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Reading 1 PRV 31:10-13,19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Responsorial Psalm 128:1-5

R. (cf. 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Reading 2 1 THES5:1-6

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come
like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security, ”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.

Alleluia JN 15:4-5

R. Alleluia, alleluia. JN 15:4-5
Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord.
Whoever remains in me bears much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

(Georges Rouault ‘Christ stained glass’)



The story of the talents is powerful spiritual food for the end of the year. It challenges us to ask the question of whether we are doing less than we could with the one life that God has given us because we pretend that we are worthless. I am not very bright and not all that well educated and not very witty and people don’t find me attractive. So I sit back quietly and passively and hope that no one notices me. I am incapable of doing anything important or worthwhile.


Once upon a time there were two teenagers who were the ninth and tenth person on Mollie Whopi’s basketball team. They are on the team because Mollie had asked them but they were content to be bench warmers. In fact, they loved to sit on the bench and make fun of those who were playing. They didn’t practice very hard because they knew they’d get into the game only at the last minute when the game was already won or lost. Since it was Mollie’s team they almost always won. Well, one day three of the regular players were out sick and two more fouled out, one of whom was Mollie herself. (The refs were simply nor fair. So Mollie she had to send in these two kids at the end of the bench. They didn’t try very hard. Of course the team lost. So they’re like well, it’s not our fault because we’re not very good. And Molie goes if you’d played up to your real ability we would have won.




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SPIRITUAL TREASURES by Franz Marc (From The Blue Rider Almanac):

(Franz Marc. ‘Fate of the Animals’ 1913)

It is strange that people should value spiritual treasures so completely differently than material ones.

If, for example, someone conquers a new colony for his country, the whole country rejoices for him, and does not hesitate-even for a day- to tea possession of the colony. Technological achievements are welcomed with the same rejoicing.

On the other hand, if someone should think of giving his country a new purely spiritual treasure, it is almost always rejected with anger and irritation; his gift arouses suspicion, and people try, in every possible way, to do away with it. If it were permitted, the donor would, even today, be burned at the stake for his gift…

We see the danger of general indifference to spiritual treasures very clearly. Our gifts will be rejected with anger and abuse: “Why new paintings and new ideas? What can we buy with them? We already have too many old ones that we don’t enjoy but that were foisted upon us by education and fashion.”

(Franz Marc ‘Deer in the forest,’ 1914)



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Dear Friends of the Hermitage:

 Did you know that there is only one reality in the universe? It’s true! Scientists tell us that the cosmos is created and sustained by one Energy which they refer to as Unconditional Love! Theologians tell us the same thing: the Cosmos is created and sustained by one Energy which they refer to as God (and God is Unconditional Love!).

During this wonderful Season (whether you celebrate Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas) we all radiate Love Energy and that is what makes this season magical! Think about it for a moment. When you are kind, loving and compassionate, you feel wonderful and energized (that’s Heaven!). BUT when you block the flow of love with anger, judgment, prejudice and hate you feel miserable (that’s Hell!).

The Holiday Season with its decorations, music, lights, gifts, meals, parties, etc. makes it easier to allow Love Energy to flow out from us into our world. But please note, we have to make the choice to allow Love Energy to flow through us!

May we suggest that after reading this letter, you make a choice every day to spread Love. Little things like smiles, a “Thank You” or “please” can make all the difference in the world. Passing on honest compliments, greeting people on the street or in the store can light up your life as well as others. All of the above are non-material gifts that cost nothing but they are the acts of kindness that make this Holiday Season meaningful!

There are so many people in our world who need help, physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually! You have a limitless reservoir of Unconditional Love!

Please find ways to let this Divine Energy in you flow constantly to everyone in your life! Think seriously about principles like the following and how they apply to you: Less is better – Small is beautiful – Live simply – Love bountifully –

Spirit is essential (“stuff” is not) – Believe in yourself and in others – Plan for the future but live in the present – Balance work with fun – Enjoy friends and family – Be the God Presence everywhere you go!

Our hope is that your efforts during this Holiday Season will create a lifestyle that will stay with you for the rest of your life!

All of you have a special place in our daily thoughts and prayers at the Hermitage.

During this wonderful Season (and always), may we all be ONE in Divine Love spreading Joy and Peace everywhere!

In the love of God and St. Francis,


Start your year off by giving yourself a gift that will last a lifetime!!



TUES. JAN. 2nd 7:00 p.m.

(All welcome –

Free and open to the public.)

Class dates and times:

     Saturday, January 6 – 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

     Sunday, January 7 – 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

“When you learn and practice the exercises and techniques presented in this training you will be able to improve every area of your life.”

Cost: Prepaid $375 –

after Jan. 2nd – $425


To receive the $50 discount a $100 deposit

must be received on or by January 2, 2018.

Silva Graduates retaking the class must register with your ID number. A donation of $30. is appreciated to help cover the class cost.




In this class you will learn; To find life’s purpose, establish a constant connection with Source Energy, enhance your Intuitive Ability, and much more.

             Class dates and times:

January 19 – Friday Night 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Class

January 20 – Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Class

January 21 – Sunday –   9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Class

To register or for more information call: LuLu at

       317-545-0742 or email

Cost: Prepaid on or before Monday Jan. 15th$375. after Jan. 15th $425. A $100 deposit received on or before Jan. 15th will reserve you’re your seat and qualify you for $50 discount.



