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December 1999

Secular Franciscan Order: Holy Spirit Fraternity
Canberra, Australia

COMING EVENTS

Social. A Post-Christmas party will be held at Hélène's home, 129 Springvale Drive, Weetangera, on Friday 21 January 2000 commencing at 5pm. (This serves as the Fraternity meeting for January.)

February Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Marian Centre, St Matthew's Church, Page on Friday 25 February 2000 commencing at 8pm.

Annual Retreat. A reminder that our retreat will be at the House of Prayer, Kenmore via Goulburn, from Friday 24 March to Sunday 26 March 2000.

REPORTS

November Meeting. Pat gave us the wonderful reflection indicated in the attached notes she kindly provided. As always, she is very humble. In the note she sent to Martin the next day with a typescript of her notes she said: "Twas not my words but the listening hearts, God gave to each last evening. May God bless you all and keep you."

Day of Recollection. Fr Carl Schafer OFM spoke to us about the Franciscan way of looking at our relationship with God the Father. He challenged us with the five questions put in Tertio Millenio Adveniente and the Conference of the Franciscan family's Third Letter on the Occasion of the Jubilee 2000. Fr Carl kindly provided us with the attached notes on his talk. He suggested that we might, as a Fraternity or as individuals, consider the questions with respect to our relationships with other SFOs, the Clergy and other Laity in the dimensions of prayer, work and daily life. He provided sample answers to stimulate our thoughts.

MESSAGES

Fr Alban. Elizabeth Goh, a friend of Jack's, sent an email to advise that she had been received as an SFO novice after a very long period of study and discernment. She was the seventh of a group of young enquirers to be received. She mentioned that Fr Alban was in their island of Labuan (off the coast of Borneo) for her reception. Here is what she had to say:

"As it turned out, Fr Alban was visiting Kota Kinabalu for his Golden Jubilee. The SFO in Labuan invited him over. I had the honour of being received by the minister on 22 November and it coincided with Fr Alban's visit. Truly, I must say I am richly blessed. How the Lord works. It is really wonderfully marvellous. He really knows what He is doing and He knows best. Fr Alban was also visiting friends. He also went to a town west of Sabah. The town is known as Sandakan. There the war memorial of the courageous Australians who defended the country is built. Besides the war memorial, Fr Alban said he also visited his "cousins" (the orang utans) at Sepilok. I am quite sure Fr Alban enjoyed his stay in Sabah as much as it was our joy and pleasure to have him. He also shared on his 5 bypasses. Phew that is plenty."

Fr Eugene Teglia. We recently received a letter from Fr Eugene Teglia OFM from PNG. You may recall his visit to us a few years ago. It was written on 5th October but didn't reach us for nearly a month. He says that he had a triple bypass operation four years ago. .../P>

"Here at Lumi, on St Francis Day, some thirty SFO members from the two Fraternities of Lumi and Fatima gathered together for a day of recollection in preparation for the Profession of two new candidates.

On the night of the 3rd October they all attended - with the three Franciscan Friars (OFM) and three Franciscan sisters (MFIC) - the beautiful ceremony of 'The Transitus', when Franciscans all over the world commemorate the blessed Death of our Father Francis. Then, on Monday the 4th, we celebrated the Feast with a Mass, followed by a fraternal meal.

After days of fine weather, torrential rain poured on us during these two festive days. But we were not in the mood to complain! On the contrary, we took it as excuse for thanking the Lord for 'Sister Rain' also!

Only a few days ago I was pleased to receive another issue of the Canberra Report from [Martin Morris], who took [Jack's] job in the Fraternity. I will write soon and make acquaintance with him. In the meantime, give him my best regards and cheers, which I wish to extend to all the others in Canberra, especially my old friend and sister Hélène Anderson.

God bless you all!"
(signed) Eugene T

Christmas Greetings. Fr Eugene also sent us a card from himself and his Lumi OFM and SFO Fraternities. In it, he mentioned that he will be in Brisbane for a heart checkup in May 2000 and may visit Canberra again.

Fr Carl sent us the following Christmas greeting:

The Most Holy Child whom we love has been given to us,
and was born for us along the way,
and laid in a manger.
St Francis of Assisi

O marvellous humility! Astonishing poverty!
The King of Angels, the Lord of heaven and earth,
is laid in a manger.
St Clare of Assisi

MAY THE CHRIST CHILD BRING YOU JOY AND PEACE

OTHER MATTERS

Oceania Newsletter. The National Fraternity has sent us their newsletter which was circulated by mail.

St Clare Region Newsletter. The November St Clare Region Newsletter was also sent out by mail so that it can reach those who have not seen it yet.

The Little Portion. Sr Madge Karecki of the Franciscan Institute in South Africa has kindly sent the attached newsletter, The Little Portion, which contains an interesting Jubilee Pledge. Sr Madge also wrote the very practical article on poverty in the St Clare Region Newsletter.

Prayers. Please remember to pray for vocations.

Next Council Meeting. 8.00 pm on Tuesday 8 February 2000 at Martin's place, Unit 8, 2 Sexton Street, Cook.
(No earlier, please; there will be a Cursillo meeting there from 6pm to 7.45pm.)

Input for the Canberra Franciscan and requests to Jack Smith: phone 61-2-6258 3824 fax 61-2-6258 3151 jacksmth@ozemail.com.au