Our fraternity made history in a small way at our September meeting! We’ve been talking about having an information/introductory meeting since I first came here in 1989, and after 15 years we’ve finally done it! We were very pleased to have one guest join us to learn more about St. Francis and the SFO. We would have been very pleased, of course, to have others join Marilyn for the occasion – there was good reason to expect several more guests (including a gentleman who called me the night before!) but it happened the way it happened. We’ll do this again next fall sometime - it’ll be easier now that we’ve done it once!
I want to tell you all that I am very happy and proud of the progress our fraternity has made in our ability to talk about our vocation and what it means to us to be Secular Franciscans. The answers I heard to the question, "How does being a Secular Franciscan make a difference in your life?" were not answers we could have articulated a year ago! As we talk to each other about our lives as SFOs, each conversation prepares us for those essential conversations with others...those more-difficult conversations with people who aren’t in our fraternity, who don’t know that the Secular Franciscan Order even exists - but who need to know in order to find out if they have vocations!
At the October council meeting, we talked a bit about what we should do differently for next year’s introductory meeting. The most glaring "hole" was that we worked hard, but didn’t (at least communally) PRAY hard! We need to start praying for the Lord to grant us a bountiful harvest, in addition to doing our work to prepare for it.
As far as our work goes...the surest way of having more guests is for us to (a) invite them personally, and (b) bring them along, and (c) do it ANYTIME, not just when we are having a special meeting. It certainly puts us more "on the spot" than a bulletin announcement, and we’ll certainly need our new ability to talk about our vocations...but the personal touch will WORK.
Speaking of inviting others to our fraternity meetings, please consider inviting your friends and family to our October meeting (the 30th at the Crane Rd. church, see elsewhere in the newsletter for more information). Fr. Jonathan’s talk on being responsible Catholics on Election Day couldn’t be more timely and relevant, and it’s a great opportunity to introduce some more folks to the fact that the SFO exists. Please keep our country in prayer during this time when opinions are becoming more and more polarized, that we may elect the leaders our country needs for the next four years.
Peace and good...Vickie