   A course in improvement of

 All Relationships with instructor,
Fr. Justin

Opening Lecture Feb. 13th –

Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

        Workshop dates:

Saturday and Sunday,

February 17 & 18, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Valentine Special Price -$175. per person or   $200. for two people.

A $50 dollar deposit must be received on, or before February 13th to qualify for this special price.

This Workshop, will help you to understand how you relate, give you 7 basic principles you can use to develop wholesome and satisfying relationships, and much more.

Limited seating – please reserve your space early. Call or email LuLu at 317-545-0742 or email:

Fr. Justin’s Books and CD’s make wonderful

Gifts for the Holiday Season, and far beyond!!


To place your order please go to our store:The Hermitage Store


We have independent contractors with offices in the Hermitage House.These are 2 licensed Clinical Social Workers, 2 Massage Therapists, twoReiki Masters, 1 Guitar Teacher, 1 Healing Touch and 1 Spiritual

Director, and 1 licensed Clinical Psychologist.

For information please contact us at the Hermitage.

The Franciscan Hermitage, Inc. is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit entity and our outreach is international. 2018 marks our 34th year of helping individuals in the areas of personal growth and development. During that time we estimate we have touched somewhere in the vicinity of 2 million people. YOUR GIFTS HELP US CONTINUE THIS IMPORTANT WORK AND ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

Sending you Blessings for 2018, from the Staff and Volunteers of the Hermitage.

We pray that this Holiday Season will bring you and your loved ones great Love, Joy, Peace, Health.Happiness and every other good thing in life!

   The Hermitage Board of Directors

Kathy Peters, Chair

Friar Bertin Miller, OFM,  Vice Chair & Liaison with Sacred Heart Province

LuLu Kinnett  Secretary/Treasurer

Nancy Chism Member at Large

Friar Justin Belitz, OFM  Program Development

Fred Beyne Maintenance

Volunteer Staff / Associates

Alison Kirkwood – Perth, Australia

Sheelagh Dixon – Australia
Alfred Eaker –     Facebook

Pat Flodman – Lincoln, NE

Karen Marx – Omaha, NE

LuLu Fedorus – Omaha, NE

Pat Kerlin – Katy, TX

SFL Lecturer Jennifer Gal

French Consultant/ SFL Lecturer Marietta Kovacs – Geneva, Switzerland

Cathy Slaughter – Perth, Australia

Deb Bowyer – Hermitage Office

Triesa Hodgson – Hermitage Office

Jerry Kroll – Computer Support

Pat Pontis – Data Support

Brian Harvey – IT Specialist

The Hermitage, 3650 E. 46th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205



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Reading 1 WIS 6:12-16

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire;
Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed,
for he shall find her sitting by his gate.
For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever for her sake keeps vigil
shall quickly be free from care;
because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her,
and graciously appears to them in the ways,
and meets them with all solicitude.

Responsorial Psalm 63:2-8

R. (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
I will remember you upon my couch,
and through the night-watches I will meditate on you:
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Reading 2 1 THES 4:13-18

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive,
who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

Alleluia MT 24: 42,44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake and be ready!
For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”



As has been observed before in these notes parables have only one point. Attempts to interpret the details of a parable so that it becomes an allegory tend to distract from that point (though allegories have been with us almost as along as there have been parables). This story is not about wedding customs or about charity or even about staying awake at night. Rather it is about being ready when Jesus comes, either in some one who needs our help, or at the time of death, or at the end of time. It is one of the parables of urgency, a parable which urges us not to waste the opportunities that are offered us, a parable which in the terms of the beer ad reminds us that we only go around once and that we ought not to pass up our chances.


Once upon a time, class of high school juniors were preparing to take the tests that would determine which college might be interested in having them as its students. The brightest student in the class didn’t worry about their chances. One group of these class “stars,” convinced that they could ace anything, planned to go partying the night before the exams. Another group, fairly sure they could do well on the tests, still decided to take it easy and get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. The others in the class, who wanted to get into a good college, had studied for months before the exam and most of them did not join the partying crowd. When the test results were announced, many in this latter group did as well as the partying crowd, most of whom did not do their very best and some of whom did not qualify for admittance to the colleges they were sure would be eager to have them in their student body. The lamps of their minds did not function as well as they had hoped.

Follow Fr. Justin on Twitter




Another “push” for the ideals of Vatican II.

Things are movin’, slowly, slowly!


200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, OH 44883-3458                          November 5, 2017

“One of our AUSCP desires is to bring younger, more recently trained clergy into engagement and dialogue with the pre-dominantly older generation which now constitutes our membership. I recently spent an evening with a 33 year old priest, 4 years ordained, who is a member. It was an enriching conversation. We do not need to be adversaries but we need to listen respectfully to one another and allow the Spirit to lead us into a harmonious future of service to God’s people.”

Bob Bonnot, AUSCP Chair


Invitation to Become “Friends” of AUSCP

The AUSCP Friends Group now has 104 members.Please take time to invite your friends to join us!

The majority of those who have become Friends have done so because of a personal invitation from an AUSCP member.


