Pray Crown Rosary on Good Friday

(Our brother, Dave Kozemchak, OFS from St. Thomas More Fraternity in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is requesting our Franciscan Family, nationwide, for prayers to end short and long-term abortions. Thanks to Bob Longo, OFS of the St. Margaret of Cortona Region for passing this on to us.)

My Sister and Brother Franciscans,

May the love of God, and the Blessings of our Seraphic Father Francis be with you. I write to you today to ask for prayers.  Jesus has called us to be the salt of the earth. St. Francis has said, “I have done what is mine to do; May Christ teach you what is yours to do!” Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973. Recently, legislation has been enacted and/or proposed to ease the restrictions on late-term abortion, and/or even allowing the infant to die after birth. We Franciscans are called to be instruments of peace, love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy.

I thought, how powerful would it be if all the members of my Fraternity in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania all said the Crown Rosary on the same day to combat the evil of abortion spreading in our country. Further, how powerful would it be if all the Secular Franciscans in the St.Margaret of Cortona region joined us. And how so much more powerful would it be if all the thousands of Secular Franciscans in the United States also joined us.

So, my fellow Franciscans, what say we “storm heaven” this Good Friday by saying the Crown Rosary to help all of our fellow brothers and sisters in this country who are caught up in this evil, and to help save lives, and souls. We can pray individually, or in communion with other Franciscans, either privately or publicly. What say we make our Seraphic Father proud!

Your in the peace of Christ,

Pax et Bonum
Dave Kozemchak, OFS
St. Thomas More Fraternity
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

2019-04-17T22:01:12+00:00April 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

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,

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