'FOLLOW ME!'
Luke 9:23

Published for

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE

Butterfly Symbol

of
          St. Francis

January 2004

FROM THE WRITINGS ON ST. FRANCIS: About the First Companions

St. Francis picture, on a wall in Assisi
Picture of St. Francis and the wolf,
you can see it in a street in Assisi
"First it should be known that the glorious St. Francis was conformed to Christ in all the acts of his life. For just as the Blessed Christ, when He began His preaching, chose twelve Apostles to despise all things of this world and to follow Him in poverty and in the other virtues, so St. Francis, when he began to found the Order, had twelve chosen companions who were followers of the most complete poverty.

And just as one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, being rejected by God, in the end hanged himself by the neck, so one of the twelve companions of St. Francis, whose name was Brother Giovanni di Capella, left the Order, and in the end hanged himself by the neck with a rope. To the elect this is a great lesson and reason for humility and fear when they reflect that no one is certain of persevering to the end in the grace of God.

And just as those holy Apostles were for the whole world marvels of holiness, filled with the Holy Spirit, so these most holy companions of St. Francis were men of such sanctity that the world has not had such wonderful and holy men from the times of the Apostles until now. For one of them was caught up to the third heaven like St. Paul, and that was Brother Giles. Another-tall Brother Philip-was touched on the lips by an angel with a burning coal, like Isaias the Prophet.

Another-Brother Silvester, a very pure virginal soul-spoke with God as one friend with another, as Moses did. Another, by the keenness of his mind, soared up to the light of divine wisdom, like the eagle (John the Baptist) - and this was the very humble Brother Bernard, who used to explain Holy Scripture in a most profound way. Another was sanctified by God and canonized in Heaven while he still was living in this world, as though he had been sanctified in his mother’s womb—and he was Brother Rufino, a nobleman of Assisi and a man most loyal to Christ.

And thus all of them were favored with evident marks of sanctity, as will be reported hereafter.

LITTLE FLOWERS OF ST. FRANCIS –1330

COMMENTARY:

St. Francis always said that it was essential to constantly begin anew to refine our commitment to Christ. This beautiful story from the Little Flowers, in more than one sense, speaks of the fact that the first followers of St. Francis, which the Lord ordained would also be twelve in number, clearly made firm and beautiful commitments to follow the way of St. Francis. We need to be on guard that in speaking of the lives of Saints we are not just trying to glorify ourselves. It is essential to persevere in humility and take the cues to holiness that the Saint’s life gives us, and change our ways. That is the reason God gives us these human models. To help us see the way to Him. Also, this lesson speaks so much of different gifts for different souls. The followers of St. Francis were not clones of St. Francis. God raised in each of them certain gifts, uniquely their own, and it will be so with us. We should all pray to know our gifts, and to see how we can serve the Lord in using them.

ADMINISTRATOR’S MESSAGE: CHAPTERS AND COMMUNICATIONS

It occurred to us that we perhaps should talk a little about how we communicate with each other and reach out to others. According to so many sources we are at the front edge of the greatest period of evangelization the world has ever known, and we are all called to be evangelists and to stand up and speak out for the kingdom of God. Isn’t that exciting! How easily we recall Archbishop Flynn’s excitement at our pledging ceremony last January in which he said “How wonderful it is to have you come forward and profess that you wish to live the Gospel more perfectly. How important this is to the Church.” And how beautiful it is, indeed, that all who enter the Brothers and Sisters of Penance are called to a life of penance after the manner and according to the example of St. Francis of Assisi. We can feel nothing but joy over this.

And it does answer our own call. We each feel called coming into the Association, or I assure you we would not be here. It is the Holy Spirit that has moved each of us, in different ways, to search out a holy lifestyle for the love of God and good of our souls. We also need to be cognizant of others. We fully intend in the leadership of this Association to help people become Saints. If there are only two of us, there Christ will gather with us. It is not a matter of gaining membership. We, as the Administrators, have not asked anyone to come to join us. We have left it all in the hands of God, and we are growing and our leaders are rising. We have been blessed that God has asked us to continue to build what we started in the early 1990’s, and He is leading the way with committed members. Blessed be the Lord.

