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March 2000

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia


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. As in previous years we are expected to bring our own bed linen and towels. Hélène has advised that the cost will now need to be $80 including the accommodation, travel costs and a small gift for Fr. Pat Colbourne, OFM (Cap.) who will direct the Retreat. Hélène said that it would be most helpful if people would make payment on arrival at Goulburn. Again, if anyone has difficulty in meeting the cost please talk to Hélène in strictest confidence. Contributions over and above $80 would be appreciated.


February Meeting. We were delighted to welcome Fr Theo Gilian ofm, who is looking after St Vincent's, Aranda, until 14 March. Fr Gilian had some wise words for us, including suggestions as to how we might approach pilgrimage in this Jubilee year. Fr Eddie celebrated Mass for us and gave us the attached thought-provoking homily. Loui introduced the subject of our activities in the Jubilee Year and Hélène lead us to consider the Jubilee Year with the attached paper "Have we entered into the Jubilee Year". Discussion led us back to the perennial question of what activities we should be undertaking as a Fraternity. In this regard, members might like to consider the new paper by the Minister General.("Secular Franciscans in the Ecclesial Communities")

Please give some thought to what our Fraternity might do as a group to mark the Year of Great Jubilee. One such suggestion already made is for the Fraternity to make a group pilgrimage to one of the designated "indulgence churches", for example St Benedict's Narrabundah. St Benedict's Eucharistic Centre is advertised as "A Shrine of Pilgrimage for the Jubilee Year 2000".


Teresa Palmittessa has sent us a message thanking us for continuing to send her the Canberra Franciscan. She says: "It has made me feel less isolated from the world of the SFO." She sends her regards to all SFOs and asks to be remembered to her friends in our Fraternity.

FR Carl Schafer has also sent us a message. His e-mail address in the recent address list was wrong. It is now: . He also sends us the following news:

The Franciscans of Maryfields Friary, Narellan Road, Campbelltown, will host the Stations of the Cross in the grounds of Maryfields, on the five Sundays of Lent this year, as a contribution to the celebration of the Jubilee Year 2000.

The dates of the five Sundays of Lent this year are: March 12, 19 and 26, and April 2 and 9. Weather permitting, the Stations will begin at Gethsemane, near the main entrance to Maryfields on Narellan Road, at 3 p.m.

The following will lead the Stations this year:

March 12: Maryfields friars.
March 19: Marist Brothers, Campbelltown.
March 26: Fr Mel Cotter OFM
April 2: Bishop Wilson of Wollongong.
April 9: Poor Clares, Campbelltown.

The Stations will not be held, as they used to be, on Good Friday afternoon, so as not to take people away from their parish liturgy. Groups are welcome to make the Way of the Cross at any other time. They are requested to contact the Friary at least a day beforehand and to book an available time. Our telephone number is: (02) 46262400. The participants are welcome to bring their own light refreshments and thermos flask.

We would love to see you all up here at Maryfields for the Stations of the Cross. I will be present only on April 2 and 9, because I will be in New Zealand from March 9 till April 1, for the SFO National Council meeting and for holidays which will be largely taken up with the SFO. I'm quite happy about that.

Fr Carl sends his kindest regards to "all the SFO (Secular Flying Objects!?) whizzing around Canberra."


Finance. Hélène, our very active Treasurer, has advised:

List of Members. Apart from the correction to Fr Carl's email address, given above, Gavin's Unit number was not included his address.


Please pray for Gavin who is having a lot of trouble with his knees.

Please also offer thanks that Hélène's cataract operation went very well.

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 5 April 2000 at Pam Ledbrook's home,

Input for the Canberra Franciscan and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-6258 3824 fax 61-2-6258 3151