Praised be you my Lord through Brother Sun! We are finally entering into warmer weather and thanking God for all our blessings!
We are way overdue here, but even though this has been a steady, stressful time for our fraternity with several of our members ill or away, or going on excused status, and the loss of a councilor, etc., healing has begun and things are getting more stable. There is stress and there is stress. We always want to honor and accompany those who suffer through extraordinary circumstances, but while “they say” stress kills, if we believe we can get through something together, it can be a graced time. Our faith/Franciscan vocations help us to choose meaning rather than the avoidance of discomfort. We thank God for our bodies that help us to get through stressful times. Stress looked at aright shows us how the body helps us. It releases hormones, and one in partcular called Oxytocin is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps hearts heal from stress-induced damage. It primes us to seek support, which creates resilence and creativity when the body’s response to stress is considered helpful, assisting us to care for one another better. How wonderfully we are made! Thank you Lord that we as Franciscans are in the privileged place of fraternity and have added special support to get through trying times, which then must always extend to others.
We have much to celebrate too. We are looking forward to our Visitations the end of May and are happy once again to be with Dan and Sarah Mulholland, OFS. We will truly miss Sr. Loretta Schaff, OSF as she cares for her mother. Still, we can’t contain our excitement that we also will be celebrating a Rite of Admission during their visit. … We have much to look forward to. We have a new Councilor on board and an SA Intern this year. God is good!
Several areas have been in flux so to speak. Our fraternity has decided to end our affiliation with the Viet Nam Well Project after providing 68 wells over the years and we are pondering amid all of the special stresses in our lives, in our communities and in our world, what new apostolate we are going to embrace. Beginning at our June gathering each member will be reporting on his or her own existing relationships out in our communities that might benefit from further accompaniment and assistance. We are going to report on areas we feel particular affinities for. Some of those areas are human trafficking, immigrants, refugees, soup kitchens, interfaith community work – especially using The Saint and the Sultan as a catalyst, Care for Creation, other water projects, etc. There is so much wanting; there are several “toolkits” out there, and we will take the time to decide what directions we are heading. May the Holy Spirit guide us. Please pray for us!
Loretta LaRoche, the comedian, said she was taught by the Sisters of Perpetual Mood Disorder (with an apology to our good sisters!). In our dealings, may others say through even trying times: The Franciscans of Joyful Accompaniment!
Peace and All Good,
On The Calendar
May 20 Fraternity Garage Sale Fund Raiser
Please call or email Michele for drop off information
May 27 Region Visitors meet with Council at Blanche and Michele’s home
May 28 Fraternity Gathering/Visitations/Lois McWhorter‘s Rite of Admission
Please bring detergent/toiletries for the Urban Rest Stop
June 4 Pentecost
June 8 – 11 AMM/Regional Elections
June 18 Council Mtg/Fraternity Gathering but may change due to Father’s Day
Please bring detergent/toiletries for the Urban Rest Stop
June 20 World Refugee Day
July 16 Council Meeting/Fraternity Gathering – Canonization of St. Francis
Please bring detergent/toiletries for the Urban Rest Stop
Aug 11 Feast of St. Clare
Aug 20 Council Meeting/Fraternity Gathering
Please bring detergent/toiletries for the Urban Rest Stop
Save The Date:
Sept 22-24 Regional Retreat in Spokane
For All Spoken and Unspoken Prayers: Lord in your mercy, Lord hear our prayer!
Words from our Spiritual Assistant Intern
Patricia Mihalic Doyle, OFS
Francis honors her in his Canticle: “Praise be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us…”
I perused Care for Creation. I will offer some interesting and important ideas from this 2008 book. Be impressed, the dedication of the book is to Franciscans = US.
I am impressed that a Thomas Berry quote stood alone on a page in the beginning. He stated that humans and the natural world would have to go into the future as a single sacred community or both would perish….. I was in the presence of Thomas Berry, a Passionist priest, in Berkeley when he was honored. It was very special when he lectured at Holy Names College (now university), at our Sophia Center’s program on culture and spirituality.
The book is four-part. Each part has three sections: Key applications to our environmental problems; Franciscan theology on the subject; and reflective action opportunities for our daily life.
In Francis’ time what was known was that the earth was the center of the cosmos, which was completely round. Planets had a circular orbit. Humans were in union with the cosmos…. Our knowledge of the cosmos is that it is dynamic, expanding and evolving. What is the same is the purpose of creation – to lead us to love and praise God, its Maker. Is Creation the House of God? Without humans as creation’s voice to celebrate its gifts and sacredness, creation becomes mute and vulnerable to manipulation. The key to creation’s holiness is the human identity – who we are in our Creator, the Trinity of divine love. We are called to live in the web of love. Francis was content on the earth, but saw it first as God’s home.
