Feast Day Letter from the Anglican side of our Family

Fancis and Sultan.jpg

From: Mary D. Glasspool <maryglas@infionline.net>

Date: Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 7:43 AM
Subject: An Unofficial Letter from Bishop Assistant Mary D. Glasspool, Volume IV, Number 14

Volume IV, Number 14

October 4, 2019

An Unofficial Letter from Bishop Assistant Mary D. Glasspool

 Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 In this issue: Francis of Assisi, Seeker of Peace

            Paul Moses, in his book The Saint and the Sultan (Doubleday, 2009), writes of the encounter of Francis of Assisi and Malik al-Kamil, sultan of Egypt in the year 1219 CE. A number of interesting facts contribute to the context of this meeting. The Fifth Crusade - Western Europeans' attempt to reacquire Jerusalem by first conquering Egypt - was in full swing. It was not Francis' first or only attempt to preach to Muslims with the goal of converting them to Christianity. The meeting, of high risk in different ways to both men, did not result in a cessation of war, nor was the Fifth Crusade the last one. And until relatively recently (I would say with the publication of Moses' book), few people were even aware of, let alone knowledgeable about, this encounter. What might we learn from it?

            The Crusades, in general, were marked and motivated by Western Christianity's vilification of Muslims and Islam. Francis' persistence in wanting to see al-Kamil in person, and al-Kamil's allowing the meeting to happen, provided an occasion for enemies to see one another as human beings rather than monsters or embodiments of evil. The encounter was not a foregone conclusion. Francis and his companion, Illuminato, could have been captured, tortured, and killed after crossing over enemy lines. Something about his insistence on seeing the sultan - it might have been, as many accounts tell, his statement that he came in God's name, not the Pope's -resulted in the face-to-face meeting, allowing the enemy to be human.

            Second, while each man initially had the idea of converting the other, both were so grounded in their own faith that they were eventually able to listen to each other with the possibility of learning something. Biographical material about Malik al-Kamil testify to his being intelligent, strong, and also wanting peace over more killing. He was curious about these two visitors dressed in brown, well worn and often patched plain robes reminding him of the Sufis whose spirituality grounded the sultan.

            Francis and Illuminato were treated as honored guests in the Muslim camp. Francis was allowed to preach and he preached from the heart about God. Al-Kamil listened and was, again according to many accounts, deeply moved. Francis, too, could not help but observe that the Muslims fell to their knees five times a day to pray, together, as a community. During the several days they lived in the Muslim camp, Francis and Illuminato would have witnessed other religious and ritual practices as well. His preaching avoided criticism of Muhammad or Islam and focused on what Islam and Christianity had in common. Which leads to a third thing we might learn: of the many things held in common, prayer was fundamental to both religions.

            According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., a story has circulated orally among Muslims that the sultan gave Francis the key to his private prayer room. What I find even more fascinating is the clear influence Islamic prayer had on Francis, especially in the ways in which he addressed God. Most High, all powerful, good Lord... Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God... O Divine Master... Most High, glorious God... Muslims have a tradition known as the 99 names or attributes of God. Different lists of these 99 names differ - but the idea is that to the Almighty belongs the best, most honorific names. Thus: The Perfection and Giver of Peace; The Most Compassionate; The Most Merciful; All Powerful. I can't help but think that prayer itself, was a deep common ground.

            So Happy St. Francis Day to all! As you bless animals, or donate to a hospital for leprosy, remember to pray for peace, as well.            With love, +Mary

What is Franciscan Theology ?

Presented by Fr. Casey Cole, OFM

From “Franciscan Intellectual Tradition” Facebook Page

As we prepare to celebrate the feast of St. Francis, here's a brief reflection by Fr. Casey Cole, OFM, introducing some key emphases of Franciscan theology. He draws largely on the insights of Blessed John Duns Scotus to emphasize the goodness of God's world, created in Christ, and that theological reflection must be based on our real-life experience.

Transitus service at St. Bonaventure in Detroit

The Services Starts at 6:30 pm with a Holy Hour. The Transitus Service itself begins at 7:30 pm.

Most of the Fraternity will arrive in time for the 7:30 pm Service. Please feel free to attend the Holy Hour.

Troubadours of St. Clare Fraternity News and Views

Dear Troubadours,

Summer 2019 has come and gone. I hardly remember it.

We have a very busy fall in front of us as well. Please check the calendar on our web site for more detailed information.

There are several dates that we don’t want to miss:

  1. This coming October 3rd the Fraternity will gather together for the Transitus Celebration at St. Bonaventure Monastery on Mt. Elliott, Detroit.

  2. Our Council meeting will take place at Marie’s home on Monday, October 7, at 9:00 am. This is not a private meeting. All are invited.

