Welcome to the OFS!

On October 8, 2017, we welcomed four new members into the Franciscan family! Congratulations to Sylvia, Ruth, Phyllis, and Jim!

And after the Lord gave me some brothers [and sisters], no one showed me what I had to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the Holy Gospel.

The Testament of St. Francis of Assisi

Photo Credits: Michael Heliker 

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A Few Prayerful Thoughts

The following article is by the secretary of the St. Bernardine of Siena Fraternity, Pat Cetera, OFS.

A hundred years ago on May 13, 1917, as three poor shepherd children (Jacinta, Francisco, Lucia) worked the fields, Our Lady of the Rosary appeared the first time in Fatima, Portugal. During the sixth and final apparition on October 13, 1917, the “Messenger” and the message was authenticated when the sun danced across the sky, and seemed to plummet to earth before returning to its natural home. Unbelievers became believers.

The message was similar to all other messages reaching the world from Our Lord and Our Mother: pray for the conversion of sinners and world peace, perform acts of sacrifice and reparation, be repentant and change our lives.This time, secrets were entrusted and promises were made. Those who embrace the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (as requested by Jesus) in reparation for all the outrages and blasphemies wounding her deeply, were promised salvation. The daily recitation of the rosary for peace and the conversion of sinners, the Consecration of Russia, and the Five First Saturdays were requested. Unless people honored these requests, there would be punishment because Our Lady could “no longer hold back the arm of her Beloved Son”.

As with our own children, we choose not to hear or obey. Conflicts are still present in distant lands as well as in our own, and extend into our lives and communities. Sin runs rampant everywhere. Morality is difficult to find, or “adjusted” by what we think it should be. Many do pray the rosary daily for peace and the conversion of sinners, yet for the rest of us, “more important things” often keep us from doing what we need to do.

When we participate in the many celebrations to honor Our Blessed Mother during the next few months, let us open our hearts and lives to her, and the message she has given. Pray that all her children obey and heed the warnings. After all, a Mother speaks out of love to teach and protect the children entrusted to her. Our Lady, the Perfect Mother, out of love, is constantly leading us directly to her Son.

A Message for Lent

The following message is from Fr. Pat Brennan. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Jesus pushes beyond the externals of the law and asks us, His followers, to reach into the level of attitudes and motivation. Not only are we to, behaviorly keep the law; we are to constantly work at the purification of attitudes and motives. This is what He is referring to when He calls us away from judgment, anger, impatience, lust. He is calling us always to take inventory, stock, of the inner self, the hidden self, that only God in each of us knows about. Jesus wants us to cleanse, not just our external physical selves, He wants us to reach deeply into our hearts and souls and minds and cleanse our inner self. Continue reading “A Message for Lent”

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”

In Gratitude

By Pat Cetera, OFS

With November comes the beginning of the cold cutting winds and falling temperatures that cause us to put on the winter coats. The orange and red leaves that adorned picture perfect landscapes have been swept up, leaving naked branches on the trees.Soon a sparkling white blanket of snow will cover the ground. Days grow shorter, night grows longer, and sometimes the darkness seems endless. But, then comes the joyful anticipation of holiday gatherings and celebrations with family and friends. Thanksgiving Day arrives, and we devour the mounds of special once a year recipes lovingly prepared heaped on our plates. We share our homes and our lives. And, we do it all with gratitude.

Continue reading “In Gratitude”

Interfaith Letter on Standing Rock

The following letter is from Green Faith, an interfaith organization whose mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.

To learn more about the resistance of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation to the Dakota Access Pipeline, click here.

Like many of you, I’ve watched the Sioux and their First Nation Water Protectors standing strong at Standing Rock in North Dakota, protesting the development of a fossil fuel pipeline that would threaten their drinking water and desecrate their sacred sites. I have been filled with admiration for their courage and resolve.

These past several days have seen an escalation in the violence directed at them. Native American leaders have called for people of faith to stand with them. Continue reading “Interfaith Letter on Standing Rock”