SFRV Minister’s Letter
September 1, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dom Helder Camara told this story many years ago…. “One day some nuns invited me to say Mass to mark the sixtieth year of profession of one of them, a very holy woman. Pretending not to be quite sure what anniversary it was that we were celebrating, I said to her, ‘Sister, let me get this straight. Exactly how many years have you spent in the religious life?’ Very humbly and first looking around to make sure there was no one else eavesdropping except God, she replied, ‘Honestly, Father, I’ve only spent one day in the religious life. Because every day I have to start all over again.’”
How humble and wise! What a beautiful way to speak to our delight and struggle to live out our Rule, especially 2:7 – United by their vocation as “brothers and sisters of penance,” and motivated by the dynamic power of the gospel, let them conform their thoughts and deeds to those of Christ by means of that radical interior change which the gospel itself calls “conversion.” Human frailty makes it necessary that this conversion be carried out daily….
So, building on this, what is ours to do/to be? Let’s be faithful and help one another by our presence in the places of suffering whether it be for immigrants, serving in soup kitchens, being there for the grieving and the ill, etc; and then again sharing joyfully by smiling at a child and the gas station attendants and grocery clerks of our lives, being inspired by our faith to creative ways of loving, participating in our parishes…… and the list goes on and on. Are we eager to love, to extend ourselves and go out to those places beyond our comfort zones needing the special love that emanates from our love in Jesus and our vocations? Even when we ourselves are a bit unsettled or grieving it is a grace to experience as Frances Harper has “My hands were weak, but I reached them out to feebler ones than mine, and over the shadow of my life, stole the light of a peace divine.”
Pope Francis has exhorted the Bishops to be so close so as to smell like the sheep; just wondering, what do we smell like?
We are entering Franciscan feast days again and will be celebrating our Day of Recollection on October 4th at Sr. Mary Pat’s. More about that later. Also looking into a Franciscan hospitality night at Sacred Heart Parish to be co-sponsored with the youth group. More about that later as well.
Please be gracious to me as I try to tackle this website where Sol left off as this is all new to me! May God bless us all. Happy Feast!
Peace and All Good,
michele brodoski, ofs
Recently we said goodbye to two people; one who was one of the founding members of our fraternity – Roy Marlia, OFS; and to Ray Sierleja, son of Patricia Doyle, OFS. Roy’s funeral Mass was held at Shepherd of the Valley and was a joyful celebration on the feast of the Portiuncula. Ray’s funeral Mass was at the beautiful wooded Our Lady of the River on the feast of St. Bridget. Patricia will be travelling to Ohio where her brother, Father Peter Mihalic, will be celebrating a memorial Mass for her family there. We will continue our relationships with them through our prayers – and for their families too.
May perpetual light shine upon them!
Lord Hear Our Prayer As well as for the repose of the souls listed above and their families, please continue to pray for Carol Pyle, OFS, Florence Grimes, OFS, Bob Fitzsimmons, OFS, Steve Rayburn, son of Cecelia Rayburn, OFS; for the fruitfulness of the OFS retreat with Fr. Dan Horan, OFM; for all the troubled spots of our world in need of healing and peace; for a compassionate response to the children at our borders; that we may be faithful advocates for the sacredness of life from the womb to the tomb.
Fall Fraternity News With Sol and Anna Krueger’s move to Portland and transfer to St. Clare Fraternity (our prayers remain with them), we had two vacancies on our council. Many thanks to Joanne Kraan. OFS for her willingness to become our new Secretary and to Gloria Ray, OFS for stepping up to the plate to become our new Formation Director. As we transition, may God help us to animate and guide our smaller portion of a fraternity.
In August we concluded our ongoing formation study of What It Takes to be an OFS Franciscan by Lester Bach, OFM Cap. This took eight months of study and we found the questions at the end of each chapter very challenging. In September we will take a departure from explicitly Franciscan books to begin The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) by Pope Francis. The council chose from four books and the community seems to like the decision. We are also purchasing study guides to go along with the book.
October 4 will be our annual Day of Recollection:
Suncrest Retreat House (Sister Mary Pat’s) 1950 Suncrest Road Talent, Oregon 97540, 541-535-6981, 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 hope to meet a few of our farmworker brothers and families if at all possible and address some of their needs. We also hope to conclude our time by travelling to Sacred Heart Church to attend the 5:30 pm Mass together. Happy Feast!
In the works:
St. Francis Troubadour of God’s Peace by Leonardo Defilippis has been purchased and we are hoping to co-sponsor a Franciscan Hospitality Night with the Sacred Heart Youth Group. We will have a small meal and view the DVD on the large screen in the hall if all works out. It is our intent not to charge for the meal but in true Franciscan style (begging!), we will accept donations. We will split the proceeds with the youth group for their endeavors and will use our portion to go towards a well/wells for our Viet Nam well project. As of this publishing, we have sponsored 64 wells and hope to do our part to continue to be able to provide clean, safe drinking water.
Ralph and Debbie Wasche, OFS will be starting a 12-Step AA group for men recently released from prison. Please keep them all in your prayers!
Michele Brodoski, OFS will be starting a foot washing/massage/prayer ministry for residents at local rehab centers. Please pray also for this.
