NOTE: THE RETREAT ISSUE WILL BE THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE. WE HAD PLANNED IT FOR AUGUST, BUT THE TALKS WERE DELAYED IN PUBLICATION, SO WE DECIDED TO MOVE IT TO NEXT MONTH.
FROM THE WRITINGS ON ST. FRANCIS:
We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants, who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake. The spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be God’s children who do his work. They are spouses, brothers and mothers to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
St. Francis and St. Clare
Fresco in Assisi, Upper Church of the Basilica, on the entrance arch.
Letter to all the Faithful—1215
COMMENTARY: by Bruce Fahey BSP
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Penance,
The Letter to all the Faithful is rich in its message. It was factually written by St. Francis himself, unlike the Rule of 1221 which was written by Cardinal Hugolini at the request of St. Francis and then approved by him. It is a very powerful letter; calling all of the Faithful to holiness.
It draws on Scripture almost completely in its message and that in itself explains so much about the focus of St. Francis. That he could explain his entire message; all he wanted his follows to meditate on, using Scripture shows how he wanted his followers to stay centered in the words of God; the bible. It is a simple meditation for us in this modern age which we ought not forget. Get close to Scripture; make it your own; let it guide our lives.
The snip-it of the Letter I have quoted above is a good reflection for us all. It is so easy to think you have the answers for everyone. That you are the founder of good things. No matter how pure one is in their motives, as Fr. Altier said at our retreat, if you say or think you are humble you probably are not. All good comes from God. Not us. If you say you are humble, then pride has won! And that is why the Saint goes on to say that we ought to be submissive to “every human being”. Imagine that. Every human being.
It is imperative that we always seek to do the will of others, when we can, to break our will and humble our pride. I am not speaking of one’s professional job, although it is often good advice there too. I am speaking of life in general. The day to day decisions we make where others are involved. When others are involved, try to do their will. Try to avoid doing your own. Even give up what you think are the best ideas and take lesser ideas from others rather than do what you want. It is a penance of great magnitude. And, because it takes true humility to do the will of others rather than our own, the Spirit of the Lord will come upon us, and he will permanently, and note that word, permanently, dwell in us. Is there anything else we might want more? I don’t think so. We become God’s children, and can do His work.
ArchBishop Flynn during Mass celebration at the Retreat
- RETREAT 2004 -
The 2004 retreat for the Brothers and Sisters of St. Francis was held at the Franciscan Retreat Center at Prior Lake, Minnesota from Friday evening, July 30th to Sunday noon, August 1st.
The Retreat Photo Album will be published soon on the BSP website.
“Let there be individual action. Laymen need not wait for priest, nor priest for bishop, nor bishop for pope. The timid move in crowds; the brave in single file.”
Archbishop John Ireland: First Archbishop of St. Paul, Minnesota in 1889
Dear members and friends,
We received a HERITAGE EDITION of the Catholic Spirit, the newsletter of the diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis recently. It was a very beautiful issue, filled with history. How beautiful that history of the Church in the diocese was. People and families and cultures unfolding over the years since the diocese was first formed. Pondering its message, we could not help but feel that the above quote, from a beautiful article in that issue on Archbishop John Ireland, first archbishop of our diocese, was most worthy of further consideration in the BSP.
In the issue we could see repeatedly the action of various small groups in the Church community, and the impact they had on groups of people. Usually, small groups of people. Families and parishes. Priests and religious who came, contributed to the life of the Church in the diocese, and retired. And it speaks well of what we are all about in our individual lives and in the BSP. There are in these words many lessons for us all.
The BSP of St. Francis came into being, though called forth by the Lord mystically, with the blessing of our current Archbishop Harry J. Flynn. He has made it a point of always supporting us, and took our first local pledges to the Rule himself. He said Mass for us at our retreat, and spoke to us there. He already has sent us a letter included herein. He is with us. He is not concerned about our level of membership. He has not asked us for money or time. He has asked us to live the Gospel with joy and enthusiasm. These are our times. The times in which we live, where we each live. God, and our dear Archbishop, are with us all.
