“Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”)!

As I’m sure you will know Pope Francis released a new Apostolic Exhortation a few days ago, on Monday 9th April. On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.

“With this exhortation I would like to insist primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you,” he wrote near the beginning. “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves,” he said.

The title “Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”) is from  the Beatitudes, Matthew 5.

Here is the Apostolic Exhortation in English.

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Two Events: Arkley & St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Here are notices of two upcoming events.

On 6th May the Arkley Day of Recollection this Spring will be led by Fr Jesmond Pawley ofm Conv, on the theme of “Jesus Christ for St Francis”. These Arkley Days of Recollection are generally well supported by members from the London and the East Anglian regions. They are open to all, and so may well interest members from other regions: the South East and Southern regions in particular. It would also be convenient for members of the Oxford fraternity. If you are interested please do notify Ursula Mott: details on the flyer below.

Then on the following weekend St Mary’s University, Twickenham are hosting a one day conference “Rediscovering the Roots of Franciscan Spirituality”. The conference celebrates the arrival at St Mary’s of the library from the Franciscan Studies Centre at Canterbury, “the world-renowned Franciscan Studies Collection, believed to be the largest collection related to Franciscanism in Northern Europe.” Speakers include Tom Herbst ofm,  Chris Dyczek ofm, and Sr Patricia Rumsey (Sr Francisca from the Arkley Poor Clares). For details see flyer below.

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Easter 2018 Bulletin from Paula

BRIEF NEWS BULLETIN FOR ALL FRATERNITIES

ARKLEY, OUR NEW SEAT.
Thanks to Michael and Roger we now have the office almost up and running.
I was asked to make a presentation as part of the Lent Retreat in Arkley. The welcome of the sisters was lovely and very encouraging. I felt very at home there. The sisters are really glad to be of assistance to us and I encourage more members to think seriously about using this wonderful convent for day events. I will send more details and give a report on what has been happening nationally after the National Executive meeting on April 7th.

John Bradburne
There have been important developments and I will send more details about making him better known after Easter. The good and exciting news is that the process for beatification is underway.

Two things to consider:
I will forward an email to regional ministers and secretaries, addressed to members of the memorial society, that has the link for a crowd-raising fundraiser for any fraternity that might want to support the cause that will be presented to the Congregation of the Cause of the Saints in Rome. The Postulator has research and investigation to do.
[This is the link to the JustGiving Crowdfunding Campaign to support the Cause for Beatification of John Bradburne that Paula refers to above.]
www.johnbradburne.com is the website of JBMS, the memorial society. There is a JBMS items list and I urge each region to find a group of people to read Didier Rince’s John Bradburne “The Vagabond of God” so that they can help tell his story. This may mean being prepared to give to parishes. It was reading and re-reading this that persuaded me to embrace the cause.

CIOFS
Since the Chapter at Rome we have been preparing for the Youfra/ofs congress in Lithuania. We have reason to celebrate – the anthem competition has been won by Gibraltar! Also we will have a good representation at this event, the same week as Pope Francis will be visiting Ireland so I hope everyone will remember our gathering at that time.
A joint project to help others has been launched by Ofs/Youfra Europe this Lent. Go to the site well4africa.eu to find out what this is all about and how you can help.

Ciofs website has a new edition of Vox Franciscana which gives a snapshot of world events concerning the Order. It is worth looking at – it is very pictorial, not lots more words.

EASTER
I pray God’s blessing on all of this as we near the Easter season. Soon after that our annual celebration for the 40th anniversary of the Rule will start. Please give thought to this, beginning with personal and fraternal examination on what it means to me to belong to ofs and thinking about how to better live and love our Rule
Today I came across a poem that spoke to my heart very clearly and I find very rich even on first readings. It is strictly for your personal use only.
[The poem is not included here at Paula’s request for copyright reasons, but it has been sent to regional ministers for onward transmission to fraternities]

Paula ofs Easter, 2018.

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RIP Allan Simpson, OFS

Angela Bradley posted this in the National Fraternity facebook group late yesterday: I learned today of the death of Alan Simpson OFS, East Anglia. A kind and gentle man, a person of great faith, care for the deceased members of our Order and love of St Francis.
His advancing age, serious illness and inability to attend fraternity meetings were no obstacle to his heroic, Franciscan witness. After March fraternity ceased he still met with other OFS to pray and to practice an apostolate of mercy, praying for deceased members. They collected money and had mass offered for the holy souls every month. Involved at the start of the National Fraternity and the first National Council of G.B.
R.I.P

Selected comments from the national fraternity facebook group:

Jaci Matos: Thank you Angela for the kind words on our dearest Allan…. he will be missed here on Earth’ life but surely he is enjoying now his new home in God’s arm with all the angels and saints! May his soul rest in peace! Amen! He was indeed a splendid example for us and a great apostle for the Holy Souls! He was an inspiration to me from my beginning as a member of the ofs. RIP!

Debbie Bool: Angela, thank you so much for posting this. Alan was instrumental in my becoming a Secular Franciscan as he initiated the relaunching of the Norwich fraternity. He was a good example to me of what it was to be a Secular Franciscan.

Helen MacGilp: Wonderful to hear of Alan’s commitment to his vocation and to our Order! May we all be blessed with the grace of perseverance and may our brother Alan now rest in peace.

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