May 18, 2015

    Salutation to the Blessed Virgin Mary


    Hail Lady, Holy Queen, Holy Mary Theotokos,

    who art the Virgin made church

    and the One elect by the Most Holy Father of Heaven, whom He consecrated with His Most Holy beloved Son and with the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete; 

    Thou in whom was and is all fullness of grace and every good.


    Hail His Palace;

    Hail His Tabernacle;

    Hail His Home.

    Hail His Vestment;
    Hail His Handmaid;
    Hail His Mother


    And hail all you holy virtues, which through the grace and illumination of the Holy Spirit are infused into the hearts of the faithful, so that from those unfaithful you make them faithful to God. 


                                 -  Saint Francis of Assisi

Learning more about one another

DOMUS PACIS, ASSISI - As the business of the General Chapter resumed on Monday after Sunday's day of rest and pilgrimage, most of the day was held in closed session.

For the participants in the English-language group, the day began with a special Mass in the Chapel of the Portiuncula. Each language group has two opportunities over the course of the Chapter to celebrate Mass in the Portiuncula and today was the first of the two Masses in English. Provincial Minister Jeffrey Scheeler, OFM (SJB) was the presider and homilist for the Mass. You can see a video of that Mass below.

Mass in the Portiuncula

Mass in the Portiuncula

The majority of the day was occupied as the Capitulars today took up concerns raised regarding the finances of the Order in the General Minister's Letter to the Friars of the Order issued last December. They discussed these issues in greater depth, as well as potential solutions that have been proposed. No decisions on these proposed solutions were made today.

Once the Chapter resumed open session, the time was given to the consideration of the reports of the Presidents of Conferences. This was a way of learning more about the friars from around the world, and they were also asked to reflect upon a few questions that were related to the ways each Conference had responded to the mandates from the General Chapter of 2009.

Chapter friars today heard the reports of the African Conference, the Bolivian Conference, the Brazilian Conference, the Italian Conference, and COTAF (Conference of TransAlpine Franciscans).

Following those reports, the day concluded with an experience of Lectio Divina: prayerful reflection on the Word of God, similar to the experience of last Monday. 

Lectio Divina at the end of the day.

Lectio Divina at the end of the day.

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Go and repair my church: Chapter gets personal
Reflection of Provincial Minister John Puodziunas, OFM (ABVM)

Dear brothers,

Pace e bene  from Assisi. I hope you are receiving and enjoying the daily briefings about the General 

Chapter experience being sent out through the English Speaking Conference.


We are all thankful to Tom Washburn, our executive secretary, for this service in communication. So as not to duplicate the daily experience I would like to offer a weekly reflection, something to help each of you enter into the spiritual experience that is the General Chapter. With that said, I offer you this reflection for week one. 


John Puodziunas, OFM, serving as Moderator of the Chapter, alongside General Minister Michael A. Perry, OFM

Chapter is about receiving a charge, an inspiration, a direction. We can take this charge from the Gospel from Mark which we heard on Sunday in the celebration of Ascension, "Go into the world and proclaim the good news." (Mark 16:15)


But the charge we heard this past week as we began chapter is much more personal. We were reminded by one of the chapter delegates, in a response with respect to mission ad gentes, of the words Francis heard at San Damiano, "Francis, go and repair my church..." noting that he did not just hear, "Go and repair..." but "Francis, go..." And again when our General Minister, Michael, was asked "From where will this renewal of the Order come?" He responded, "from you, the members of this chapter; from the friars who you represent."


As I engage the friars of the Order I am constantly reminded that we are universal, representing many different lands and cultures; we are very provincial, engaged in a variety of ministries and unique expressions of fraternity. Yet, the richness of this diversity is built upon the stone that is each friar, personally having heard the command to "go".


Brothers, I thank you for the prayers you are making for the chapter that will in some way effect our lives as many of you have expressed on your emails. Continue to pray. But also, I invite you to engage personally in listening for and hearing that invitation...that command..."John, Michael, Edward, Kim, Ted, Hugh, Steven...go, and repair my Church."


Brothers, we all have something to offer, something to bring to the table of our lives. How will you hear that command anew this day, this week, within this chapter of your life?


This seems to be the personal charge of the first week of chapter.






May Christ teach you what is yours to do
VIDEO: Mass in the Portiuncula: Provincial Minister Jeffrey Scheeler, OFM (SJB)