Saint Francis of the Rogue Valley (SFRV) is a small, but active Secular Franciscan Fraternity that is part of the International Franciscan Community founded 800 years ago by Saint Francis of Assisi. We strive to reflect Franciscan values into our daily lives, in our work and in our play. We are involved in parish and community activities, striving at all times through our actions to bring the Gospel to life.
As individuals we are involved in personal ministries. Since we are small in number it is difficult for us as a group to fund our own local community projects to help comfort, cloth and feed the poor. Therefore, many of our Franciscan brothers and sisters volunteer at Saint Vincent de Paul in both Ashland and Medford, Oregon. There the poor and the homeless can receive food, clothing, conversation, housing, and even a shower! Other Fraternity members share their love for humanity by acting in solidarity with suffering through groups like No One Dies Alone and Hospice or providing the Eucharist to those homebound and in local hospitals. Some of these same Franciscans serve their parishes by being lectors and eucharistic ministers.
SFRV supported the Vietnam Well Project sponsored by Help The Poor. In Vietnam there are villages that do not have water to use for drinking. Any water that is available is highly contaminated. Residents of these villages often have to walk miles to get clean water and then carry the water back to their homes. The present cost of drilling one well to provide a small village with potable water is $100. When we heard of this problem, we decided something must be done. Our fund raising was supercharged when one of our members, Gloria Ray, decided to donate the profits from her book “My Life A Memoir” to our well project. As of November 2017, Saint Francis of the Rogue Valley has sponsored 68 wells in Vietnam.
With careful consideration and some sadness after so many years, our fraternity has decided to close the chapter on our Viet Nam Wells apostolate. We have been prayerfully discerning a new apostolate that is local. After some study of human trafficking we were surprised to discover a “safe house” in the Rogue Valley for young women who have escaped or been set free of trafficking situations. We just might have found an area in need of the love and prayers of our OFS. We will keep you posted!
Each Franciscan fraternity has a Council which is elected every three years. The Council members are servant leaders of the fraternity. As such, they take care of the general operational aspects of the group, as well as organize monthly gatherings and other events. The Council also maintains the SFRV Library, promotional brochures and fraternity website. It is also the role of the Council to keep the Franciscan spirit alive through ongoing formation. As animators of the fraternity, the Council keeps the fraternity updated on matters of the larger Franciscan Order (Regional, National and International) for connection and direction.
As of May, 2018, the Council members are:
Minister: Debbie Wasche, OFS
Vice-Minister: John Goold, OFS
Treasurer: Hank Hohenstein, OFS
Secretary: Joanne Kraan, OFS
Formation Director: Ralph Wasche, OFS
Spiritual Assistant: Patricia Mihalic Doyle, OFS
Saint Francis of the Rogue Valley Secular Franciscan Fraternity gathers once monthly at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Medford, Oregon. The gathering is from 1:30 until 4:30 PM on the third Sunday of each month and is held in the Office Conference Room, 517 West 10th Street. We pray, sing, study, have refreshments and take care of our fraternity business. You are welcome to attend and may bring a family member or friend. If you would like further information, email us through Contacts in the menu bar.