Creation as Family: The Canticle reminds us we are as dependent on the elements of creation as they are on us. Humans do not appear in the first 9 verses of the Canticle because they do not enjoy the harmony of other creatures. We are reminded that we are not to relate to a God without a world. Beauty is revealed when we strive to make the right choices regarding Mother Earth, corresponding to God who is Infinite Love. Franciscan Contemplation: Francis was a heart-centered person who strove for purity of heart. His writings use the word “heart” over 40 times, but he uses the word “intellect” only once. His heart brimmed with life because he realized all creation is holy in and through his relationship with the Lord. The ascent into the Trinity of love is one ultimately of the heart. An intimate link between creation and the Incarnation was revealed to Francis – the whole of creation is the place to encounter God. From Anglea Foligno’s vision and her cry, “the whole earth is pregnant with God” speaks of Mother Earth who nourishes and cares. She cries out in labor pain, longing for fulfillment in God. Ecology of Conversion: Humans are responsible for our environmental crisis. An average American has an annual footprint of 24 acres. It would take 5 earths to supply the entire human family with our lifestyle. The global average is 7 acres, still a challenge. Every American child in his/her lifetime will consume more energy than 50 Indian children. To go forward toward a more sutainable world, we will have to embody the values of compassion, wisdom and integrity – individually and in community. Francis is a model for us. His conversion began with taking personal repsonsiblity. He then reached out to engage others in social transformation.
The Spirituality of Conversion: If the universe was a hospital, the earth is in critical condition in the ICU. The conversion we need today is a type of eco-penance, a turning to the earth in a spirit of pardon, forgiveness, humilty, charity and poverty. Thomas Berry referred to this as “The Great Work (of our time)”. Poverty is rooted in the fact that we and creation do not control our existence. Franciscan poverty is not deprivation, it is knowledge of our need, rendering us open, receptive and grateful. It is an attitude that all gifts are given by a God bending low in love. When we realize our need for God, we become aware that we need others, including the created world. For well-being we must engage with humans and non-humans. All is one. An ecological human is one who has a spirit of poverty and humility and can live interdependently.
My first summer Institue ast Sophia Center ended in Mass and ritual, wherein we each were deemed a “Planetary Human”. We have a responsibility to the birthplace of our humanity – it is our Mother – Mother Earth. May we be given grace for our transformation and claim the status of PLANETARY HUMAN.
(editor’s note: Surely we can all commit to at least three things mentioned in
We have been reading and studying another stellar book – Eager To Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr
Debbie Wasche, OFS, Formation Team, shares some of her thoughts:
Becoming Franciscan and then “being” Franciscan in our world today and always will be a trial for each one of us. To feel in our soul the Truth, and then to live that truth brings us consistently up against the paradoxes of opinions and ideas that abound today. I truly am not interested in being a “Justice Warrior”. There I find too many who then have lost the battle to love – the love we need to be actively showing others in the world around us.
Richard Rohr offers us concrete, inventive and loving ways to open ourselves to communion with others who might not believe or feel as we do. That’s really saying something! He shows us how our Franciscanism can be one of the most inclusive lifestyles of our time. It helps me to emulate the walk, not just the talk, following the footsteps of St. Francis. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I.
(editor’s note: In our work with others that embraces the struggle for their dignity as human beings/children of God, we ARE involved in social justice. I think Debbie is referring to our call as Franciscans to always carry the love, humility and civility first in our hearts, and then by extension, to others. We are not warriors, we are Christ-bearers. Great reminder).
Our Newest Member of Council
With great pleasure we Introduce Hank Hohenstein, OFS, who has stepped up to join our council as JPIC Councilor. He shares this:
It was a joyous moment to find the Secular Franciscan Fraternity in Medford. My wife Susan and I arrived in Southern Oregon nearly three years ago. It took us awhile to settle into a permanent home – we all know those adventures. Quite candidly, we were led to the Upper Rogue by the Holy Spirit.
I was formed while a high school student at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, NY in the fall of my sophomore year (1947). Those that became Third Order Franciscans were usually those considering a vocation. But that was not to happen immediately. It was not until 1997, four months after I had retired that the Holy Spirit called me to the mission field in Kyrgyzstan. Because during my working years I was also an adjunct instructor at College of the Desert, Susan and I were free to travel in the summer…..
We were led to a city of 50,000, called Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. Here we established a mission outreach that included teaching English in Number 10 School and mentoring high school and university students. After our third year, we were able to begin an active Bible study. Kyrgyzstan is predominantly a Muslim country, but it is not a constitutionally organized Islamic state. However, one had to be spiritually considerate and respectful of local laws and traditions. Those attending Bible study were, in the finest Franciscan tradition, comprised of Muslims, Russian Orthodox, Protestants, and non-believers. We soon discovered that we were there to allow The Holy Spirit to do the heavy lifting. But it is reassuring that there is a deep thirst to know Jesus and many did come to faith.
Though we have not been there in the past three years because of global apprehensions, our fifteen or so trips have left an imprint in Kyrgyzstan and in our hearts. We are indeed blessed……. There is even a young Kirgiz boy whose name is Francis. That is, as they say, another story.
On May 4, 2017, Pope Francis announced that one in our Franciscan family, Solanus Casey, OFM cap would be declared “Blessed”.
