May 2018 Minister’s Message – Prepare for Pentecost!

Jan Parker has written a wonderful meditation to help us get ready for Pentecost and it’s now available on the website. Here’s an excerpt:

What happens when we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit?”  Nothing – unless our hearts are worthy to receive!  St Cyril of Jerusalem said, “Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruits of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit.”  Yes, the Holy Spirit is necessary to produce the fruits, but repentance is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit!  What does this mean for Franciscans?  In a word – conversion!


2018-05-11T21:43:02+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Categories: Minister’s Message|2 Comments

Save the Dates – 2018 National Fraternity Chapter

(This article originally appeared in the April, 2018 issue of News from the NEC)

Our 2018 National Fraternity Chapter (NAFRA 2018) will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, at the St. Louis Airport Renaissance (home of the 2016 Q). Chapter begins with dinner on Tuesday, October 9th and ends on Sunday morning, October 14th.

New regional ministers are invited to arrive early on Tuesday in order to attend a mid-afternoon Orientation Meeting.

2018-05-09T08:27:20+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Categories: National Chapter, News from the NEC|0 Comments

20th OFS Quinquennial Congress 2021: JUBILEE!

(This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Tau-USA)

In less than four years Secular Franciscans will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the approval of our 1221 Rule. Happily, this special anniversary will coincide with our next Quinquennial Congress, scheduled for the summer of 2021. Our Quinquennial theme, JUBILEE, was chosen to commemorate that historical and holy occasion. As we celebrate the 800th anniversary of our Rule, we also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Quinquennial Congress held in the United States. Given these two anniversaries there will be much to celebrate! It truly will be a JUBILEE!

What is a Quinquennial?

This may be the first time some of you have seen this word, Quinquennial. The dictionary defines it as an event that happens every five years. In our Franciscan history, we recall that Francis would gather the members of the Order for a chapter of mats – where the members of the Order would take up their mats and meet for the purpose of prayer, formation, sharing and jubilation. We continue that tradition. Every five years, members of our National Family gather for the same purpose. Our documents call this a “National Congress,” and this gathering has come to be known as the “Quinquennial,” or “Q” for short. Of course, today, we are far more comfortable – we don’t have to sleep on mats – but our intention is the same.

Your Gifts and Talents are Needed!

Your Q 2021 Committee has studied the evaluations from past Qs, and we are currently and steadily working on the venue, presenters, schedule, format, etc., based on your recommendations. We invite you to help us and hope you will accept the request to share your gifts in assisting on the 2021 Q planning.

Logo Contest

First, we are having a contest for the logo of our JUBILEE theme. The logo design can be a detailed image or just a sketch. This logo needs to reflect our Franciscan charism and the theme of “JUBILEE” – the celebration of the 800th anniversary of our Rule and the 100th anniversary of our Quinquennial Congress. Please submit your design by June 15, 2018, to Susan Simeone, ofs, by email to sksimeone@cox.net, or by mail to: 12611 South 41 Place, Phoenix, AZ 85044. The logo design will become the property of OFS, USA. The name(s) of the logo designer will be featured at the Q.

Tee Shirt Collection

Remember all those Franciscan tee shirts you have received over the years, from national events, or regional activities, or local gatherings? Some tee shirts you bought and some were gifts to you from fellow sisters and brothers of Francis – but if they advertise a Franciscan event, or have a “Franciscan saying” on them – and if you are willing to donate them we have an exciting plan for using them! Please check your closets and drawers and gather them up! We will be organizing a collection of these shirts within the next six months to get them ready for the Q 2021. Look for further details in the next TAU… and don’t worry if the t-shirts shrank!