If you would like a flyer with the information on AUSCP Friends to print out or to email to your friends, send a request


Help us continue the important and critical work of the AUSCP with your financial assistance!

You can click below to donate.

Thank you!

 If you have received a reminder note about your annual AUSCP dues, you can renew online by clicking on the BECOME A MEMBER BUTTON below or by sending  a check to:


200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, OH 44883-3458


For more information, visit the AUSCP website at: 


If you have a problem with your credit card being accepted online, call PayPal at 888-215-5506. When asked to name your problem, say “credit card denied.”


To access the latest information on immigration reform and Action Alerts, click on the JFI logo below:



To access information on care of creation andLaudato Si’, click below:

Catholic Climate Covenant

Direct link to Homily Resources

Volunteers to to assist with the homily resources would be welcomed; contact Michael Agliardo,


Assembly Presentations Available on Web!

Presentations that were videotaped from AUSCP Assemblies are now available to view on Youtube: 

Assembly Presentations

Links to 2017 Assembly Presentations:

Fr. Bryan Massingale

Jack Jezreel

Archbishop Wilton Gregory  

Prospect of Married Men Becoming Priests

According to an article by John Phillips in the Telegraph (Nov. 2, 2017), “Pope Francis has requested a debate over allowing married men in theAmazon region of Brazil to become priests, in a controversial move that is likely to outrage conservatives in the Church, Vatican sources say.

The pontiff took the decision to put a partial lifting of priestly celibacy up for discussion and a possible vote by Brazilian bishops following a request made by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the president of  the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon, Il Messaggero newspaper quoted the sources saying.”

Click HERE to read the article “Pope raises prospect of married men becoming priests.”

Interpreting Pope’s Correction of Cardinal Sarah

Richard Gaillardetz (ncr online Oct. 31, 2017) says that Pope Francis’ letter to Cardinal Robert Sarah, correcting him on his minimizing of the Pope’s statement on liturgical translations “is not about ecclesiastical one-upmanship. It is simply one more example of Francis’ consistent determination to implement the vision of the Second Vatican Council. If his actions continue to surprise us, it is because, five decades out, there remains a substantial gap between the council’s reformist agenda and its concrete realization in the life of the church.”

To read the article “Francis’ correction of Sarah shows Vatican II is his ‘sure compass’,” click HERE.

Book Recommendation

What is the “New Spirituality”? In Ilia Delio’s book From Teilhard to Omega: Co-creating an Unfinished Universe, a collection of essays by Delio and 13 other scholars, you will find the new spirituality summarized as follows:

“In summary, the new spirituality is one element of a paradigmatic cultural transition. It is eclectic, pluralistic, and holistic. It reflects the subjective turn of modernity and postmodernity; emphasizes feelings, experience and the question for human authenticity; accentuates human fulfillment in this world; reveres and affirms the cosmos and our belonging to it; finds the sacred in the secular; promotes a recomposed and embodied spirituality; and recognizes the infusion of nature and matter with spirit, consciousness, or life force.”

Bob Bonnot, AUSCP chair, says that the book “is spirit opening and mind blowing. It is full of hope and joy as we look at where we are and to the future.” Bob especially recommends this book for those planning to participate in the 2018 Assembly.

FutureChurch Invitation

Join our teleconference – November 8, 2017

Fr. Robert Duch – The Lobinger Model

“The Lobinger Model is an innovative model rooted in the particular needs and talents of local communities. It addresses the theological conundrum presented by the priest shortage by expanding the role of lay leaders and ordaining them into service. The Lobinger model was developed by Bishop Fritz Lobinger who, early on, was instrumental in developing the pastoral model of the Small Christian Communities — including a particular model of Bible study with central roles for lay leadership in liturgical services, catechesis and the social gospel.” (Description by FutureChurch) To register, click below:

Emerging Models of Parish and Community Life

Another Catholic Climate Covenant Webinar

Practical & Proven Ways to Inspire Creation Care in your Community

Tuesday, November 14th at 1:00 pm (eastern)

In this online webinar, you will learn about:

  • how the Dioceses of Toledo and Burlington initiated and inspired care for creation activities and successful conferences around Laudato Si’ among the Catholic faithful
  • successful programs and activities they have implemented within Catholic schools and parishes that sustain interest and actions related to Care for Creation and Laudato Si’


Annual Appeal

The once-a-year Appeal Lettter was sent out on November 1st. Special thanks to those who sent in names to add to the mailing list. There are still extra letters available at the office.  If you send in names and addresses of likely donors, we will be happy to send a letter to them.  

Please be generous in your response to the Annual Appeal so that we can continue and expand the work of AUSCP!

Copies of the new brochure are also available.  They are a great tool for recruitment of new members and friends! Please notify the office if you would like copies sent to you:

 Does Your Parish Tithe?

If your parish tithes its Sunday collection and sends a monthly donation to various organizations, please consider putting the AUSCP on the list of recipients.  Thanks!






Can We Still Attract and Grow Disciples?