November marks the annual SOA watch at Fort Benning, GA (WHINSEC HQ). Two Seculars from our Region, Roger and Marilyn Yockey, OFS will be present to non-violently protest our government’s involvement and to work for peace. Pray for them! A very good article/must read on the immigrants coming in from the Honduras escaping the violence and the relationship of the U.S. training at WHINSEC is on the National Catholic Reporter website at http://ncronline.org/blogs/immigration-and-church/unthinkable-violence-drives-hondurans-north-united-states
An Aside: From another NCR article Aim of Poster Shows that Border Crossers are ‘Real People’ and Not ‘Illegals’:
Among some of the objects the medical examiner’s office recovered are 51 crosses, 73 “religious necklaces,” 10 Bibles, 206 prayer cards, 43 rosaries, 54 scapulars and four images of Jesus.
I was not able to copy a PDF file of the August 15th letter (re the unaccompanied children migrants) from the U.S. Franciscan Friars to President Obama, but please Google it.
From the Archdiocese of Portland
I combed through my shelves of Franciscan books, looking for inspiration. So much on St. Francis and St. Clare is familiar. I came across a book, The Lessons of St. Francis, John Michael Talbot with Steve Rabey (1998). Checking it out I found a chapter on creativity. It has some interesting points for us to ponder.
Creativity started with God. The Cosmos and every amazing part of it and what inhabits it were made from nothing. And we all know we were created in God’s image. Thus, we share a unique part of God’s divine, creative spark.
Sometimes we think there are two types of people, the creative professionals or “geniuses,” and the rest of us. The chapter offers that most people do not use their creativity. Somehow we get blocked from our own creativity. “Couch potato came up here.” In that mode we leave creativity too often to others. We all know the ways our society “entertains” us.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron addresses creativity. The secret of unleashing human creativity, she advises, lies in an experience of the mystical union with God. “Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.”
St. Francis prayed and preached, but he also composed poems and songs, staged dramas, did painting and sculpture. His life inspired others to creativity. The Franciscan movement helped launch the variety of creativity known as the Renaissance. Our Orders have attracted some of the world’s best artists.
The chapter on creativity offers a quote on the subject: “A Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation.” Edith Schaeffer
The chapter tells us to be creative in everyday ways. Sing in the shower, garden, help decorate your church, are examples. There are zillions of areas of life that offer fruitful avenues for expressing YOUR uniqueness. The advice is: Surround yourself with beauty, and begin to be an intentional creator.
I just received a blue ribbon at the JoCo 100th Fair for a simple, whimsical red/white/blue decoration on the fair theme (American Pride.) I know each of you have been creative in many ways. I hope we will share these more in fraternity, and nurture our uniqueness as we journey together as Franciscans.
Following and accompanying Christ, staying with him, demands coming out of ourselves, requires us to be outgoing, to come out of ourselves, to come out of a dreary way of living faith that has become a habit, out of the temptation to withdraw into our own plans, which end by shutting out God’s creative action…. Be sure to remember: coming out of ourselves, just as Jesus, just as God came out of himself in Jesus, and Jesus came out of himself for all of us. – Pope Francis
As the summer wanes, it is good that some of our members were able to do a little travelling. Jo Ann Kemp, OFS went to Montana to visit her daughter Geri and discoved a beautiful, old church. Her article is below.
ST. IGNATIUS MISSION – NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Geri and Jo Ann Kemp visited this beautiful Mission in Montana this summer in July. It is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana about 40 miles north of Missoula. It is beautifully situated in the Mission Valley, bounded by the Mission Mountains to the east and the hills of the National Bison Range to the west. This mission and the town that grew up around it was founded in 1854 by Jesuit missionaries and named for their founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. It was the home of the first Jesuit theologate and industrial arts school in the Northwest, the first Catholic Sisters and Catholic school in Montana, and the first hospital, sawmill, flour mill, printing press, carpenter shop and blacksmith shop in the Mission Valley.
The interior of the church contains 58 murals, painted in the early twentieth century. The artist was Brother Joseph Carignana (1853-1919), an Italian Jesuit, who spent many years as the cook and handyman at the Mission. He had no professional training in art, but a great amount of energy and dedication, he completed his work in between his regular jobs. The paintings depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments, as well as pictures of some of the saints, including St. Francis of Assisi. The painted mural of St. Francis is alone worth seeing! This Mission church had some of the most beautiful religious art that either of us had ever seen.
There is also a hand carved statue of Christ by Fr. Anthony Ravalli, S.J., possible during his stay there in 1863. He was an Italian born Jesuit who served 26 years as a missionary and the state’s first doctor, mixing his own medical compounds and providing much needed medical care. The corpus which he carved is still used in the Good Friday liturgies at the Mission Church.
Should you ever go to Montana (home of Glacier National Park) be sure to visit this Mission. The bison range was also very interesting with a herd of 500 protected in this preserve. We saw two babies!
Jo Ann, a happy tourist!
(editor’s note: For some reason could not get the pictures of the mission to transfer over but the murals were stupendous and worth seeing if you travel to Montana. mb.)
SFRV Treasurer’s Report
Gathering Fund: $505.90
Heifer Fund: $20.00
Fair Share: $100.00
Well Fund: $56.38
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)
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 God bless and keep you. May God smile upon you and have mercy on you. May God turn his face towards you, and give you peace.