Regional Banner Photos Needed

Q Committee member Donna Hollis, ofs, is seeking photos (digital preferred, but prints okay too) of Regional Fraternity banners. If your Region does not have a banner, please let Donna know immediately. She and her subcommittee are also asking for photos of past Quinquennial Congresses. You can reach Donna by email: donnadancerfeet@aol.com

Volunteer Positions

We are seeking several Franciscans for a variety of volunteer positions. If you have the experience and willingness to serve in Marketing or Public Relations, or as a Venue Coordinator or Host/Hostess coordinator, please contact Susan. Our 2021 Q will, of course, feature some keynote speakers, however the evaluations from the Nineteenth Quinquennial Congress expressed an overwhelming preference for Breakout Sessions again. If you have a calling and experience in presenting to groups of 50-100 people for approximately an hour, please pray about this. We will be seeking breakout presenters soon. Last but not least, the evaluations from the previous Q clearly indicated a strong desire to organize Little Fraternities in 2021 Q. So, please pray about this also. We will need many Little Fraternity Facilitators and will be requesting names and contact information during the next year.

Look for More Information in Each Issue of the TAU-USA!

In the next issue of the TAU-USA we will announce the place and the date of the 2021 Q – and hopefully the logo design.

On behalf of the 2021 Quinquennial Committee, we hold each of you in our prayers and praise God for His unending love and guidance as we go forth in this celebration of our Franciscan way of life. Your Quinquennial Committee members are Kathy Taormina, ofs, Donna Hollis, ofs, Mary Bittner, ofs, (NEC representative), Jan Parker, ofs (Ex Officio) and Susan Simeone, ofs Chair.

New Resource: Vocations Tool Kit

(This article originally appeared in the April, 2018 issue of News from the NEC)

From Jane DeRose-Bamman and the Vocations Committee:

Our Vocations Tool Kit is now available on our website. The tool kit includes an introductory document, prayer cards, Come and See session outline, customizable promotional brochure with amazing graphics, a “Come and See” PowerPoint presentation including talking points, some testimonial questions, and more! Most of the documents are available in English, Spanish and Korean. Feel free to customize for your situation. Consider trying something new from the tool kit, but remember that our most effective promotional tool is living our vocations daily, i.e. there is no vacation from your vocation.

The Vocations Tool Kit can be found on the
Guidelines, Forms & Other Resources page.

2018-05-03T20:19:53+00:00 May 3rd, 2018|Categories: New Resource, News from the NEC|1 Comment

XV General Chapter Takes Order to New Level

By Mary Stronach, OFS, International Councilor

(This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Tau-USA)

150 participants from 110 countries converged at the Seraphicum, a Franciscan Theological University in Rome, Italy for the XV General Chapter in November. Guests and visitors included two members of our National Executive Council, Vice Minister Mary Bittner, OFS and National Councilor Mary Frances Charsky, OFS. Ann Mulqueen, OFS was a special guest who had been invited to speak to the assembly. I, as International Councilor, was the official representative and the voting member of the group.

The joy of so many of our brothers and sisters meeting from around the world filled the air with excitement. Hugs, smiles, laughter, song and prayers embraced us. Every day a new discovery about our brothers and sisters from beyond the seven seas, every day the challenge of communication, every day the realization that we are one in Francis but our experiences cover the gamut – from the pain of dysfunctional governments in some African countries to the devastation of hurricanes in Puerto Rico, flooding in Peru and earthquakes in Mexico. Each brother or sister shared a new experience, helping me realize how blessed we are in the United States – despite our own destruction from hurricanes and other challenges. (more…)

2018-05-03T20:18:01+00:00 May 1st, 2018|Categories: From the Newsletter|0 Comments

The new Secular Franciscan USA website is now online!

We’re pleased and excited to announce that our new national website is now online and ready for visitors. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible with their prayers and hard work.

One small caveat: Every newly launched website is a work in progress. We are still in the process of moving the vast collection of material stored on the old website over to the new one. If you can’t find something that you are looking for, you should be able to find it at the old site as no content has been removed from it. If there is something that you feel should be made a priority in the moving process, please let us know using the contact form. We will also continue to tweak the overall layout and functioning of the site once we get a chance to see it in action.

If you are the administrator of a Franciscan website, please be sure update your link to our site to: secularfranciscansusa.org

Pax et bonum!

2018-05-03T20:23:43+00:00 April 30th, 2018|Categories: Announcements, Website Housekeeping|3 Comments