“The road to sainthood for Fr. Solanus Casey is paved with 87 years of giving. As he lay dying, Fr. Solanus said to Fr. Gerald Walker, “I looked on my whole life as giving, and I want to give until there is nothing left of me to give. So I prayed that, when I come to die, I might be perfectly conscious, so that with a deliberate act I can give my last breath to God.” At 11:00 the next morning, on the 53rd anniversary of his first Mass, suddenly Fr. Solanus opened his eyes wide, stretched out his arms and said clearly, “I give my soul to Jesus Christ.” He willingly gave his last breath to God.
At the funeral Mass, Fr. Gerald said, “His was a life of service and love for people like me and you. When he himself was not sick, he nevertheless suffered with and for you that were sick. When he was not physically hungry, he hungered with people like you. He had a divine love for people.”
(read more at solanuscasey.org/who-is-father-solanus/road-to-sainthood)
Saturday, May 13, 2017, the Fatima chidren were canonized. Please go to ewtn.com and type in 100 years of Fatima in the search for a lot of information. May these children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, our new saints, intercede for us!
There has been alot of conversation on the region’s email about Hispanic immigrants in particular and their treatment, initiated by Roger Yockey, OFS. We thank him for this as he challenges all Seculars to become involved and for the leadership of our Order to speak out with one voice. Franciscanism is about personalism, leading us to go out to meet another, build relationships and let those relationships lead us to where God wants us to work in his vineyard. Will we risk encounter? How are WE going to accompany and advocate for immigrants in this current climate? In the above link the First Order put out a statement after the Muslim Ban was initiated. As only a start, perhaps it is a good model for us as Secular Franciscans to follow suit and write a letter of support for immigrants. FAN, Franciscan Action Network, which we all should be getting over email, has good ideas and links to educate and urge further engagement. What will we do as Seculars to support our immigrant brothers and sisters?
(FYI): Immigrants are essential to Oregon’s economy as workers and taxpayers.
- Immigrants comprised 13.3% of the state’s workforce in2013 (or 261,352 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Immigrants accounted for 12% of total economic output in the Portland metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by theFiscal Policy Institute.
- Latinos in Oregon paid $966 million in federal taxes and $468 million in state/local taxes in 2013, according to thePartnership for a New American Economy. In particular, foreign-born Latinos paid $471 million in federal taxes and $251 million in state/local taxes.
- The federal tax contribution of Oregon’s Latino population included $762 million to Social Security and $178 million to Medicare in 2013. Foreign-born Latinos contributed $406 million to Social Security and $95 million to Medicare that year.
Unauthorized immigrants are integral to Oregon’s economy as workers and taxpayers.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 4.6% of the state’s workforce (or 90,000 workers) in2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Oregon paid $83.1 million in state and local taxes in2012, according to data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes $15.6 million in excise taxes, $30 million in personal income taxes, and $37.6 million in property taxes.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in Oregon to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay $122 million in state and local taxes, including $17.2 million in excise taxes, $63.5 million in personal income taxes, and $41.3 million in property taxes.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Oregon, the state would lose $3.4 billion in economic activity, $1.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 19,259 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by thePerryman Group.
In the Rogue Valley, thousands of immigrants work in the pear orchards and vineyards every year. Go to the website above to see how your state would be impacted by the loss of immigrants.
Instead of saying “all lives matter”, Jesus said, “Samaritan lives matter.”
Instead of saying “all lives matter”, Jesus said, “Children’s lives matter.”
Instead of saying “all lives matter”, Jesus said, “Gentile lives matter.”
Instead of saying “all lives matter”, Jesus said, “Jewish lives matter.”
Instead of saying “all lives matter”, Jesus said, “Women’s lives matter.”
Instead of saying “all lives matter”, Jesus said, “Leper’s lives matter.”
Even though Jesus loved everyone, even dying for their sins, He went out of his way to intentionally help specific groups of people – the alienated, mistreated, and those facing injustice.
So saying “Black Lives Matter”, “Latino Lives Matter”, “Unborn Lives Matter”, “Prisoner’s Lives Matter”, “Sick Lives Matter”, “Poor Lives Matter”, is Christ-like.
(Adapted from anonymous source on internet)
Debbie Wasche, OFS
General Fund: $679.92
Fair Share: $ 25.00
Apostolate Fund: $ 81.38
In addition to our local fraternity, our Regional Minister, Bob Fitzsimmons, OFS sent out a letter noting our responsibility to the Franciscans as a priority. At this time the Region could use some help, so we urge you to donate to our Region as a priority in your generous monthly giving. We also thank anyone reading this website in advance for their help as well. Please make checks payable to Troubadours of Peace Region and mail to:
Dennis Daniels, OFS
2604 N. Pittsburg St.
Spokane, WA 99207-4967
4 Gloria Ray OFS
7 Joanne Kraan OFS
27 Lois McWhorter
SFRV Fraternity Members Profession Date
Patricia Mihalic Doyle OFS (1984)
Cecelia 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