One of the things that could be frustrating is the number of people who come to the Association versus the number of those who come to us that enter formation. Yet, it isn’t. We are now mailing our newsletter to almost 200 people. Of these about 60 are in active formation and another 10 are pledged. Father Valerius, our first visitor and still active in guiding us, said that we should really only expect that about 10% of those who come to us will remain in the long haul. Among the many messages of guidance we have received from the Holy Spirit we have never been told to worry about membership. Our call, and that is each and all of us, is to promote the life of penance that St. Francis of Assisi gave us in 1221 in the modern world. We are not to worry about who comes or goes. We are not to worry about who enters formation or doesn’t. As we have said before; the BSP is like a marathon. Everyone can enter. Each can run at their own pace. All who run can reach the finish line if they only keep running; that is, live the Gospel. The Rule of 1221 helps us, but it is a means to an end, not the end in itself, which is life on high, in heaven.
We have every reason to believe that those not in formation are drawing nourishment from our work in the BSP, and it should be so. Almost no one who has come to us has ever requested to be dropped. So, we can believe the message of penance and the Rule St. Francis gave us are still appealing to our mailing list. When old members return, and quite a number have, they almost always say the newsletter is great and helped them realize what the BSP is still all about.
Let’s all abide in peace, and go single file to the Lord, bringing our prayers and good works, which are so important to the life and well being of the Church. We are part of its Heritage, wherever we live, and with all of our brothers and sisters in all of their diversity we will live together forever in Christ.
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
EXCERPT FROM A MEMBER’S LESSON: FOR US ALL…
1. Name three of the many ways God speaks to us.
Three of the ways that God speaks to us: I don’t have to read the Catechism to answer this one. God speaks to me in the beauty of the quiet morning where the air is filled with birdsong, He speaks to me in song from the Christian radio station that plays in my car, and He speaks to me softly in the still quiet moment when I am thinking. He speaks to me when I read the Scriptures, When I walk and ponder things in my heart, and when I sit quietly in the silence of the Sanctuary. Sometimes He comes to me in Interior visions…I have even heard Him speak to me. (Always in personal issues, never doctrinal ones). He also speaks to me in the fearsome moment whether it is a physical storm with severe weather or the interior storm that seems to swirl within us sometimes. And believe it or not, He sometimes speaks to me from the mouth of one of my friends, or even unbelievers! As it says in the Psalms 139:7-12a: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to you.”
THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS:
Good works must follow knowledge
St. Paul tells us, “The letter kills, but the spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6). A man has been killed by the letter when he wants to know quotations only so that people will think he is very learned and he can make money to give to his relatives and friends. A religious has been killed by the letter when he has no desire to follow the spirit of Sacred Scripture, but wants to know what is says only so that he can explain it to others. On the other hand, those have received life from the spirit of Sacred Scripture who, by their words and example, refer to the most high God, to whom belongs all good, all that they know or wish to know, and do not allow their knowledge to become a source of self-complacency.
WHY NOT TAKE ALL OF ME -
By Donna Kaye Rock BSP—Postulant
Remember the song, "Why Not Take All Of Me?" Well, we can apply that to Jesus and how we can give Him our all. Jesus gave us His very self, and He suffered and died for us, and did the ultimate triumph of our Catholic Christian Faith; He arose from the dead on the third day!
Every morning it is good idea to consecrate ourselves to Jesus. There are very beautiful consecration prayers, and the most popular is the Morning Offering. When we pray that with all our heart; we can give Jesus our all. Our eating, sleeping, sitting, reading, working, praying, walking, helping others: all these can be given to Our Lord through Our Blessed Mother. We can pray to her and say, "I am all Thine my Queen and Mother, and all that I have is Thine." She will give more perfectly our whole life and actions to Jesus. It doesn't matter how successful we are, or even if we fail; we can give our failures to Jesus through Mary, and they too, will have benefit in saving souls.
There are so many secular love songs out there, and we can apply the beautiful titles to Our Lord. He loves us more than any human person can! He is nearer to us in Holy Communion, and in the portion of Himself, in us, our souls. So many times we forget our souls, because we cannot feel them. When we get inspirations from the Holy Spirit, or our Angels to do good, or love God more; that is coming from our souls.
So dear Brothers and Sisters, whenever we hear that song from the big band era, Mom and Dad used to dance to that, we can say to Our Dear Lord, "Why Not Take All Of Me." through Mary.
