Around the Regions July 2018

If regions would send us information about their activities and events they can be included in a monthly “Around the Regions” post. Please contact info@ofsgb.org

Southern Region

Southern region are inviting members of other regions to two events (see pdf’s below): a celebration “Loving God’s Creation” to be held at Wintershall, near Guildford, Surrey on 11th August. The day will be led by Dr Martin and Rev Margot Hodson. Martin Hodson is a plant scientist and environmental biologist.  He is Principal Tutor of Christian Rural and Environmental Studies and has written numerous books, including several with his wife Margot (an Anglican Rector), for example `Cherishing the Earth` and `A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues.` For more information about them see their website.

Then, in November, the Ladywell fraternity is inviting members of other Franciscan fraternities and ALL those with a `Franciscan heart` to join them at Park Place Pastoral Centre near Fareham, Hants for a weekend retreat “Be Still and Know”.

Remembering that the South Wales and South West weekend event in Cardiff in 2016 on the theme of “The Holy Year of Mercy and our Franciscan Response” was attended by members from six of our nine regions, and by members of TSSF, it is hoped that we may again have a good response from our regions.

Events such as these offer valuable opportunities for affirming, supporting and encouraging one another on our Franciscan journey, for an enriching inter-regional fraternal exchange of views and for exploring the Franciscan way forward in unity and friendship. They can be inspirational.

Please also see the diary entries for the Wintershall event and for the Park Place Pastoral Centre retreat.

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East Anglian Region
Our brother, Donald Jones, who has been a loyal, joyful, happy member of Bedford Gospel-to-Life fraternity for over 40 years, died peacefully on 3rd July , having been attended by Canon John Koenig from St. Edwards, Kettering.

His funeral will take place at St. Edwards Church, 2 the Grove, Kettering, NN15 7QQ on WEDNESDAY 25TH JULY 2018.

 

Gibraltar: Anthem for the Third OFS – Youfra Congress in Kaunus, Lithuania.
Congratulations to Victor Francis and the Gibraltar fraternity. As some of you will know they have won the competition for the composition of the Anthem for the upcoming OFS – Youfra Congress in Lithuania from 20th to 26th August. Victor’s piece is called “Rivers of Living Water” and you can hear it here.

And Finally ….
The National Council photographed last month (June) at the new National Seat at Arkley….

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Around the Regions March / April 2018

Please send us your items for inclusion in “Around the Regions”. These could be posted monthly.

Follow these links for Spring newsletters from the East Anglian and Southern regions, and, “hot off the press” today, Midland Franciscan. Newsletters are also available from the South East Region. So plenty of reading material.
There are upcoming events at Arkley on Sunday 6th May, and at St Mary’s University, Twickenham on Saturday 12th May.

 

We celebrate a profession in the Oxford fraternity:

Saturday 17th March 2018
Eamonn McNamara, a member of the Oxford fraternity made his profession in the chapel at Greyfriars, Oxford. Eamonn is the one in a white shirt of this photo. A joyous addition to the Fraternity and to the Franciscan family.
We give thanks to the Father for the gift of this profession which enriches the whole community of the Secular Franciscan Order in Great Britain. May we be united with Eamonn in prayer as he continues his Franciscan journey. May the fraternal bonds of community always be our help.

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And we remember our sister Rosalie Temple, of the Cambridge  ‘Our Lady of the Poor’ fraternity. Here follows two reflections on her life: from Michael Simmonds of the Bedford Fraternity, and from Chris Whittam of the Cambridge fraternity.

