Here follows a reflection from Kathy Maskens, our National Vice Minister, on the recent OFS / Youfra Congress in Lithuania.
If regions would send us information about their activities and events they can be included in a monthly “Around the Regions” post. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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….
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.
Please see below details of two youth events. A Paisley Diocesan youth event from the St Francis and St Clare Youth Prayer Group, that will take place this Thursday 19th October. Also, in London, a series of twelve monthly meetings exploring our Christian life in the Franciscan Spirit. Please pray for the success of these events, and support them where you can. “Encourage us by keeping in touch as we go; publicise our social media accounts” asks the London team.
Are there youth events being planned in other regions? Let us know!