Weekend Coffee Share – 09/10/2017

deacon coffee mugOver a cup of coffee, I would share with you my sadness over the natural disasters that have afflicted this part of our world.  Three hurricanes tearing apart the Caribbean, Mexico, Texas and Florida.  Mexico then was hit by an earthquake, that caused further destruction and death.

It is sad that it takes disasters like this to bring this country together for a common cause of bringing relief to fellow citizens in desperate need.  Yet, it is also heartwarming to see that concern for oIRMA Hurricanethers, and the efforts being made to get aid to the suffering.   My prayers go out for those who have died; for the mourning loved ones left behind; and for those who survived and are trying to rebuild their lives.

Over a cup of coffee, I would share with you that this posting being on a new computer I have been able to acquire a new computer.  Both the desktop that I have had for almost a decade, and a used laptop I inherited, can no longer accept the anti-virus and system updates.  So when I have been able to post, it has been with my IPhone; and I have learned that I do not have the thumbs for typing, that younger folks have.  So we came into a little extra money, that enabled me to get this My New Computerlittle Dell laptop.  So now I have no excuse not to be a more frequent blogger.

As I fill up the cups with more joe, I would share with you that yesterday, Saturday, I attended another monthly meeting of my Secular Franciscan fraternity, located at St. Anthony Shrine, in Boston.  I may have written that it is becoming important for me to get back to my Franciscan roots; and one way is to being a part of the fraternity again.  This particular meeting was important, since we were having our chapter of elections.  Every three years, the professed St Anthony Shrinemembers gather to elect a minister and council, who will help guide us on our Franciscan journey.  It can be a long process, but it does draws us all closer as a fraternity.  My prayers go out for those who were elected, that the Holy Spirit will give them wisdom, an increase in patience and charity, for the next three years.

New Fraternity Council

Well, the cups are empty, and I started this post way too late.  So, I promise to be more timely, and more frequent.  And I will definitely see you next week over a cup of coffee.  Peace and all good!

New Executive Council Elected for the National Fraternity (USA) of the Secular Franciscan Order!

“The Secular Franciscan Order holds a special place in this (Franciscan) family circle.  It is an organic union of all Catholic fraternities scattered throughout the world and open to every group of the faithful.  In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state.  By their profession they pledge themselves to live the gospel in the manner of St. Francis (of Assisi) by means of this rule approved by the Church”  (Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, Art. 2)

“The Secular Franciscan Order is divided into fraternities of various levels-local, regional, national, and international.  Each one has its own moral personality in the Church.  These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to the norm of this rule and the constitutions.

On various levels, each fraternity is animated and guided by a council and minister (or president) who are elected by the professed according to the constitutions.”  (Rule OFS, Art. 20-21)

National Council NAFRA OFS

When the Secular Franciscan Order was first established in 1221, it was a movement that was lead by laypersons, elected by the professed members.  As time went on, for various reasons, the Franciscan Friars began to exercise more authority over the movement.  The Order was divided among the First Orders’ provinces.  After the Second Vatican Council, with its directive for religious orders to rediscover their roots and charism, the Seculars took a new look at their founding history and documents.  A renewal took place; the various worldwide OFS fraternities were united under one Minister General and international council.  Nationally and regionally, fraternities were united, governed by their own elected ministers and councils, with guidance from Franciscan friars and sisters.

On October 17th, representatives from the regional fraternities gathered in Clinton, New Jersey, in a Chapter of Elections.  The results being that Jan Parker, OFS, is our new National Minister.  The names of the rest of the National Executive Council are available at this link.  Through the intercession of St. Francis, may God bless them with wisdom, charity, and inspiration, which will guide us well in coming years.