Dear Sisters and Brothers,
There’s a whole lot of “feasting” going on for Franciscans this
August 2, the feast of Our Lady of the Angels of the
August 6, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord;
August 11, the feast of St. Clare;
August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
August 27, the Seven Joys of Mary.
On January 22, 1972, Pope Paul VI granted a plenary indulgence to the members of the
Secular Franciscan Order, provided they make or renew, at least privately, their profession
promises, having dutifully fulfilled the usual conditions (confession, communion, and prayer
for the intentions of our Holy Father): on the day of their admission and of their profession,
and at the conclusion of an official visitation; on the feast days of the Immaculate
Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary; St. Francis; St. Clare; St Louis IX, St. Elizabeth of
Hungary; St. Margaret of Cortona; and all the Saints of the three Orders of St. Francis.
We also remember with joy:
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, OFM Conv. (August 14), and
wish a happy feast day to our sisters and brothers from
the Fraternity that bears his name; and
St. Louis, IX, who, with his spouse, St. Elizabeth of
Hungary, is a patron of our the Secular Franciscan Order.
In a letter to our Order in 2003, our Minister General, Encarnacion
del Pozo, called us to remember that, “[T]he celebrations of St. Clare
should be another occasion for each one of us to mediate on the
contemplative dimensions of our vocation, indicated in Art. 8 of the
Rule to ‘let prayer and contemplation be the soul of what they are
and do.’” So, here’s something for us to consider …
Clare … is considered the feminine incarnation of the
evangelical life in the Franciscan tradition and the
paradigmatic traveling companion and sister pilgrim on
the journey toward holiness for the members of this
worldwide spiritual family in the Church….
As much as St. Francis, Clare of Assisi is the model, mirror
and mentor of Franciscan living. A mentor, because this
woman teaches us in a clear and imitable way how the
Spirit of God calls us to live the gospel ideal and how a
human person can challenge others to consider the basic
values of a Christ-centered life. A mirror, because
whoever looks into her writings and reflects on one’s own
experience in the light of her countenance will discover a
reflection of the glory of God and the beauty of human
witness. A model, because the person of Clare epitomizes
the effective fulfillment of the promptings of the Spirit
and the urging of the Gospel to follow in the footprints of
the poor and crucified Christ. To Cling With All Her Heart
to Him, by Benet A. Fonck, OFM.
We continue to be called to look more deeply into ourselves to find
the heart of our Secular Franciscan vocation and to embrace it.
Inviting our Holy Mother, St. Clare to accompany us on this journey
of faith may help us learn to “gaze upon Jesus, consider Jesus,
contemplate Jesus, as we desire to imitate Jesus” following in the
footsteps of Francis and Clare, following the footsteps of Jesus.
We are very much looking forward to seeing all of you at our
Leadership Workshop at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in Aston
on September 18th, when Fr. Regis Armstrong, OFM, Cap. will join us
to share his reflections on the Legenda Maior of St. Francis. Our
sisters and brothers from St. John Neumann Fraternity have once
again graciously agreed to serve as our hosts. The cost for the day
is $15. Bring your own lunch; a “continental breakfast” and
beverages will be provided. Please be sure to contact our Regional
Treasurer, Stephanie Wiecer, SFO asap to let her know you will be
coming. If you haven’t received information about this event from
your Minister or Formation Director, please click on the ‘navigation
bar’ on our website; the flyer will be there.
Don’t forget to check our “upcoming events” page on the website:
St. John Neumann Fraternity is hosting a Chapter of Mats on
the 18th of August; additional information is available from the
Fraternity Minister, Jean Piziak, SFO,
SKDR’s first annual grape stomping festival … joining in the fun
on August 29th with lots of other grape stompers at Renault
Winery in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. Please contact Kathy
Agosto, SFO, Kathy61053@aol.com, for additional details.
SKDR ANNUAL MEETING – November 13, 2010 – more details
SKDR ANNUAL RETREAT – BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND – March
11, 12 and 13, St. Francis Retreat Center, Easton, PA. Start
saving now! Details to come.
If your Fraternity is having a special event, please let us know, and
we’ll post it on our website … http://skdsfo.org/ … but, of course, if
you’re reading this, you already know the web address.
Please continue to hold us all in prayer, and know we do likewise.
Peace, all good, and much love,