

keoghps.gif (2562 bytes)