This is an end of term letter from Paula Pearce, our outgoing National Minister:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The image shows Paula at the Chapter in Rome with delegates from France and Ireland. Paula writes this morning (Tuesday): “Really inspiring talk yesterday, lots to bring home to you. We are all included here as we talk and share our ofs life, wish others could be here too P e b”
The CIOFS website (it’s still up!) has details of the opening Mass presided over by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and details of the opening addresses. Here is a link to the Chapter Flickr photo feed. There are a great many photos there already.
I have posted other photos from Paula in the members only National Fraternity OFSGB facebook page. We hope to present some coverage on our national Twitter page, and possibly our as yet very under utilised Instagram account. Will the Instagrammers among you please come to our aid!
The CIOFS facebook page has regular updates, and had a live video feed on Sunday and Monday. Presumably they will continue with this live feed for those who want to follow the Chapter in real time
Today the Chapter reflects on “Instrumentum Laboris” subtitled: “How should an Order like the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) be managed at all its levels?” During the 2014 General Chapter, capitulars reflected on this theme and were encouraged to lead a reflection within their respective national fraternities with all professed brothers and sisters during the three years 2014 to 2017. Paula received the results of these reflections from many of us, and so Paula is able to present our views to Chapter: on the strengths, weaknesses and priorities of our national fraternity, as well as the strengths and challenges in the management of the OFS at the international level.