Greetings dear National Family!
I pray this finds you well and filled with the Lord’s peace!
If you only have time to skim this letter, please see the highlighted part below.
If you have time to read this entire message, it was written from my heart to yours.
As we continue to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Holy Rule, I am reminded of our life in fraternity. What a joy and a gift it is to be in fraternity, with family. I, myself, have been welcomed back into fraternity after being without for nearly three years. Yes, I have had my regional and national families, but there is something very special about your own local fraternity. It is the place you are fed and nurtured; it is the warm ground that houses and embodies the seeds for spiritual growth. It is the true foundation of being Franciscan.
I know very well what it feels like to be separated from my Franciscan family. I cannot imagine what it must be like for a child forced to be separated from his or her parents. Our Holy Rule speaks of the family as being the place where we should cultivate the Franciscan spirit of peace, fidelity and respect for life. The family is that sacred and holy ground for cultivating that spirit. And in these times, I do not take that lightly.
I know there are many of our Secular Franciscan brothers and sisters on the ground helping to reunite separated families; working individually and collectively in the forefront, promoting justice by their very courageous actions. We annually recognize someone doing this great work and celebrate them with the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Award. But who are those unnamed Seculars working in this climate of separated families and “zero tolerance” policies?
If you or a fellow Secular is working with other individuals or organizations to help with this current crisis, please let me know. Please send me a brief description of what you are doing and the organization(s) you are working with – be it a private, public or faith-based organization. If you would email me at ctownes26 @ gmail.com, by this Friday, July 13, 2018, I would really appreciate it.
Please be assured of the prayers of the entire National JPIC Commission as you continue to work for justice in these difficult and trying times. May the Lord continue to give you peace.
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
Confirmed and Renewed: Live the Treasure!
Celebrating 40 Years of our Holy Rule