Dear Brothers and Sisters everywhere – in our camp and outside our camp,
Happy Advent-ing! Merry Christmas!
The birth of our Lord Jesus is the premiere feast for Franciscans. I love this picture as the incarnation already presumes our salvation history from time immemorial, which is our hope in the utter love-giving vulnerability and humility of God-with-us from the manger to the cross and resurrection and with us still. Our deepest selves long to remain in communion and union! BUT, it is such a busy time of year! God keep us grounded and mindful of others in spite of ourselves so that we may live it!
Merry Christmas! Peace and All Good, michele
Daughter of Abraham
Daughter of Abraham
When you said
Let it be done to me
And surrendered your will
To the Father
And your body to the Son
How many times after
Did you have to say yes
You would become
An enemy to the state
Obedient daughter though
When you said yes.
Taking neither false pride
Or shame to yourself
When you said yes.
Did you see the light within you?
When you tottered into Bethlehem
Large with the truth
When you fled into Egypt
When you settled in Nazareth
To raise a child
You followed all your life.
Were your eyes opened gradually
Or did you always see?
Help us to mean it
When we say yes.
To allow ourselves to be led,
To follow what is true.
To allow the sword
That pierces our hearts
To lead us to
December 8 The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 17 Fraternity Gathering/Christmas Party
Bring Art Supplies and WalMart Gift Cards for Redemption Ridge
December 25 The Nativity of our Lord Jesus the ChristJanuary 1 The Solemnity of our Blessed Mother
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
January 15 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Jan 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 21 Council Meeting/Fraternity Gathering
January 22 Day of Prayer for the legal protection of unborn children
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwxjoBQdn0s (A TED talk by Karen Gaffney who has Downes Syndrome and swam the English Channel)
February 3 OFS Sponsored Third Order Gathering/”Tea”
February 18 Council Meeting/Fraternity Gathering
February 24 Reactiviation of St. Francis of Assisi fraternity in Eugene
Much of what we learn about our faith is wrapped within the calendar. We can learn much of our catechism by paying attention to specific religious and secular dates on the calendar and the liturgy and prayers that surround them.
Below are December’s opportunities for catechesis and witness (We can still attend to ones we have already missed): Attend an event or connect a Work of Mercy with a special day in our faith and lives.
December 29 Feast of the Holy Family
Office of Life, Justice and Peace – Archdiocese of Portland, OR
On October 15 we had our annual Day of Recollection and were blessed to have Sr. Loretta with us pictured on the far right. It was a beautiful day in lovely surroundings, our last at the Suncrest Retreat home of Sr. Mary Pat Naumes, fourth from the right, as the property is going to be used for different purposes by the owners in the future. We are so grateful for being able to “retreat” here for so many years.
Bill Watkins our “aspirant”, Debbie Wasche, OFS and Blanche Richman, OFS
Sr. Loretta Schaff, OSF, Hank Hohenstein, OFS and Dave Kraan
Fr. John Lawrence, OFS and Sr. Loretta Schaff, OSF
Patricia Mihalic-Doyle, OFS and her husband Tom
Patricia Mihalic-Doyle, OFS, Ralph Wasche, OFS and Lois McWhorter, Candidate standing. Fr. John Lawrence, OFS seated
We continue to read and discuss Eager To Love by Fr. Richard Rohr. Again the chapter turned to Clare who has become so essential to us.
“Many friars often felt that Francis was a bit of a fanatic in regard to poverty, whereas Clare just quietly lived it…..Francis’ radical poverty was soon forgotten, deemed impossible, or quietly rejected, for it placed him in a different social class than men prefer, quite specifically the ‘minors’ and not the ‘majors’….they usually understood such downward mobility in an ascetical or private way, but without the clear message for society or the Church, that we see in Francis and Clare. The social critique was gone…..Only Clare and her sisters created a way for the radical life of Francis to be actually lived with freedom and joy….Clare absolutely insisted on ‘the privilege of not being obliged to receive privileges, the right to live without any rights, the guarantee of living without any guarantees.’ How countercultural can you get?…Clare created a humble lifestyle of ‘structural humility’ – where she and the sisters could not fake humility, but had to live and love their own ordinariness day by day … There was no place to hide from themselves or from God. There was no one to impress, no one who needed to be impressed … except God alone.”
Inspired by an email on our Region’s website naming Tea for the Franciscan Soul, we will be incorporating this theme for a Third Order Get Together in February – welcome to anyone.
In the Bleak Mid-Winter
The Secular Franciscans are hosting a Third Order “Tea”!
As we enjoy tea and accoutrements, let’s discuss:
Pover-tea: (Secular Franciscans)
Each “Third Order” to choose one of the above “teas” on a first-come (RSVP) – first-serve basis, offer a short presentation, and lead the discussion.
Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
Place: Sacred Heart Hall
Please bring donations for the SVDP Urban Rest Stop.
The Third Orders are one of the best kept secrets in the Church!
Let’s sing, pray, and discuss together! Open to Anyone.
A Reflection by our Counselor Hank Hohenstein, OFS
The recent Thanksgiving weekend was an opportunity for reflection and prayer – giving thanks for all of God’s gifts. Our table on Thursday was overflowing with food and good cheer. Our chatter was filled with joy and love and we were blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I thought of Thanksgivings past (there have been many) and that lead to thoughts of food and hunger. I realized at no time during my life that I have missed a meal. Well really, I have missed meals, but that was a matter of having more important things to do. Simply stated there was always food in the cupboard or a few bucks in the jeans. Even during the depression and WWII we had food we raised on our farm and we were able to go to town every Saturday for groceries and confession.