THE RULE AND STATUTES
THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS
CHAPTER I: DAILY LIFE
RULE: ARTICLE 2
2. They shall wear their outer garments and furred coats without open throat, sewed shut or uncut but certainly laced up, not open as secular people wear them; and they shall wear their sleeves closed.
STATUTES: ARTICLE 2
a. Visible undergarments such as socks or stockings may be of solid neutral colors or blue. Clothing that is not visible may be of any color or pattern.
b. Men’s ties should be simple, conservative, and tasteful and may be patterned and of any color or color combination provided that the ties are subdued in appearance and not “flashy.”
c. Colorful ornamentation and fancy jewelry are not to be worn unless a dispensation is given. Engagement rings, wedding bands, watches, and any other similar adornments, and tasteful and unostentatious religious jewelry such as medals are permitted. Small pierced earring studs, in a simple and inexpensive style, may be allowed if needed to keep earring holes from closing.
d. For special events, a dispensation is given for the wearing of earrings, other jewelry, and clothing that falls outside the regular garb of the followers of this Rule.
e. The use of perfumes, after shave lotions, and so on should be avoided unless necessary. Wherever possible, unscented hair sprays, soaps, lotions, and so on should be chosen.
f. Female penitents may use cosmetics if necessary but should keep their makeup as conservative as possible so as not to draw attention to its use. The use of extensive makeup is discouraged.
g. At all times in public, a simple cross or crucifix must be visibly worn either around the neck or in the form of a brooch or lapel pin. The style chosen should be in keeping with poverty, humility, and simplicity according to the penitent’s state in life. If a penitent is already wearing a religious habit of a First, Second, or Third Order community, the habit of the Order will suffice. A penitent can be excused from the wearing of a cross, crucifix, or habit if to do so may endanger the penitent’s life or impede the penitent’s manner of earning a living.
COMMENTARY: by Shelley Fahey BSP
More questions come up on this article than almost any other of the Rule.
In living it, modesty must be our first concern. We should be modest always
and under any circumstance. Ask yourself, do I try to draw attention to
myself by the way I dress or the jewelry I wear due to cost, color, or
style? Our answer to this question should be "no". We should try to be
among the ordinary so as not to bring attention to ourselves. In other
words, our style should be neutral, natural and/or conservative. This part
of the rule is easier for men to live than it is for women because they do
not have as many options in the world of clothing, jewelry and cosmetics.
Women should strive for the "natural" look if they use cosmetics. Jewelry
should be minimal. Jewelry defining your state in life however, like
wedding or mother's rings, are exempt from the Rule, and all are to wear
a simple yet visible cross or crucifix at all times. Let us all dress for
God and not for the world. If you have questions on this, as with any
article of the Rule, consult the Visitor, or your spiritual director.
FRANCISCAN SAINTS: Saint Roch
St. Roch was born at Montpellier, France, about 1295. He was of a very pious, rich and noble family. His parents loved him very much, as they had no children except him, and Roch had been God's answer to their prayers to have a child. Roch had a red cross on this chest, a birthmark.
Roch was barely twenty when his father died. His father’s last advice was: "Before all things, devote yourself to the service of God, and always meditate on the sufferings of our Divine Lord. Always be helpful to widows, orphans, and all those who are poor and in need of help. Above all, keep yourself from avarice, especially the love of money, which is the source of very many sins. Be eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, be a father to the poor, and know by using the property which I leave you, in works of mercy, you will be blessed by God and man.”
After the death of Roch's father, God took from him his mother too. Roch bore this trial with the same resignation and the same noble sentiments as the first.
Left all alone by himself, with a great fortune at his disposal, the world was before him with all its evils, but our Saint was firm in his resolutions. His heart was set on the things of Heaven. He joined the Third Order of St. Francis, sold his possessions, and gave the money to the poor. He then put on a pilgrim’s habit, and started off for Rome on foot.
The plague was spreading wildly at that time, throughout the various provinces of Italy. When St. Roch arrived at Aquapendente, he went to the hospital, which was full of the plague-stricken people, and offered himself to the superintendent, named Vincent, to help him in his office of mercy.
