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April 2001

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia


Changed Distribution At it's meeting at St Joseph's House of Prayer on Friday 23 March 2001, Council considered Jack's advice that he was not able to continue meeting the cost of postage and materials for the Canberra Franciscan nor could he replace the computer printer that was giving problems with publication. Council decided that the Fraternity could not meet the full costs of production and postage. It is proposed that printed copies be sent only to Sylvia, Pat, Frank, Martin, Marta, Elizabeth, Rex and Marjorie. Other members, who have access to email, have been asked whether they can accept email delivery to keep costs down.

Email Publication Format Because some members cannot receive attachments to email, others do not have easy access to Web browsing and still others do not use formatted text in emails, the Canberra Franciscan electronic edition will be in plain text format embodied in an email.

Publication Content Council decided that the monthly edition would comprise short notices. The substantive material, through which we share our Franciscan spirituality, will be kept for an issue published quarterly and more widely distributed.


Fraternity Meeting The next Fraternity meeting is to be held Friday 27 April 2001 at St. Matthew's Parish Centre, Page, at 8pm. The Formation session will be led by Loui and will continue our study on the SFO Rule. Loui will focus on the aspect of Secularity. For background please consider reading Rule 1, 4, 5,6 and 10 as a preparation for this month's meeting.

Next Council Meeting The date and place will be decided l ater, possibly at the Fraternity meeting.

Celebrations We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Frank Farrell who celebrated his birthday on 8 April. We also welcome Frank's wife, Catriona, into full communion with the Church. She was received at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Matthew's, Page. Several members and their wives attended. A suitably decorated bookmark was given to Catriona by the Fraternity.

Elizabeth Nogalska will celebrate a birthday on 28 May.

Regional Days The St. Clare Regional Fraternity (NSW) will hold regional days this year on Saturday 21 July and on Saturday 28 October. Both gatherings will be held at St. Joseph's Hall, Albert St. Edgecliffe (an eastern suburb of Sydney). Starting time is 10.30am and finishing time is 3.30pm. BYO lunch to share. Note these dates in your diary and let us try to organize well in advance a party to travel together to Edgecliffe.

Cooma Pilgrimage Our isolated sister, Marge Mackay, has suggested we travel to her property near Cooma for an outdoor Mass in memory of the late Br. Andrew. After considering the suggestion the Council felt it would not be practical to make the event a formal Fraternity visit but some members may be prepared to make the trip possibly on Pentecost Sunday but no later given the Cooma climate. This is an opportunity to show fraternity to an isolated member who does not have much opportunity to meet with us. Would those interested please contact Martin.

Visitor From U.K. Peter McArdle, a member of the Canterbury Fraternity in England will visiting Canberra with his wife in September and would like to meet with us. More details later.

Anglican Franciscans The Canberra Fraternity of the Anglican Third Order of the Society of St. Francis has invited our Fraternity to join them on Saturday 16 June at 10am at Holy Cross Church, Hackett, to celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. The day will start with a paraliturgy followed by a shared "brunch". Any members interested in attending the function should please contact Martin.


Annual Retreat Our Annual Retreat was held at the House of Prayer, Kenmore, from 23 to 25 March 2001. The Retreat was directed by Fr. Carl Schafer, OFM, who delivered three talks focussed on the SFO Rule under the headings of Secularity, Unity and Autonomy. Details will be provided in our next quarterly issue.


Funds Please bear in mind that Fraternity funds are very low following the payment of levies to the Regional Council and the costs of the Retreat. Please recall the need for financial autonomy of each fraternity.

General Constitutions Approved The text of the General Constitutions of the SFO was submitted for the approval of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 1 August 2000. With its decree of 8 December 2000, the Congregation approved the definitive text of the Constitutions.

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."

Reflection On Cl. 16 Of The Rule

Let them esteem work both as a gift and as a sharing in the creation, redemption and service of the human community.

We often associate work with employment or vocation. This work is an avocation. It is only a means through which we are given the grace to fulfill our vocation in life (as Secular Franciscans. Ed.)

Our vocation as followers of Jesus is to do what He said, "follow me." His mission or work was to establish "God's kingdom on earth." St. Francis lived that call and gave us an example of how much God's grace can work in our lives when we commit ourselves to service in being "builders of the kingdom."

As builders of the kingdom each of us is called to live our lives as a witness to God's grace alive in our being in whatever circumstance or situation we find ourselves. Nobody is excluded from participating, rich or poor, lame or blind, healthy or ill, young or old.

Reprinted (in part) from a report of a talk given by Tom Williams of the St. Francis Fraternity, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Next Council Meeting date and venue are yet to be decided.

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