IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOAX E-MAIL CURRENTLY CIRCULATING: Dear members of council and regional ministers, There is a hoax e-mail circulating, and you may have received something from an e-mail that looks something like my address, from a John Hyde from Tasmania, asking for money to come to Canada for his sister's funeral. Gilles also received it and informed me of its nature. This was not sent by me, and I strongly recommend that you pass this information on to anyone of your contacts who may have received a similar request and discourage anyone from taking any action.
To the Secular Franciscan brothers and sisters in Canada,
Greetings of peace and joy!
The colours of autumn and the falling of leaves brings to mind things that are taking place in regional and local fraternities across Canada. Many of our fraternities are on a journey of transformation: some have come to an autumn period of seeing members fall away due to illness and/or age; some are in the winter of fraternity life, where life is hidden out of sight, and yet others are evergreen. For those fraternities that are struggling, let us remember the spring and the resurrection of our Lord! Let us rejoice in new growth and give thanks for those who have given their energies over the years for the life of the order! May it find a welcome in all of those places where darkness lingers, so that the light of Christ may shine!
Fraternité 2012: This annual fraternal assembly of the Francophone SFO regions had representation from almost all of the 9 Francophone Regional Fraternities, about 160 persons. Fr. Pierre Brunet, OFM was the animator. The theme this year was: Seigneur, que veux-tu que je fasse? (Lord, what would you have me do?). There were some young people there, which was very encouraging. I would highly recommend this gathering to any members of our Anglophone regional fraternities who speak and understand adequate French.
Trillium Franciscan Fest: The Trillium Regional Fraternity held its first Franciscan Fest at Mount Alverno Retreat Center in June 2012. It was well attended by Fraternities from across the Ontario region. There was spiritual animation, as well as fun things to do with Secular Franciscans who brought family members.
Our Lady of the Angels Regional Fraternity: The Regional Council is working diligently on priorities emanating from their last meeting in June 2012. They are also experimenting with the use of Skype technology to meet more frequently. They are also making plans for their next Regional Elective Chapter to be held next June in Surrey, B.C. with the theme: “Franciscan Focus in the Year of Faith”.
Regional Fraternity of Eastern Canada: A Regional Spiritual Conference was held in August 2012 to which some 90 members of local fraternities attended. In view of distances in this region, this was an excellent turnout! The presenter was Fr. Pierre Charland, OFM and the theme was: “Peace and Rest In Christ: A Franciscan Journey”. Of special joy and celebration was the attendance of 22 newly professed members from the newest fraternity in Montreal.
Quinquennial Congress, USA, Chicago, Illinois: Tom Bello, ofs, Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order in the USA, invited me to attend this congress this year. There was representation from Secular Franciscan Fraternities from across the USA. Encarnità del Pozo, ofs, International Minister of the OFS, was there with Fr. Amando Trujillo-Cana, TOR, and Doug Clorey, ofs, International Vice Minister. The spiritual animation was presented by Sr. Ilia Delio and Fr. Martin Short, OFM among others. I would recommend that members of our Anglophone regional fraternities may like to attend the future congress in five years.
Assemblée de la Famille Franciscaine: in September this annual gathering of all branches of the Franciscan orders met again with about 50 persons attending. The theme was: The challenge and mission of the Poor Clares and the Franciscan family in the world today. The animator was Jean-François Godet-Calogeras, internationally known for his writings on Francis and Clare. In his closing words he said, that the Franciscan life is like a virus without a cure and the worse it gets, the more contagious it is!
The new executive was elected and includes: Louis Cinq-Mars, capuchin, President; Francine Paré, Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate-Conception, Vice-President; Ann Modrak, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, councillor; Carmen Bizier, daughters of Saint-Francis, councillor; Laurette Thibodeau of the Secular Franciscan Order.
National Council news:
Our newly elected Council of the National Fraternity held its first meeting from Thursday, August 29th to Sunday, September 2, 2012 at LeCenacle Retreat Centre in Cacouna, QC.Some items discussed by the National Council in brief:
There are other items that need some explanation.
The official decree of approval was gratefully received from CIOFS regarding approval of amendments to the National Statutes.
The National Statutes revised at the National Chapter in May 2012 have been approved. Regional Fraternity Councils will need to review their Regional Statutes and bring them to conformity with the National Statutes. Revisions are brought to the Regional Chapters for approval by their respective Chapters, and then submitted for approval to the National Council. Please keep this in mind when you are planning for your Regional Elective Chapter.
Canonical Establishment of Local Fraternities
The National Council would like to remind Regional Fraternities to insure that their local fraternities have records which indicate they are Canonically established, or in the absence of these records, that they work towards acquiring them. Those fraternities that are inactive or whose members are aging and whose membership is decreasing, may be exempted. The document on the Canonical establishment of a local fraternity can be found here on the National web-site.
National Spiritual Conference and Chapter of Elections
The National Spiritual Conference will be held in Loretteville, QC from October 25-27, 2013.
The National Chapter of Elections will be held in Loretteville, QC from May 14-17, 2015.
We hope to keep you informed regularly on National business and news.
Especially with the coming of November, let us pray for our beloved who have passed to eternity and remember how they gathered, prayed and worked devotedly over the years to hand on this beautiful gift of the Secular Franciscan Order for all generations. May we do as well for the next generation!
May God bless all that you do for the Secular Franciscan Order!Debbie Tessier, ofs, Minister
The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in Canada is the organic union of all the local fraternities across the country grouped into regional Fraternities.
The purpose of the National Fraternity is :