Vincent lead the holy Tertiary to the plague-stricken. Roch cured the sick and traced on the forehead of each of them the sign of the Cross. Soon he became venerated as an angel sent from Heaven.
To escape the honours that surrounded him, Roch left Aquapendente secretly. He visited Cesena and other cities of Italy, curing the plague-stricken as he went, and causing many to bless the name of our Lord.
At last he arrived in Rome. The people were dying like flies. The servant of God showed himself to be an angel of mercy in Rome.
After having stayed at Rome a certain time, and satisfied his devotion at the tomb of the Apostles, St. Roch felt that he must continue his journey. He turned his steps towards the north of Italy, and visited several cities. Wherever he passed, the sick were cured. Then God guided him to Piacenza. As soon as our Saint arrived there, he went to the hospitals again and devoted himself to the plague-stricken.
One night, when he threw himself on a pallet to take rest, he heard the voice of Jesus say to him: “Roch, My son, you have borne many fatigues for my sake, journeys, cold, hunger, work of all kinds, now for love of Me, you must also suffer great pains in your body.”
At the sound of this voice, Roch awoke, and felt sick with the plague. After having assisted so many sick people himself, he was at last laid low with a illness that continued to cause him fearful sufferings. Then, raising his eyes to Heaven, Roch cried out: “Oh, sweetest Jesus! I thank Thee for having vouchsafed to remember Thy servant. I offer Thee this pain and I am thankful for it as a gift from Thy hand. It is thus that Thou dost visit a wretched and sinful creature. This visit is sweet and dear to my soul. Coming from Thee, death is a gain to me.”
However his pains were so terrible that he could not keep back his moans and groans, and day and night his sharp pains forced him to cry out. Sick people in the hospital, being disturbed by the groans and cries of the servant of God, grumbled, and complained, and begged him to stay quiet. We must here remark that the cries of the Saint were surely no sign of want of patience, but only a result of his great pain and sufferings.
Not wishing to be a burden to the other sick in the hospital, Roch decided to go away. He gathered his strength, arose from his bed, and dragging himself painfully along with the help of his stick, he went out. When he arrived in the street he was bewildered, he could not take another step, and sank to the ground in an agony of pain.
With great difficulty Roch reached a neighbouring forest. There he fell down, worn out with fatigue, at the foot of a tree. He rested for some time; then noticing a small ruined hut, he entered it and prayed, and rested.
A dog from a nearby village found Roch in the hut and brought a fresh roll from his master's house each day. The dog's owner, a wealthy man named Gothard, noticed this strange behavior of his dog, and his curiosity led him to Roch. Touched by the sick man and his condition, Gothard befriended him. The two pious men lived together and encouraged one another by holy conversations, by saying many prayers and by doing much penance.
Roch recovered and eventually decided to return to his own country. Gothard was troubled when he heard that his friend would soon be leaving him. But Roch consoled him and told him that it was the Holy Will of God. He then encouraged him to persevere until death in the life of prayer and penance, which he had chosen. Then Gothard retired and lived a holy life in an hermitage, and after his death his fellow-citizens held him in blessed memory. A picture of him, with that of St. Roch, can still be seen in Piacenza, in the church of St. Ann.
Roch returned to Montpellier. He was so worn out with his penances and sufferings, that when he arrived in his native town, no one knew who he was. People thought that he was a spy, disguised as a pilgrim, and the police immediately arrested him.
Roch did not reveal his name, his family, and his country. He wanted to suffer in silence, like Jesus did. Because of his silence, the judges believed that he was truly guilty and thrown him into prison.
Roch spent five years in a horrible dungeon. His jailers were very cruel to him and would not give him a lot of the necessary things. A word from him would have been enough to make himself known to his Uncle, the Governor of Montpellier. Then he might have reappeared in the city surrounded with all the honour due to his noble birth. But Roch wanted to live a poor, humble, and hidden life. He did not wish for honour and glory in this life. From the depth of his dark and dirty dungeon, he continued to sing beautiful hymns of praise and thanksgiving, to Jesus and Mary. He asked Our Lady, to give him the grace to be patient, and to give him the grace to persevere to the end.
