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November 2001

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia


Fraternity Meetings. There will be no Fraternity meeting on Friday 23 November 2001 because the Day of Reflection will be held the following weekend (see below).

The next Fraternity meeting will be held on Friday 22 February 2002 at Marian Hall, St. Matthew's Church, Page.

Day Of Reflection This will be held on Saturday 1 December 2001 at St John Vianney's Church, 87 Namatjira Cr., Waramanga, commencing at 9am and concluding at 4pm. Mass will be celebrated at 12.45 pm. After Mass there will be a shared lunch. Please bring finger food to share with other members. Tea and coffee will be provided. The Day of Reflection will be directed by Fr. Carl Schafer, OFM. Donations towards his expenses. e.g., train fare, would be appreciated.

During Mass members will be invited to renew their commitment to our Franciscan vocation. Some thoughts from our Minister, Loui, on renewal follow.

As we are approaching the end of another year let us thank God for all the blessings we have received from Him, especially for the gift of our Franciscan vocation.

As we are invited to renew our profession commitment (at the Reflection Day) each one of us has an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a Secular Franciscan. Is it my way of life or just belonging to a pious association? Do I have a minimalist approach and just attend monthly meetings and pay the levy? One would hope that most of us are doing more than that and rather joyfully respond to Love with love, by trying to praise God with a life that reflects genuine love for God in serving and loving each other.

God is Love and if we didn't live our Franciscan calling the way we should have we only need to turn to Him and start again. There is a thirst for the spirituality that we have and ours is the noble task to hand on this beautiful gift to future generations. We have start seeking creative ways of promoting the Secular Franciscan Order. Let the New Year be a new beginning, another opportunity to live the life to the full.

Lay Organizations Expo This will be held on Sunday 2 December 2001 at Merici College, Limestone Ave. Braddon. That will be the day after the Day of Reflection but members are asked to please try to attend for at least part of the day. Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Carroll during the morning. The Fraternity will have a stall set up to deal with enquiries about the SFO and a short presentation will be given during the afternoon by a member of the Fraternity.

Fraternity Council Elections The Regional Council has been asked to send a visitor to conduct our elections, if possible at the Fraternity meeting on 22 February 2002. Please think prayerfully about this matter and conscientiously consider whether you can make yourself available to serve your sisters and brothers on the Fraternity Council.


Regional Elective Chapter We congratulate our newly elected Regional Council (listed below). Loui and Pam represented our Fraternity at the Chapter. Pam has kindly provided the following notes on her experience of the Chapter.

Loui and I drove to Hartzer Park in Bowral on Friday 16 November for the NSW/ACT Regional Elective Chapter. It was an interesting (and full-on) time with most delegates arriving for the opening but some driving up early on Saturday. To me, it was fascinating seeing the faces (and bodies!) of names I've been reading about in Regional Newsletters for years. Apart from Fathers Carl, Pat and Allan, and Loui I didn't know anyone but in true Franciscan spirit we were greeted warmly and soon felt at home. The grounds of Hartzer Park are magnificent and with the warm weather, and virtually unopposed nominations and elections, we were able to enjoy some free time, walks, talks and, I believe, cat naps. We had a beautiful Reconciliation liturgy and Holy Hour with Adoration in the lovely Chapel before the Elections. Twenty four Seculars and six Friars praying together quietly fosters a might powerful atmosphere and the prayers and readings of St Francis allowed and encouraged all present to be attentive to the Voice of God. The newly elected Regional Council members are:

Minister Sandra Tilley
Vice-Minister Jim Gaudry
Formation Sue Casey
Secretary Helen Jarrick
Treasurer Michael Scott
Councillor 1 Vic Fernandez
Councillor 2 not elected

Apart from the Chapter election an important aspect of the weekend was, for me, the sense of belonging to a wider family and of witnessing the brotherhood of the friars. Mind you, not all the conversations were on serious Franciscan matters, as everyone relaxed on Saturday night and enjoyed the storytelling and jokes of our brothers and sisters. It was a fruitful and enjoyable weekend and I was especially pleased to rediscover an old friend now in the Toronto fraternity. Thank you for encouraging me to go, Cec!

Visit to Cooma. Members of the Fraternity traveled to Cooma on 27 October where they attended a Mass outdoors on Marg and Keith Mackay's property 'Braeside' celebrated by Fr. Peter Gannon, Parish Priest of Cooma. Besides being a Franciscan event, the Mass also commemorated the late Br. Andrew. Following the Mass those present enjoyed the hospitality of Marg and Keith and friends at a BBQ. Our thanks go to Marg and Keith for arranging this happy Franciscan gathering.

A picture (105kB) shows some members on the hill where Mass was held

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