20th OFS Quinquennial Congress 2021

20th Quinquennial Congress : Phoenix Arizona – August 18-22, 2021

(This article originally appeared in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of the TAU-USA.)

CELEBRATE AND RENEW OUR FRANCISCAN CALLING IN THE SPIRIT OF CONVERSION

20th Quinquennial Congress Prayer: Lord God, Heavenly Father, we come before you in awe of your love for us. We acknowledge Your divine seed in everyone. Through your merciful compassion, help us to see our need for conversion. In our service to each other let us experience this time of JUBILEE! We walk the path before us upon foundations laid by our brothers and sisters. We are thankful for our present and excited for our future, always believing that You, O Lord, guide our journey. AMEN

With nearly two years to go to the Quinquennial Congress, where we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of our Secular Order, we are actively seeking dynamic presenters who will not only add to our body of Franciscan knowledge but also speak to our hearts to increase our Franciscan spirituality and call us continuously to conversion.

Our first presenter, Father Couturier, OFM Cap, is the Dean of the School of Franciscan Studies at Saint Bonaventure University. He is a 1975 summa cum laude graduate of St. Anselm College. He earned a Masters in Divinity from Maryknoll School of Theology in 1978, a Licentiate in Psychology from the Gregorian University in 1984, and his PhD in Pastoral Psychology (Organization Studies) from the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2005. His familiarity with and expertise in how we are called to conversion and the stages we experience in conversion will bring deep discussions in our Little Fraternity groups, as well as insights in our personal reflection. At the Q, he will address the topic, The Four Conversions: A Spirituality of Transformation; which is the title of one of his books.

Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, our second keynote presenter, is from the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. He is the third bishop of that diocese and was consecrated as bishop in 2015. He professed his solemn vows in 1992 after completing his studies in history and philosophy at Saint Louis University in Missouri. He received his degree of Master of Divinity and Licentiate of Sacred Theology with an emphasis on Church history. He was ordained a priest in 1995 and served in El Paso, Texas, parishes. Bishop Stowe joined the Pax Christi USA Board as their Episcopal President in 2018. His keen awareness of and active participation in today’s opportunities to follow the Gospel by living our Franciscan lives of mercy and forgiveness will stir us to consider how we can improve our involvement in our individual communities to hear the marginalized and address their needs and to be their voices when they cannot be heard.

In the next article, we will share information about two Secular Franciscan couples who have lived their married life and raised their children in the Franciscan way of life through all ups and downs of today’s encounters.

If you are interested in helping now with the Q 2021 planning, or during the Q, please contact Susan Simeone, 602-315-1950 or sksimeone@cox.net.

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.