Confirmed Speakers:

Bishop Robert McElroy, Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

Sr. Katerina Schuth, OSF

Early Bird Special! Register by check by March 31, 2018 and pay $475. Send check to:


200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, OH 44883-3458

 Online cost $495 – Registration link

Hotel Link: Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid

($112 per night; book by June 4, 2018)

For  links to articles of interest on various topics, visit the AUSCP Facebook page at:

For more information and photos, visit the AUSCP website at: 




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thirty-first reading in ordinary time

Reading 1 Mal 1:1-2, 8-10

A great King am I, says the LORD of hosts,
and my name will be feared among the nations.
And now, O priests, this commandment is for you:
If you do not listen,
if you do not lay it to heart,
to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you
and of your blessing I will make a curse.
You have turned aside from the way,
and have caused many to falter by your instruction;
you have made void the covenant of Levi,
says the LORD of hosts.
I, therefore, have made you contemptible
and base before all the people,
since you do not keep my ways,
but show partiality in your decisions.
Have we not all the one father?
Has not the one God created us?
Why then do we break faith with one another,
violating the covenant of our fathers?

Responsorial Psalm 131:1-3

R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Reading 2 1 thes 2:7-9,13

Brothers and sisters:
We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.
You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Alleluia MT 23:9-10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have but one Father in heaven
and one master, the Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

(George Roualt, “Out of the depths”)



Jesus’s constant conflict with the Scribes and the Pharisees was not a battle against the Scribes skills in interpreting scripture, nor with the Pharisees theoretical doctrines about love and about the resurrection from the dead. Rather he fought with these religious enthusiasts because their claim to virtue, a claim which they used to oppress ordinary folk, was in large part hypocritical. Because they were deeply religious persons, they assumed that they had the right to run other people’s lives. It was against this tyranny that Jesus contended. Patently the temptation to be a scribe or a Pharisee did not end when Jesus went back to the Father in heaven. It is an inevitable part of religion, and must be resisted today even as it was in Jesus’s time.


Once upon a time there was a certain monsignor who had founded a new parish and built the school, the convent, the rectory, the church, and the parish hall (with some help, be it noted, from the money of the lay people). He was justly proud of the parish, as were the laity. Then, however, he began to think it belonged to him. He hired and fired school principles, established rules that made it hard for people to be married in the parish (they had to have used the collection envelopes for a year before they signed up for a wedding, they couldn’t be living together). He denied baptism to the children of many people whom he didn’t consider good Catholics, threw kids out of schools when the teachers thought the kids would be all right with a little help, refused to meet with the liturgy committee, and appointed only his cronies to the parish council. This priest disbanded the finance committee because it was his parish and he’d run it the way he wanted to, barred visiting priests, even if they were relatives, from weddings and funerals. One day the bishop called him to his office. The Monsignor assumed that he would receive a new honor. The bishop demanded his resignation. They’re my people the monsignor said proudly. They all hate you the bishop replied…



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THIRTIETH sunday in ordinary time

Reading 1 ex 22:20-26

Thus says the LORD:
“You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry.
My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword;
then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.”If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people,
you shall not act like an extortioner toward him
by demanding interest from him.
If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge,
you shall return it to him before sunset;
for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body.
What else has he to sleep in?
If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate.”

Responsorial Psalm 18:2-4,47,51

R. (2) I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD lives and blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

Reading 2 1 THES 1:5-10

Brothers and sisters:
You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake.
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord,
receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit,
so that you became a model for all the believers
in Macedonia and in Achaia.
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth
not only in Macedonia and in Achaia,
but in every place your faith in God has gone forth,
so that we have no need to say anything.
For they themselves openly declare about us
what sort of reception we had among you,
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God
and to await his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead,
Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.

Alleluia JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

(Georges Rouault ‘Christ among the poor’)

Fr. Andrew Greeley homily on today’s gospel reading (2002)


This question was a favorite conundrum in rabbinic arguments (which were often intellectual games) Of the hundreds of laws in the torah which was the most important. Jesus dismisses this controversy and says there is only one law – that of love, the love of God and neighbor coming to the same thing. You can’t have one without the other.


Once upon a time a mother became greatly concerned about the unruly and disrespectful children she saw (or thought she saw) all around her. Parents no longer taught their children to be obedient. She resolved that this wouldn’t happen in her family. So she insisted on absolute obedience from her children. Either they did what she told them to do exactly when she told them to do or they were punished. She didn’t hurt them but ruled that they couldn’t go out to play, couldn’t go to their friends home, couldn’t get or give Christmas presents, couldn’t have birthday parties, couldn’t get driver’s licenses, couldn’t go to proms, couldn’t go to the colleges they wanted to. Her campaign was successful. They were very obedient and respectful. Finally, when they were older they all moved away as far as they could go and were very successful in their careers. She complained to the youngest, her favorite, once, Why don’t you love me? Didn’t I teach you the habits that were necessary for your success. Yeah said the young woman, but you never loved us.

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Success: Full Relating Evaluations ( 10-8-17)


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Success: Full Relating

as presented by

Fr. Justin Belitz, O.F.M.

Franciscan Hermitage

Indianapolis, Indiana

October 7 and 8, 2017

Fr. Justin Belitz. O.F.M., the Founding Director of The Franciscan Hermitage in Indianapolis, Indiana, conducted a workshop at the Hermitage on Success: Full Relating for 8 participants on October 7 and 8, 2017. At the time of tabulation, 6 evaluations were summarized. The following is a report based upon the replies.

Success: Full Relating

October 7 and 8, 2017

Fr. Justin Belitz, O.F.M.

