Lee

About Lee Potts, OFS

Lee is onec aliquet elit erat, at auctor erat gravida eget. Proin urna lacus, finibus non finibus et, consequat sed est. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae.

National Minister’s Message – Formation Visioning Workshop

“The Vision of God for the OFS” – an image inspired by the Holy Spirit, painted by Pat Serotkin OFS at the recent Formation Visioning Workshop

The journey of transformative visioning has begun – a journey that will test our readiness to authentically live the Franciscan life. Our experience at the recent Formation Visioning Workshop awakened our souls. We must now allow God to work this great change in us.

Through a dedicated page on our website we are making available to everyone the materials from this gathering. Those who were present need to enlighten others and share what was experienced. The vision given to Francis and Clare can unfold once again in our time.

Guide us, O Lord, by your Spirit’s transforming power, that we may come to be, as Francis was, formed into a more precise embodiment of the likeness of Christ. Amen.

2018-09-15T16:31:43+00:00September 15th, 2018|Categories: Formation, Minister’s Message|0 Comments

New Web Site Page: Sources for Secular Franciscan Books and Supplies

A new page was added to the Secular Franciscan USA web site today. It gathers together information about sources for many of the books and supplies Secular Franciscans and OFS fraternities often need. This includes the “Little Read Rule Book” as well as the FUN Manual. A link to the page  has been added to the Resources menu at the top of every page on the site. You can also follow this link:

Sources for Secular Franciscan Books and Supplies

2018-09-08T21:27:05+00:00September 8th, 2018|Categories: New Resource, Website Housekeeping|1 Comment

A Message to Secular Franciscans Regarding the Recent Scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania

Sisters and Brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order, United States:

The release of the Grand Jury report in Pennsylvania is a cause of sorrow, pain and agonizing self-scrutiny for the Catholic Church in the United States.  We are again face to face with the tragic reality of sinful abuse perpetrated on the most vulnerable of our faith family.  How, we ask, can we trust those shepherds with our lives, our children and our faith?  Can the victims find peace and healing in the Church that betrayed their innocence?  Can we, as professed Secular Franciscans, stand as mere bystanders watching this tragic play unfold before us?  What are we to do?  What can we do?

It saddens all of us that a small minority of men who made a commitment to serve the Church betrayed the promises they made to serve, and used their positions of being an authority figure to aid predatory behavior; truly we have wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Mt 7:15)  If it were only a case of a few parish priests, the trust of Church leaders may more easily be re-established; but when it is demonstrated that our chief shepherds, the bishops, were involved in secrecy, cover ups and pay outs, the trust, respect and moral authority of the Church as an institution suffers great damage.  We must all face the truth and make no excuse for those who are guilty of these crimes against the living stones of the Church, the mystical body of Christ; those who have been unfaithful spouses to the Church as the Bride of Christ!

St John Chrysostom, a fourth century bishop, described pastors as the “salt of the earth”.

(Mt 5:13) He said of pastors, “If others lose their savor, then your ministry will help them regain it.  But if you yourselves suffer that loss, you will drag others down with you.”  Sisters and brothers, we have witnessed many being dragged down by those shepherds who have lost their savor as salt of the earth.

As a Secular Order, we are in a unique position to help those who feel abandoned, threatened and fearful of the clerical hierarchy that betrayed their trust.  We are an order of people in the pew.  As people in the pew we can listen to our broken sisters and brothers.  We can listen without judging, without trying to immediately heal them of their pain. We can listen to them and acknowledge their pain without defending or making excuses for the institution that betrayed them.  We can “with a gentle and courteous spirit accept them all as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ” (OFS Rule, Art.13). We can make contributions to support the counselors who will help heal the wounds of those suffering souls.

We were founded as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance.  All of us in our individual life, in our fraternities, in our regions and our national fraternity must do penance for this great sin.  Some demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29) This is our call to action! Our Lord asked St. Francis to rebuild the Church which was falling into ruin.  Are we called to do anything less as followers of Francis?  Francis lived his vocation authentically as a living example of Gospel Life.  We must do the same.  Only by living an authentic Gospel life will our light shine and the Church be rebuilt.

We must also stand with our brothers and sisters who have and are serving the Church as good and faithful servants.  These men and women who are faithful to their call are now called to be suffering servants.  They are guilty by association with the Church institution that has betrayed their trust.  How difficult it will be for them to preach the Gospel as representatives of a Church that has lost its moral authority in the public square and in the pew.  We must stand by those faithful servants and help them continue to look after the well-being of others.

