I made my lifetime profession in the Secular Franciscan Order in 1985, three years after I became a Catholic. My first fraternity was St. Francis-St. Louis, which meets at St. Peter's Church in the Loop. After moving to Batavia, IL in 1988, I transferred to St. Francis Fraternity - Fox Valley in 1989. In the 20 years I have been a member of this fraternity, I have served as secretary, vice minister, and minister (twice). I currently serve the Mother Cabrini Regional Fraternity (NE Illinois) as minister. Previously, I have been regional vice minister, formation director, and councilor for spiritual life and liturgy. I have chaired the computer committee for the National Fraternity in the United States and am webmaster for the National Fraternity website. I served as a spiritual assistant for St. Francis Fraternity - Crystal Lake for three years (2008-2011).
If you have questions about the OFS, please contact me.
About St. Francis Fraternity - Fox Valley
St. Francis Fraternity - Fox Valley meets at St. Patrick's Church, 408 Cedar St, St Charles, IL 60174. Our meetings are normally held on the fourth Saturday of the month, following the 8:30AM Mass, in the Fr. Carse Center (downstairs from the sanctuary). November and December meetings are always moved due to conflicts with Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We celebrated permanent profession of two new members, Kristi Loar, OFS, and Mary Sparks, OFS, on May 22, 2010. I took some pictures of the rite of profession at St. Patrick's Crane Road Church.
Our fraternity celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2008! As part of celebrating our history, we have some scanned photos from the fraternity in the 1970s. Besides some familiar names from our fraternity, you'll see some familiar friars - Fr. Benet Fonck, Fr. Jim Hoffman, and Fr. Phil Marquardt.
We have additional photos from our anniversary celebration held at Constitution House in Aurora on April 26, 2008. All those professed 20 years or more were honored, with special recognition given to six celebrating 50+ years as professed Secular Franciscans.
More pictures from our fraternity's history are now scanned and uploaded, as follows:
- Fraternity meetings, mostly in 2003
- The 2002 SFO Regional Retreat at LaSalle Manor in Plano, IL. This was significant for our fraternity in particular because we handled environment and hospitality, as the closest fraternity. It was also special for us because Fr. Benet Fonck, OFM, our retreat director, had also been our spiritual assistant in the mid-90s.
- The 2003 Franciscan Gathering and our annual outdoor Mass
- Profession and reception for Chris Bruhnke and Karen Booker
Articles written for the Fox Valley Franciscan
About St. Francis Fraternity - Crystal Lake
St. Francis - Crystal Lake meets at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 1023 Mchenry Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Meetings are held on the third Sunday of the month, gathering between 1:00 and 1:30PM for a potluck lunch at 1:30 followed by the fraternity meeting.