Minister’s Message June 1, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
First I must apologize for the length of this letter, but it cannot be helped as there is so much to say, and still so much will be left unsaid…..
About eight years ago Friar John came to our fraternity for a pastoral visitation. Wonderfully he celebrated Mass for and with us. It was the feast of the Ascension of Jesus and rather than offering a homily he asked for our thoughts on the reading. At that time it was remarked how difficult it would have been to have known Jesus in the flesh, seemingly lose him to the cross, and have him return only to leave them again. On the personal level how hard it must have been! It is human nature to want to cling. Surely there must have been a genuine grieving process. But we know that the Lord did not/does not leave us orphans and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which we will be celebrating soon. Fr. Ron Rolheiser says that it is not until someone goes away that we “get” their spirit. In the flesh we are caught up in many things and in the pace of life we do not always recognize the gift. So after Pentecost the church began in the empowerment of what is most true, most holy, most beloved in the person of Jesus and in the spirit of the Most Holy Trinity. It was time for the disciples to grow up and proclaim it all with their lives. WE must do the same.
Years ago I read Anam Cara by the late John O’Donahue. He shared: “According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud. When you are very open – appreciative and trusting – with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found an anam cara, or ‘Soul Friend.’ Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place – home.”
Two beloved members of our fraternity, Sol and Anna Krueger, OFS, will be leaving to move to Portland to be near family. They have done so much, felt so deeply, and participated beyond measure with and for all of us. They will be sorely missed! To me, personally, they are anam cara. We wish them the very best and are happy that they will find a new Franciscan home with St. Clare Fraternity in Portland. We pray for the choicest of blessings for them and their family.
Because of Sol and Anna’s leaving, we are having to fill two seats on the council and I am happy to report that Joanne Kraan, OFS, will be our new Secretary effective in July. We are so grateful for her “yes” and we ask for all of your prayers as we go through this transition. Our council will absorb the work of formation and will continue to guide and animate our little portion of a fraternity. Our fraternity as a whole will carry on with our prayer and studies of the Franciscan charism, our apostolate to the farm workers, with our well project, as well as with the ministries we all work at in our parishes and in our community. Because we are smaller, we all will be needed to carry on with creativity, inspiration, and commitment to our vocation. And we have our brothers and sisters in Francis and Clare all over the world, and in particular in our own Region.
One of my favorite poems is from Daniel Berrigan:
Some stood up once
and sat down.
Some walked a mile
and walked away.
Some stood up twice
then sat down.
I’ve had it, they said.
Some walked two miles
then walked away.
It’s too much, they cried.
Some stood and stood and stood.
They were taken for fools,
They were taken for being taken in.
Some walked and walked and walked.
They walked the earth,
they walked the waters,
they walked the air.
Why do you stand? they were asked, and
Why do you walk?
Because of the children, they said
because of the heart, and
because of the bread.
Is the heart’s beat
And the children born
And the risen bread.
So let us continue to walk in humility as we rely on the Good Lord.
Cecelia, you, your son Steve and daughter Diane remain in our prayer. Carol, we hold you tenderly in prayer. Glenn and Gloria we pray for your restoration of health. We pray for our newcomers, Linda and Whitney, that God’s love will overflow into their lives through Francis and Clare. We pray for Bill’s family as they grieve the loss of his sister. We continue to pray for Bob Fitzsimmons healing. We celebrate Patricia’s 30th anniversary as an OFS this July and pray for all her intentions. To Sol and Anna, know that you will remain in our hearts that send you forth with blessings.
Last but not least, we were delighted to meet with Dan and Sarah Mulholland, OFS for our pastoral and fraternal visitations. We have longed to have more interaction with Region and we hope they felt very welcome as was their presence with us. May God bless them.
As we move to Ordinary Time, let us not treat anything as “ordinary.”
Peace and all good, Michele, OFS
Summer Fraternity News
Most of the Fraternity News was generously included in Michele’s Minister Letter making this section short and easy! (Thanks, Michele)
Our Ongoing Formation is continuing in the book “What It Takes” by Lester Bach, OFM Cap. The discussions have been lively and informative. It was good to have positive dialogue with Dan and Sarah Mulholland, OFS at our May Gathering.
Sacred Heart Youth Ministry is taking a trip to Steubenville Northwest (July 23-28, 2014). A parish wide request was made for donations to help with the cost of gasoline for the trip. SFRV heard the call and donated $100 to assist in the transportation costs. It is very important to be supportive of youth in our parishes!
SFRV also donated $50 to the Fraternal Care Trust-Formation of the Franciscan Province of Santa Barbara in honor of the memory of Fr. John. Below is the letter of gratitude that we received.
From Sol and Anna Krueger, OFS
We would like to express our appreciation for all the love, prayer, dialogue, fellowship and food shared with SFRV members throughout the last five years. We became Franciscans in this Fraternity and learned how to be Franciscans from this Fraternity. Each individual fraternity member has a special place in our hearts and we are very thankful for the blessing of knowing you. May the Lord bless you and your Fraternity now and always. Thank you!
