February Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Marian Centre, St Matthew's Church, Page on Friday 25 February 2000 commencing at 8pm. Please come prepared to consider Council's proposed Ongoing Formation theme for 2000 and possible Fraternity activities. (See below.) Please also come prepared to pay your annual dues if possible. (Details below).
Annual Retreat. The Fraternity's Annual Retreat will be held 24?26 March 2000 at the House of Prayer, Kenmore via Goulburn, commencing 7pm on Friday 24 March. We would like to know at the February meeting the names of those who will be attending. As in previous years we are expected to bring our own bed and bath linen. The cost of $70 includes the accommodation and stipend for Fr. Pat Colbourne, OFM (Cap.) who will direct the Retreat. Those of us who have attended previous retreats directed by Fr. Pat will be looking forward to this one. Again, if anyone has difficulty in meeting the cost please talk to Hélène in strictest confidence. Contributions over and above $70 would be appreciated.
Council Meeting. At its meeting on 10 February the Council considered the Formation theme for 2000. The Council recommends that the theme be Reconciliation. This has several applications of which some possibilities are: personal reconciliation with God, reconciliation with the world around us, a new beginning for us and the Church, and reconciliation of the world with God. The Council also considered two possible activities which could involve all of us as fraternity. These possible activities are:
Think about these ideas and come prepared to discuss them at our February meeting.
Twinned fraternity. The February Newsletter of the St. Francis Fraternity, Edmonton, Canada, lists the Fraternity Council with the usual office bearers but includes five positions of 'Convenor', namely, Phoning, Social, Liturgy, Infirmarian and Bulletin. If we did the same just about every member of our Fraternity would have a particular job to do. Presumably the convenors are not members of the Council.
The Edmonton Newsletter includes the following prayer attributed to St. Thomas More:
Lord, grant me a holy heart
That is not frightened
At the sight of sin
But creates order wherever it goes.
Grant me a heart that knows nothing
Of boredom, weeping and sighing.
Let me be not too concerned
With the bothersome thing
I call myself.
Lord, give me a sense of humour
And I will find happiness with life.
Fr Alban. Diana went up to Brisbane, for her Christmas holidays, before travelling to Fraser Island. She wrote::
"I met up with Fr. Alban Mitchell at Kedron for lunch and also met Fr. Bob Mathew, who was the Parish Priest of St. Mary of the Angels in Singapore back in the 1980s. Fr. Alban had prepared a very tasty vegetable soup for lunch as he still had to be very careful about his food, because of his heart bypass.;
After lunch, he showed me Padua College, the school he helped build back in the 1960s, and also the Friary next to the school, which is now converted to be the staff office. He also showed me the trees he planted. The whole concept of the college made me feel as if I was in the middle of a rain forest, as there are many types of trees surrounding the college, also in the middle of the college. Then he showed me the Church, which is now the Parish Church.
He then drove me to another Friary in Adele Street, and told me that he will be moving there in January 2000. His present address is:
Fr. Alban Mitchell ofm
21 Adele Street,
He sent his regards to all SFOs in Canberra."
Fr Eugene Teglia. We have also had another letter from Fr Eugene. In it he writes:
"I had a beautiful Chistmas here at Lumi, with splendid weather (after weeks of torrential rains) and such a crowd, full of enthusiasm and expectations! Yes, in every face you could read the eagerness in waiting for something to happen or somebody to come!"
Fr Eugene sent us his best wishes for a Happy and Holy Jubilee Year.
Jeremy Turanec. Just before Christmas we received from Jeremy Turanec (Milos) a Christmas card designed and made by Jeremy himself. This very artistic creation will be available for members to examine at the February Fraternity meeting.
Finance. That dreadful subject, finance, has to be raised again. Regional and National Dues of $30 for each active member of our Fraternity are now due for payment. Our Fraternity as a whole is obligated to pay the dues. Please come to the February meeting prepared to pay your share. If there is a difficulty in doing so please talk in strictest confidence to the Treasurer (Hélène Anderson not Peter Costello). PLEASE, THIS IS URGENT.
List of Members. A revised list was sent to members with the new addresses for Frank and Gavin.
The Little Portion. Sr Madge Karecki of the Franciscan Institute in South Africa has kindly sent a new issue of the newsletter, The Little Portion.
Please pray for the soul of Miss Catherine Chang, who is President of the Fraternity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Singapore. She died suddenly on 11th January 2000.
Please remember to pray for vocations:
"Gracious God, we pray that men and women might respond generously to Your call to ministry in the Church; --- And may You increase our Franciscan community by calling those dedicated to penance and the Gospel life."
Next Council Meeting. 8.00 pm on Wednesday 8 April 2000 at Pam's place.
Input for the Canberra Franciscan and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-6258 3824 fax 61-2-6258 3151 firstname.lastname@example.org