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May 1998

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity


May Meeting. The May meeting will be at 8pm on Friday 22nd at Marian Hall, Stutchbury Street, Page. Pam has kindly agreed to lead us in consideration of "The New Evangelization". Fr Joseph Nguyen will join with us and celebrate Mass. It will be great to see him again.

Archdiocesan Assembly. We have received an invitation to take part in the Archdiocesan Assembly on May 29th and 30th. Pam and Rex will represent us.

Anniversary of Rule. Helen Jarick, Regional Minister, has reminded us that on 24th June it will be twenty years since the approval of our revised Rule by Pope Paul VI.

Visit to Cooma. Pam, Sylvia and Hélène plan to visit the Cooma on Saturday 24th May to visit both Marge Mackay sfo and an inquirer in Cooma subject to that date suiting them.

July Social Function. We will meet at the Vietnam Village Inn in the Page shopping centre, corner of Petterd Street and Ogilby Crescent Page at 6:30pm on Saturday 4th July, USA Independence Day. Please advise Pam by June 27th if you will be attending so that a booking can be made. We would, of course, be delighted if partners, families and friends came too. It is proposed that we share one of the fixed-price banquets at $15 per head.

Worship before Blessed Sacrament. Pam has suggested that we meet for an hour as a Fraternity at the chapel of the Sacred Heart church, corner Beasley Street and Hodgson Crescent, Pearce. There is now permanent Exposition there. A date has yet to be set.


April Meeting. Loui led us in consideration of "The Holy Spirit in Franciscan Life". Here are a few items from his talk for the benefit of members who could not be present.

Loui pointed out that at the start of the Rule (Chapter 1) there is the statement: "…the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state."

In the second letter of the Conference of the Franciscan Family on the occasion of the Jubilee 2000, in the year of the Holy Spirit, the Ministers General say:

Re-reading the first biographies of the Saint in this light, one remains impressed by a singular fact: every chapter of these, it can be said, begins with a formula of the type "moved by the Spirit", or "full of the grace of the Spirit", or "by divine inspiration" Francis said, went, did ... All the great turning-points of his life are attributed to the specific action of the Spirit.


It is above all in prayer that the Holy Spirit creates "intimacy with God". We may note a constant fact in Scripture: the Holy Spirit comes to those whom he finds in prayer. He came to Jesus after he had received baptism when "he was in prayer" (cf. Lk 3:21); he came upon the apostles while they were "of one mind and persevering in prayer, with Mary, the mother of Jesus" (cf. Acts 1:14). And Jesus himself has said that the heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to "those who ask him" (Lk 11:13). St. Bonaventure says that the Holy Spirit comes "where he is loved, where he is invited, where he is expected".

Loui said that the Holy Spirit comes to those he finds in prayer. Loui proposed that we might perhaps consider moving to more prayerful meetings as we did on the night of the April meeting. We had not rushed through the Office but had expanded it; Sylvia reading to us about the life of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, whose feast it was, and Jack reading a passage selected by Loui from the Sacrum Commercium.

Loui then suggested that, in silence, we each think of a person in our Fraternity through whom the Spirit speaks to us. With the lights lowered and a single candle lit, we sang "Spirit of the Living God" and, in the quiet following, did as Loui suggested. Loui spoke of ways in which the Spirit had spoken to him through Martha. One was Martha’s faithful devotion to the Blessed Virgin throughout life in accordance with a commitment, made on Martha’s first communion day when Martha’s own mother was not present, to take Mary as her mother. Pam also noted that people commented on the way Martha set a wonderful example in her prayerful attitude at communion.

Hélène suggested that it would provide wonderful affirmation of each other if we wrote on pieces of paper how the Spirit spoke to us through various members of the Fraternity. The pieces of paper could then to be put in a hat and distributed anonymously to the member to whom they referred. Hélène may use this approach when she leads us to consider the "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" later this year.

Regional Fraternity Day. Rex and Jack attended the Fraternity meeting on May 9th at Kellyville and offered Hélène’s, Pam’s and Kathy’s apologies for non-attendance. About 14 members were present. Kathy’s Regional Banner was on display. After a beautiful Morning Prayer prepared by Helen Jarick, Fr Joseph addressed us on the Rule. His enthusiasm reminded some of us what a passionate person Francis was. After a shared lunch, we read Peter Keogh’s paper "Our Secular Franciscan Rule"  and discussed some set questions. Tod Walker and Peter’s contributions were very knowledgeable and the sharing of our faith and our views of the Franciscan way by many others showed the value of meeting in Regional fraternity. We were given Fr Alban’s paper "The Rule"  to bring back to our Fraternities.

After the meeting Jack and Rex visited Kathy in hospital and were delighted to find her in good spirits, able to walk to the front door with them (with sticks), but sick of being in hospital. She thanks everyone for their letters, cards, etc.


Absences. Hélène will leaving for about two weeks in the Solomon Islands on the 1st of June but should be available for meetings. She will be retiring from her work for the Canada Fund on 1st July but seems to have lots of activities in mind.

Prayers. Please remember that we agreed to keep up our prayers for vocations to the SFO! Please pray that the Holy Spirit will offer special graces to the novices who are receiving instruction.

Next Council Meeting. Tuesday June 16th at Pam’s place.


Input for the ‘Canberra Franciscan’ and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-62583824 fax 61-2-62583151

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