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Newsletter of

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE

Butterfly Symbol

of
          St. Francis

October 2003

MINISTER'S MESSAGE: What is happening?
OCTOBER 2003

"One day, Our Lord, Jesus Christ said to Brother Leo, a companion of Blessed Francis:
"I have regrets regarding the brothers."

"Why Lord" said Brother Leo.

"For three reasons. First, because they are not grateful for the blessings that I give them generously every day by procuring nourishment without their having to sow or reap.
Secondly, because they complain all day long and do nothing.
Thirdly, because they provoke each other to anger, do not return charity, and do not forgive injuries they have received."

The Legend of Perugia
Brother Leo, companion of St. Francis
1271 or earlier

Considering this ancient text from Brother Leo, let us all forgive the injuries we have received from anyone, and especially those who have condemned and abandoned us, and let us continue to promote and build the Kingdom of God in charity. Like St. Francis also said, "If you cannot love your enemy, at least do them no harm.".

The name of the "Brothers and Sisters of Penance", is being enhanced to acknowledge St. Francis for giving this rule to the laity in the year 1221. We are now the "Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis" or the "BSP of St. Francis".

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE

Butterfly Symbol

of
          St. Francis

I am going to devote this Minister's letter to addressing two questions I have been asked repeatedly, "What happened?", and "Where is the BSP of St. Francis going now?

"What happened", recently, is that on August 22, 2003 eight BSP members decided to leave the BSP to start their own Association in Rhode Island. Several of these were Council Members who held various leadership positions. This action has made it necessary to move all administrative and business functions which were located in Rhode Island to Minnesota because there is no longer a single active BSP member in Rhode Island. We have now incorporated the Association as a non-profit corporation in the state of Minnesota. We were formerly incorporated through the State of Rhode Island.

We have much to do yet to get reorganized. We have seen the hand of God already in restructuring the Association. God is truly with us.

So, this is my answer to question 1. Hopefully, it has answered this question for all of you. We welcome you to write if you have any questions.

Question 2 is more fun to answer. Where is the BSP of St. Francis going?

The BSP is alive, well, and returning to the vision that started the entire movement in Minnesota in the early 90's. I very happily share with all of you that our chancery office here has expressed joy that we are returning to the original vision and mission of the BSP. We also have a lot of work to do to put things together for the future. If you want to help, let us know! Let me cover some principle topics.

  • The Rule is unchanged and can never be changed. It is the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 given to us by St. Francis: written as requested by him by Cardinal Ugolino, his friend.

  • The statutes, how we live the Rule, are under revision. We are blessed to have seven members who vowed to live this Rule 30 years ago in the Secular Franciscan Order. They have agreed to review and modify them to what they feel is a realistic way to live them. This might take some time. When they are complete the statutes will be given to the Council and the Visitor for final approval and posted on the web page.

  • Our formation programs, are also being revised to simplify the current program to a three year formation period, and it also will be on-line.

  • We also have a new visitor, Fr. Corey Belden, a young diocesan priest here in a local parish. He suggested that we consider having a special formation program for members who wish to live the Rule in its entirety right away. His point was that priests and sisters may take temporary vows for a while, but they vow to live their Rules of life in their entirety. We will be working on this.

  • The new Web page, has made it's debut on October 4th, the feast of St. Francis. It is not complete, but it is well advanced, and beautiful. Anna Ferroni of Turin, Italy, a BSP member, is our Web-master. She has done a beautiful job. Thank you Anna!

  • Anna has also been working on new forums for us. Each person will have their own password of their own choosing.

 

Members in formation who wish to do their lessons electronically can post them on a reserved Forum, or also do them by sending them to:

Bruce at: minncc@aol.com

Shelley at: rccmn@aol.com

Postal mail to:

BSP of ST. Francis
20939 Quadrant Ave. N.
Scandia, MN 55073

 

  • The Handbook will be rewritten, and will be on-line when finished.

  • So, too, the Procedures Manual, corrected version, that fits our Association.

  • The Constitutions are completed. Only minor adjustments were required. Also, by-laws, which were necessary for our re-incorporation as a non-profit organization in Minnesota. We now have in our possession the letter of incorporation, and new EIN, or tax free number from the IRS. We are a non-profit entity.

  • We will keep the butterfly and crown of thorns as our symbols.

  • We have a new appointed treasurer, Mary Girling, of Lakeland, Minnesota, and two new appointed directors to complement the Board. Elections are tentatively scheduled to be held at our annual retreat.

  • We will have an annual Board meeting at our retreat.

  • The retreat is scheduled for the last weekend in July at the Prior Lake retreat center in Prior Lake, MN. Archbishop Flynn has said he would say the Saturday night Mass for us. We will get the word out after the first of the year.

As Minister, I will once again be publishing the newsletter beginning with a November issue. It will be my responsibility to publish it on a monthly basis. It will continue our review of the Rule each month. This letter is the newsletter for this month. :)

Periodically I will send some notes out to you via our BSP e-mailing list. Please check to see that the above e-mail addresses are not blocked by your security system, or the following: bspenance@mail2minnesota.com and   penitentiallifestyle@mail2world.com .

Feel free to access the Prayer List Forum on our Web site.

All of this said, we are set to move ahead. We have received several new inquirers recently, including a Franciscan Brother.

So. That is an answer to the second question.

I will stop here and ask everyone that has read this to realize that the content of this letter is to answer your questions and to share with you information that is necessary on the Association, and in response to member questions. I would ask all members to pray that we get through this work quickly. Let us forgive and find peace from the recent disruptions, and honestly concentrate on living the Rule peacefully in our homes and lives.

If you want to do something positive to help, share the news of the Association with your friends. Form Chapters in your area. It is up to each of us to live the Rule in a manner appropriate to our lifestyles and position in formation. Do it peacefully, for the love of God.

Meanwhile, please pray for us here in Minnesota, as we work to continue building the Association.

If you have any questions on any of this, or would like to offer your talents, feel free to give me a call at (651)433-2753, or send me a letter at one of the e-mail addresses above.

Thank you, and May God bless us all. May we move on in peace!

Blessed be the Lord!

Bruce Fahey
Shelley Fahey
Minister and Messenger of the BSP of St. Francis

Bruce Fahey
Bruce A. Fahey SFO
Elected Minister

Shelley Fahey
Shelley L. Fahey SFO
Elected Messenger

In the world, but not of it, for Christ!


Communication Center:

20939 Quadrant Avenue N - SCANDIA MN USA 55073
Phone: 651-433-2753   

penitentiallifestyle@mail2world.com