Roch was still in the dungeon when he died in 1327. He is believed to have been thirty-two years of age. At his death a document in his possession and the distinctive birthmark on his chest revealed his true identity. His body was buried with great pomp and ceremony.
From the very beginning, God worked many signs and miracles for the faithful who had devotion to this holy man. St. Roch is one of the most popular saints in Europe. Many Popes have approved devotion to St. Roch. His Feast Day is celebrated on August 16th.
A faithful follower of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Roch truly loved the plague-stricken; like the Seraphic Saint, he saw in them an image of the Saviour stricken for the sins of man. But most of all, we should reflect on Roch's detachment from this world, and patience. Detachment: Roch was a rich man in the world but gave up honor, money and home for Christ and lived in total poverty. Patience: Roch encountered hardships, sickness, contradictions, privations, etc. without losing his serenity, without becoming irritated or despondent. Faith helped him to see the advantages of following Christ in poverty, enduring with serenity the pain and sorrow that are inseparable from human existence, not only seeing that our Divine Savior paid the debt of mankind by His suffering and death, but gave to suffering a redeeming value when borne in union with His.
The practice of Christian detachment and patience requires that everything be seen in the light of faith, that we are on the road to heaven, and that everything that happens in this life is permitted by God, and for our own good. Whether life’s trials and suffering come from human causes or natural causes, it is foreseen by God and allowed for our spiritual purification and growth. It takes a deep faith in God to be aware of His hand in all such matters, and a strong trust and love of God to accept His will in patience, with an interior serenity of mind and heart; but faith, and acceptance of God’s will beget interior peace and serenity.
Submitted by Anna Ferroni—Turin, Italy
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD[*]:
Article 8 of the Rule
CHAPTER III: FASTING
8. From the Pasch of the Resurrection to the feast of All Saints they are to fast on Fridays. From the feast of All Saints until Easter they are to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, but still observing the other fasts enjoined in general by the Church.
For the Love of God - We “must fast” as Christians, or at least that is what St. Francis said to all of us in his writings. And with due cause, because fasting, or mortification of the senses, is important to growth in the spiritual life. Fasting was prevalent in the lives of many of the Great Saints. It is one of the pillars of spiritual growth, which fact we can and hopefully will learn from our own personal experience of God. And, as a major personal benefit, through fasting we are set free from the world and gain the strength to say “NO” to what we must.
To comply with these tenets one should observe the Friday fasts from Easter to All Saints day, November 1, which is a sort of summer fast, and the fasts on Wednesdays and Fridays from All Saints to Easter, which could be called a winter fast. It makes sense to fast more in the winter than the summer anyway due to the personal activity levels most of us observe in these seasons, being more active in the summer than the winter. Of course, one must assume that the greater fasts were principally set in place because of the seasons of the Church, i.e., the rich liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent. Nonetheless, the timing and levels of the fasts make sense.
For the Love of God - "One day when he was riding on the plain below Assisi he met a leper. The encounter was completely without warning and Francis felt sick at the sight of him. Then he remembered his resolve to be perfect and the need to overcome himself first, it he wanted to be a knight of Christ. He immediately dismounted and ran up to kiss the poor man. The leper stretched out his hand, hoping to get something and Francis put some money in it and kissed it. Then he mounted his horse and looked this way and that about the plain with a clear view in all directions, but there was no sign of the leper. He was thunderstruck but his heart was filled with joy and he sang God's praises in a loud voice, resolving to do more in the future."
This reading points out that we certainly can fast from things other than food too. St. Francis here clearly fasted from doing his own will in favor of being charitable to the leper. He often did this type of thing. And how richly was St. Francis rewarded with the disappearance of the leper, a great mystical experience from the Lord to confirm the action of His servant, Francis.
However, although St. Francis did deny himself in many ways other than through eating, he nonetheless fasted from food. And although the Church will certainly support our acts of self denial other than from food, fasting as defined in the First Rule is actual fasting from eating food. We can and should feel free to deny ourselves in other ways to promote charity and the strength of selflessness within ourselves and in our world. But we should fast from food as prescribed if we are serious about living this Rule.
