Annual Retreat.You can still choose to attend our annual retreat from Friday, 19 March 1999 to Sunday, 21 March 1999 at St Joseph's House of Prayer, Taralga Road, Kenmore, Goulburn. At present, about ten members have indicated that they will be attending. A map was included in the February issue. The format will be similar to last year. We gather on Friday after our individual evening meals at about 7:30pm and we will leave after the midday meal on Sunday. We plan to say Evening and Morning Prayer together. Cec has asked Fr Pat if he would say Mass for us on Saturday and Sunday; provide two talks on Saturday and one on Sunday and provide opportunities for confession over the week end.
The cost will be $80 and it would be helpful if you could give this in cash to Hélène when you arrive. Please consult her if you have difficulty with payment; no-one should feel excluded because of costs. As in previous years, please remember to bring:
Meeting Program for 1999. Council has decided that we should keep meeting at Marian Hall, St Matthew's, Page on the fourth Friday of each month. The theme for input will be "The Year of the Father" with special emphasis on our calling to share the Good News as Secular Franciscans. There is much useful resource material we can draw on. Members have agreed to prepare input to inspire us as follows:
February Meeting. We had apologies from Diana, who was in Singapore, Frank, who was moving house, Tony, and Pam who was in Hospital having had an operation that day. Pam was expected to be in hospital for 7-10 days. Her sister was coming to look after her when she was discharged from hospital.
After evening prayer, Hélène read from the Rule and Loui read from a letter of St Clare to Agnes of Prague. Cec advised that 28 February was the fiftieth anniversary of a number of Franciscans taking first vows, including Alban, Odoric and Lucien.
At this first meeting after the election of a new fraternity council Loui, as Minister, spoke on behalf of the new council emphasizing that "To lead is to serve".Martin read out a note from Diana with greetings from Singapore. Hélène advised that New Zealand now has its own National fraternity. Cec gave us some input to lead our thoughts on the ongoing formation program for 1999 and distributed copies of the paper on "Jesus' Revelation of the Father" which Fr Joseph Oudeman ofm Cap gave us in May 1996 and sections 49 to 54 of the pope's "The Third Millenium is Coming". We considered the theme of "Child-like abandonment to the Father". Cec pointed out that the Third Letter of the Conference of the Franciscan Family on the coming of the Great Jubilee could be useful to those preparing input. Loui led us in a meditation on "Sharing His news in the secular life". Members undertook to provide input on the dates scheduled above with topics mostly to be advised later.
Novices. Council has unanimously decided that Elizabeth and Rex should be admitted to Profession. Plans for their profession will commence when they meet with Cec on Tuesday 6 April. One possibility that will be explored is profession during a Mass in St Matthew's church on Friday 25 June with the new Regional Spiritual Assistant, Fr Alan, present.
Greetings from Canada. We have received an email from Doug Clorey saying:
"Greetings from the great white north! Hope all is well with you and your family. Marion and I often think of Australia and of the Holy Spirit Fraternity in Canberra. .. Regards to all."
Greetings from PNG. We have received a note from Fr Eugene. You may recall that Fr Eugene visited us in April 1996 and shared with us something of his 50 years of missionary experience. Father Eugene returned to Wasisi, which is located in the Mountains behind Aitape where the Tsunami occurred last year. He mentions that he continues to assist to the Wasisi fraternity, which he started in 1993. The membership is 32 with another 23 inquirers. The Lumi fraternity is not going as well. We have put Fr Eugene on our newsletter mailing list. His address is Fr Eugene Teglia ofm, PO Box 38, Lumi via Wewak, PNG.
A quote form his card:
" the aftermath of the Tsunami are still very much visible specially among the people worse hit by the disasters. They still live in tents at the various 'care centres' on the other side of the Lagoon. It's partly their fault as they keep on bickering about the spot where to resettle. Consequently the Diocese also can't go ahead rebuilding the stations (Sissano, Warapu, Arap and Tales) completely wiped out. It'll take a long time before things can return to normality".
Greetings from Kathy. We have also received a message from Kathy which reads in part:
" . . . just say that I am unavailable for the next 6 months and hope to return to the fraternity renewed and refreshed for 2000! The verdict is in and I do have an incurable disease of my spinal canal. I am going into North Shore Private Hospital on Monday, the 8th for a week. . . . I really hope and pray the retreat goes well. I promise you all my prayer support over the weekend. So please pass my love and best wishes to all there. Hope this finds you well and happy. Take care, Love and a hug, Kathy."
Prayers. Please remember that we agreed to keep up our prayers for vocations to the SFO!
Levies. Levies of $30 per professed active member were due on 1 January 1999. The Regional Council will collect the $30 and forward $20 to the Oceania National Council, retaining $10 for Regional activities. Please see Hélène as soon as possible. Let her know if you have difficulty in paying.
Next Council Meeting. 12:30pm Thursday 15 April at the National Library.
Input for the Canberra Franciscan and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-62583824 fax 61-2-62583151 firstname.lastname@example.org