That said, where do we go from here? Well, into formation for most of those who have and will come to us, until they become familiar enough with the Rule of 1221, our Rule, and the call to penance to teach others about it. All should read this carefully. YOU ARE CALLED TO BECOME A SAINT! What does that mean to you? You know it means you must reach out to others ultimately. No Saint ever lived only for themselves. They lived always for others. So, we must have an ultimate goal to live for others. Those in our families. Those un-churched. Those we work with. Those who hate us and show it by speaking ill of us and advising others that we are evil, uncharitable, or worse yet, even accusing us of violating our Rule, even though in doing that they are themselves violating both it and the Gospel far worse than those they accuse. It is not easy to be a Saint, and to bear all things patiently.

There are two major ways to promote the Association. By living it yourself, as a gentle admonition and encouragement to others. Or, to form a Chapter of the Association in your home parish or community. Either way is evangelization. Living and promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The easiest and richest way to grow the lifestyle in yourself and others is to form a local community. A Chapter, and to participate in the life of the Association. In fact, do more than that. Please! Help create it! Go for the gold! :) We can help you. Would there was a Chapter in every parish in the world! .

So, consider what you want this community of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis to be and help to make it happen. First and foremost lead a committed life in Christ. Second help us nurture the Association. How? By prayer, of course, and personal leadership. If you have ideas on how to promote the Association and the life of the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis in our modern age please share your ideas with us. This is our Association. We are a family in the Church. All of us, united for Christ, after the manner and according to the wishes of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His delightful and holy Mother, and their servant St. Francis. Dedicated to growing into a deeper union with Christ. Blessed be the Lord!

Peace to all!

Bruce Fahey, Minister
Shelley Fahey, Messenger




Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Administrators


BUSINESS PAGE: MOVING ALONG

Our first formation classes begin for those going into formation for the first time this month. If you have not already done so please complete a Formation Application, which can now be found on the Web site. If you cannot readily find it please notify us at minncc@aol.com and we will help you out. The lessons themselves for all four years will be on the Web site under the Formation section around January 9th or before. They will be password protected and Anna at postmaster@bspenance.org will coordinate getting everyone in formation access to them. Please pray for Anna! Especially for her peace and well being! She has done so much work for the Association these past months.

All those already in formation should just continue their lessons as in the past and when you complete your current level of formation then file a Formation Application. We are adding people into formation as they come into the Association and complete their Inquirer period. This is a change from the past when we only entered people into formation on Ash Wednesday. We hope to spread the workload out this way over the year. We have several members who are going to help with formation. We have added the Statutes to the Web site too, if you have not reviewed them. They can be found at www.bspenance.org.

We encourage you to form Chapters, wherever you are, and to contact others in your State. It only takes two or more members to form a Chapter. Assistance in forming a Chapter can be obtained from the Communication Center. It is a fun thing to do, and greatly simplifies your growth in the Rule as you build a local community. We will assist any and all members in this process, which is actually quite painless.

Put our 2004 retreat on your calendars. The dates for the retreat will be from 3 PM Friday, July 30 to noon on Sunday, August 1. It will be held at the Franciscan Retreat Center at Prior Lake, Minnesota. Our retreat master hopefully will be Fr. Corey Belden, our new visitor, or our leaders if we cannot locate a different retreat master. This is an outstanding opportunity to get to meet each other and discuss our Association and how to promote the lifestyle in our world. For that reason this will NOT be a silent retreat although we will pray the Divine Office daily together. Arrangements will be made to pick up or meet those coming to the retreat either at the Twin Cities airport, by rail, or bus. Please let Shelley or I know if you plan on attending by contacting us via e-mail or phone. The rate is $99 for Friday to Sunday, and $141 from Thursday to Sunday. The schedule will be put together when we get closer to the date.

Archbishop Flynn has said he will say the Saturday night Mass at the Retreat Center for us. We are very honored and excited to think of this happening.

Those who wish to do so can stay in the Twin Cities longer and ‘see the sights’ if they wish. Please contact the Communication Center if you want to do something extra at the time of this event. You can stay at the Retreat Center on Thursday of that week, 3 PM, for an additional $42. Shelley and I would be delighted to host a tour of the Cities or a visit to the Chancery office and Cathedral, or something extra if that is your desire.

