Minister’s Message – May 2018: National Fraternity Elective Chapter

Minister’s Message – May 2018: National Fraternity Elective Chapter 2018-05-30T20:14:58+00:00

Nominations Close June 13, 2018

In the Franciscan tradition, Chapters are of extreme importance.  These gatherings in the name of the Lord constitute true celebrations of life in fraternity, animated by the Holy Spirit.

The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order will gather for an Elective Chapter October 9-14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri, hosted by St. Clare Regional Fraternity.  To help all of us prepare for this important event, it would be good to review the following:

What are the essential aspects of a Chapter?  What is the significance of an Elective Chapter?  What positions are being elected?  What are the qualifications for servant leaders?  Who can make a nomination?

What are the essential aspects of a Chapter?

The International Council of the Secular Franciscan Order (CIOFS) provides guidelines for the celebration of Chapters noting: “The Chapter is to be always celebrated in an attitude of conversion, since there is a search for greater perfection in life according to the Rule, in fraternity.  In the Chapter, all personal interests and ambitions of power must be excluded.  Everything must be done according to the example of Jesus Christ, in the spirit of service. Therefore, the essential aspects of a Chapter are: (1) the proclamation of the Word of God, which enlightens the themes to be discussed, (2) prayer, and (3) the search for what is best for the life of the Fraternity.”

What is the significance of an Elective Chapter?

CIOFS adds that an elective chapter, at any level, is celebrated to: (1) reflect together on the situation of the Fraternity, (2) decide what should be done for the life and mission of the Order, (3) invoke the help of the Holy Spirit so that He may purify the hearts, enlighten the minds and make those present docile to His motions at such an important time for the life of the Fraternity, and (4) choose and vote for the responsible people to guide and animate the Fraternity.

What positions are being elected?

The National Executive Council positions to be filled are Minister, Vice Minister, Secretary Treasurer, Councilor 1, Councilor 2, Councilor 3, and International Councilor.  The job description for each of these positions can be found in our General Constitutions and National Statutes.

 What are the qualifications for servant leaders?

Prayer and discernment are vital for the good judgement to elect those who demonstrate:

  • A true love for and deep sense of belonging to the OFS.
  • A marked sense and spirit of service.
  • Concrete availability of time, mind and heart for the Fraternity.
  • Human, spiritual and character qualities, as well as the experience and preparation needed, to cope with the challenges the Fraternity might face in the given time.

The 2010 revised edition of the Handbook for Franciscan Servant Leadership outlines three essential characteristics when one assumes a Franciscan servant leadership role: (1) that the call is initiated by God, (2) that the response or commitment is wholehearted and (3) that the leader has or is open to receiving the vision necessary to serve in a servant leadership capacity.  The handbook notes, “The vitality and growth of fraternal life is usually related to the absence or presence of these characteristics in its leaders.”

In addition to the above are those qualifications outlined in our Rule, Constitutions and Statutes.

Who can make a nomination?

Only permanently professed members may make nominations.  Spiritual Assistants and Candidates may make suggestions for nominees to a professed member.

 We invite all professed OFS members to nominate well-qualified, permanently professed Secular Franciscans to serve in the above named positions.  You may nominate a person for more than one position.  Please send your nomination (Include their name, address, zip code, email address) by email to both:

Kate Kleinert, OFS – kkleinert@msn.com

and

Bob Crane, OFS – bobcrane.ofs@gmail.com

For more information please refer to the Guidelines for Nominations at National Level.  The deadline for nominations is June 13, 2018.

In closing I ask that we join in prayer as a National Family.  May we be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this upcoming Chapter, and at all times, and in all things.  So be it. So be it.  Amen.

Peace and all good,
Jan

PRAYER FOR OFS LEADERSHIP

Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than our own enhancement —
though enhancement we hope for —
more than security for our own plans and vision
— though security we need —
more than satisfaction for our own selfish wants
— though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose and follow the leader
who will work with other leaders
to bring Your will to the agenda
and help us to fulfill it.

Give us leaders who lead us to virtue
without seeking to impose
their own version of virtue on others.

Give us leaders who will provide
for the advancement of our Order
without dictating to others to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves
to choose as leaders those who can tell
strength from power,
growth from greed,
leadership from dominance,
and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God,
to open our hearts to learn
from those to whom you speak in different tongues
and to respect the life and words
of those to whom you entrusted
the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God,
give us the vision as Secular Franciscans
to know where holy leadership truly lies,
to pursue it diligently,
to ask it to respect the integrity of every person
in the entire Order.

We ask these things, Great God,
with minds open to your word
and hearts that trust in your eternal care.

Amen

The above “Prayer for OFS Leadership” was adapted and updated September 1, 2012 by:
Kevin Queally, TOR and Anne Mulqueen, OFS