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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“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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