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From Divine Mercy Region’s Spiritual Assistant Program

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The Spiritual Assistant Training Program is begun for the new participants. We are pleased to announce that there are currently three trainees enrolled in our program . They are Kim Spaniola, OFS – Troubadours of St. Clare, Laura Sapien, OFS – St. Bonaventure, Detroit and Br. George Kooan, OFM Cap – St. Joseph Province.

In addition to our participants, the first orders has expressed an interest in our program. In the next three years we will have several Friars from different Provinces, that are bonded to Divine Mercy Region, joining us to help teach our weekends. This will also provide us the opportunity to learn more about their Order.

We still have several Fraternities that are without a Spiritual Assistant. However with your help we can fill those vacancies. If you are, or know someone that has been professed two years or more, and would be interested in becoming a Spiritual Assistant, the program is still taking applications until the end of June. To apply please contact Linda Solis, Administrator, Spiritual Assistant Training Program at lsolisofs@gmail.com

We ask that you keep our participants, our team and our program in your prayers as we journey together over the next three years.

Ideas for Attracting New Members

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For a list of ideas for attracting new members, click HERE. The document is in PDF format.

Statement from the 2018 National Chapter of the Secular Franciscan Order

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We, the members of the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order – USA, gathered for our annual Chapter at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel in Missouri, October 9-14, 2018. Approximately 90 leaders and observers were present, representing over 12,000 members throughout the United States, including Guam.

The recent Grand Jury report in Pennsylvania is a cause of sorrow, pain and agonizing self-scrutiny for the Catholic Church in the United States. We recognize the tragic reality of sinful abuse perpetrated on the most vulnerable. It deeply saddens all of us. We stand firm and make no excuses. The brothers and sisters of the Secular Franciscan Order extend mercy and compassion to the victims of abuse and to their abusers. Trusting in God who allows the good seed and the weeds to grow together (Mt. 13: 24-30), we pray for healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.

More than 800 years ago, our Lord asked St. Francis of Assisi to “rebuild my Church which is falling into ruin.” Francis accomplished this by living a life of penance and sacrifice according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As followers of St. Francis, we commit ourselves to do the same. We call the members of our Order and invite all people of faith to be vigilant for the sake of the vulnerable and to foster strong relationships throughout the Body of Christ. We support the clergy and religious who serve Christ Jesus and His Church. Let us go forth in the Light of Christ to rebuild our Church, that it may be renewed as a beacon of hope and safe refuge, grace and truth.

Annual Report

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Each of the local ministers was sent a copy of the Annual Report Form. Click HERE for an extra copy.

Servant Leadership and Ecumenism

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The attached article is a reprint of an article from the Summer 2018 Ecumenical/Interfaith Committee Network Newsletter. The author is David Seitz OFS, our Regional Minister. (Reprinted with permission.)

To read the article, click HERE.

The Ecumenical/Interfaith Network (OFS-USA-EIC) was formed in 1997 by the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order. Its mission is “to educate and to raise the awareness of our Franciscan sisters and brothers in the United States to the ecumenical and interfaith movements in the Church. Paying particular attention to strengthening our collaboration with non-Eastern and Latin Rite Catholic secular Franciscans through our participation in the Joint Committee on Franciscan Unity.” (Quoted from the OFS-USA-EIC website.)

To visit the website of the Ecumenical/Interfaith Committee, click HERE.

New & Updated Vocation Materials at the NAFRA Website

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New materials and an updated brochure are available at the NAFRA website, on the “Forms and Resources” page. They are in a special section called “Vocations Tool Kit,” at the top of the page. Click HERE to open that page.

You can also find other recently updated forms and resources on that page.

The Sultan and the Saint: Peacemaking at its Best

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From the Secular Franciscan USA Ecumenical/Interfaith Network Winter Newsletter:

As an Ecumenical Interfaith Committee, we are promoting Christian unity in persons of different religious faiths. We are delegated to take action in search for mutual respect and common ground with our brothers and sisters, reaching out to build bridges of understanding and friendship that is designed to tear down the walls of isolation and fear.

When I viewed the premiere of the Docudrama “The Sultan and the Saint” in Albuquerque, I was delighted to see that the Islamic Center and Franciscan Friars, OFM, were hosting this event together. Watching the film brought clarity and understanding of what peacemaking is all about on a realistic down-to-earth level…

To continue reading this article, click HERE and scroll to it in the Newsletter.

To see more from the Secular Franciscan USA Ecumenical/Interfaith Network, visit their website HERE.