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December 1998

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity


February Meeting. The meeting will be at 8pm on Friday 26th February in Marian Hall, Stutchbury Street, Page. As previously advised, we will discuss a programme for our Ongoing Formation in 1999, the year of God the Father in preparation for the Great Jubilee 2000. Cec suggests that we consider section 49 of "The Third Millennium is Coming!" By John Paul II, taking special note of the concept of ‘a pilgrimage to the Father’:

Year Three: God the Father

1999, the third and final year of preparation, will be aimed at broadening the horizons of believers, so that they will see things in the perspective of Christ: in the perspective of the Father who is in heaven (cf. Mt 5:45), from whom the Lord was sent and to whom he has returned. (cf. Jn 16:28)

"This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (Jn 17:3). The whole of the Christian life is like a great pilgrimage to the house of the Father, whose unconditional love for every human creature, and in particular for the "prodigal son" (cf. Lk 15:11-32), we discover anew each day. This pilgrimage takes place in the heart of each person, extends to the believing community and then reaches to the whole of humanity.

The Jubilee, centred on the person of Christ, thus becomes a great act of praise to the Father: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." (Eph 1:3-4)

Cec recommends the book "God, the Father of Mercy", the official catechetical text in preparation for the Holy Year as an excellent resource for suggesting topics and providing initial ideas for those preparing input for our consideration. It costs $24.95 and, at the time of writing, the Catholic Bookshop in Favier House had 5 copies left. The Bookshop also suggests "God the Father: Meditations for the Millennium" by Mark Link SJ as a useful resource at a cost of $19.95. In order to ensure harmony with what the Archdiocese is doing, it is worth considering the Archbishop’s Advent Message, published under the heading "Last year of Jubilee preparation" on page 2 of the ‘Catholic Voice’ for December 1998.

Annual Retreat. Don’t forget that our 1999 retreat has been booked for 19th to 21st March at St Joseph’s House of Prayer in Goulburn. Plan now to be there. Details will be available in the New Year. Fr Pat Colbourne ofm Cap has kindly agreed to preach our annual retreat.

April Meeting. For our meeting at 8pm on Friday April 23rd, we have asked Fr John Rate msc to talk to us; continuing from the wonderful ‘food for thought’ he gave us on our Reflection Day.


November Meeting. Fr Alban Mitchell ofm addressed us on the role of Council members as Servant Leaders. He drew our attention again to the wonderful Gospel reading on that subject (Mark 10:42-44) and also quoted from the recent book "An Authentic Life" by Caroline Jones, ABC TV presenter and convert. Fr Alban pointed out that we are considering Election to Service not Election to Office and we should, if nominated, consider our Availability and our Acceptance to be a Servant of All. Jim Gaudry then conducted the elections with the following results (for those who have not heard yet):

Minister – Loui Seselja Vice Minister – Pam Ledbrook Formator – Cec Webster

Secretary – Jack Smith Treasurer – Hélène Anderson

Councillor – Martin Morris Councillor – Sylvia Berger

Fr Alban also told us that he would be retiring as National Assistant by Christmas, was moving to Brisbane and expected to be replaced by Fr Carl Schafer ofm who has six years of experience as an Assistant-General.

Day of Recollection. This day started with Confessions followed by Mass at 9:30am. Fr Eddie gave us the attached homily. After Mass, Fr John Rate msc addressed us on The Liturgy of the Hours. There is not enough space here to give you more than the following few snippets but we hope that Fr John will give us a little more of his time in April.

Elizabeth, as on some other occasions, had some simple but challenging questions about prayer that set us thinking.

Sylvia’s 70th Birthday Party. Many of us, and our partners, enjoyed celebrating Sylvia’s birthday as guests of her wonderful children. Although they are very diverse as individuals, it was a delight to see the way they worked together and consulted one another. Marjorie Mackay and her husband Keith came up for the occasion. Kathy was also able to be with us but is facing more medical procedures and probably has some tough times ahead. Pray for her!


Calendars. Hélène does not have any left for sale.

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

Next Council Meeting. 8pm Monday January 18th at Marty’s place.

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

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