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OBITUARY – SISTER ROSALIE TEMPLE
Following a number of admissions to hospital, and then discharge to her home in Lilford, near Oundle, where she had her friends Maureen and Ann take turns in caring for her, Sr. Rosalie Temple died in the early hours of Monday 12 March 2018. She had been visited by Trudie Warner, the vice-minister of the Cambridge Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order Sr. Rosalie belonged to, on the Saturday just before her unexpected death; she had been sitting out in a chair, talkative but also tired.
Sr. Rosalie was born on 23 June 1926, in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, so would have been 92 years old this June. She was the oldest of four siblings, with two younger sisters and a brother; later there were also a half-sister and half-brother in the family. She sometimes spoke about her childhood, but more often talked about events and concerns of later life. As a young adult she had a family of her own, with two sons to care for, and it was not until they were grown up and independent that she was able to ‘leave the world’ and pursue her religious vocation.
She came to Oundle in 1970, and was professed into the Gospel way of life in the Secular Franciscan Order in 1973. For many years she lived as a Franciscan hermit, as she described her vocation, and although this meant living a simple and prayerful life at her home in Lilford, she was also active in the local community, always responsive to those in need of help or assistance, and with a joyful witness to her faith to all she met. She was active too in helping those in need in Europe, taking part in aid missions to Romania, and helping in Bosnia – Herzegovina, and other places. She was involved in the Miracles Centre in Mostar, a charity for people injured by landmines after the conflict in that country. She was a frequent visitor to Medugorge, and enthusiastic about the apparitions of Our Lady, and the spiritual blessings gained from pilgrimage and being there.
Sr. Rosalie received spiritual direction from a number of priests, over the years, at Mount St. Bernard Abbey, Leicestershire. She came to Cambridge each month for the meetings of the Cambridge Fraternity, named ‘Our Lady of the Poor’ in 2011 after a unanimous vote accepted her suggestion of this name . Devoted to Our Lady, Sister Rosalie also revered St. Michael the Archangel, her house being named ‘St. Michael’. She engaged in spiritual warfare against “mickey mouse”, her term for the powers of evil; she was sought out by many for blessings and prayers for healing.
Dressed in her brown Franciscan habit and with a joyful and chuckling laugh Sr. Rosalie bore great witness to the love of God in her daily life. She would frequently smile and say “God bless you” in a unique and uplifting way.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen
Chris Whittam – Cambridge ‘Our Lady of the Poor’ Fraternity

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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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Around the Regions March 2017


Here we highlight some national events, and initiatives from various regions.

The programme for the National Assembly to be held in Gibraltar in April is now available. We are delighted that every region is represented. There may still be places available should others wish to attend. It seems that the Extra Costs will now be only £40, and not £110 as originally expected. This is to help meet the costs of the Speaker and Spiritual Assistants and the catering for the weekend. We believe that the Gibraltar Fraternity will revitalise everyone who comes. We know they have devoted a huge amount of time and energy to make this unique experience uplifting and successful.

And in September Paula Pearce will lead a Living in Faith in Daily Life weekend retreat at Pantasaph Friary. Details may be found here.

Formation: We hope you are making good use of the excellent formation material that our national formation minister, John Power, has provided. John is also now working on material for Ongoing Formation.

South Wales and South West region have an interesting programme of events for 2017, and perhaps members from other regions might like to join them. Many from other regions will recall that in 2016 South Wales and South West offered the excellent “The Holy Year of Mercy and our Franciscan Response” weekend in Cardiff.

London Region have a Youfra initiative with an event in April: Working together to build Peace in our families, schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, our nation, our world…..and ourselves. See the hurt of the world and want to respond in the way of Peace, Joy, Hope, Love, Good….? There are many ways to be involved: pray for this initiative; publicise it; support one-off events; or join us in our year of monthly meetings/activities, growing together as we explore our Christian life in the Franciscan spirit.
Come and See: Friday 28th April 2017, 6.30pm-8pm Our Lady of the Rosary Church Hall, Brixton.
Get in touch and keep in touch: Facebook: Franciscan Youth UK
and on Twitter: @YouFraLondon
Email – YouFraLondon@aol.co.uk
If young people from other OFSGB regions want to make contact for resources etc, please get in touch.

The latest Southern Region newsletter “Viewpoint” is just in. There is much interesting material in the newsletters that the various regions provide.

East Anglian Region are drawing our attention to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales initiative referred to as the Holy Land Co-ordination.
After a recent visit the CBCEW say that “In 2017 we see a land of tension and division, walls and suspicion.” They invite us to “Take Action”, one suggestion being contact with our MP’s. David Gleave of East Anglian region says: “They have provided a pro-forma letter, so it is quite easy to share their message with your MP – all you have to do is provide your name and address.”
Since 1998, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has organised an annual meeting of the Co-ordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land. Mandated by the Holy See, an international delegation of bishops meets in the region every January to act in solidarity with the Christian communities there and to share in the pastoral life of the local Church as it experiences extreme political and social-economic pressure.

And we have details of the East Anglian regional election last weekend: here, and also here.

Our North East Region are energetically drawing our attention to a charity ride in memory of the much loved Michael Almond, of the Leeds fraternity, who died last year.

South East Region have details of the funeral arrangements for Declan Walsh ofs, dearly missed Minister of the Croydon fraternity. The Requiem will take place on Friday 31 March 2017 at Our Lady of the Rosary, 2 St Barnabas Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 4NL at 10.00 hrs. Followed by burial at Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Warlingham, and a reception at The Horseshoe Pub, Warlingham. The region are suggesting donations to the OFS Barton project instead of flowers.

A further update may follow with news from Scotland, the North West Region, and the Midland Region.

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