Franciscan Hermitage, Indianapolis, Indiana

Satisfaction Items


Question 1 2 3 4 5 No  response Average
What is your impression of the program? 0










0 5
How well did this program relate to your personal role? 0










0 5
How clearly were the concepts presented? 0










0 5
To what degree did you find it useful in your spiritual life? 0










0 5


Age of Respondents

1-22 23-30 31-45 46-60 61-72 72+ No response
0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (100%) 0 (0%) 3

Sex of Respondents

Male Female No response
 1 (20%) 4 (80%) 1


Religious Affiliation

Protestant Catholic Jewish Muslim Other None No Response
1 (25%) 3 (75%) 0 (0%) 0 (0) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2


  • Retired

What happened that was most helpful?

  • I felt accepted and appreciated!
  • Group/couple sharing and meditations and videos and Fr. Justin’s stories.
  • Insight into how to correct thought process toward healing and positive direction.
  • Learning to love yourself and others.
  • Realized the importance of “finding the good” in all things.

What changes would you suggest for improvement?

  • Perhaps the program should last longer during the afternoon and evening.
  • Could add 1/2 more day for discussion or maybe just 1/2 more hour to each day.

How did the program improve your relationship with yourself?

  • I am going to celebrate my accomplishments of hiding them.
  • More acceptance of myself as “co-creator” with God.
  • Set me on a good course to heal.
  • I learned that priorities should never be negative, only positive.
  • Reiterated the idea that you can only change yourself–not others.


Father Justin,

I felt so accepted and appreciated instead of tolerated. I had started to believe that I was so different that being different or like the Lone Ranger that I would not have friends and would be alone.

I know now that I am different from the people I am normally around and “different” is not bad or good. Different is just another perspective to be evaluated and discussed.

Thank you and the group so very much! My life is so much better. A miracle happened when I actually attempted to see my arch enemy with “good” qualities.

God’s Blessings.


*We invite you to follow Fr. Justin on Twitter

Sharing: Two Australian bishops say Catholics can vote ‘yes’ on same-sex marriage


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Two Australian bishops say Catholics can vote ‘yes’ on same-sex marriage
Both bishops observe that this is not a survey on Church (sacramental) marriage but on civil marriage, marriage according to the law of the State. The question has no impact on church practices nor on our freedom of religion.
Peter Johnstone, Doncaster Heights
September 18, 2017

Bishop Vincent Long / Catholic Outlook / Parramatta Diocese

Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta and Bishop Bill Wright of Maitland-Newcastle have effectively removed any “Catholic” arguments against supporting marriage equality and stress the responsibility of Catholics to discern carefully in determining their “vote”.

Christians must be very confused about how their religious beliefs should influence their views on the current marriage equality survey, officially described in the ABS mail-out as “Your Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey”.

Some so-called Christian positions seem to suggest that there is an inherent Christian exclusion of the possibility of civil same-sex marriage. The most careful and authoritative Christian analyses to date may have come from separate pastoral letters of Catholic bishops Vincent Long of Parramatta and Bill Wright of Maitland-Newcastle.

Bishop Long begins his pastoral letter by observing that many people feel passionate about the issue which “has potential to polarise the community”.

Bishop Long might also accept that the Churches have been responsible for much of that polarisation; Christianity has struggled over many years with the place in the Church of people of different sexuality, reinforcing the prejudices in the community, which have however been substantially overcome in recent decades.

Bishop Wright places his remarks on marriage equality in a broader context of ‘Law and Social Change”, noting a range of changes to the law over the years contrary to Church teaching. But he focuses his letter on same-sex marriage, noting that “in a society where same-sex relationships are legal and gay couples can adopt and raise children, it’s a bit of a legal anomaly that their relationship itself doesn’t have a clear legal status.”

Bishop Wright observes:

“The question about any proposed law is not whether it squares with church teaching or a moral ideal, but whether it is a good practical rule for people living in this society at this time.”

Bishop Wright acknowledges another question about the marriage equality proposal being asked by some “fellow bishops and many other good people”, namely the social consequences of recognising gay marriage. These social consequences seem to relate to the perceived adverse impacts on people who disagree with marriage equality.

However, if one accepts that marriage equality is an acceptance of the equality of people of different sexuality, why should others be allowed to practise discrimination against those benefiting from marriage equality, such as “owners of reception centres, caterers, musicians, hire car firms and so on?”

Consequential arguments seem to be used by those who are uncomfortable with the equality of LGBTI people. The survey does not determine these matters but the reality of politics will deal with any real concerns. The essential issue is the recognition of the equality of us all in society. Bishop Wright finishes by urging the people of his diocese to vote for “what you believe will be best for our Australian community – now and for future generations”.

Both bishops observe that this is not a survey on Church (sacramental) marriage but on civil marriage, marriage according to the law of the State. The question has no impact on church practices nor on our freedom of religion.

As Bishop Long observes, civil divorce was legalised contrary to Catholic Church teaching, “but this change did not alter the law of the Church”; nor, it should be added, did it restrict freedom of religion. Without explicitly supporting a particular answer to the survey question, Bishop Long asks that the survey be regarded as “an opportunity for us to listen to what the Spirit is saying through the signs of the times”.

