Dear sisters and brothers, I hope you don't mind me using this space to say a few words. (By the way, everyone is welcome to do the same and contribute to our monthly Newsletter).
Firstly I want to apologise for my inability in the past to pay more attention to our Fraternity. My family and especially work duties, took most of my time and energy. Fortunately, due to a recent change at work, I have now less stress and more time, both for my family and Fraternity.
I would like to share a few thoughts with you, if I may, on prayer. The "inspiration" comes from a book I am reading at the moment: Peter Calway - Hermit by a Franciscan friar, Fr Rayner Torkington.
You may remember sometimes in the past I urged all of us to focus on the Jubilee - a time of special Grace. A "fallow" time was mentioned meaning to be somewhat less active but concentrating more on the quality and perhaps even to "waste" some time with the Lord.
Prayer seems to me is a key to achieve this. God comes to us only if we allow Him, if we give Him some quiet time each day. At first this requires some degree of discipline, but as we progress doing it, it becomes a joyful and most precious time of our day. Once we let God into our life and start not only to know but experience His Love, the ball is in His court and He works in us. From then on we want to do only His will.
As the focus of this Jubilee year is on Eucharist it may be opportune if we could try to spend some time in His presence. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, attending daily Mass when possible or meditating on His Word in the Scriptures is certainly worth trying.
And I could go on and on but I realise I have difficulty expressing my thoughts on paper, so perhaps this could be a good subject to discuss prayerfully at one of our meetings. I hope I didn't bore you too much. See you at the next meeting! Loui.
July Meeting. We will be meeting at the Marian Centre, St Matthew's Church, Page on Friday 28 July 2000 commencing at 8 pm. Br Jim Cronly ofm Cap has been invited to attend. The Formation Session is to be led by Pam.
August Meeting. This will be a Festival Meeting to be held at the Marian Centre, St Matthew's Church, Page on Friday 25 August 2000 commencing at 8pm. It is the feast of St Louis, patron of the Secular Franciscan Order and our Minister's Name Day. Fr Hilton Roberts, Parish Priest of St Matthew's, will be asked to celebrate Mass.
L'Arche Day. L'Arche Genesaret in Canberra is organising a Peter Kearney Concert on Sunday September 17th afternoon. Those of you who are not familiar with Peter's other music probably recognize his Good Morning Good People. Diana has talked to her Community Leader, Paula Keleher, about requesting the help of the Fraternity to publicise this event. Peter will organise printing of the publicity brochures and tickets and they will be sent to Diana. Perhaps the Fraternity can help publicise the event and also help make sandwiches for afternoon tea that day.
Peter will be performing in St. James Hall, Curtin in aid of L'Arche. Please let everyone know about it. Cost is $12.00 for adults, $6.00 for children. The matter of helping is to be raised at our July Fraternity meeting.
Richard Rohr ofm will be speaking in Canberra 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm on Thursday 23 November at the Manning Clark Theatre ANU on The Passion of God and the Passion Within. He writes:
As C.S. Lewis said "God is wild you know." God is a passionate God, eager to get inside each person, to become one. Scripture is soul language ? about a love affair. This is what spirituality is about.
Only this experience can satisfy our constant search for intimacy and answer for us the questions "Who am I?", "Can I love?", "Can I create?".
Richard Rohr is a Franciscan of Our Lady of Gaudalupe Province, U.S.A. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Alburquerque, New Mexico. He has preached around the world and written numerous books and articles. His is the ancient call of St. Francis to the simple life. Rohr's kind of contemplation is an adventure in the wilderness, letting God call me by name and take me to the deeper place of peace. The cost is $15. Bookings to Aquinas Academy, 141 Harrington St, Sydney 2000 Telephone 9252 2476. Credit Card details can be accepted.
