Saturday, November 17, 2018

St. Francis and the sinful priest

One version of the story ...

By the time Francis was an old man, he was widely known as a saintly man. He was afflicted by a disease that robbed him of his sight and he suffered so severely from the stigmata that he could not walk. He rode a donkey from town to town.

There was a town who's priest was living in sin with a woman. When the townspeople heard Francis of Assisi was coming to their town, they rejoiced, hoping the holy man would rid them of their sinful priest.

When Francis arrived, the people carried him to the door of the rectory and demanded the priest come out to face the chastisement of the saintly Francis. When the priest opened the door Francis dropped to his knees and raised his hands up until he clasped the hands of the sinful priest.

Francis kissed the priest's hands and said "All I care about is that these hands can bring me Jesus."

Pax et bonum

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Questions for the rule

RULE OF THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER             Prologue: Chapters 1 and 2

The Prologue begins with the title “Concerning those who Do Penance” - What does “penance” mean here? How does that compare with other understandings of penance?

What is the purpose and value of penance?

What kinds of penances do I do?

How does Francis weave the Trinity into this prologue?

When you examine your life, who are the people who gave you your idea of love?

Why does all personal sin have social consequences?

What procedure do I use to work on my characteristic fault(s)?

How does spiritual blindness hurt us and deprive us of so much good?

Do we need to offer satisfaction for our own sins and those of others?

What blinds those who do not do penance?

Do we have a responsibility to those who do not do penance? If so, what?


What do you consider the primary purpose of the Secular Franciscan Order?

What other purposes might the SFO fulfill?

Does membership in an Order call us to make changes in our lives?

How do we explain to ourselves and to others that we are called to develop a spirituality and lifestyle “in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi”?

Who are included in the term: “the Franciscan family”? Do we interact as a family?

In what ways is your local fraternity a “spiritual family”?
How did you recognize that you were called to follow Francis?

Did a person or event awake you to that call

What charism of Francis speaks the loudest to you?

As a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, what are some of the blessings you experience by belonging to a fraternity?

What are some ways “to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi”?


SFO fraternities are not to be “isolated” and “autonomous” - what does that mean?

      If we have become so, why did we?

     What can we do as a fraternity and as individuals to overcome that?

Did profession change your life? And if so, how?

How does an Order differ from a parish society?

What is meant by the common adage: “From Gospel to life and life to Gospel”?

Do I regularly wear the external sign of my membership in this Order-the Tau Cross?

Article 2 states: ”In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state.” What does “strive for perfect charity” mean to you personally?

What are some ways our fraternity and our order as a whole help us to strive for perfect charity?

Pax et bonum

Saturday, October 20, 2018

New Fraternity Council Elected

At the Glory of the Most High Secular Franciscan Fraternity meeting October 19, the following people were selected to be the Fraternity Council for the next three years:

Minister - Lee Strong
Vice Minister - Nancy Strong
Secretary - Carolyn Barth
Treasurer - Mary Smith
Formation Director - Betty Carmen
Councilors. Ann Marie Kunz, Dick Kunz
Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

Everest Pierleoni, OFS, RIP

Glory of the Most High OFS Profession

We are saddened to learn that Everest Pierleoni (far left in the picture above) passed away July 13 after battling various illnesses. Members of the fraternity gathered to conduct a Franciscan Wake for him at the funeral home July 23.

Everest professed August 16, 2009. His Franciscan Patron Saint was St. John Bosco. That seems appropriate given his years as an aide in local schools.

Everest was a gentle soul, so simple in his faith in many ways. He was inspiring.

And he loved to sing:

His death is a great loss.

Pax et bonum

Friday, June 29, 2018

Minister's Message - Jubilee Year!

I recently asked a room full of Secular Franciscans to write three words to describe the OFS Rule.  Replies included, “conversion, prayer, humility” and “Gospel to Life”, but my favorite response was “who we are”.  What does the 40th Anniversary of the Rule mean for us, if not to live more fully who we are called to be?  How are we to do this?   We are blessed with many helps to live what we have professed, all within reach, and many right here on our website.

First, and most importantly, we have each other.  We have promised to take a long, unhurried journey together.  Something happens when we take time to share, heart to heart, about being Franciscan.  Our stubbornness and reluctance melt away, and we see more clearly.  We draw close in Christ.  We experience conversion.  I cannot imagine living the Rule without fraternity.  How critically important that we take “come away” time to be with our sisters and brothers.

The words of the Rule itself provide inspiration and guide us. “Celebrate the Rule” cards highlight some of these words and call us to ponder their application in our lives. The video entitled “Forty Years of the ‘New’ Rule: A Treasure for the OFS” helps us appreciate how the Holy Spirit guided the wording of the 1978 revision of our Rule, and the priorities therein.  Another wonderful help is the June 24, 2018 letter from our General Minister and brother Tibor Kauser (en español).  His beautiful reflection on the Rule is a great source for individual or group study.

Six of our own OFS-USA servant leaders have produced some amazing and creative resources.  These are listed below, along with a document entitled “Initiatives – OFS-USA” describing how fifteen different Regions plan to celebrate the Rule.  You can access these resources here:
Lastly, I would like to suggest a patron saint for our Jubilee year, one that perhaps may surprise you.  It has occurred to me only recently that the date of the approval of our 1978 Rule – June 24 – is the same date on which we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  This is so interesting!  We can easily see some connections.  St. John the Baptist called all to repentance, to conversion, and his life was one of poverty and humility.  When the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” He said, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” (See Luke 3:10-14).  Is this not a call to the Franciscan life?

Another interesting fact is that the feast of St. John’s birth occurs six months from the birth of Christ, and close to the summer solstice.  From June 24 forward, days grow shorter and light decreases.  This is a tribute to St. John who said, “I must decrease” (See John 3:28-30).  Six months from now at Christmas, Christ our Light appears, shattering the darkness.  Let us meditate on how John the Baptist models for us a true “kenosis” – a pouring out of self to make room for Christ – “He must increase.”  May St. John the Baptist continue to point us to Christ, the true Light of this world, as we celebrate our Rule, and our call to live the Gospel.
Peace and Jubilee Joy!
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
“You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:76-79
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
John 1:29

Pax et bonum

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Profession - Pat Cammarata and Irene Perevich

Pat Cammarata and Irene Perevich officially professed June 15, 2018, as members of the Glory of the Most High Secular Franciscan Fraternity. 


Pax et bonum