ABOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO THE ASSOCIATION
Archbishop Flynn letter, October 22, 1996
In 1996 Archbishop Harry J. Flynn acknowledged and gave his blessing to the
vision and mission of the Association. He wrote a meaningful letter, which is published here. He also apponted Fr. Valerius Messerich O.F.M., who was the spiritual assistant of the Secular Franciscan Order, Queen of Peace Region, to be also the spiritual assistant for the Brothers and Sisters of Penance Association.
Father Valerius has lived a life that is rich and full of challenges, and you can read his Autobiography in this page: "The story of Father Valerius for Franciscan Archives, written October 20th 2004"
- Photo Album of the Pledge Ceremony, January 11, 2003
Archbishop Flynn also personally offered to accept
the formal pledges of the original members of the Private Association of
the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis on January 11th, 2003.
Those who pledged that day had been members of the Association from its
earliest foundations. What a blessing this day was. How deeply we were
honored. How profound were the words the Archbishop spoke to us when he
rejoiced over our commitments to the Lord. He called us all to live the
Gospel fully by living our Rule of life. He asked us for prayers for
himself and the unity of the Church! After the ceremony in his own private
chapel he honored us by hosting a reception for us, our families and
guests. It was a truly grand and holy event. It was carried in the St
Paul and Minneapolis diocese Catholic Spirit, the Austin diocese Winona
Courier, and the Austin Post Bulletin.
Those who pledged that day were:
PLEDGES FOR LIFE:
Bruce and Michele (Shelley) Fahey SFO,
Winifred (Winnie) Ferguson SFO,
Dolores Bichsel SFO
PLEDGES FOR ONE YEAR:
Paul and Donna Beery SFO
Every member and friend should realize that it is extremely significant
that the Archbishop chose to personally accept these first pledges of these
first members of the Association. This event, by itself, shows the
support and blessing of the Church for all who choose to enter the
In the anniversary of that wonderful day, a photo album has been created and published.
The pictures show the primary players in
the wonderful event.
Blessed be the Lord forever!
- Photo Album of 2004 Retreat, held July 30 - August 1, 2004, at Prior Lake, MN
On July 31, 2004,
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn honored us by celebrating Saturday Evening Mass for us during our yearly retreat, held at Pror Lake Retreat Center, Prior Lake, MN. In his homily he spoke of the love of the Lord for all of his people. He encouraged us to persist in our efforts to grow in holiness and commended those present for creating and building the Community of our Association and bringing each other together during this retreat. He also brought applause with his complimentary comments regarding Fr. Valerius Messerich O.F.M., who has been spiritual director of the Association since its origins in 1991. He called the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis the "most Franciscan" community in the diocese although we are not part of the Franciscan Order.
Paul Beery and Rebecca Maness also pledged for life during the Retreat.
View here the picture album of the 2004 Retreat, including Archbishop's Flynn photos.