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August 2000

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia


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. There will be Mass followed by a light supper. Members are asked to bring some uncooked food to share.

Social Event. A Yum Cha lunch is planned for 11 am, Sunday 10 September 2000 at the Great Wall of China restaurant, Marcus Clarke St. Civic. The last Yum Cha we had there was a great success and much enjoyed by members and their partners. Please feel free to invite friends.

L'Arche Day. L'Arche Genesaret in Canberra is organising a Peter Kearney Concert. Those of you who are not familiar with Peter's other music probably recognize his "Good Morning Good People". Peter will be performing at 3.30 pm on Sunday September 17th 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.

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 Guadalupe Province, U.S.A. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, 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.

Transitus. We are hosting this year's Transitus ceremony to be celebrated at 7.30pm, Tuesday 3 October 2000 at St. Matthew's Church, Page. Our Anglican brethren will join us for the celebration. The event will be publicised in "Catholic Voice" and in parish bulletins. As there may well be a larger number of people than usual, members are asked in this case also to bring food to share.

Day of Reflection This year the Day of Reflection is to be held on Saturday 9 December 2000. The venue has yet to be selected and someone to direct our reflections.


Regional Gathering. A Regional Gathering was held at Mary Immaculate, Waverly, on Saturday 12 August 2000. Hélène, Loui, Rex and Martin represented our Fraternity. It was probably a stronger representation than any of the Sydney fraternities. Sandie Tilley, Regional Minister, chaired the Gathering.

Fraternity representatives gave reports. None of the rural fraternities were represented (apart from Warrawong in the Wollongong Diocese). There was discussion about the difficulties encountered by the rural fraternities arising from their geographic isolation and the depressed rural economy. It was stressed by Fr Finian OFM and by Peter Keogh, National Councillor, that there are big differences between the respective rural fraternities.

Fr. Pat Colbourne OFM (Cap.) mentioned that there is a man from the Canberra?Goulburn Archdiocese studying at the seminary in Sydney who has joined the Concord fraternity. If he proceeds to the priesthood we could well have a resident spiritual assistant. [Shane Murtagh is from St Matthew's parish, Page. His parents, Eamon and Phil, live in Florey.]

Future Regional Gatherings are to be held at St. Joseph's, Edgecliffe. There will be three such gatherings each year. The Regional Elective Chapter is to be held from 18 to 20 November 2001 at Hartzer Park, Bowral. The Regional Council has decided to discontinue publication of the regional newsletter.

Peter Keogh spoke of the need for the SFO in Australia to give monetary support to the international Fraternity. The economic conditions in some countries necessitated the international Fraternity supporting financially the SFO in those countries. An amount of 50 cents per professed member per annum was suggested. Funds are needed also to obtain a permanent home for the International Fraternity.

The National Council Elective Chapter will be held from 9 to 11 February 2001 at the University of NSW. Each fraternity in each region is entitled to send one delegate to the Chapter.

A presentation was given by Barry Blake, a member of one of the three Waverley fraternities, on how to promote the SFO. Essentially, Barry argued that we have to "target" particular age groups of Catholics and determine how the particular spiritual needs of each group can be met by the SFO. The meeting broke up into small groups to discuss the matter and reported back to the meeting.


Archbishop. In his column of the August 'Catholic Voice', Fr Francis wrote:

"I am particularly looking forward to the visit to Assisi where we will spend a few prayerful days with Sts Francis and Clare to prepare for the final week in Rome and the climactic meeting of the Catholic young people from around the world with Pope John Paul II.

I am sure that, like myself, you are keeping our pilgrims in your prayer, especially in their families and home parishes, many of whom have helped them to go on this great adventure. I ask that our prayer be expanded to include all young people, especially in our archdiocesan Church.

The World Youth Day group prepared for their pilgrimage in a spirit of faith and prayer as well as great excitement. I believe they have a real sense of representing their friends and peers and that they will be generous in sharing their experience with them when they return."


Prayers. As well as praying for our young people, 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."

Corrections to the list of Fraternity members. Unfortunately, Hélène's telephone number is incorrect in the list of members dated 13 July 2000, issued with the July "Canberra Franciscan". The correct number is 6287 5510. Marjorie Mackay's birthday and year she was professed have been added as have email addresses for Pam and Kevin. A copy of the revised list, dated 18 August 2000, was attached to printed copies of this newsletter.

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