Please permit me to request every Secular Franciscan in the United States to pray the Third Decade of the Rosary for our One Secular Franciscan Order and our Four Fraternities to which each of us belongs!
With the Mysteries of Joy, the Third Decade is for the Nativity, the Birth of Jesus Christ into Poverty as one of us. This decade stresses our Franciscan emphasis on Christ and His Incarnation. Nothing makes sense without Christ. Our Franciscan Spirituality focuses on the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word made Flesh (see John 1:14). Since this Mystery is our beginning, so to speak, please pray this decade for our Local Fraternity where we all began our Franciscan Journey in Admission to Candidacy and then in Permanent Profession. My Local Fraternity is St. Thomas More that meets at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. My Minister is Ann Wester.
With the Mysteries of Light, the Third Decade is the Call to Conversion, “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15). Hello, is there a better mystery to pray for our Order? This decade stresses our Franciscan call to daily, ongoing conversion as we turn away from sin and strive to go faithfully from Life to Gospel and Gospel to Life (see Secular Franciscan Rules 4 and 7). We pray this decade for our Regional Fraternity where all of us should gain the Light that Fraternity is more than just the Local Fraternity! My Regional Fraternity is St. Margaret of Cortona. My Minister is Patrick Martin.
With the Mysteries of Sorrow, the Third Decade is for the Crowning of Thorns. This decade stresses our Franciscan emphasis on humility and even humiliation. As someone has said, “There is no humility without humiliation.” Whatever crown we seek should only be the Crowns of Thorn because we should “never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). Let this decade be prayed for our National Fraternity because our great country is so large and has such diversity that service at this level is often a Crown of Thorns! My National Fraternity is the United States of America. My Vice Minister is Elaine Hedtke.
With the Mysteries of Glory, the Third Decade is the Coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed Mother and the Apostles praying together at Pentecost. This decade stresses the truth that this is not ultimately our Order, but the Holy Spirit’s with the Blessed Mother as our Advocate (see Celano, Second Life, 198) and all the saints as our Intercessors and Protectors. We offer this decade for all those holy ones we know least about, the International Fraternity covering the entire world and based in the Eternal City of Rome. My Minister is Tibor Kauser from Hungary.
Again, please pray the Third Decade of your Daily Rosary for our One Secular Franciscan Order and our Four Fraternities. Please spread the Word. Please add your own meditations as God inspires you!
- To how many fraternities is a permanently professed Secular Franciscan a member?
- What are the names and who are the ministers of those fraternities? What are your responsibilities to each of those fraternities to which you belong?
- When you pray the Third Decade of the Mysteries of Joy, for which fraternity might you pray and why?
- When you pray the Third Decade of the Mysteries of Light, for which fraternity might you pray and why?
- When you pray the Third Decade of the Mysteries of Sorrow, for which fraternity might you pray and why?
- When you pray the Third Decade of the Mysteries of Glory, for which fraternity might you pray and why?
- Why should Secular Franciscans be praying the Rosary anyway?
This is an excerpt from a series of articles by the late Deacon Tom Bello, OFS, former Minister of the National Secular Franciscan Order – USA. “Many of these essays were originally published in TAU-USA, our national newsletter,” said Jan Parker, OFS, current National Minister. “They are excellent for reflection and ongoing formation.” Jan helped Tom publish these essays in book form. It is called For All The Saints: St. Francis’s Five-Point Plan for Salvation and is available from Tau Publishing. These excerpts will appear several times a week on the Secular Franciscans website.