Sisters and Brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order, we stand in support of the victims and in favor of holding those responsible for these crimes accountable for their actions.  We pray for healing, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and a Church that will be rebuilt and with God’s grace, and the movement of Holy Spirit, one day, will once again be a beacon of light, hope and refuge.  Let us go forth and witness to the light of Christ and rebuild the Church so that it may once again be full of grace and truth.

The National Executive Council of the Secular Franciscan Order USA (OFS-USA)
August 26, 2018

2018-08-27T11:06:48+00:00August 26th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Padua Program

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings and peace!

Sr. Margaret Carney OSF asked that I share the news about The Padua Program – a program to assist lay women and men who are in positions in Franciscan ministries ( colleges, schools, hospitals, social centers) who have responsibility for promoting the Franciscan mission.  More and more lay persons will be taking the place of retiring sisters, friars, etc.., and those positions would be ideal for prepared members of our OFS family.  Some of you may already be holding such jobs, and this program would be a help to you as well.

I am attaching some documents below that will give you an idea of the scope of the program, along with a link to learn more. Please share the news of this opportunity widely — and quickly —  as the Registration deadline is Sept. 5

Should anyone be interested in more information, you may contact Sr. Margaret Carney directly. Her email is  MCARNEY@sbu.edu

Thank you for your help in increasing awareness of this opportunity.

Peace and good,
Jan

Padua Project Brochure

Padua FAQ


Bring the values of St. Francis of Assisi into your organization through The Padua Program, professional development for Mission Integration Officers. 

  • Deepen your knowledge of Francis and Clare
  • Learn how to apply Franciscan values to today’s workplace challenges
  • Acquire skills to use Franciscan economics and to use morals and ethics in decision-making

Learn more at: Summer & Fall 2018 Programs

The Padua Program is a partnership project of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities and St. Bonaventure Institute.


2018-07-27T23:14:52+00:00July 27th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Families Crises – A Letter from our National JPIC Animator

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

2018-07-12T21:16:53+00:00July 10th, 2018|Categories: Announcements, JPIC|0 Comments

Celebrate the Rule Cards – Week 9: Do I adapt my involvement in the OFS…

CIOFS is publishing a series of weekly cards to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Rule. The Week 9 cards are below.

You can view all the cards that have been released so far
by clicking here.





2018-06-30T20:38:35+00:00June 30th, 2018|Categories: Celebrate the Rule Cards, CIOFS, The OFS Rule|1 Comment

A message from His Holiness Pope Francis on the occasion of our Rule’s 40th anniversary

Dear brothers and sisters,

Please find attached the letter of the  Secretary of State of His Holiness, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, with the message of His Holiness Pope Francis, sent on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the approval of the Rule.

Pax et Bonum!
Isabella Di Paola
General Secretary CIOFS

2018-06-26T22:33:02+00:00June 26th, 2018|Categories: CIOFS, The OFS Rule|Tags: |0 Comments

June 2018 Minister’s Message — Our Jubilee Begins!

Jan Parker’s newest Minister’s Message marks the 40th anniversary of the OFS Rule of 1978 (June 24th) as well as the Jubilee Year declared by CIOFS to celebrate this important milestone. The message poses two important questions: “What does the 40th Anniversary of the Rule mean for us, if not to live more fully who we are called to be?” and “How are we to do this?”

Jan offers a wealth of resources to help us accomplish what these questions encourage us to do and she suggests a patron saint for our Jubilee year — one that perhaps may surprise you.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TEXT

2018-06-23T20:21:04+00:00June 23rd, 2018|Categories: Minister’s Message|0 Comments

Read our General Minister’s Letter Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Our Rule

Dear National OFS Family,

Greetings from the Sisters and Brothers of the National Executive Council!  Peace and all good!

We begin this Jubilee year with a wonderful gift from our General Minister and brother Tibor – a letter addressed to all OFS and YouFra, all over the world!  We share his letter (en español) with great joy, and agree with Mary Stronach, who translated it into Spanish: “Every word, every thought touched me and helped me strengthen my vocation.”  Let us receive this gift as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our OFS Rule.  May it be a springboard for us as we launch into this Jubilee with both joy and devotion!

2018-06-24T13:10:56+00:00June 23rd, 2018|Categories: CIOFS, New Resource|0 Comments

Celebrate the Rule Cards – Week 8: Do I live the Gospel?

CIOFS is publishing a series of weekly cards to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Rule. The Week 8 cards are below.

You can view all the cards that have been released so far
by clicking here.





2018-06-20T21:50:17+00:00June 20th, 2018|Categories: Celebrate the Rule Cards, CIOFS|0 Comments
Load More Posts