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?"
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" !!!!!
A Franciscan , a Benedictine and a Jesuit were in a conversation, and arguing over who was God's favorite. The Franciscan said"I am....I serve the poor and down trodden". The Benedictine said "I am, I produce the wine that is turned into his blood". The Jesuit said...."I teach His word to all the people....I am His favorite". All of a sudden, a white dove appeared over head and an envelope dropped down. They opened the envelope to find a note. It said: "My children, I have no favorite, you all serve me in your own way, and I love you all the same. Signed, God OFM Cap "!!!!
Now is the Time: A Call for Ecumenical/Interfaith Prophets
Gods peace be upon each of you,
This past week the Troubadours of St. Clare Fraternity Council agreed to create within the Council the position of Ecumenical/Interfaith Formator. Our sister Barbara Jur, OFS, has consented to be the first facilitator of this new Council position. Barbara is already an elected Councilor with active voice within the Council. Her acceptance of this new role will be a blessing to us all.
To the best of my knowledge, we are the first and only fraternity to have taken such a step; further, I believe, no Region in the United States has moved in this direction, including Divine Mercy Region. We are very grateful to Barbara for her generous “yes” in response to the Council request. She has assumed this new role, and we look forward to her guidance and our own future formation.
Why is such a position necessary within a National, Regional, Local fraternity? The answer for me is simple. We need prophets. We need those brothers and sisters who will:
put themselves out there and speak truth to us;
remind us of our call as Franciscans to be in loving relationship with everyone;
help us fulfill the responsibilities of our profession; and,
take us places we would rather not go.
I encourage all Regional Executive Councils (most especially Divine Mercy Region) to explore the possibility of creating such a position within their respective Regions. I ask most especially the fraternities of Divine Mercy Region to search out and call forward into service those in our local fraternities who have a passion for Ecumenical and Interfaith dialogue and relationship.
Let us find together those prophets living amongst us that are willing to speak truth and take us to those peoples and places where we may not really want to go.
Pax et bonum,
A friar passed away and arrived at heavens gate to find himself behind a Dominican Friar and a Benedictine monk. The Dominican stepped up to the angel at the gate.....the angel 'flipped through' his lap top and said "You are good to go". The gates opened, a golden road rolled out as diamonds studded the curb. The sun shown bright...harps and wind instruments began to play and low and behold......St. Dominic came up to the gate...took him by the hand and led him in. The friar was impressed. Then the Benedictine stepped up.......same majestic fan fare as St. Benedict came to lead him in. The friar straightened his habit and stood anxious......finally to meet St. Francis. The angel checked his lap top and said...."You are good to go" the gates opened and the angel said "It's just down there to the right." The friar said "What about the music and all that stuff.....where is St. Francis". The angel replied.."Ahhhh we got a lotta Franciscans up here"!!!!
A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan were walking along an old road, debating the greatness of their orders. Suddenly, an apparition of the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him. The Franciscan fell on his face, overcome with awe at the sight of God born in such poverty. The Dominican fell to his knees, adoring the beautiful reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family. The Jesuit walked up to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, “So, have you thought about where to send him to school?”
What a great summer!
As I read the reports issued, it was the hottest July in recorded history worldwide. That in itself is a topic for another discussion. Maybe an entire formation session? Kathy yesterday was thinking of snowflakes that will be arriving in the not too distant future. At least we hope there will be snow.
As I am writing this, Kathy and I are preparing to head off to the annual Divine Mercy Region Ministers meeting--a long weekend with our sisters and brothers in Francis and Clare. My time of preparation lends itself to thoughts of the past year. We have been busy for sure.
We have several world travelers in the fraternity and the sharing of experiences from their trips brings smiles to everyone. Mary Anne is at this moment enjoying a trip to Poland; we are enjoying the pictures sent via Facebook, and only our good Lord knows where Barb is headed next.
Our Fraternity Picnic was as usual a grand event. Jerry and Kathy were wonderful hosts as always. Our grandchildren loved the pool and the hotdogs, and I enjoyed Jerry’s “perpetual” keg that is always full and ice cold. Every work shed deserves its own keg. We are also most grateful Kathy’s doctors let her out of the hospital to join us.