In today’s parlance I have never known food insecurities. In looking at the friends we had with us on Thursday, I realized not everyone around the table could say that. That dynamic caused my thoughts to go in an entirely new direction.
The haversack I could call my life, in all its aspects, has truly been quite full and most of it not of my doing. God has blessed me abundantly. But to paraphrase the Centurion with the sick child I say, “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but say the word and my soul will be healed.”
It is one thing to fervently offer prayers of thanksgiving for all the abundant gifts of God. When one attempts to list those gifts one finds that they were unearned based only on one’s personal efforts. That downward walk is a necessary journey if we hope to understand the poverty that surrounds us in this ‘land of plenty’. May the Holy Spirit bring you her comfort, her joy and her wisdom.
A Prayer for Immigrants, Dreamers and DACA
By Sr. Bernadine Karge, OSF
God of light and life,
We pray in great hope during this darkest time of the year that you shine your light on those living in the shadow of darkness, especially those who are undocumented with no path to permanent resident status or citizenship.
To those who say, “Throw them out. Keep them out.” we pray that you drive out their fear and change their hearts to be welcoming and inclusive. Enlighten our minds and hearts to welcome you in the “stranger” who is seeking posada (shelter) and knocking at our door.
We pray that members of Congress have the courage to pass a clean Dream Act to allow our immigrant brothers and sisters to reach their full potential. Open the doors of our hearts and minds to bring about compassionate immigration laws that will allow for the fullness of life and belonging.
May we bless all families and help us realize that every family is holy.
In this season of Advent and in the spirit of the prophet Micah 6:9, may we strive to “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”
Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated. Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.
– Jean Vanier
Submitted by our SA Intern, Patricia Mihalic-Doyle, OFS
January is a drab month, after all the brightness of the Christmas Season. I see as a highpoint the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is on Monday, January 15 in our new year.
Dr. King, Jr.’s father was the “Sr.” His father added Luther to their name — after Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk who looked to reform THE Church in the 1500’s, taking on the hierarchy, and kings.
Known as “Luther” he was both loved and hated at the same time.
People enjoyed him and learned from him. He wanted children, even girls, to have education. He was one, among others, who translated the Bible into German for the common man. He was Bible-based.
On the other hand, he had to appear before the court of King Charles, who also put a price on his head. Charles wanted his subjects, scattered within a huge area, to be of one church. Luckily, Charles had many wars in a row to deal with, so he left Luther alone for a while.
Luther also was not a favorite of Pope Leo X, who had political reasons for watching how he dealt with Luther. Eventually, a Papal Bull written and presented to Luther, though. Luther burned it! This set Luther and his ideas in motion.
At first, Luther’s writings were posted “on the door” as was the custom. He was a prolific writer. Then, Luther took advantage of the new printing press to spread his ideas, after others had taken the liberty of printing his writings without his knowledge. Some of his words could be seen as almost crude, and he was very direct.
Luther was ready to publicly debate issues, which gave him a kind of rock star status. One issue that aggravated him was the practice of the use of indulgences to make up for one’s sins or to release souls from purgatory. At the time one would pay for an indulgence. The poor were being fleeced by this. He offered because of Jesus we are free, now. We can live by faith and love. We are free to love one another, not needing to store up indulgences and good works for eternity.
I learned so much about this former monk, and have a better appreciation for what he was trying to do to serve God. There is so much more to his life to offer, but — back to his name.
Luther wanted to downplay his own name. He was not interested in having the Protestant congregation call themselves “Lutherans.” It happened, anyway.
It’s 500 years later and Martin Luther’s influence is still with us, as is our Father Francis’ at over 800 years. I believe it will be the same for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fr. Solanus Casey, OFM Cap, a humble priest and porter was beatified on November 18, 2017 in Detroit. “What a witness was our beloved brother Solanus! He opened his heart to each person he met, he prayed with them, appreciated and loved them, and through him God moved powerfully again and again. Thanks be to God!” – Fr. Michael Sullivan, OFM Cap
From an email sent by Carolyn Townes, OFS
National Animator for JPIC
In our secret yearnings
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will. And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your church and its pastors
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and in this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes
to the edges of our fingertips.
We do not want our several worlds to end.
Come in your power
and come in your weakness in any case
and make all things new. Amen.
From Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth by Walter Brueggemann
SFRV Fraternity Members Birthdays
7 Cecelia Rayburn, OFS
16 John Goold, OFS
SFRV Fraternity Members Profession Anniversaries
Blanche Richman, OFS (February 1966)
Franciscan Calendar, USA
8 Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Franciscan Patron and Queen
12 Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron and Queen of the Americas
15 Blessed Mary Frances Schervier, virgin, III Order
1 Solemnity of the Mother of God
3 Holy Name of Jesus
7 Blessed Angela of Foligno, religious, III Order
12 Blessed Bernard of Corleone, religious, I Order
14 Blessed Odoric of Pordenone, priest, I Order
16 Saints Berard, priest, and companions, protomartyrs, I Order
24 Saint Francis de Sales, bishop, doctor, Cord-bearer of Saint Francis
27 Saint Angela Merici, virgin of III Order
30 Saint Hyacinth of Mariscotti, virgin III Order
31 Saint John Bosco, priest, III Order
4 Saint Joseph of Leonissa, Priest, I Order
6 Saints Peter Baptist, Paul Miki and companions, martyrs, I and III Orders
7 Saint Colette, virgin, II Order
10 Saint Conrad of Piacenze, hermit, III Order
For all the intentions of those reading this site, We pray to the Lord!