Visitor from Malaysia. Serena Woon SFO, Vice Minister and Formator for the West Malaysia Region, visited Canberra on Monday 10 July. Serena is a member of the Penang Fraternity. She had a long discussion with Loui, sharing the good things and the problems of our Fraternities. It is amazing how similar are the problems in different parts of the world. Loui says we could learn a lot from Serena. He felt that he had been in a presence that was enriching. He will be bringing before us a number of her ideas that we might be able to use.
The Oceania National Fraternity accommodated Serena in Sydney during the remainder of the week (at the excellent Centre for spirituality in Randwick). She had a long meeting with our National Minister, Tod Walker, and our International Councillor, Peter Keogh, on the Wednesday and was scheduled to meet Helen Jarick and Dick See.
Serena teaches Christian Meditation in the style of Fr John Main OSB and also hoped to meet meditation course organisers in Sydney.
Pilgrimage to St Benedict's. The Fraternity gathered at St. Benedict's Eucharistic Centre, Narrabundah, on Saturday 24 June 2000. We joined the community of the Missionaries of God's Love and other laity in the singing of Morning Prayer and then Mass. We heard an inspiring homily given by Fr. Ken Barker on the significance of the Sacred Heart; (the Feast being held on the following day). After Mass we adjourned to the Parish Centre where we shared breakfast and fraternized with members of the Missionaries of God's Love.
Fr Eugene Teglia ofm has written two more letters to us. He writes:
I surely entertained the desire to fly to Canberra - but was scared off by the cold! After so many years in the tropics, I simply can't stand cold weather.
I plan to return to Australia to say goodbye to all my good friends there, before going back to Italy for good. Why? In my latest visit to Dr R. Seymour (who operated on me 5 years ago at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane), I was clearly told that in 2/3 years time I'll certainly have new serious problems with my heart. Therefore he said: "If you care to spend a couple of years with your folk at home you'd better go now". I told him I couldn't go this year. Could I postpone it to next year? And he said: "Please yourself Father. But do not delay further!" So that's why I've planned to move out from here sometime next Feb., spend 3/4 weeks in Australia and then retire to my hometown Bologna. It'll be a very painful decision for me, but I have to be fair with my brother & 2 sisters & their children whom I still love very much. February would be lovely in Canberra and I'll consider how I could get there to spend a few days with [Jack], Hélène & Tony. But where could I stay without causing too much trouble?
how could I thank you enough for the beautiful Statue of St Francis & the San Damiano Cross? I'll leave it to God & Francis himself to reward you more adequately. How I wish I could be with you at the SFO Meeting today at Narrabundah! Your two beautiful framed pictures arrived, early in the week. That makes our indebtedness to your Fraternity ever so big! On behalf of our members I say again: "THANK YOU!", also for the latest Canberra Franciscan, whose report on the May Meeting could give us some meat for thought in our own SFO Meeting.
Cheers for now with All God's Blessings.
Yours in St Francis
Eugene Teglia, ofm
How are we different? Nils Thompson ofm, General Assistant to the SFO until a few months ago, writes in the International Council's second weekly newsletter for July 2000:
"I do not believe that a Secular Franciscan is meant to be very different from the rest of the baptized. The difference is only in method. The "Franciscan method" is spelled out in the Canticle of Brother Sun. I believe that our example of living a simple Christian life, within the Church, as we recognize Jesus in the Gospel. Franciscans are to live values of:
All these are ways of describing how the followers of Jesus promote the Kingdom of God and influence secular society to grow in goodness and respect for people."
New Addresses. A revised list of Canberra SFO members with the new addresses for Cec and Hélène has been posted out.
Jeremy Turanec sfo. Maria Turanec sfo has given birth to a baby boy who is to be called Marin. Maria is wife of Jeremy (Milo), whom council welcomed to Australia last year.
Next Council Meeting. 8.00 pm Wednesday 9 August 2000 at Loui's place
Input for the Canberra Franciscan and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-6258 3824 fax 61-2-6258 3151 email@example.com