“They seemed to have it all,” noted one attendee as she was leaving the OFS National Chapter in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Indeed, the agenda was packed. The spirit of the meeting allowed for the gamut of experiences. An upbeat, spontaneous Conga line, thanks to YouFra’s funky music. Deeply spiritual moments. Discussions on the business of the order. A look at where our Order has been and where it is going, including setting the national Secular Franciscan theme for 2019-2020: “Journey Together in Love and Compassion.” And even sharing Star Trek’s Vulcan greeting to Franciscans around the universe during a group photo op.
The chapter erupted into song and dance when the YouFra team began a presentation with blaring funky music.
There were ample moments to get to know participants from around the country, and daily private and communal prayer. Small group huddles encouraged questions and sharing of ideas, enhancing fraternal life. Large group evaluations and decision-making marathons opened the door for the Order to tackle the challenges and opportunities confronting seculars now and in the future.
The Chapter took place Oct. 15-20 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center, hosted by three regional fraternities – Los Tres Compañeros, St. Joan of Arc, and Our Lady of Guadalupe – Empress of the Americas. It took 80 attendees on a five-day journey through Franciscan spirituality, the future of formation, and a hands-on service project that helped 1000 immigrants at the southern border.
Where the Order has been … and where the Order is going. Friars who are truly our brothers (even boogeying and extending Vulcan greetings). Youth embracing the Franciscan charism. Social Justice, peace and integrity of creation. The local bishop’s warm welcome. Pax Christi Retreat Center’s walls heard it all, absorbed it all … and blessed the encounter.
— Mary Stronach, OFS
Daily liturgies and ongoing formation spurred truly spiritual moments.
A Star Trek/Vulcan message to the universe: Live long and prosper…in body and spirit.
Large group marathon sessions
2019-2020 NATIONAL SECULAR FRANCISCAN THEME:
Journey Together in Love and Compassion
Group photo op.