For the Love of God - Remember "...the disciples were urging Jesus, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he told them: ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’ At this the disciples said to one another, ‘Do you suppose that someone has brought him something to eat?’ Jesus explained to them: ‘Doing the will of him who sent me and bringing his work to completion is my food’...". (John 4:31-34) There is no better food than doing the “will of God”!
And, as regards work and fasting we can recall what St. Paul said as a personal meditation and sound advice. “We gave you a rule when we were with you: not to let anyone have any food if he refused to do any work. Now we hear that there are some of you who are living in idleness, doing no work themselves but interfering with everyone else’s. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we order and call on such people of this kind to go on quietly working and earning the food that they eat.” So, if we don’t work we should not eat either! As lay people we are the Lord’s workers in the art of subduing the world and mastering it for the Love of God. In it but not of it...hopefully.
And, regarding letting people know we are fasting we should recall what Our Lord said in the Gospel. “...when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”.(Matt 6:3,4) Jesus said further, “...when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who sees what is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” (Matt 6:17,18) The point is don’t tell people you are fasting even if it means you must eat something to prove it! Preserve your treasure!
[*] FOR THE LOVE OF GOD was written as a meditation on the Rule of 1221 at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by Bruce and Shelley Fahey before the BSP was approved as an Association or Statutes existed. Please do not confuse this meditation on the Rule of 1221 with the Rule and Statutes of the Association. If you need a written copy of the current Rule and Statues please let the BSP Communication Center know and one will be provided. They are posted on the Web site.
The Blessing of Hardship -
By Janet Klasson
I have heard it said that God’s gifts often come to us in wrappings that at first appear undesirable. And what could be more undesirable to a parent than the death of a child?
In 1985, our firstborn Son Benjamin went home to the Lord at the age of nine, after a lengthy chronic illness. Though we knew that little Ben was seriously ill, we did not suspect that death was imminent. Needless to say, when it happened, his death was devastating to us.
As I looked back on that time, and even as I went through it as a young grieving mother, I was amazed at the gifts of grace and consolation that were given to me before, during and after Ben’s death.
In the year leading up to his death, I felt called to begin praying a daily rosary. With three young children, it was often hard to remember to pray it or to find time. Then I got the idea to leave my bed unmade until after I had prayed the rosary. Many were the nights I was all set to fall exhausted into an unmade bed, when I remembered I had not prayed the rosary that day. Let me tell you, the 20 minutes I spent in prayer was far more beneficial than the sleep I was missing!
At that time, the Lord also began to answer my prayer petitions in very obvious ways. He was letting me know ahead of time that he was with me, by my side, that I must not be afraid.
When Ben died, I can truly say that many of my tears were tears of joy. The grief was not gone, but an underlying joy was my constant companion as I pictured Ben between Jesus and Mary, each of his hands in one of theirs. I can honestly say that I was carried through that time in every way.
The spiritual blessings did not end there. Much of the growth in my faith life I credit to that time of great trial. Someone once said that if you look at a mountain, the growth takes place, not on the height, but in the valley. Certainly that was the case with me.
God’s gifts came to me at that time wrapped in the most undesirable wrapping imaginable. Would I give the gifts back if I could? Would I only accept the gifts, but not the wrappings? I find no answers to these questions. In this life there will always be hardship. But God will never send us hardships without tremendous blessings attached. Let that be the cause of our joy in all circumstances. May His kingdom come. May His will be done.
The Coronation of the Virgin
By Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni, Italian painter, 1390
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS
is a non-profit Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance as contained in the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 for lay people in our modern world. We have the approval of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. If you are bound by another Rule of life in another profession of the way of St. Francis that does not permit you to enter other religious families you are nonetheless invited to become an Honorary member of our Association and add the elements of this beautiful way of life that Saint Francis of Assisi gave us to the lifestyle of your profession.
All members, and Franciscans, are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in this newsletter if they are directed towards the spiritual formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle of the Association or a committed Franciscan life. Just send them to the BSP of St. Francis at the address on this newsletter. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication of the Association. And if you can find it in your heart and in your budget remember that donations to the BSP are used strictly to promote the lifestyle and are tax deductible. We remain, always, sincerely yours in the love of Jesus Christ!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance!
“I believe that God intends the present to be better than the past, and the future to be better than the present." - Archbishop John Ireland