Bishop Long’s words on the topic of our LGBTI brothers and sisters deserve quoting in full:

“Throughout much of history, our gay and lesbian (or LGBTI) brothers and sisters have often not been treated with respect, sensitivity and compassion. Regrettably, the Church has not always been a place where they have felt welcomed, accepted and loved.

Thus, regardless of the outcome of the survey, we must commit ourselves to the task of reaching out to our LGBTI brothers and sisters, affirming their dignity and accompanying them on our common journey towards the fullness of life and love in God.”

Bishop Long’s final words seem to capture the essential message of both men: “Let us pray, discern and act with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.”

Peter Johnstone is the President of Catholics for Renewal Inc

This article first appeared on the blog John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations






October 2017 | Albuquerque, New Mexico | Navajo Nation


“I now bow down before you, the Laguna Pueblo, and ask that you find it within your hearts to forgive us Franciscans for the times when we have failed to show sincere respect for your rich spiritual and cultural heritage, and for the dignity of each and every member of your Pueblo. I beg your forgiveness and ask that you pray for our continued conversion of mind and heart, so that we might grow in our capacity to love as you have loved us.”

General Minister Michael A. Perry, OFM

Homily, October 12, 2017

Laguna Pueblo



Conference meets with the General Definitorium 

Hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Province

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO  – The Provincial Ministers and Custodes of the English Speaking Conference held their annual Fall meeting from October 9-15.  The meeting began in Albuquerque, hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, and traveled from there to conclude at St. Michael’s Mission on the Navajo Nation. 

This meeting also included a joint meeting with the General Minister and General Definitorium.  

Attending the week-long meeting were: Provincial Minister Pierre Charland, OFM(Province of St. Joseph, Canada), Provincial Minister David Gaa, OFM (St. Barbara Province, USA), Provincial Minister Algirdas Malakauskas, OFM (Province of St. Casimir, Lithuania), Provincial Minister Aidan McGrath, OFM (Province of Ireland), Provincial Minister and Conference President Kevin Mullen, OFM (Holy Name Province, USA),Provincial Minister Robert Campagna, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province, New York, USA), Provincial Minister James Gannon, OFM (Assumption BVM Province, USA),Provincial Minister Jack Clark Robinson, OFM (Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, USA),Provincial Minister Mark Soehner, OFM (St. John the Baptist Province, USA), Provincial Minister Robert Mokry, OFM (Christ the King Province, Western Canada), and Provincial Minister Thomas Nairn, OFM (Sacred Heart Province).

NEW FACES. The meeting was the first for newly elected Provincials Pierre Charland, OFM, Aidan McGrath, OFM, Mark Soehner, OFM, and Thomas Nairn, OFM.

The meeting also saw the election of Provincial Minister James Gannon, OFM (ABVM Province, USA) as the new Vice-President of the Conference. It was also the final meeting of Friar Thomas Washburn, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province, USA) who concludes 12 years of service as the Executive Secretary of the Conference. Friar Patrick McCloskey, OFM(St. John the Baptist Province, USA) was elected to begin service as the new Executive Secretary.

This first part of the meeting, which involved the business of the Conference, took place at A Becoming Place, a conference center of the Guadalupe Province. Among the items discussed:

  • Friar Jerome Wolbert, OFM (ABVM Province) was appointed to serve as the new National Assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order.
  • The American Franciscan Liturgical Commission has submitted the new Franciscan Missal supplement to Rome for approval.
  • A new Task Force was formed to help engage in the task of making the work of theSecretariat for the Retrieval of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition more broadly available. This task force will take two approaches, one more academic, another geared towards more popular dissemination of the material. This group will report back to the Conference at the April meeting.
  • The Conference also discussed the upcoming Plenary Council of the Order which will take place June 12-28, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.  Provincial Ministers Pierre Charland, OFM (St. Joseph, Quebec), and Jack Clark Robinson, OFM (Guadalupe Province) have been selected to represent the Conference a this event.

The Spring meeting of the Conference will take place in April in East London hosted by the Custody of the Immaculate Conception.

Members of the English Speaking Conference and members of the General Defnitorium on the steps of St. Michael’s Misison Church. 


Every six years, the members of the General Definitorium meet with the various Conferences throughout the Order. Present from the General Administration were: General Minister Michael Perry, OFM; Vicar General Julio Bunader, OFM, ESC Definitor Caoimhin O’Laoide, OFM, and Definitors Nicodeme Kibuzehose, OFM (African Conference), Jurgen Neitzert, OFM (COTAF), Valmir Ramos, OFM (UCLAF), Ignatio Ceja, OFM (UCLAF),Ivan Sesar, OFM (Slavic Conference), Lino Greg Redoblado, OFM (Asian Conferences), and Antonio Scabbio, OFM (COMPI & CONFRES). 

This second part of the meeting took place at St. Michael’s Mission, on the territory of the Navajo Nation. The sessions were held within a hogan, a traditional meeting space for Native Americans. 

These sessions were designed to be conducted in dialogue so that the members of the General administration could come to know better the reality of Franciscan life of the friars within the conference. That was followed by conversation with the friars from Rome about the Order globally.