  3. Our Next Fraternity gathering is at St. Lucy’s on Tuesday, October 8th at 6:30 pm. Br. George is going to talk a bit on what the Transitus of St. Francis is all about (reminder for Br. George). We will have a welcoming ceremony for Lori and Sally (it’s in your ritual) and who is bringing the refreshments—check the web site calendar.

  4. Kathy and I will be traveling to Corpus Christi October 15 - 20 for the OFS-USA National Chapter. Please keep us and the entire National Fraternity in your prayers.

  5. Divine Mercy Region’s annual Formation Day is Saturday, October 26. You need to register for this event in advance. The cost is $25.00 per person. This year’s topic is J.P.I.C. (Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation) oriented. It would be great if everyone could make it. Click on the links in the article below to register. If you have any problems please let Jerry or I know.

On a separate note, I have attached below an action item from the USCCB (United States Council of Catholic Bishops) “JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS” web site regarding the Bishops’ desire to “Protect Refugee Resettlement”. Please click on the links and take action as requested by the USCCB.

From Br. George Kooran OFM Cap.

Thu, Sep 5, 10:24 AM

Here is a link to the need and form of a renewed understanding of Priestly self-understanding and formation.

Highlights the Lay ministry and it's relevance too


One last Important item.

I listen to Podcast regularly. They help me keep grounded. They help keep me up to date with what the church is teaching as well as help clarify in all the haze and polarization we are living through today what we as Franciscans should be about. There is a “Franciscan” Podcast that I find extremely helpful. It is called “The Francis Effect”. The latest episode I recommend you listen to. Call it Ongoing formation of extra credit. It is included below.

Peace and Fraternal Prayers and Blessings


by Our Mother of Sorrows OFS

“The Fruits of Daily Conversion”

When: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Registration: Begins at 8:30 a.m.
Gathering: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Saginaw Ministry Center (Corner of Weiss & Wieneke Streets)
5802 Weiss Street, Saginaw, MI 48603
Invited: All people who are in formation, Professed Franciscans & Formation Team Members, are asked to join us at the Regional Annual Formation Day!
Focus: The Fruits of Daily Conversion!
Guest Speakers: Br. Robert Wotypka OFM Cap
Executive Director Capuchin Community Services and Joe Makley OFS, Regional Vice Minister St. Elizabeth of Hungary Region / New England

This year at our annual day of formation, we will be looking at ways to put our Franciscan call into action! Please consider joining us for this informative and experiential day away with your Franciscan sisters and brothers! It is often hard to regulate the temperature in our meeting room, so please plan on bringing a sweater in case one is needed. Do plan on attending as we look forward to seeing all of you there!

The option for Saturday Mass after the Gathering for those who would like to attend, is the 4pm evening Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church located a mile from the center at 5376 State St., in Saginaw. We will have directions available for those opting to attend.

Conference Fee: $25.00 per attendee covers costs of a continental breakfast, lunch and keynote speakers. However, if you would like to contribute more than the required $25, and make a charitable contribution to the Divine Mercy Region, please do so as it is appreciated!

Please complete the Registration Form (on Fraternity Documents page - Direct link here) for each attendee and send it with the minimum $25 Conference Fee per person (checks payable to: Secular Franciscan Order, Divine Mercy Region) to: Michelle Bryk, OFS, 2229 Shetland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.
Registration Deadline: Friday, October 19th! Please note there are no refunds after this date, and if applicable an additional $10 late registration
fee will be required. Any questions please call or email Michelle Bryk at 616-361-8489 or michellebofs@gmail.com
Overnight Fee: If you’d like to arrive Friday, October 25, 2019, then please check that option on the Registration Form and include the required additional room fee of $45. Available rooms are limited so please register early ASAP. There will be no evening meal served.

Protect Refugee Resettlement

As September 30, 2019, (the end of the fiscal year) approaches, the Trump Administration is required to announce the Presidential Determination (PD) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, which determines the number of refugees allowed to be admitted to the United States. The FY2019 PD was set at 30,000 refugees, the all-time-lowest number in the history of resettlement. Meanwhile, there are nearly 26 million refugees worldwide with 1.4 million needing resettlement.

Despite the continued global need, some in the Trump Administration are reportedly calling to “zero out” the program for FY 2020. USCCB said that zeroing out the refugee program “would be contrary to America values.” The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom registered their “alarm.“ The Senate and House have both introduced the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement Act, GRACE Act, S. 1088, H.R. 2146, which would set 95,000 as the minimum PD.

As Catholics, we affirm the inherent dignity of every person and the ability of refugees to seek security and safety for themselves and family members. We continue to be deeply concerned that low admission numbers mean that refugees fleeing persecution are left in harms’ way and that refugee families are left separated across the continents. For this reason, the U.S. Catholic Bishops urge you to express solidarity with refugees now in this moment of great need.

