Our Minister’s Message
September 1, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As of this news cycle I will have attended two family reunions, one for each side of the family and when thinking of all of you, I remember the old adage that “friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” The latest TAU-USA quotes National Minister Deacon Tom Bello at the 2012 “Q” – “My first prayer is that everybody knows that we are family. There are no strangers here. We are all brothers and sisters.” Sister Ilia Delio also spoke saying that “Love is what God is, and one of the greatest contributions of Franciscans to the 21st century is that we understand love as the deepest form of knowledge.” This is a potent statement and one we might strive to reflect upon.
I was lucky to be able to watch a good portion of World Youth Day with Pope Francis. Many things struck me, but one thing in particular was a statement in one of his sermons when he said something to the effect that one of our missions must be the mission of “encounter.” How Franciscan is that?!!! Our dear Saint Francis used the personal approach. He was present to others because love was his deepest form of knowledge. In our collective examination of conscience as a fraternity we must ask ourselves how we are risking encounter within our little fraternity as well as outside of ourselves in our larger communities. Living in a smaller region it is easy to rationalize, “If we were in a big city, there would be a lot more going on – more to key into.” There is some truth to this, but if we were to risk more engagement in our community we might find many areas in need of the special love of Franciscans. Let’s ponder this as we move forward.
“A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.” Chapter 1:13 of the Rule.
The DVD set of the “Q” has been ordered and we are also expecting a DVD of the 2013 retreat with Fr. Quigley. The council will be deciding when we will begin these series. Special thanks go out to Glenn and Gloria Ray for offering their home for us to gather in and another special thanks go out to Sol and Anna Krueger who have offered to purchase a Blu Ray player. This will enable us to gather one extra day each month with great material. How wonderful is that?!!
Many thanks also to fraternity members for providing fans for the farmworkers. Sister Mary Pat, our honorary Franciscan, delivered them to the families and they were thrilled. Thanks to all who have contributed to the well fund. Many thanks to all of you who sent Friar John cards and gifts as he leaves us to move to Santa Barbara. Our love and prayers go out to him as we have been truly blessed by his humble service throughout the years.
Our annual Day of Recollection will be the first weekend of October at Suncrest Retreat Center (Sister Mary Pat’s). Be thinking of what you would like to share.
“Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him.”
Peace and all good,
Michele Brodoski, OFS
Fall Fraternity News
The following is a reprint of an email sent to supporters of the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) by their Executive Director, Patrick Carolan. We are reprinting the email in the hope that it reaches as large an audience as possible.
FAN Annual Appeal: We Need Your Help
In my role as executive director of FAN, I have been blessed with many wonderful tasks. I have met the most awesome folks who are living the Gospel every day. I am so very thankful for that. But now I am challenged with the part of my job that is more difficult. FAN is a small organization with an overworked but dedicated staff. We are like most other faith based social justice organizations, trying to play our small role in transforming the world into what God intends. If you follow us you know the work we do on issues like immigration reform, human trafficking and ecological justice. We have taken the lead on bringing the Franciscan voice into these issues. We work closely with Franciscans International in ensuring that the voices of Franciscan Sisters and Friars who work in places like Peru and Kenya are heard in Washington, D.C.
We operate on a very small budget that is funded mostly through the very generous donations from Franciscan Sister Congregations, Friar Provinces, the National Secular Franciscans, the Orders of Ecumenical, the Order of Lutheran Franciscans and the Order of Episcopalian Franciscans. Despite this, our finances are very precarious. As a very young organization we do not have large reserves to draw on and like most faith-based non-profits we operate on a month to month basis. We have not been successful in convincing most of our individual members, our Franciscan-hearted folks, to help by donating. We are at the point that if we do not raise $50,000 from individuals like you over the next few months, we may have to rethink our strategy and choose one issue to work on, or God forbid close our doors all together.
St. Francis told his followers to take nothing and beg. So I am following in the tradition of the early Franciscans and begging. If you follow us, if you like the work we do, then please help us continue by donating. We are a 501 (c)(3) organization so any donation is tax deductible. This Sunday’s Gospel tells us to be disciples you must give away your possessions. If you can afford a small $50 donation it will help. If you are one of those whom God blessed with abundance and understand the Gospel message maybe you would consider a larger donation of $1,000 or $5,000. Perhaps you just won the lottery, or received a larger bonus through hard work and good fortune have accumulated lots of wealth and could make a very large donation of $25,000 or $50,000.
You can go to our website (www.franciscanaction.org) and donate online; you can send us a check to Franciscan Action Network, 3025 Fourth Street NE, Washington, DC 20017. Feel free to email or call (207-527-7575) me with any questions or thoughts. Let us be the presence that disturbs, lets us dare to live the Gospel, lets us go forward and transform the world into the world that God intends.
