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June 2000

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia

COMING EVENTS

June Meeting. There will not be a meeting at the Marian Centre, St Matthew's Church, Page in June. Instead we will go as a body to St. Bendict's, Narrabundah, on the morning of Saturday 24 June. We will meet at 7.15 am and join with the parish community for Morning Prayer (7.30am) and the parish Mass at 8am. At 8.30am we will have a BYO breakfast and deal with any urgent Fraternity business. Council will also meet. St Benedict's is designated as a Shrine of Pilgrimage for the Jubilee Year.

July Meeting. Pam has kindly "volunteered" to lead our meeting to be held at the Marian Centre, St Matthew's Church, Page on Friday 28 July 2000 commencing at 8pm.

Regional Days. A Franciscan priest from New York will lead us on the theme "Compassion in Franciscan Spirituality" at St Clare's College Waverly on 15 July from 10.00 am to 3.30 pm. There will also be a Regional Day on Saturday 12 August, the day following the feast of St Clare, from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm at Waverly.

August Meeting. Being on the feast of our patron, St Louis, and our Minister's Name Day, we will have a festive meeting and hope to have Mass.

REPORTS

May Meeting. Tony DiMichiel led us in a wonderful meeting on "Fraternity". He started with a simple but powerful Liturgy of the Word. We all thoroughly enjoyed Kevin's delight at the selection of a hymn that he was able to lead at long last. Tony then led us into thinking about fraternity as family and how whenever family gathering takes place, discussion usually centres around sharing stories of the past, dreaming of what you would like to see in the future, and checking out how things are going at this present time.

With this plan and an old Irish Blessing (May you have the gift of hindsight, so that you can see where you have come from. May you have the gift of foresight so that you can see where you want to go. May you have the gift of insight so that you know when you have gone too far), we became family and talked. Everyone had a story to tell about Fraternity events and past happenings and there was lots of laughter (something has been missing in fraternity).

We then jumped to a discussion of what we would like to see in the future. Here the main thoughts that emerged were the need to be seen doing something as a group in the wider community; more members in our fraternity; and a younger age group (the definition of young depends upon one's own age, each of us has our own interpretation of "young").

The dreaming of the future and a reality check on the present gave rise to lots of thoughtful insights and discussion. The take-home messages from all this might best be summarised by the following points:

The kinds of things that made the Fraternity meeting such an enjoyable and inspiring event were simplicity of prayer and structure. Personal sharing, where everyone was encouraged to participate and tell their story and share their dreams and plans for the future. Good listening (it was not the night for evaluation of ideas and plans of action). Laughter! Moving along and keeping it to an hour yet giving each one time and space to share. For Tony it was an occasion where he sensed the presence of brother Francis in our fraternity and could feel the love that we each have for one another. It was interesting to note that Diana Low, who came to us from Singapore, was able to give us something of an "outside" view. She saw us as having a wonderful sense of community.

Frank reminded us of the view of ourselves expressed in the Vision Statement of Franciscans International: "We are Franciscan men and women who are followers of St. Francis of Assisi. We believe that all creation, from the smallest organism to human beings, is in interdependent relationship on planet earth. We are aware that this relationship is threatened by a refusal to admit this interdependence, by exploitation and by domination.

We commit ourselves to encourage awareness of this interdependence so that all creation may live in harmony. We will do this by service to our own members and to United Nations personnel as well as other non-governmental organizations through collaboration, education and action regarding:"

Transitus of Martin's wife. All of us who did not have unalterable commitments celebrated the passing over to eternal life on 30 May of Moira Morris. Please keep Martin in your prayers as he grieves her loss. Kathy was able to join us at Mass. It was wonderful to see her.

MESSAGES

Fr Eugene Teglia ofm has had another heart attack and was to be treated in Brisbane during May. He writes:

Recently I suffered a mild heart attack and went to Aitape for a check-up. But because they have no ECG equipment there, the doctor (a young Dutch lady) couldn't detect much. However now I feel well again and hope to stay so till my trip to Brisbane when I'm going to see the Cardiologist who operated on me 5 years ago. I'll be grateful if you'd keep me in your prayers. Greetings to all SFO members, Hélène in particular.

He was grateful for the San Damiano candle already received. A statue of St Francis and a San Damiano Crucifix are on the way to him. One of the ways we can share with our brothers and sisters in PNG, across the barriers of language and culture, is with symbolic objects.

Teresa Palmitessa. We had an Easter eCard inscribed: "Happy Easter! and regards to all the SFO in Canberra - Teresa Palmitessa SFO"

Fr Michael Goonan of St Paul's Publications in Sydney has sent us a complimentary copy of his new booklet "The Crucifix that Spoke to St Francis". It was circulated at the April meeting. It can be obtained from Jack and purchased from St Pauls Publications PO Box 906 Strathfield 2135 for $3.95. Their email is sales@stpauls.com.au and phone 9746 2288. They accept credit card details.

OTHER MATTERS

Prayers. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Gladys Michaud, Formator, Bulletin Convenor and mother of the Minister of our twinned Fraternity of St Francis in Edmonton, Canada, and for all grieving for her. Gladys died on 20 May.

Next Council Meeting. Saturday 24 June, following Morning Prayer, Mass and Fraternity at St Benedict's Narrabundah.

Input for the Canberra Franciscan and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-6258 3824 fax 61-2-6258 3151 jacksmth@ozemail.com.au