Dear brothers and sisters,
It is with great joy that I take this opportunity to introduce myself as one of your two new spiritual assistants! While I have met many of you before at regional events and also at the fraternity picnic in July, it seems like a good idea to give you some background on me in writing. I look forward to getting to know each of you as we journey together.
If you had told me thirty years ago that I would be a Secular Franciscan and a spiritual assistant now, I would have probably just laughed at you. I wasn't even Catholic, and even though my fiancé was, I didn't have any plans to convert. It wasn't as if he was attending Mass either, except when we cut class to go to Pope John Paul II's Mass in Grant Park. Well...things change! A couple of years into our marriage, my husband felt the need to go to Mass at Christmas, and wanted me to come too. One thing quickly led to another and at Easter Vigil in 1982, I was received into the Church! I soon felt the need to learn more about my new faith, and find a group of like-minded people to share the journey with. I discovered the Secular Franciscans at St. Peter's, and in June 1985, I was professed. Things often move quickly in my life!
As we all learn, profession was only the beginning of my journey...but with increased responsibilities at work and a lot of work in our parish coordinating the RENEW progress, it was close to being the end of my Franciscan journey too. Fortunately, when we moved to Batavia in 1988, I gradually recognized my need to connect with a local fraternity, and was blessed to transfer to St. Francis - Fox Valley in 1989. My sisters and brothers have made a huge difference in my life over the past 19 years, and I rejoice in celebrating the 80th anniversary of the establishment of our fraternity this year.
Life in fraternity is very, very important to me. As I mentioned above, I came to the SFO because of the need I felt for a faith community to grow with. I have been blessed with opportunities to experience fraternity at the local, regional, national, and even international levels. Each experience reinforces how important being part of the Franciscan family is for me. As a spiritual assistant, it is my responsibility to ensure that St. Francis-Crystal Lake is connected not only to the larger world of the SFO, but to Franciscans everywhere. Being co-assistant with Fr. Chuck Faso will make that connection to the friars very personal, and I'm really excited about it!
Besides my fraternity, I share the journey with my husband of 28 years, Dave. We both majored in computer science at Northwestern; he teaches computer programming and web design at Kishwaukee College, while I am a software developer and tester at Bell Labs/Alcatel-Lucent in Naperville. His parents live at Mayslake Village; my mother lives in Tampa, Florida. We currently have one cat; our pet family over the years can be seen at www.klickfamily.com/vickie/photos/family.html. I enjoy nature and landscape photography, and post photos regularly on my website (www.klickfamily.com/vickie). If you visit there, you'll also find a Secular Franciscan page which includes the articles I've written for my home fraternity's newsletter (and will include what I write for the Littlest Tau as well). I am webmaster for the National Fraternity website (www.nafra-sfo.org), which contains many useful resources for formation, materials from conferences and workshops, etc.
The line in our Rule that most often comes to mind for me is, "from Gospel to life, and from Life to the Gospel." My favorite line from St. Francis is, "I have done what is mine to do - may God give you what is yours." As a fraternity, we have the opportunity to help each other discern what this means - what each of us is called to do in light of the Gospel and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. I look forward to our time together.
Peace and all good..................Vickie Klick, SFO