Peace and All Good:
Franciscan Action Network
Fall Fraternity News, continued
This last June was the Annual Minister’s Meeting (AMM). It was attended by our local Franciscans Debbie Wasche and Anna Krueger. Much information was shared, including the promise from Regional of some DVD’s of a retreat with Fr. John Quigley which we should soon have for our fraternity to view. Glenn and Gloria Ray have offered their home (and their new television) for our viewing. Also, Anna recorded the lectures and conferences that she attended so we now have an ongoing reference for any material that we may wish to share or just review. Both Anna and Debbie were very uplifted and inspired by the AMM experience.
During the Summer hot spell Michele and Blanche thought of the migrant farm workers that we met through Sister Mary Pat and had an inspiration to provide, with the support of Saint Francis of the Rogue Valley, fans to help ease the heat in their homes. Most of the workers and their families live in minimal housing with no cooling systems, not even a simple fan to move the hot air! It is so easy, as we move from our air conditioned homes to air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places, to forget that some don’t even have the benefit of any relief. The rest of the fraternity members thank Michele and Blanche for their showing us another way to ease the burden of our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Over the past few months fraternity members have also provided clothing and household items, which include a set of dishes to the farm workers. Sister Mary Pat delivers these items in our Franciscan name and she tells us how overjoyed they were to receive these gifts. Keep thinking of new ways that we may serve those who are less fortunate than us.
Our annual Day of Recollection is coming soon!
Annual Day of Recollection
October 5, 2013
Suncrest Day Retreat House (Sister Mary Pat’s)
1950 Suncrest Road
Talent, Oregon 97540
Time: 9:00 AM
Cost: $15 per person
Sister provides brunch. Lunch/Dinner will be a potluck and there will be sign-ups at the September Gathering. We have a special “field trip” in the works to the new chapel at Saint Mary’s High School on the Day of Recollection. The long awaited artwork of Francis will be completed and ready for a blessing. Sister Mary Pat has requested that the Franciscan community attend. We hope to have our Day of Recollection Mass celebrated in the chapel. It will be a very uplifting time and we are honored to be asked to be a part of this event.
The monthly Council Meeting, which is normally held on the first Sunday of each month, will be held on the second Sunday in both September and October. Councilors please make note of this.
We have finished the book “Saint Francis and the Foolishness of God.” It was a long and worthwhile project giving each of us much to meditate upon. Sometimes it is uncomfortable to face ideas and concepts that seem alien to our sensibilities, however as Franciscans we need to embrace the “other” and keep our minds open to new possibilities of growth. I doubt any of us feels that the Spirit has finished working on us!
At the September Gathering on Sunday the 15th we will have for ongoing formation a special presentation by Sol on the history and practice of the “Office of the Passion of Saint Francis of Assisi” (which is subtitled “The Geste of the Great King”). This is a powerful and unique prayer which was created by Francis and taught to his brother and sister Franciscans. Francis and his brothers prayed this Office seven times a day! If you have never heard of this form of prayer, please attend the September Gathering. You will not regret it. We hope to incorporate this prayer into our Monthly Gatherings and will encourage you to add it to your daily personal prayer.
In October we will begin our next ongoing formation project, a just published book by Lester Bach OFM Cap entitled “What It Takes.” The books are available from Sol or Anna and are $10. We will be exploring one chapter per month and following the guidelines/questions at the end of each chapter. It is suggested that you write a brief response to each question to bring to the Gathering. The written ideas are not to be “turned in,” but will serve to jog your memory during our discussion time. We will begin at our October Gathering (October 20) with the preface and chapter one, “Relationships.”
Franciscan Sister Jane Marie Klein was a recipient of the 2013 People of Life Award presented in Boston on August 4 at the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She was honored for her lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement. Sister Jane Marie was an advocate for Catholic health care and conscience rights. Klein was president and CEO of the Franciscan Alliance, a 13 hospital Catholic health care system.
Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, founder of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration, will be beatified in November. Born Regina Christine Wilhelmine Bonzel on September 17, 1830, to a prosperous family in Olpe, Germany, she was raised to marry well. But she heard a call to religious life and followed it. In 1836, Bishop Konrad Martin of Paderborn, Germany, gave permission for the founding of the Poor Sisters of Saint Francis Seraph of Perpetual Adoration under her leadership. The Order would have at its heart prayer, the care of orphans, the poor and sick, and the education of the young. It is a call the sisters continue to hear and follow. Writing in the 1970’s, Franciscan Fr. Bonaventure Hammer described the sisters’ hospitals: “They admit patients irrespective of religious denomination, nationality, social standing or race. They show no preference for the rich. Their rule is ‘first come, first served.’ Those unable to pay receive the same consideration and care as those who contribute, whether much or little. All are objects of the sisters’ solicitude, attention and care.”