For myself, I have just been trying to keep up with all the OFS stuff. At our last meeting, Mary Anne mentioned that we are not scheduled for a room for our meetings with St. Joan’s office staff. I called and sure enough I missed the June 1st scheduling deadline. It is mentioned someplace in their parish binder that I received when elected Minister. That’s the same binder that tells us of the St. Joan parish complex closing dates, so we don’t show up for our gatherings and find the building locked up (sorry about that) and then have to run over to Lauren’s house for our fraternity gathering. Where on earth did I put that binder?
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Meetup, our new website, St. Joan of Arc’s Parish Calendar, the Region’s calendar, our Fraternity calendar, our Franciscan formation calendar, work schedule, grandchildren adventures, and our new collie puppy, I’m dizzy from all the circles I am running in. Ok, it’s really vertigo, but I’m dizzy none the less!
"Creating an Opportunity of Encounter" Pope Francis
Introducing the Troubadours of St. Clare Fraternity's Web Site
We hope your visit with us is enlightening and spiritually uplifting. In the weeks and months ahead we will post articles and information that is pertinent to our Fraternity, our way of life, our Rule and the Franciscan Movement. Ill try to update you with both local, regional and national events involving the OFS (Secular Franciscan Order) and we will invite guest to post on topics that will also do the same. If you are interested in finding out about the Secular Franciscan Order please don't hesitate to send us a note.
Pax et bonum
In October we will be participating in the Fraternity’s “Chapter of Elections”. It is a time of Joy and Grace for the sisters and brothers of the Troubadours of “St. Clare Fraternity” and for the entire Order as well.
During the Election process there are two specific types of office within the one Council that nominations are received and persons are elected too.
- The office of Minister
- The office of Councilor
The specific tasks that are filled such as Secretary, Treasurer and even in our Fraternity’s case Formation Master/Minister all are given their expression through the office of Councilor.
The “Office of Minister” is a unique position that is distinct in its character. Within the “Office of Minister” there are two positions that members are elected to.
- The Office of Minister
- The Office of Vice-Minister
For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on these two unique and distinct offices Minister and Vice - Ministerwithin the council at all levels.
There is no position that holds more misunderstanding within the OFS than the office of Minister.
It is seen by most (at all levels) to be a position of power and authority. The Office of Vice-Minister is used today (at all levels) as a somewhat ceremonial position where the person elected is viewed as less than the Minister and as someone behind the scenes waiting for delegation of responsibility’s from, or the absence of the (true) Minister. In other words to fill in when needed. Nothing could be further from the truth or the intention of our Rule and Constitutions.
To quote our Minister General, Tibor Kauser In a presentation to the assembled gathering in Assisi during the OFS General Chapter, November 2014.
“ 5. SOME CONCRETE PROBLEMS
- Lack of collegiality and misunderstanding of the role of ministers.
This is the most frequent problem in the order. The problem exists not only because there are ministers who think they are entitled to have absolute powers but also because there are counselors who are convinced that the minister is responsible and empowered to do everything, or who simply have no intention to get involved to serve.
The solution of this problem entirely resides on the full compliance with our Rule and General Constitutions.
Particular misunderstanding can be experienced regarding the role of the vice-ministers. They are very often considered to be ‘substitute ministers’, saying that they do not have anything to do until the minister is in charge. I strongly recommend to read the General Constitutions for this:
The vice minister has the following duties: (G.C. 52.1)
- To collaborate in a fraternal spirit and to support the minister in carrying out his or her specific duties;
- To exercise the functions entrusted by the council and/or by the assembly or chapter;
- To take the place of the minister in both duties and responsibilities in case of absence or temporary impediment;
- To assume the functions of the minister when the office remains vacant.
These duties - particularly the first two - are way fare more than to wait until the minister ‘disappears’. This needs a new understanding from both the ministers and the vice-ministers”. End quote.
Sisters and brothers, we are being asked by our Minister General, to rethink and recreate, our understanding and experience of the “Office of Minister”. To expect from those elected to this office, both Minister and Vice-Minister at all levels of Fraternal life, a true understanding of the collegiality and shared ministry expressed and expected as a result of our intentional desire to live out our Rule and General Constitutions.
Our brother Tibor’s comments are meant for the entire order. The task for our specific Fraternity and Region is to look at who we are. How we operate and respond in concrete ways to this moment of fraternal correction we are being offered.
Tibor’s entire presentation can be seen and downloaded from the NAFRA web site. It is well worth the time and effort.