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Society of Saint Francis
By Father Stephen


       I wrote to all of us recently about the formation of “The Society of Saint Francis” in our parish. The first meeting will be held in the rectory on Sunday, December 11 after the 9 AM Mass. The word “society” is usefulas the Latin root of the word means “companions.”

      Who might be interested in a group like this? Someone interested in quiet prayer. Someone interested in learning about St. Francis – not for information’s sake – but so to pattern one’s life around the Gospel of Christ and the ideals of Francis. Someone might be interested who, knowing the world is crazed, wants to put the brakes on a bit and just “be” with other Catholics.

      We’re not calling this a “Third Order” or “Secular Franciscans,” because we don’t need formalities, bylaws, paperwork, officers, elections, dues that come with that kind of approach.

*May someone join from another parish? Yes. The parish already has many people coming here for Mass who are from other parishes and even other dioceses.
*May young people be part of it?
Yes, if they are “old enough to understand,” as the scripture says.
*May non-Catholics join? Yes, though we will not be dealing with a politically correct version of Francis or a secular one – and Francis was unabashedly Catholic – that is – rooted utterly in the gospels, the Eucharist, the priesthood.
*Who will be leading-guiding this group? Father Stephen.
*What to bring? A rosary (which you carry with you all the time anyway!) A copy of the gospels. Maybe eventually we would agree to some modified version of the Liturgy of the Hours – perhaps “The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

         Here’s something new for the parish! That’s kind of exciting.


       The September 17th meeting of the Society of Saint Francis was very well attended. After the Rosary, Father Stephen gave everyone a booklet, called The Imitation of Christ by Thomas E. Kempis. This will be our reading material while father is on sabbatical in Italy. Our next meeting will be when Father Stephen returns.

       August 13th was our monthly meeting and after the rosary in church we moved to the hall and watched a DVD on the Life of Saint Francis. The actors were real monks, the movie was in black and white and because the language was Italian we had to read the sub-titles. Never the less it was an interesting and informative session.

       June 4th and July 11 meetings were a continuation of the writings of Francis, as well as time spent on how to use our new prayer book called The Little Office.

       The March 26th meeting of the Society of St. Francis started with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Everyone was given a prayer book called, Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Father Stephen explained to the group how the contents of the book were arranged. The explanation was most helpful, in order to get the most benefit of all the prayers that are in the book. We also went over some more verses from the writings of St. Francis.

       February 22nd  was our third meeting. After Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary we adjourned to the hall. A discussion  of a letter  written by St. Francis was the topic and we covered the first nine verses.

       January 15th was the next time the group met. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary started the session. Father Stephen talked about the “Crucifix of San Damiano.” The voice spoken to Francis from this crucifix gave him new purpose and direction. A video about the San Damiano Crucifix was shown. Visit this web site to learn more:
San Damiano Crucifix

       The first meeting for the Society of St. Francis was on Dec.11th. Starting with an introduction into the life of  St. Francis by Father Stephen, followed by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary. A video portraying the beautiful scenery and the historic buildings, around the Island of Assisi was shown. Visit this web site to learn more about:  St. Francis of Assisi