(From the Melissa Musick Nussbaum column in NCR, August 16-29)
For those of you who read the daily email meditations by Richard Rohr (and also for those of you who don’t!) there is a new book available called “Yes, And……” The book has all of the daily meditations for 2013. It is in hardcover and available from the Center for Action and Contemplation for $24.99. It is also available at Barnes and Noble for $16.95 and at Amazon for $14.99.
Another book of note is the “Red Letter Revolution” with Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo. The book is sub-titled “What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?” This book will promote much introspection from a Franciscan Gospel based viewpoint. It is set up under chapter headings, some of which are History, Saints, Hell, Islam, Economics, Pro-Life, Environmentalism, Women, Racism, Homosexuality, Politics, War/Violence, National Debts and Resurrection. Shane and Tony dialogue on these and other topics, using their knowledge and experience to shine a Gospel light on these subjects. There are some very surprising and thought provoking statements that come forth. If we can cut through the cultural and political bias and look at what Jesus really taught we would see as Saint Francis saw. Will you agree with everything stated in this book? Probably not. But it will certainly make you analyze your opinions! The book is recommended by such diverse folks as former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jim Wallis and Richard Rohr.
Lord, Hear Our Prayer
We are asking for prayers for Friar John as he retires and moves to Santa Barbara. We will greatly miss his guidance. For those wishing to contact him:
Friar John F dePaemelaere
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3611
Please continue your prayer work for our Franciscan sister Carol Pyle.
Also remember our brothers and sisters who are too ill or unable to attend our Monthly Gatherings. Though they are not physically with us, let us embrace them in our love and prayer.
“If we can enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbors in need.”
Saint Francis of Assisi
Some Heavenly Humor
There is a problem in heaven. Peter, who is the guardian of the gate, has been very carefully admitting new residents and logging each name in his ledger. At the end of the day he totals the number of people admitted. Paul, who is the chief administrator and general overseer, daily counts the heavenly residents and checks his total against Peter’s. Each day Paul comes up with a substantially greater amount of people than Peter lets in! Peter has no answer (he knows he is logging everyone he lets in) and Paul has no answer (he knows how to count!). Then one day Paul rushes to the gate and shouts to Peter, “I have the answer. I know how the number of people you let in actually increases daily. It is Jesus. At night he is sneaking people over the wall.”
Vietnam Wells Project
Saint Francis of the Rogue Valley works with Food for the Poor to help provide water wells to villages in Vietnam. Most villages do not have access to good water and often have to walk miles to gain access and then carry the water home. Having a well in the village supports a healthier lifestyle. At present, the cost of a single well is $100. We recently added one more well, which means that as of September 1, 2013 we have given enough to provide for 61 wells. Below is a copy of a letter sent to us after a recent offering.
Blessed Pope John XXIII
We OFS’ have learned along our Franciscan journey that Pope John XXIII was a Secular Franciscan. I read an article in the June 2013 issue of the St. Anthony Messenger magazine about him. The title of the article was The Good Pope and it sparked my interest. I cut out his full-page picture from that article. The article also reminded me that in 2012 we looked back 50 years since Vatican II convened at Pope John’s direction. He gave the Holy Spirit all the credit. A photo of the Vatican Council in the article is striking.
The Pope was asked by his staff member what the Council was for. The Pope replied that the Church must open itself up to the world. There should be no more punishment or condemnation. He said that we had to seek what would unite, not divide. We must dialogue and include everyone as we are all children of the same God.
After my interest in the article I remembered I had purchased a DVD of the life of this Pope. Ed Asner had the part of the pope. The DVD named him The Pope Of Peace. I viewed the DVD (over 3 hours) and became interested in the encyclical he wrote as his health was failing. He gave it to the world on April 11, 1963, 50 years ago. This encyclical, which we all can delve into further, begins with:
PACEM IN TERRIS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII
ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,
JUSTICE, CHARITY AND LIBERTY
He passed away shortly after, on June 3, 1963. I printed the 31 page encyclical, which I am reading.
On July 5, 2013 Pope Francis told the world he will bestow sainthood on Blessed pope John XXIII, along with Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Good, Peace, Saint. Who immediately comes to mind but our Father Francis.
I was 9 years old when Pope John XXIII became pope. I really liked him. I was pleased later when I learned that he was a Secular Franciscan. He was admitted to the Secular Franciscan Order by his spiritual director at Bergamo Seminary, making Profession on May 23, 1897. I will offer some of what struck me about all I have learned about Blessed Pope John XXIII.
