Thanks be to God! At this point in time it sounds like we’re ALL healthy.
Lent has been a REALITY CHECK, has it not? Just knowing you’re all there; how graced we are!
During these trying times prayer is at the top of our list like never before. God continues to bless us and is showing it to us every day.
Now please, just leave ME some t.p.!
Pax et Bonum, Debbie, OFS, Min.
Please Note: St. Francis of the Rogue Valley Fraternity usually gathers in Medford the third Sunday of each month from 1:30-4:30 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church office building. For more information please contact our Minister, Debbie Wasche, OFS. The SFRV Council usually meets from noon to 1:30 prior to our gatherings.
During this time of the Corona Virus, we will be in touch as to when we will meet in person again. We will pray in solidarity with each other during intentional periods set up via email/text, but will of course keep one another in prayer ALWAYS.
We will be finishing up with the FUN Manual segment of our formation time and it has been decided to begin studying Franciscan Prayer by Ilio Delia. Now is a good time to order the book to be prepared for when we are able to gather once again.
Message from DeaconTerry Barber, OFS
Troubadours of Peace Region
My dear sisters and brothers of the Order,
One of our regional fraternities on the east coast sent me a wonderful idea. They prayed the Franciscan Crown Rosary via a video conferencing format.
Your Regional Council recently authorized by vote to subscribe to Zoom (a video/audio format) as a way to conduct our monthly calls. Zoom allows up to 1000 people on the platform at any one time!
Our Conference of Spiritual Assistants (Sisters Loretta, Pat, and Sharon) have agreed to lead us in prayer to our Mother Mary as we respond as people of faith to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The invitation to join the call is below. One only needs to click the link (highlighted in blue) around 7 PM, Wednesday evening, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation. This format will not show video…voice only so we won’t be visually distracted by the many people who may join the call.
I encourage you to please share this with your fraternity sisters and brothers who may be available to join in the praying of the rosary.
May the Lord give you peace,
Terry Barber is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: OFS – Crown Franciscan Rosary Invite
Time: Mar 25, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
and tender of wounded sheep
lead us to green pastures of healing.”
(from the ncronline.org website)
A DIY edifying film festival for the social distanced and quarantined
Mar 16, 2020
“The Mission” (Arguably the best movie about Catholicism ever made with the best score, too)
“Of Gods and Men” (My No. 1 favorite film of all time, for the moment. A community of Trappist monks discerns whether to stay or go in war-torn Algeria in the 1990s.)
“The Song of Bernadette” (No, it’s not sentimental; it played a major factor in my entering the convent, along with “The Trouble with Angels,” and they should be seen together for full effect.)
“A Man for All Seasons” (The film about St. Thomas More with Paul Scofield, or the Charlton Heston TV version — the actual play by Robert Bolt — if you can find it.)
“Noble” (Based on the life of Christina Noble, who rises from a harsh childhood in Ireland to make the world a better place)
“Diary of a Country Priest” and “First Reformed” (These edifying films about the inner life of a Catholic priest and a Protestant pastor respectively, decades apart by two great filmmakers, could be seen together; what conversations will be had!)
“The Keys of the Kingdom” (A missionary priest in China before World War II, based on a novel by Scots Catholic novelist A.J. Cronin; may this be an introduction to his works.)
“The Bells of St. Mary’s” (If you get the 75th anniversary commemorative Blu-ray, I have a commentary track on it; find out how those nuns were subversive!)
“Romero” (Thirty years later, it’s a classic.)
“The Way” (Take a stroll on the Camino de Santiago with Martin Sheen and your life can change.)
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” (A woman’s journey and a total surprise of a movie)
(for further categories such as Comedy, Musicals, etc., please go to the website noted above)
I was just in our yard to offer the birds seed after appreciating, from our door, the BEAUTIFUL sounds of a bird. At this time, it was on my mind what would be good to write about for our OFS newsletter.
For many days now, Tom and I have been compelled to focus attention on media information about the corona virus, while our usual rhythm of life, in general, has been disrupted. Certainly, my thoughts have been disrupted.
Being outside, I went to my potted plants, which I recently “dolled up.” I was touched to find that my bulbs and perennials are already busting forth. I had to snap some photos.
Fragile-looking, red hearts and purple hearts are hanging from stems of my two bleeding heart plants. Blue forget-me-not flowers, offer a dainty bouquet. In my long flowerbed the daffs have been up for a while. Now, tulips are springing up in a show of color.
BEAUTY, so VERY WELCOMED, took over my thoughts. It speaks to me of HOPE, which we say, “springs eternal.”
We all have more time “on our hands,” lately. Our society is getting a long vacation, as is normally enjoyed in Europe. We can choose to use this time to find ways to nurture positive thoughts, focus on what is good, and what we are grateful for. Then, we will be ever ready to offer that “Franciscan Joy” to others, especially during this time that is a challenge for our entire world.
