Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra ACT Australia
September Meeting. Our next meeting is our Evening of Reflection on Friday 26 September. It will be held at Cec and Margaret's place 11 Moss Street Cook. The evening will start at 6.30 pm and finish about 10 pm. It will include:
Fr Chris Shorrock ofm Conv will be joining us.
Regional Day. Don't forget the next day September 27 at Campbelltown: Fr Dan Naylon ofm will speak on: "Brotherhood in St Francis." Pam hopes to get to Fr Dan's talk at Campbelltown and Marty has indicated that he is interested in going too. You might speak to them if you are interested in attending.
The Transitus. The Anglican "Third Order of the Society of St Francis" has invited us all to join with them in our annual joint ceremony to celebrate the passing over of St Francis into eternal life. We will meet at 7.30pm on 3 October at St David's, Fortitude Street, Red Hill.
October Meeting. The October meeting will be at Marian Hall. Cec has proposed that we consider the question of what form our ongoing formation during 1998 might take. See "Ongoing Formation" below. Jim Cronly ofm Cap will be joining us.
Secular Franciscan Gathering. Several members plan to attend and a booking was made for Kathy in her absence.
August Meeting. Pam's presentation was too powerful to try to summarise. A copy of the text of her talk was enclosed with this newsletter.
Tribute to Loui. The September issue of the "Catholic Voice" contained a delightful tribute to Loui's photographic work.
Vocations. Remember that we agreed to keep up our prayers for vocations to the SFO!
Ongoing Formation. In preparation for our October meeting you may care to consider these words on the subject "Formation is Ongoing" from the most recent issue of the International Council newsletter. They were adapted from the Franciscan Formation Plan of the Order of Friars Minor, 1991.
Ongoing formation is a journey lasting the whole of life, both personal and in fraternity, consisting in the discovery of the poor and crucified Christ in oneself, in one's brothers and sisters, in one's service, in one's particular culture, and in the whole of contemporary reality. It is therefore a process of conversion, of personal, spiritual, professional and ministerial growth, such that the Secular Franciscan is always ready to begin to do good, according to the exhortation of St Francis.
Ongoing formation takes place in the context of the daily life of the Secular Franciscan, in prayer and in work, in his or her relations both within and outside the Fraternity, and in contact with the cultural, social and political world in which one moves.
The fundamental goal of Secular Franciscan ongoing formation is to animate, nourish and sustain the faithfulness of the individual and of the Fraternity to their particular vocation in all the dimensions of human, Christian and Franciscan life, in the spirit of the Order and its mission, in order to build the Kingdom of God in times and conditions of continual change.
Ongoing formation enables the Secular Franciscan to acquire an attitude of contemplation which is capable of listening to God asking each one to be evangelised and to evangelise, and to remain upright amidst the difficulties, the challenges and the changes provoked by the context of one's life.
Ongoing formation develops the spiritual, doctrinal and professional abilities of the Secular Franciscan, keeps him or her up to date, makes the person mature and able to serve the Order, the Church and the world in an ever more adequate way.
Ongoing formation promotes the renewal of every Secular Franciscan and of the local, regional, national and international fraternities in their relationship with God's people, respecting them, serving them, and learning from them.
Each Secular Franciscan is encouraged to take responsibility for his own human, Christian and Franciscan development by dialogue with the brothers and sisters, and with the Ministers and Councils at the various levels.
The members of each individual fraternity have the responsibility of creating an environment of trust in which all can freely express their needs, thoughts and feelings. It is important that the members promote the skills of communicating, of resolving conflicts and of building community. If considered opportune, the use of experts is to be encouraged.
The fraternity councils at the various levels, sensitive to the needs of human growth and to the problems related to it, have the responsibility of creating and organizing specific formation programs to meet the particular needs arising from the normal stages of development or transition in life, such as the first years after profession, mid-life crisis, old age, serious illness, professional changes, retirement age, death, alcohol or drug dependency, etc. The Fraternity puts at the disposal of the brothers and sisters the means necessary for their ongoing formation, be it from the point of view of theory or from that of concrete experience, in order that the Gospel may be alive in the concrete reality of our time. Some suggested means are: retreats, spiritual direction, prayer groups, support or therapy groups, reading (periodicals, books, etc.), keeping fraternity libraries up to date; theological, Franciscan and professional updating, information about available courses; pilgrimages, educational visits, etc.
The local Minister promotes the ongoing formation of the local Fraternity and of each member by means of the Fraternity meeting, days of recollection, annual retreats, sharing of the Word of God, periodic reviews of life, common recreation, fraternal gatherings, study days, personal dialogue with each member, etc.
Next Council Meeting: 8pm Wednesday 15 October at Pam's place.
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