Summer Session in Loretto – July 6 – 9, 2017

“Multiculturalism and Diversity: Who is My Neighbor?”

This Summer Session is open to all who would like to attend. Check out the attached flyer for more information on this great opportunity to spend a few days with Seculars from across the country and participate in this timely topic. Seminar flyer 2017

St. Maximilian Kolbe Relic Tour Begins in U.S.

From an article on the National Catholic Register website:

The major relics of Maximilian Kolbe, who was canonized by St. John Paul II, began an 8-month tour Jan. 15-17 in Ellicott City, Md., at the Shrine of St. Anthony. The tour started with noon Mass at the shrine.

The tour sponsored by the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual of the Our Lady of the Angels Province will continue until August 14, the date commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kolbe’s martyrdom in the World War II Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland.

Read more…

Brother Larry to greet Pope Francis!

brother LarryBIG NEWS! Our beloved Brother Larry Hilferty, TOR, Regional Spiritual Assistant to St. Katharine Drexel Region and local Spiritual Assistant to St. Bonaventure Fraternity has been asked to greet the Pope! He wants to give the Pope one of our orange ribbon/Tau cross pins in support of the martyred Middle Eastern Christians. We all just stepped a little closer to our Holy Father and rejoice in the honor bestowed on Brother Larry!


Some really good news!!!!!!!!

I received a letter today from the secretary to His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O’Malley in response to my request that the Cardinal mention the Secular Franciscans when he speaks at the World Meeting of Families next September.

Here is what he said:

The Cardinal holds the Secular Franciscan vocation in high regard and is grateful for your dedication to this important ministry, which enriches the lives of many people.

As we look toward the events being planned for the World Meeting of Families this coming September, we will be happy to determine how the secular vocation can be included in the Cardinal’s participation, to provide recognition for the members and to encourage a greater awareness and increase of this means of living one’s faith.  As you note, this could be particularly helpful for providing young people an effective and fulfilling means for responding to the Lord’s call in their lives.

We are most grateful to Cardinal O’Malley for his kindness in recognizing the value of the Secular vocation.


Torture is a Moral Issue - A message from our national JPIC Chair

Advent greetings of peace, dear Family!

I pray this finds you well and filled with the Lord’s peace in this week of honoring our dear Mother Mary. What I most love about our Blessed Mother is not only her YES to God to bear the Messiah, but also her love of justice. During her visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, she uttered the prayer of her ancestors, the Magnificat. She prayed for justice for those who were considered the lowest, the poorest and the most vulnerable. As Franciscans, this too is our prayer. We must collectively echo the words of our Mother Mary and seek justice and peace for all those who are abused and mistreated.

You have no doubt read or heard the massive yet disturbing report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Torture. From the National Religious Campaign Against Torture:

“Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved — policy-makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation’s most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.”

I am writing to ask you to join with me and raise a collectively Franciscan voice.

  • Check your daily print or online newspaper for stories on the coverage of the report.
  • Write a letter to the editor. Mention that you are a member of the U.S. Secular Franciscan Order (or your Franciscan Province or Community).
  • Forward me a copy of your letter with the name of publication, city and state.

There are talking points and suggestions on the NRCAT website. I will collect the letters and forward to NRCAT – or you can go on the website and inform them yourself. Just copy me whatever you do. If the link does not work for you, visit

May the God of peace give you his peace as we await the coming of Emmanuel!

Wishing you Advent blessings of peace and all good,

Animate Peace

Peace begins within each of us. It is a process of repeatedly showing mercy to ourselves, forgiving ourselves, befriending ourselves, accepting ourselves, and loving ourselves. As we learn to appreciate ourselves and accept God’s gift of peace, we begin to radiate peace and love to others.” ~ Rev. John Dear

San Damiano Fraternity Chapters of Election Results

In the name of Christ. Amen.

We are pleased to announce that the members of the newly-elected Council of San Damiano Fraternityare:

  • Teresa Carisio, OFS Minister
  • Deacon Tommy Watts, OFS, Vice-Minister
  • Justin Carisio, OFS, Formation Director
  • Edyth Kurzweil, OFS, Secretary
  • Pat Drake, OFS, Treasurer

Please be sure to keep them in your prayers.

Deacon Tommy Watts, OFS; Justin Carisio, OFS; Teresa Carisio, OFS; Pat Drake, OFS; Edyth Kurzwell, OFS; and Sr. Elise Betz, OSF

Deacon Tommy Watts, OFS; Justin Carisio, OFS; Teresa Carisio, OFS; Pat Drake, OFS; Edyth Kurzwell, OFS; and Sr. Elise Betz, OSF

CIOFS Electon Results

Peace to each of your hearts!

Through the kindness of our International Councillor, Mary Stronach, OFS, we have learned the results of the Chapter of Elections for our International Fraternity held in Assisi:

Our new General Minister is Tibor Kauser, OFS, from Hungary.

Our new Vice General Minister is Maria Consuelo De Nunez (Chelito), OFS, from Venezuela.

The remaining Councillors are:

  • Ana Fruk, OFS, from Croatia
  • Ana Maria Raffo Laos, OFS, from Peru
  • Attilio Galimberti, OFS, from Italy
  • Michel Janian, OFS, from Lebanon
  • Diana Silva Noemi, OFS, from Argentina
  • Jenny Harrington, OFS, from South Africa
  • Augustine Young Hak Yoon, OFS, from Korea

Please hold them in prayer as they begin their term of service to each of us.


XIVth General Chapter of the OFS

The Order’s General Chapter is now taking place through Saturday, November 8th.

The General Minister of the OFS (Secular Franciscan Order), Encarnita del Pozo, has officially opened the XIVth General Chapter of the OFS (its sixth elective Chapter), taking place in Assisi, Italy, until November 8.

The 85 voting members of the Chapter will discuss these coming days important aspects of the life of the Secular Franciscan Order and take decisions about its future. They will also elect the new leadership team of the OFS for the next six years.

You can follow the news on the CIOFS website here.

There is also a Twitter account set up where news is also being posted: @GeneralChapterOFS

Please be sure to keep our international brothers and sisters in your prayers during this important gathering.

For your continued prayers, penance and reflection (a message from our Nation Minister, Tom Bello, OFS)

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

PEACE to each of your hearts! Following is a message from our brother and National Minister, Deacon Tom Bello, OFS. The situation is urgent; the need for prayer, fasting and reflection continues. Please … do what you can.

Blessings, every good, and much love,

Beloved National Family,

May the Lord bring us all Peace. I write to share this email with you and two recent posts about our brother James Foley to ask for your continued prayers, penance and reflection, and not to promote any form of retribution or “holy war.”

Mr. Ganni who sent me last night the following email below is from Mosul, studied in Baghdad, and now lives in Quebec. He writes to make us aware, if we are not already, that Catholics, Christians and others, both personally and institutionally, are being systematically destroyed in our time in Iraq and other places in the world.

In this context, not to ignore any of the many others who have been killed, it has been reported by the family of James Foley that Pope Francis called them and referred to him as a “martyr.” » Click to continue reading “For your continued prayers, penance and reflection (a message from our Nation Minister, Tom Bello, OFS)” »

Update: Consecrated Host that was to be used in Oklahoma black mass returned

(See previous post)

“I am relieved that we have been able to secure the return of the sacred Host, and that we have prevented its desecration as part of a planned satanic ritual,” said Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. “I remain concerned about the dark powers that this satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly.”

Details on the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City website.