He was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli on November 25, 1881 of Italian country folk, the 4th of 14 children. As a young boy who loved his books, but wasn’t easy to chase down to do chores, he only desired to be a poor country priest. His uncle asked why he wanted to be a priest and he answered he didn’t know, but that he heard himself being asked a question and he answered, “Yes.” His uncle smiled and told the parents he would pay for his books and schooling. Vocation. We are all called. “We all have our story” is the response I received when I met our Order and expressed the circumstance of my call.
Angelo was drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became chaplain to wounded soldiers when Italy went to war in 1915. He was ordained Bishop and then was sent to Bulgaria. No other bishop wanted to go there. There were NO comforts there. They couldn’t even afford to paint the interior walls.
He had a run-in with the Nazis over a train they stopped in Istanbul. He was able to send the train full of passengers safely on. The lead Nazi told him he knew Bishop John had “pulled a fast one,” but “all papers were in order.”
He was one of the few that were not looking for votes to become pope after Pope Pius XII died. The Cardinals voted 11 times. For the 11th the votes kept “coming in” with his name on it. Before that there was no consensus. He became Pope on October 28, 1958. He took the name John after John the Baptist, his own father and grandfather. All he wanted to do was quickly get back to his flock after the voting for a pope, but he expressed that he always trusted God and found himself in places totally different than he expected. This time he found himself in the Vatican.
He gave the world a message that allowed our President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khrushchev to simultaneously back down in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Neither leader wanted to be the first to back down. They didn’t want to show weakness. This was a truly scary time for the whole world as nuclear war seemed imminent. President Kennedy sent his message of gratitude for this act by our Pope. His critics in the Vatican had thought the USA would look down on the Pope’s action.
He was very simple in his manner with people, interested and very friendly to everyone. He had to contend with Cardinals who were bent on the Italians being in the lead at the Vatican and who wanted to keep tradition. At his deathbed his greatest critic and obstacle along the way apologized for all the grief he gave Pope John, and offered his unending love.
It’s easy to think of a Pope as part of the elite, someone who is in control. Blessed Pope John was a poor country boy who trusted in God and had struggles through his life. He tried to soften it all and show the way with the Gospel, Jesus and the cross. We can be encouraged by his life. We can be grateful for his vocation and ours!
Patricia Mihalic Doyle OFS
SFRV Treasurer’s Report
As of July 31, 2013
Gathering Fund is $438
Fair Share is $50
Well Fund is $121.68
SFRV Fraternity Members Birthdays
5 Carol Pyle OFS
29 Paul Williams OFS
19 Michele Brodoski OFS
29 Debbie Wasche OFS
26 Elsie Williams OFS
SFRV Fraternity Members Profession Dates
Joanne Kraan OFS (2001)
Elsie Williams OFS (1990)
Paul Williams OFS (1990)
Michele Brodoski (2001)
Carol Pyle (1997)
Glenn Ray (1987)
Gloria Ray (1987)
Roy Marlia (1946)
Debbie Wasche (1996)
Ralph Wasche (1997)
Franciscan Calendar, USA
1 Blessed Beatrice of Silva, virgin of II Order
2 Blessed John Francis Burte, Severin Girault and companions, martyrs, I and III Orders
4 Saint Rose of Viterbo, virgin of III Order
17 Stigmata of Our Holy Father Francis
18 Saint Joseph of Cupertino, priest of I Order
20 Saint Francis Mary of Camporosso, religious of I Order
23 Finding of Body of Saint Clare
26 Saint Elzear of Sabran and Blessed Delphine, husband and wife, III Order
4 Our Holy Father, Francis, deacon, founder of Three Franciscan Orders
6 Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, virgin of III Order
10 Saint Daniel, priest, and companions, martyrs of I Order
12 Saint Seraphin of Montegranaro, religious of I Order
20 Blessed James of Strepar, bishop of I Order
20 Blessed Contardo Ferrini, member of III Order
21 Blessed Josephine Leroux, virgin and martyr of II Order
22 Saint Peter of Alcantara, priest of I Order
23 Saint John of Capistrano, priest of I Order
26 Blessed Bonaventure of Potenza, priest of I Order
30 Anniversary of Dedication in Consecrated Franciscan Churches
4 Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop of III Order
7 Saint Didacus of Alcala, religious of I Order
13 Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin of III Order
14 Saint Nicholas Tavelic, priest, and companions, martyrs of I Order
17 Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, widow, member and patron of III Order
18 Blessed Salome, virgin of II Order
19 Saint Agnes of Assisi, virgin of II Order
24 Commemoration of all the Deceased of the Franciscan Orders
26 Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, priest of I Order
27 Saint Francis Anthony Fasani, priest of I Order
28 Saint James of the March, priest of I Order
29 All Saints of the Franciscan Orders
“May the Lord give you peace.”
Saint Francis of Assisi