From the Heart of Our Minister – April 2019

April, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you peace!  Another three years stretches ahead of us.  It feels like turning to a new page in a notebook or turning that button on the Etch-a-Sketch to make the design disappear and have a clean slate to start again.  The new Regional Council is a wonderful blend of some repeaters and some newbies.  Old or new, experienced or not, we are a united Council ready to serve all of you over the next three years.

When the Region is hosting a weekend in Easton, it has been our tradition to gather after dinner on Saturday night for the “Let’s Talk About It” segment of our agenda.  It is very casual and relaxed and it is a time to discuss whatever you would like to bring up.  Suggestions, problems, “why-do-we-have-to-do-that?” questions are posed and answered.  There were some good suggestions brought forth:

  1. If your fraternity has a website, ask the pastor where the fraternity meets to add it to the parish’s site.
  2. Look into having either a once a year Region-wide candidates’ retreat or break it into Districts. If held by District, a candidate would have some options if he or she can’t make it to the one scheduled in his or her home district.
  3. Have our Region paired with a Region from another country and become penpals. We can learn a lot about fraternal life in foreign lands and get to know our brothers and sisters.

More suggestions are welcome.  So put on your thinking cap and let us know what you come up with!

Later this year we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of our Region.  At the moment, the plans are so much in the infancy stage, they really haven’t been born yet!  So if you have ideas about how to celebrate – bring them on!  We will be working on a history so all you seasoned seculars, start remembering!  Whatever the celebration turns into, it will be wonderfully created by the family of St. Katharine Drexel Region.

Our elections weekend was blessed in so many ways.  Our National Minister, Jan Parker, OFS, presided and was so generous with her time with all of us.  She brought along her guitar and we sang a number of Jan’s ‘adjusted hits’.  If you’ve never been privy to a sing-along with Jan, her adjusted hits are popular songs where she changes the lyrics.  The Beach Boys’ Surfin’ USA became Serving USA and she managed to get every town where our fraternities meet into the lyrics.  John Denver’s Thank God I’m a Country Boy becomes Thank God for Fraternity.  When Jan had played through her list, Brother Kip broke out his song book and entertained us with his tremendous talent of both singing and playing the guitar.  What a great night!

This past Tuesday night at my own fraternity meeting, our on-going formation was a presentation on Pope John XXIII. Edie Kurzweil, OFS, did a magnificent job and had so much information we had never heard before.  Pope John loved being a Secular Franciscan and lived his life as a Secular first. I’m not sure I have this correct, but I believe this quote came from Pope John himself…………….no one becomes a Franciscan.  You are born a Franciscan.  I want to get that put on a tee shirt! How great is that??

Please keep the new Council in your prayers and know that we pray for all of you. Let us know your thoughts, ideas and yes….complaints.  We can’t change what we don’t know about.

May each of us be blessed this Easter Season in whatever way we need the most.



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