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September 2000

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia


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". The Council decided that our Fraternity should help L'Arche community with this concert. Diana has written to us:

Dear Brothers & Sisters in St. Francis:
Greetings from L'Arche, this is to inform anyone who is coming to help at the concert that we need helpers to be at the church hall at 12.00pm to help set up the hall. This will include putting up backdrop and also chairs and tables for stalls. There will be other helpers too. Our Franciscan Groups will mainly be in-charge of the drinks stall. It will be only soft drinks and juice. L'Arche will provide drinks and accessories. All you need to do on that day is to bring yourself.

Thank you for all your emails and also your offer of help, very much appreciated. Details are as follows:

Date: 17th September 2000
Venue: St. James Hall in Curtin
Cost: $12.00 for adult
$6.00 for children

Please let all your friends know about the concert.

September Meeting. This will be at the Marian Hall, St Matthew's Church, Page on Friday 22 September 2000 commencing at 8pm. Pam will lead a discussion on Eucharist. Please come prepared to share what Eucharist means for you.

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. Bring a friend! As there may well be a larger number of people than usual, members are asked in this case also to bring extra food to share.

Diocesan Pastoral Council. The Archbishop has invited us to be represented at "what is guaranteed to be a wonderful Spirit-filled Jubilee Eucharistic Gathering in October. It will focus on the theme of Rediscovering a Eucharistic Heart and Mind." The Celebration goes from 7-9.30pm Friday 6th October until 9am-4pm Saturday 7th October 2000. Fr Frank Anderson, MSC is joining delegates for the weekend. He is a brilliant liturgist and writer of songs. Kevin, Loui and Hélène will represent us.

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.

Rex has advised that he proposes attending.

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.

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

At an SFO National Executive meeting on 29 July, it was decided to open a process of nomination for the offices of National Minister, Vice-Minister, Secretary, Treasurer, Formator and two Councillors. Any professed member of the National Fraternity can nominate another professed member for any of these offices. The nominee needs to accept his or her nomination before sending the signed nomination paper to the National Executive.

This nomination process will not exclude nominations from the floor of the elective Chapter. Neither does it restrict the candidates for election to those who have been nominated. Any professed member of the National Fraternity can be elected to office at the elective Chapter. However one practical consideration is that since the formation of the National Fraternity in 1969, the National Executive has always met in Sydney made up of members from the metropolitan area of Sydney N.S.W. Unless a change is envisaged to this situation, this should he kept in mind.

The advantage of opening this nomination process several months before the letter of convocation of the elective Chapter is to give the professed members ample time to consider their nominations and to secure their acceptance.


15th Annual Prayer Breakfast. Cec attended and reports as follows.

This year once again I attended the National Prayer Breakfast, a function of the Australian Parliamentary Christian Fellowship. It was held in the Great Hall of Parliament House from 7.15 AM to about 10.00 AM on 4 September.

In all, about 500 Parliamentarians and representatives of various denominations attended. The Fellowship includes representatives of all parties in the Federal and State Parliaments, although this was primarily a Federal function.

This year there were Scripture readings, prayers, hymns, interviews with sportsmen who were committed Christians and a substantial talk by Nick Farr-Jones, former captain of the Australian Rugby team. It was a prayerful event.

I have attended on a number of occasions, and this year I put myself down as a representative of Franciscans International.

Pax et Bonum


Fr Eddie. Fr Vjeko (Eddie) Tomic left Canberra in August to take up a post as Parish Priest back home. Hélène says that he wrote a beautiful letter, which Loui will read to us at the next meeting.

Fr Eugene. Fr Eugene Teglia has written:

Dear Diana:
Happy St. Clare's Day! To you and all the S.F.O. members in Canberra my Franciscan Greetings - PAX et BONUM - and my heartfelt & sorrowful Goodbye as I'm about to leave the beloved South Pacific and return to Europe for good. I lived in P.N.G. for over 47 years and left it with deep sadness in my heart, but that was God's will indicated to me through the Doctor's verdict and my Direct Superior's counsel. So, deeper down in my soul I'm at peace, relying on His mercy and love.

Be assured of my remembrance and prayers as I trust in yours,
God Bless you and Keep you!
In St. Francis
Eugene Teglia ofm

My address in Italy:
Conv. St. Antonio
Via G. Guinizelli, 3


'Inform' article. The current issue of 'Inform' (No. 70 August 2000), a newsletter of "Current thinking on Catholic Issues" has an article by Fr Patrick Colbourne, OFM Cap titled "My God and My All - Franciscan Spirituality". It has the following section about us:

"The modern heirs of this spiritual legacy are known as the Secular Franciscans. The ancient chronicles tell us how they came from all walks of life and all classes of society. Kings and paupers were welcome. Some were married, others single. Some lived in their own homes, some lived alone while others lived in groups.

As with all Franciscan spirituality the objective of the Secular Franciscans is to move from Gospel to life and from life to Gospel.

The events of life raise many questions, which we take to the Gospel as the source of principles to live by. The ideals do not change but the questions asked by succeeding generations certainly do. In their Rule the Secular Franciscan is asked to read the Gospel in such a way as to immerse himself/herself in the human experience of Christ in order to learn how to cope with similar experiences in their own lives. This is the meaning of going from gospel to life and from life to gospel.

Although the experience of each individual is personal it does not come to maturity in isolation. When each one was baptized they were baptized into the Body of Christ and their salvation is achieved through that Body, the Church. The profession of Secular Franciscans unites them even more intimately to the Church, which, like Brother Francis, they are called to rebuild by their example. The road of renewal calls for radical conversion and interior change that is assisted by the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a celebration of the Father's mercy and grace, and participation in the Eucharist, the central sacrament in the Church."

Calendars. Hélène is ordering 25 of the Year 2001 Franciscan Calendars.

Little Portion. The June 2000 "Franciscan Living in Ordinary Time" and August 2000 "Clare and Christ" issues of The Little Portion were enclosed with the printed issue of this newsletter. The Franciscan Institute of Southern Africa publishes it as a means of continuing education for members of the Franciscan Family.

Prayers. 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."

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