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July 2001

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia


Fraternity Meeting The next Fraternity meeting will be held on Friday 27 July at our usual venue, Marian Hall, St. Mathew's Church, Page, commencing at 8pm. The meeting will be lead by Pam. Pam would like us to consider and contemplate: Commitment. She writes:

Commitment seems to many to be a burden, a bondage but when it is commitment to God, it is a setting free, it is the loved resting in the arms of the Loved. "Set yourselves free to love God and your brothers and sisters." Yet there is a price to pay, for when we commit to serve, we also surrender self-seeking and the ways of the society. The call for commitment may require sacrifice and a re-setting of priorities in our lives. When God is our priority, faithfulness (the highest form of commitment) becomes a reality, an accepted way of life.

The Council decided to work on promotional material specifically aimed at Canberra audience. This would be useful for our planned visit to St Francis parish, Calwell and for a diocesan meeting of catholic lay movements and communities, planned to be held in December this year.

August Meeting. Fr Carl Schafer OFM will be with us at the August meeting. The evening will start with the Eucharist, followed by Fr Carl's input on Poverty for Secular Franciscans. Please come prepared for prayerful discussion and sharing. As we have advertised this event in 'Catholic Voice' and are expecting some visitors, it would be good to bring a plate.

September Meeting. Our Regional Minister, Sandra Tilley will pay us a Fraternal Visit. This is an important occasion for our Fraternity and an opportunity to air positive as well as negative concerns. Sandie writes: "I would like to talk to the Canberra Fraternity about evangelising the Canberra area. It would be a very casual talk and I would be interested in their input. Perhaps they could think about it in the mean time." Sandie has also sent us two spiritual messages:

Elective Chapter of NSW/ACT Regional Fraternity of St Clare will be celebrated at Hartzer Park Bowral NSW, from the evening of Friday, 16 November until Sunday, 18 November 2001, and will proceed to the election of :

Fraternities are invited to register their Minister, and one other delegate elected by the fraternity, to attend the Elective Chapter as voting delegates. Voting delegates must be active professed members of the fraternity. It has been requested that we register our fraternity's nominations by Friday, 31 August 2001.

For detailed information about this Elective Chapter, contact Loui (623 11731)

The Day of Reflection will be held on Saturday 1 December 2001 at St. John Vianney Church, Namatjira Dr., Warramanga.


Lay Expo. Loui and Hélène attended a meeting in June which was the first stage in planning of a gathering of all the lay organizations in the Archdiocese. Similar gatherings have already been held elsewhere in Australia. There will be more information on the 'Expo' (as it is being termed) later in the year.

Regional Meeting. Loui attended the Regional meeting on Saturday 21 July. He writes:

It was nice to be with our brothers and sisters as well as friars from all three branches of the First Order and experience belonging to a wider family. (I noticed the usual absence of sisters from the Second Order - perhaps we could invite them for the next meeting).

The theme for the meeting was Leadership as Service. Service is fundamental to our Christian Franciscan vocation. Leadership, for those able and called to it, is just another opportunity to serve. It was rightly pointed out at the meeting that leadership makes us vulnerable, asks us to take the risk of failure, but true love is always marked by the cross. Francis and Clare just wanted to serve Christ, but when they received the call for leadership they responded positively.

I would like to share with you few other wonderful aspects of the meeting at this coming fraternity meeting.


Loui's Thought for the Month. As Jack, Martin and I are preparing this newsletter, Luke's Gospel at today's Mass still rings in my ears: Jesus is praising Mary who chose to spend time with Him and listen. This is a challenge for all of us. Perhaps it could be the guiding thought for us during this month, until we meet again.

Vocations. We have good news. Two persons have expressed interest in becoming Secular Franciscans. They are Anna Kunicky and Peg McDonald, both of whom live in Cooma. We already have one professed member living in that area, Marg Mackay, who has been asked to make contact with the two enquirers. It is hoped to organize a group visit by the Fraternity to Cooma sisters next November.

Martin is enjoying warm weather with his family in Brisbane.

Celebrations. Margy Mackay celebrates her birthday on 11 August. Pat Blayden celebrates her profession on 21 August. Cec Webster celebrates his profession in August (44 years).

Pray For Our Sick A number of our sisters and brothers are sick, some seriously. Two sisters from Taree Fraternity have cancer. Peter Keogh is not well also. I am sure our Kathy would appreciate our prayers, a get well card or some other sign of our love for her. Let us not forget Pat who cares for the sick members of her 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."

Next Council Meeting Tuesday 7 August at Cec Webster's home.

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