Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra ACT Australia
May Meeting. Our next meeting is at 8pm on Friday 23 May and will again be held in the Marian Hall at St Matthew's Page. Cec will lead the discussion, based on consideration of the final sections of the Constitutions that we have been following using the video of Fr Benet Fonck. Cec will focus us on "The Fraternity: centre of life and apostolic activity" (all levels of Fraternity). Please read Articles 46 onwards of the Constitutions in preparation. You may also care to reflect on the words of Emerenziana Rossato in last month's 'Canberra Franciscan'.
June Meeting. Jack will lead us into small group discussions of "What Francis and Clare mean to us" based on consideration of the first lesson of the Maltese "Franciscan Studies" course: "Francis and Clare of Assisi: their life and times". Jack will have copies for everyone of that 12-page handout available at the May meeting for pre-reading in preparation.
Secular Franciscan Gathering. We have received a letter from the St Clare Region Minister and Executive BEGGING us to join them in a Secular Franciscan gathering at Corowa on the Murray river on the weekend of 14-16 November. They point out that there are many Fraternities and Groups of Secular Franciscans who live and operate in the spirit of St Francis in isolation; many hundreds of kilometres from Sydney and the bulk of SFO fraternities. The Executive is providing this opportunity to take the SFO message of Fraternity to these sisters and brothers as well as to the Ecclesial and local communities in which they exist.
Motel accommodation is planned with costs ranging from $22 per person per night twin share to $40 per night for a single room. The local SFO group will assist with lunches Saturday and Sunday and have arranged for evening meals at the local RSL club at reasonable prices.
The Regional Minister, Helen Jarick, needs to know by 31 May how many from Canberra will be going. Her letter will be available for perusal at the May meeting. At the moment, Kathy is a probable attendee and Cec a possible.
The Great Wall of China. We had a wonderfully relaxed Yum Cha lunch on Sunday May 4th. Marty and Jack joined with the Council as did Cec's wife Margaret and Hélène's husband Eric. Rex Sulway, one of the enquirers, also was kind enough to come. We had lots of great food and interesting conversation for an all-up cost of only $13 per person.
Another Social Function. It has been suggested that we might have another Sunday brunch but this time with an American flavour; ham and eggs, pancakes and maple syrup, etc. We can consider this at the May meeting.
Vocations. Don't forget to keep up your prayers for vocations to the SFO.
April Meeting. At our Anzac day meeting Kathy and Cec witnessed to us their experiences at the Gathering of the Franciscan family at Riverwood in Sydney. They gave us quite a bit of detail of the opening talk by Bishop David Walker on "Franciscan Spirituality: Observations and Chacteristics." They spoke with great warmth of the richness of his presentation. It was great to have Fr Joseph Nguyen ofm Conv with us as Spiritual Assistant. Most of us got to meet him for the first time. Fr Joseph affirmed Kathy and Cec's view of the Gathering. It was a pleasure to welcome to the meeting three enquirers, Alyson Edwards, Wendy Altamore and Rex Sulway.
Absences. Hélène is in China at the moment but expects to be back for the June meeting. Kathy has tendered her apologies for the June, July and August meetings. She is travelling to Omaha, Nebraska in the USA and Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She is sharing a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Omaha with Bishop Bernard (Cyril) O'Grady OP whom some of us have had the privilege of meeting.
Twinned Fraternity. We have sent our April 'Canberra Franciscan', a photograph from the 1996 retreat and cartoons from Jim Cronly to the St Francis Fraternity in Edmonton. Gladys Michaud has sent a copy of their May bulletin which will be available at our May meeting for circulation. Fran Krawchuk has a wonderful reflection in it but for something more light-hearted than we've been having in the 'Canberra Franciscan' we've republished their "Hugs" piece below. Kathy will be visiting Edmonton and also plans to attend their Regional Chapter in July at Calgary. We suspect there will be some good fun because Gladys has asked for the words of "My Boomerang won't come back" and Kathy proposes taking the words for "The Aussie barbecue" - and also her Akubra.
Why God made Hugs
Everyone was meant to share
God's all-abiding love and care;
He saw that we would need to know
A way to let these feelings show.
So God made hugs - a special sign,
And symbol of his love divine,
A circle of our open arms
To hold in love and keep out harm.
One simple hug can do its part
To warm and cheer another's heart.
A hug's a bit of heaven above
That signifies His perfect love.
Next Council Meeting: 8pm Wednesday 18 June at Pam's place.
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