There were also several unique encounters in places where the friars of the Southwest minister. An Inquentro with the Hispanic parishioners at Holy Family Parish, Albuquerque, showed the extraordinary spirit and vitality of that community. The local Hispanic friars are justly proud of the energy that they and their parishioners bring to the local Church. The group also spent time visiting with Friar Richard Rohr, OFM, at his Center for Action and Contemplation.

As the friars traveled on from Albuquerque, the Native American Pueblo and Navajo people welcomed the friars, as they have done for centuries, and spoke with an intense appreciation of the deep spiritual riches of their own culture and traditions, as well as their sense of being blessed by their Catholic faith.

A FRANCISCAN APOLOGY. The Minister General took the opportunity of this visit to acknowledge and apologize for any insensitivity, lack of respect, or hurt that the Friars Minor may have caused these peoples. This apology was graciously accepted, and the generous offering of pardon that was expressed by the Native American leaders was a deeply emotional and spiritual experience in Laguna, Ácoma, and St. Michael’s. 

A further chance to share the music, spirituality, and hospitality of the Navajo people came during the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist in Fort Defiance, and the meal with Mass-goers that followed.

The beauty of the desert, with its mountains and canyons, was also an unforgettable experience.

For the last 12 years, that role has been fulfilled by Friar Thomas Washburn, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province). In thanking the ministers for the opportunity to serve over these years, Tom highlighted the scope of his role, “Over these 12 years, I have served through three Popes, two General Ministers, three English-speaking General Definitors, and for seven Conference presidents. I have traveled 296,959 miles to seven countries, to every Province and Custody of the Conference, most more than once. I have attended two General Chapters, one Extraordinary General Chapt er, and have served under 46 Provincial Ministers and Custodes of the Conference. But, the greatest honor has been to feel a deeper part of our global fraternity, to meet and gain so many brothers in so many places. Thank you for that opportunity.”

According to Conference statutes, the Executive Secretary may serve for a maximum of nine years (three terms of three years).  A special exception was granted by the General Definitorium in 2014 to allow Tom to serve beyond that limit. 

The course of Tom’s tenure saw the creation of the Conference website and social media platforms; the creation of a communication strategy from the General Chapter for the English-speaking world, the development of an app for smartphones, as well as the beginning of reconfiguration processes in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain and Ireland.

In July, Tom became pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Bourne,

New Vice President & Executive Secretary elected

New VP: James Gannon | New Executive Secretary: Patrick McCloskey

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – Among the items addressed by the Conference during its meeting was the need to elect a new Vice President of the Conference and a new Executive Secretary.

Vice-President James Gannon.


NEW VICE-PRESIDENT. According to the statutes of the Conference, a vice-president is elected to serve for two years and then becomes president-elect. Kevin Mullen, OFM (Holy Name Province) assumed the presidency at the Spring meeting in Dublin, Ireland.  At last week’s meeting, James Gannon, OFM(Assumption BVM Province, USA) was elected to be the new Vice-President.

Friar Jim was elected in 2015 to complete the term of Provincial Minister of the Assumption BVM Province of John Puodziunas, OFM.  Friar John in 2015 was called to Rome to serve as Economo General of the Order. This past June, Jim was elected at Provincial Chapter to a full six-year term as Provincial Minister. 

NEW EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. Similarly, the Conference found itself in need of electing a new friar to serve as Executive Secretary of the Conference.  The Executive Secretary runs the day-to-day activities of the Conference, oversees committees and commissions, and organizes the twice-annual meetings of the Ministers and Custodes.

Thomas Washburn, OFM

Patrick McCloskey, OFM
New Executive Secretary


Elected by the Ministers and Custodes to become the new Executive Secretary was Patrick McCloskey, OFM (St. John the Baptist Province). 

Patrick’s ministry has brought him from teaching at Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, OH to working in the  Protocol Office and as Director of Communications for the Order in Rome. The majority of his work has been at St. Anthony Messenger and Franciscan Media in Cincinnati, where he continues to minister today.  Patrick is also the Director of Ongoing Formation  and Education for his province.

Responding to his new appointment in the newsletter of St. John the Baptist Province, Patrick said, “I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited at the possibilities.”

Patrick will remain at his current ministry at Franciscan Media in Cincinnati while assuming the duties of the Executive Secretary.

Congratulations to Jim and Patrick on their new roles!

Apology to Native Americans

General Minister asks, “Forgive us Franciscans”

LAGUNA, ACOMA – Among the most moving experiences of the week-long gathering of the Conference with the General Definitorium came on Wednesday at Mass at the Laguna Pueblo.

During his homily at the Mass, General Minister Michael A. Perry, OFM, asked for forgiveness from our Native American sisters and brothers for any harm caused by our presence among their peoples.

He said:

“In the same spirit in which St. Paul wrote his letter to the Christian pueblo in Philippi, I now bow down before you, the Laguna Pueblo, and ask that you find it within your hearts to forgive us Franciscans for the times when we have failed to show sincere respect for your rich spiritual and cultural heritage, and for the dignity of each and every member of your Pueblo. I beg your forgiveness and ask that you pray for our continued conversion of mind and heart, so that we might grow in our capacity to love as you have loved us.”

The Minister General repeated this apology during liturgy at St. Michael’s Mission in the Navajo Nation.

The apology was graciously, and even tearfully, accepted, and the generous offering of pardon that was expressed by the Native American leaders was a deeply emotional and spiritual experience.