Learn more about refugees and refugee resettlement on our resource page.


Two theologians walk into a bar... No, seriously: This podcast is about the real world of politics and current events, seen through the lens of Catholic teaching and spirituality. We release eight episodes during each season, with a new one available every two weeks (for now, but we're hoping to go weekly, if listeners like what we do).

Speaking from their own experience and perspectives, your hosts, Dan and David, bring you their take on issues, as theologians and thinkers within the Church. 

Fr. Dan Horan, OFM is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province (NY), and is an assistant professor of systematic theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is the author of eleven books on religion and spirituality, and is a highly sought-after lecturer, conference speaker, and retreat leader. Follow him at his website, on facebook, and on twitter: @DanHoranOFM

David Dault is a professional faith communicator. He is the executive producer and host of Things Not Seen: Conversations about Culture and Faith. This radio show is heard weekly in the Chicago market on WYLL 1160 AM, and its podcast version is followed by close to 150,000 subscribers. Follow him on twitter here: @DaultRadio and @NotSeenRadio 

Season of Care for Creation 2019 By Carolyn Townes OFS: OFS-USA - J.P.I.C. Animator

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
~ Colossians 1:19-20

Greetings of peace, dear Franciscan Family!

We are coming up on the time of the year when we give mindful and deliberate attention to our Sister Mother Earth. Yes, I know there are many things occupying our minds, our hearts and our prayers at this time. But our God is bigger, greater and mightier than all those things. We must trust and have faith that the Holy Spirit is doing a mighty work that we are not privileged to see right now.

In all these matters, we must continue to do what is ours to do. Yes, we must pray as prayer can move mountains. Yet, fervent prayer leads us to inspired action.. When we pray, we must also make room for the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit to show us what is ours to do. Believe me, when we do our part, the Spirit is faithful to do His. 

Attached please find the prayers for the Season of the Care for Creation, which begins September 1st and ends on the Solemnity of our Seraphic Father Francis of Assisi, October 4th. I ask that you share with your families, your fraternities and your faith communities. There must never be a time when prayer is "not enough." But fervent prayer is always coupled with inspired and righteous action. Again, allow the Holy Spirit to reveal your next right actions.

Please share your experiences and mindful moments with me. Email me at ctownes26 @ gmail.com.  I would love to hear how the Spirit is moving in your hearts and lives. 

Jesus taught freedom from oppression and to love the search for the presence of God’s reign in our lives and the universe. Since Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 letter on the Condition of Workers, church teaching has faced many social issues so that individual compassion flows through to both growing just structures and dismantling the structure of sin. Treating the earth with respect is within this continuum. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)

Wishing you blessings of peace and all good!

Carolyn D. Townes, OFS National Animator, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation U.S. Secular Franciscan Order
See Christ, Be Christ. Share the Vision! (OFS-USA 2019 Theme)

Franciscan Funnies

Franciscan Funnies

A man approached a Franciscan and said, "Would you say a novena for me, that I could get an Escalade?"  The friar responded, "What is an Escalade?"  "That is a very expensive Cadillac car." "We don't pray for stuff like that." responded the friar.  So, the man went to a Benedictine asking, "Would you say a novena for me, that I could get an Escalade?" "What is an Escalade"? asked the Benedictine. he responded, "That is a very expensive Cadillac car." he said.  "Nah, we don't pray for stuff like that" answered the Benedictine.  So, he went to a Jesuit......"Would you say a novena for me so that I could get an Escalade?"  The Jesuit responded....."What is a novena?"

Franciscan Funnies

It was Christmas time, so, Sister Rapheal asked her class to tell how they spent thier Christmas. Little Sarah raised her hand, and sister called on her........Sarah said, Christmas eve we all gather around and sing songs like "Silent Night" or "Jingle Bells".  Then we go to bed early and when we wake in the morning, Santa has come and we open all our presents."

Then Joey raised his hand....."We all get to bed early on Christmas eve.....but we are too excited to fall asleep very early.  Then, early in the morning we rise and Santa has already left all our toys.  After we open them we sit around and sing songs like "Jingle Bells".....then we go to dinner at grandmas house.

That's when Ivan raised his hand............Sister Rapheal was puzzled : "Ivan, you are Jewish" !! "Yes" proclaimed Ivan...but we DO celebrate."  "How asked Sister."  "Well, said Ivan......on Christmas eve we all gather around because the maid has prepared a wonderful dinner.....after dinner, we get to bed early in anticipation of Christmas Day.  Early in the morning the maid wakes us to find a fine breakfast prepared for us. Then we all jump into the limo that our chauffer has brought around and he drives us to our dads toy store and we look at all the empty shelves.........then it's off to the airport where we fly to Hawaii and all sit on the beach and sing songs like "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" !!!!!