Transformation (Richard Rohr)
There is a difference between change and transformation. “Change” is when something
old dies and something new begins. I am told that planned change is as troublesome to the psyche as unplanned change, often more so because now we can blame somebody. But mere change might or might not be accompanied by authentic inner transformation. If change does not include personal transformation, we do not actually grow, we just grudgingly adjust.
The ego would sooner play victim or too-quick victor than take the ambiguous road of transformation. Change is one thing the ego hates more than anything. The ego fights, avoids, and denies the necessity or advantage of any real transformation, which is why true spiritual growth is so rare and the Gospel is so hard to hear. The ego prefers the status quo – even when it is killing us.
From Patricia Doyle, OFS
Tilikum (Tilly): An Orca (a black and white killer whale), male, 30 years old, 22 feet long, 12,000 lbs., the largest killer whale in captivity, taken in his early youth and trained to entertain at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.
We were checking Redbox the other day, looking to rent a movie. I saw Blackfish as a new choice, and recalled something about this whale, and saw that it was a documentary, so I chose it. After viewing it I would like to share it with you.
Tilikum killed his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in February, 2010. He was involved in the deaths of two other trainers in his lifetime. Since, many trainers have left their work, express regret and stating how naive they were as trainers. They believed what they were told and were not even given information that could help their own safety at work. The “accidents” were covered up. OSHA has now made trainers have a barrier between them and the orcas, as it is all too dangerous. Sea World is appealing this decision.
This documentary offered information on orcas that is fascinating. They are socially superior even to humans. Their brain is more complex in the area of emotions than humans. A male’s lifespan is about 60 years, females 100 years. According to Sea World their lifespan is about 30 years and they claimed that orcas live longer in captivity, which is proven to be false.
Sea World pens orcas together from various places. A trainer said the orcas would not have community. It’s like they are from different nations. Their communication (language) would be different. They have a matriarchal society, so Tilly was being abused by two female orcas daily at one point in his life. They had to isolate him in a pen for his own safety. Also, orcas stay with their mother for life. The taken orcas are cut off from community for the remainder of their lives. They live 2/3 of their life in small spaces in the dark, after the entertaining.
The captain who took Tilly from his mother said it is the worst thing he has ever done. The rest of the pod stayed by the boat sounding and the captain shed tears, but did what he came to do. The young are taken because of their smaller size, as it is costly to ship orcas.
Tilikum now lives in a pen where he can barely turn around. He has performed to entertain people for years at Sea World. His sperm has been used to create many more orcas, to the concern of some, because of his aggression.
There is a public effort to “FREE TILLY.” Some believe letting him go may not aid his survival. I believe at least he should have a very huge area to live and swim in.
The thought in the documentary that touched me was that in 50 years we will look back and see that we were barbaric to do this to these majestic creatures. It seems to me there is similarity with the Romans’ “sport” of throwing Christians to the lions.
If you want to sign a petition I just found one on “change.org.” With it, you can share your thoughts on what you hope they will do to HELP TILLY NOW.
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 another well which means that as of June 1, 2014, Saint Francis of the Rogue Valley has provide 63 wells to villages in Vietnam.
SFRV Treasurer’s Report
As of March 30, 2014Gathering Fund is $447.90
Fair Share is $100
Well Fund is $36.68
Heifer International $20 SFRV Fraternity Members Birthdays
4 Gloria Ray OFS
7 Joanne Kraan OFS
20 Jo Ann Kemp OFS
SFRV Fraternity Members Profession Date
Patricia Doyle OFS (1984)
Florence Grimes OFS
Cecilia Rayburn OFS (1968)
Catherine Paradis OFS (1968)
Franciscan Calendar, USA
12 Bl Jolenta, religious of II Order
13 St Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor of I Order
22 St Thomas More, martyr of the III Order
30 Bl Raymond Lull, martyr of III Order
8 Bl Gregory Grassi, bishop, and companions, martyrs of I and III Order
9 St Nicholas Pick, priest, and companions, martyrs of I Order
10 St Veronica Giuliani, vigin of II Order
12 Sts John Jones and John Wall, priests and martyrs of I Order
13 Bl Angeline of Marsciano, religious of III Order
14 St Francis Solano, priest of I Order
15 St Bonaventure, bishop and doctor of I Order
21 St Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and doctor of I Order
23 Bl Cunegunda, religious of II Order
23 St Bridget, widow of III Order
24 Bl Louise of Savoy, religious of II Order
27 Bl Mary Magdalene of Martinegro, virgin of II Order
2 Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula
4 St John Baptist Mary Vianney, priest of III Order
7 Bls Agathangelus and Cassian, priests and martyrs of I Order
8 Holy Father Dominic, priest, founder of the Order of Preachers
11 St Clare of Assisi, virgin of II Order
14 St Maximilian Kolbe, priest of I Order
17 St Roch, member of III Order
19 St Louis, bishop of I Order
21 St Pius X, pope, member of III Order
25 St Louis IX, king, member and patron of III Order