A Call to Unity

The following is a message from our minister, Jerry Stecker.

This week is the week of Christian Unity. At our parish we invited the the local Lutheran minister read the gospel and give the homily.  Our pastor will do the same at her church this weekend. This is also the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I believe both churches are moving slowly to some sort of reunification. The goal I believe is to look to the things we have in common and not our differences. The hope is our aim toward Christian unity. This is a timely message these days. Continue reading “A Call to Unity”

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We Are Not Powerless

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
—Genesis 1:27

One of the most troubling of those open wounds (in the world) is the trade in human beings, a modern form of slavery. It violates the God-given dignity of so many of our brothers and sisters and constitutes a true crime against humanity.
—Pope Francis

January is Human Trafficking Month. Let us take a moment to become aware of this injustice so that we can take steps to preserve human dignity. Continue reading “We Are Not Powerless”

Our Friend Natia

Moreover, they should respect all creatures, animate and inanimate, which “bear the imprint of the Most High,” and they should strive to move from the temptation of exploiting creatures to the Franciscan concept of universal kinship. (OFS Rule #18)

Phyllis Sadowski reminds us that this rule calls us to be aware how our actions impact our non-human brothers and sisters:

As Franciscans, we should give a voice to the voiceless. If humans treat animals as objects to be discarded when not convenient, then it is just a small step away from treating human life the same way. Let’s remember to be good stewards to our animal friends.

One we can be good stewards by helping organizations such as  Fur Keeps Animal Rescue, who shares a story about a kitty named Natia. . . Continue reading “Our Friend Natia”

Stars and Shadows

Note: The following reflection was written by Sr. Marie Lucey, director of advocacy of the Franciscan Action Network.

It is hard to let go of the Advent and Christmas Seasons and move into Ordinary Time, especially since we expect 2017 to be anything but “ordinary” in political and geo-political terms. We have been nourished by prophetic visions and nativity stories of angels, dreams, and stars centered on the Child, Emmanuel, hope for the world.Epiphany closes the Season with the manifestation of the Christ Child to the Gentiles, with magi from the East bringing rich gifts and bowing in homage to the Child.

Continue reading “Stars and Shadows”

The Holy Name of Jesus

The following message from our minister, Jerry Stecker, is a reminder of who our fraternity is named after.

January 3, Holy Name of Jesus

In a world of fiercely guarded corporate names and logos, it should be easy to understand this feast. The letters IHS are an abbreviation of Jesous, the Greek name for Jesus. 

Although St. Paul might claim credit for promoting devotion to the Holy Name because Paul wrote in Philippians that God the Father gave Christ Jesus “that name that is above every name” (Phil 2:9), this devotion became popular because of 12th-century Cistercian monks and nuns but especially through the preaching of St. Bernardine of Siena, a 15th-century Franciscan.

Bernardine used devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus as a way of overcoming bitter and often bloody class struggles and family rivalries or vendettas in Italian city-states. The devotion grew, partly because of Franciscan and Dominican preachers. It spread even more widely after the Jesuits began promoting it in the 16th century. 

In 1530, Pope Clement V approved an Office of the Holy Name for the Franciscans. In 1721, Pope Innocent XIII extended this feast to the entire Church. 

Please remember we meet this Sunday for our party at Resurrection. Some signed up to bring food while others agreed to clean up. Remember all family members are welcome.

Peace and Nonviolence

Mindful that they are bearers of peace which must be built up unceasingly, they should seek out ways of unity and fraternal harmony through dialogue, trusting in the presence of the divine seed in everyone and in the transforming power of love and pardon. (OFS Rule #19)

Daniel Horan, OFM wrote on his blog that “Nonviolence as an attitude, disposition, and strategy is not optional for Christians. . . . Pope Francis is confirming in his World Day of Peace message this basic truth of our Christian faith.”

As we think about our calling to be “bearers of peace,” let us consider ways we can, in the words of Pope Francis, “cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values.”