It’s also Lent. Perfect for us as Secular Franciscans. The Order of Penitents. We have more time for prayer, reflection, thanksgiving — (and EWTN programs.) This really could be –
THE BEST LENT EVER.
May we all use this time well.
May the Lord Bless all on Mother Earth, Keep us all … and give HIS Peace!
Patricia OFS SA
Submitted by Sol Krueger, OFS
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Pope Francis urged Christians to remember the elderly who are suffering not only loneliness but also fear due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The highlight of this year for me was being professed. After much prayer, study and discernment, I was finally ready to make the commitment. Thank you to all in my wonderful fraternity for your support.
The other highlight of the year was the Secular Franciscan Retreat. It was really good to follow up the profession with the retreat. I met some friendly and interesting people. Brother Mark was funny and insightful. He was very laid-back and informal in his presentations, allowing the talks to go in ways the group seemed to need.
We started with a discussion on the Saints, both canonized and non-canonized, and what exactly it was that inspired us.
The next session was on the Beatitudes with small group discussions reflecting on questions regarding several of them.
The third session was on the Sunday readings particularly Psalm 34; The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor. I particularly liked his emphasis on us finding something new in words which we hear over and over. … He defined Justice as bringing things into right relationship. Peace is sustaining an environment in which all can thrive. He described Integrity as bringing about wholeness. He defined Charity as bringing about positive change and the steps to that being SEE what is happening, judge WHY it is happening, and ACTION at God’s invitation. He defined Judgement not as a judge in court but as Discernment. Action involves Meditation, Acting and Reflection on that experience. I particularly liked his definition of Obedience as Deep Listening – not just blindly following the orders of another, but in really understanding the place where that order is coming from.
All and all it was great retreat and a good first step on my Professed Franciscan Journey.
Blessings to all of you.
Editors Note: During these times of the Virus we must first of all take care of anyone in our family orbit, including ourselves, in keeping with restrictions for our own safety as we pretty much shelter-in-place. There are many “heroes” out there such as the first responders, the doctors and nurses, the grocery store clerks – God bless them! We will never be able to thank them enough for caring for others at risk to themselves…. Is there anything we can do? Perhaps it is in adopting one person who may need groceries delivered, or sewing protective gear for doctors and nurses, or making phone calls to those who live alone, playing your guitars, pianos, or violins with the windows open, or walking our dogs, or planting a garden, or calling the Medford Food Project who will pick up your donation on your front porch, etc., etc. … I know that we will know when God touches our hearts to do one little thing. May God keep us safe; may we learn that the world is not a marketplace but one family to care for as no one on earth is apart from God’s love and care; we are His instruments. We pray fervently for the intercession of Sts. Francis and Clare and Oscar Romero, whose feast is today, March 24.
March1 Blanche Richman, OFS
3 Bill Watkins, Friend of Francis
5 Patricia Doyle, OFS/SA
April9 Ralph Wasche, OFS
27 Sol Krueger, OFS
May23 Glenn Ray
SFRV Fraternity Members Profession Anniversaries
5 Anna Krueger, OFS
5 Sol Krueger, OFS
RIP Catherine Paradise, OFS – 2020
Franciscan Calendar, USA
March2 Blessed Agnes of Prague, virgin, II Order 9 Saint Frances of Rome, religious, III Order 24 Blessed Didacusjoseph of Cadiz, priest, I Order
April3 Saint Benedict the Black, religious, I Order 16 Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Cordbearer of Saint Francis 17 Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, Cordbearer of Saint Francis 21 Saint Conrad of Parzham, religious, I Order 23 Blessed Giles of Assisi, religious, I Order 24 Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr, I Order 28 Blessed Luchesius, layman, III Order
May9 Saint Catherine of Bologna, virgin, III Order 11 Saint Ignatius of Laconi, religious, I Order 16 Saint Margaret of Cortona, member, III Order 17 Saint Pascal Baylon, religious, I Order 18 Saint Felix of Cantalice, religious, I Order 20 Saint Bernadine of Siena, priest, I Order 24 Dedication of Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi 28 Saint Mariana of Jesus de Paredes, virgin, III Order 30 Blessed Baptista Varano, virgin, II Order 30 Saint Ferdinand, king, member, III Order B E S AF E. L O V E O N E A N O T H E R. “YOU ARE GENEROSITY AND WISDOM,
HUMILITY AND PATIENCE,
SAFETY AND SERENITY,
ECSTACY AND DELIGHT. YOU ARE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND BALANCE,
PROSPERITY THAT SURPASSES ALL BASIC NEEDS;
YOU ARE HARMONY AND BEAUTY. YOU ARE MY PROTECTOR, GUARDIAN AND DEFENDER.
YOU ARE MY STRENGTH.
YOU ARE MY SUSTENANCE AND COURAGE. YOU ARE FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY.
YOU ARE MY DEEPEST TENDERNESS.
YOU ARE EVERLASTING VITALITY.O SUPREME AND MARVELOUS LORD,
YOU ARE ABSOLUTE MERCY.”
-St. Francis of Assisi-