General Minister Michael A. Perry at St. Michael’s Mission in the Navajo Nation

Conference by the numbers

ST. MICHAEL MISSION, NAVAJO NATION – During the meeting with the General Definitorium, the current reality of the Conference was presented. Here is some of the data prepared:

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF FRIARS: 1,443 (11% of the Order)
  • Solemnly Professed: 1,336
  • Ordained: 999
  • Non-ordained: 337
  • Temporary Professed: 55
  • Novices: 16
  • Postulants: 36


  • Over 75: 529 (75% over the age of 60)
  • Aged 60-75: 526
  • Aged 40-60: 236
  • Aged under 40: 97 (25% under the age of 60)


  • Ordinations: 87
  • Professions: 109
  • Defections (solemnly professed leaving the Order): 60


Photos from the Fall meeting of the Conference

Meeting spanned from Albuquerque to the Navajo Nation

Conference meeting at A Becoming Place

Conference members meet with the General Definitorium

Conference members meet with the General Definitorium

Conference members shown traditional Native American weaving

Conference members shown traditional Native American weaving

Conference members shown traditional Native American weaving

Encuentro experience at Holy Family Parish

Children’s Choir at St. Michael’s Indian School perform

Group photo in the sanctuary at St. Michael’s Mission Church

Reconfiguration proceeds in Canada, United States

Next steps for each process discussed

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – During the meeting of the Conference, friars from the respective areas of the Conference updated members on the processes of reconfiguratoin taking place there.

CHAPTER OF UNION. Following a three-day meeting of the Definitories of the Province of Christ the King (Western Canada) and the Saint Joseph Province (Eastern Canada) at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, some important announcements toward the restructuring and revitalisation the OFM presences in Canada were announced.  The meeting took place September 26-27.

Two fraternal gatherings, a Chapter of Mats, April 23-26, 2018, and a Chapter of Union, October 21-25, 2018, have been announced.  It is anticipated that the Minister General and English Speaking General Definitor will be present for the Chapter of Union.  Under the guidance of a General Delegate, Friar Peter Williams, OFM, a Transition Committee is working to organize both events, while liaising with several subcommittees who are addressing various aspects of the restructuring and revitalisation process.

Work in progress includes, but is not limited to, discernment and consultation around mission and evangelisation, formation, communication, provincial statutes, liturgy, the administration of goods, and a name and logo for the new Province.

US-6 DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE. The Provincial Ministers of the US-6, those U.S. Provinces who are engaged in the process of revitalization and reconfiguration, met for two days prior to the start of the Conference meeting in Albuquerque.

Among the items discussed:

  • The two-minute videos of friars sharing personal thoughts and feelings about where we are in the R + R process, or the unexpected graces of entering into
  •  the unknown, are underway.  Two videos have been released and more are in production.
  • A survey that will be sent out to all the US-6 friars in the Fall/Winter of 2017 was reviewed and edited. The survey is intended to give the friars the opportunity to request more information regarding the R + R process, if needed, and to indicate their hopes and fears regarding the process.
  • Provincial treasurers will be asked to send out a letter to the US-6 friars regarding the financial implications of the one-new-province possibility.
  • Templates of House Chapter discussion materials were reviewed and edited.  The first session focuses on the Treasurers’ Scenario Analysis Report. The second focuses on the primacy of prayer and Scripture in the lives of the friars.
  • The consequences of the May, 2018 vote at the extraordinary Chapters were discussed. An absolute majority (50% + 1 affirmative votes) is needed for a recommendation to pass (to be accepted) at Chapter. The results of the voting of each province (actual number of votes cast yea and nay, along with percentages of yea and nay) will be forwarded to the General Definitory. They in turn will consider the results within a larger context of the Visitation of the US-6 friars that will follow the vote.
  • Provincial Minister liaisons to national approach groups were appointed. The liaisons will respond to the reports already received from these national approach groups.
  • An additional Interprovincial Retreat has been scheduled for March 12-15, 2018 in Burlington, WI.  Michael Blastic, OFM will lead the retreat whose theme will be “expropriation” in the lives of the friars..
  • A Chapter of Mats for the provinces still involved in the R + R process will be held in August of 2021 and not 2018 as previously planned.
  • The provincial ministers asked Jason Welle to serve as a mentor to the SPUTY (solemnly-professed friars under ten years) group, facilitating another gathering of the SPUTY friars before May, 2018.
  • An extensive discussion took place regarding a comprehensive communications plan for the R + R processproposed by the provincial communicators of the US-6 provinces.

Download the Friar App Today

Interactive online community continues to expand

The Franciscan Friars of the United States created a first-of-its kind app for smart phones that creates a unique communal space for prayer by allowing you to post your prayers, join in the prayers of others and have friars across the country and others pray for you. The app also allows you to have a real candle lit for your prayer, or someone else’s prayer, in a Franciscan church.

The new “Find US” feature allows you to find the closest Franciscan place of ministry to you. The “News” feature allows you to stay up to date on the latest US Franciscan news.

The app is available in both the Apple App Store for iPhone and the Google Play Store for Android smart phones, and can be found by searching for “friars” or using a QR code (found below).

There is no cost to install the app or to submit or join in prayer requests. There is a small fee to cover the cost of lighting an actual candle. Download it today!

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