We still plan on having a Handbook. However, we need to complete the Web site formation materials before we put it together. Also, we expect to have e-books, which you will be able to download to the hard drives of your personal computers for easy access. These, too, will probably be password protected.

We especially appreciate articles for our newsletter, and pictures, too, please!

If you have any question on this newsletter please contact us at minncc@aol.com. Thank you!

The BSP Administrators

A MESSAGE FROM THE WEB FOR THE NEW YEAR - Ellen De Rosa BSP—CT

Dialogue with Christ: Jesus, I am sorry for poor way I live my belief in you. I am even more sorry that when I do live the way you taught me to live, my attitude is wrong. I don’t live your teachings out of love for you, but according to how it benefits me in my selfishness, concern for the approval of others or comfort. Help me to correct my attitude, living with more love each day and living more closely according to the way you taught me to live.

Jesus, I want the world to be a better place, and I know I need to be better myself. I have been attracted to so many plans that promise easy improvement. Perhaps I have neglected your plan because it seemed too difficult, because it meant too much sacrifice for me. Help me make your plan my plan. That is the birthday gift I want to offer you this year. I want to continue to live the love and optimism I experience at Christmas every day of my life -- to preserve Christmas in my heart. Others may say this is impossible, but of all the plans I know of to make the world a better place, your plan, which I catch a glimpse of each year at Christmas, is by far the most worthwhile

FRANCISCAN SAINTS: Blessed Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in Sotto il Monte, Italy, on Novembre 25, 1881, from a poor peasant family. He entered seminary at age 10 at Bergamo, being aware of his humble social status. Moreover, he wasn’t a brilliant student. He learned soon to humbly accept the last place. Later, he wrote in his journal: “the sense of my littleness and nothingness has always been my good companion, keeping me humble and content and granting me the joy of consecrating myself as best I can to the uninterrupted exercise of obedience and charity.”
During the years of seminary, Angelo joined the Secular Franciscan Third Order, professing the 1221 Rule of St. Francis. He pledged in the same day when he was accepted into clerical status. The commitment to the Franciscan spirit of minority reinforced even more in his soul the willingness to be always the last, the humblest, the simplest. Even later, when he became a Pope, he remembered the joy of his Franciscan profession.
He was ordained as a priest in 1904 and was called to work as a secretary of the Bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Radini Tedeschi. The Bishop influenced the young priest, leading him to generously fight for the rights of the working classes, at risk of his personal safety.
During World War I, Angelo joined the Italian Army and served in the medical corps, taking care of the wounded soldiers as a chaplain. He learned there, from the horrors that he saw, to reject the war, any war. Ever since then, he tirelessly fostered the peace. He chose “Obedience and peace” as his motto when he was ordained Bishop.
Working as a diplomatic representative of the Church, and being elected Pope on October 28, 1958, he always fostered respect, harmony, reconciliation, tolerance. Every person he met was considered for his or her own merits and dignity as a child of God.
In the days of his pontificate, he had to face again contempt and humiliations. Many said he had been elected just by accident. He was defined “a transition Pope” in the sense that he had been chosen by the Conclave just because his personality was mediocre. But eventually his humble attitude and his overflowing love for the human kind captured the hearts of almost everyone.
On 25 January 1959 he announced the Second Vatican Council. Besides this, he reformed and revitalized the Church, and astonished the world with his reforming spirit. A book about leadership, which has been recently published in English, profiles him as a model and mentor for Christian leaders, as he applied leadership modern techniques in goal setting, time management, motivating people, and more.
But even if we aren’t leaders, we have a lot to learn from the large, smiling face of the Good Pope John, and from his outstretched arms embracing the world. May we imitate his humility, simplicity of heart, mercifulness and charity.

Anna Ferroni—Turin, Italy

TODAY'S JOKE: DUSTY HUMOR: from Janet Klasson—A Canadian Friend

A little boy was sitting in a Sunday school class, listening to his teacher describe how in the beginning of creation, God made mankind from the dust of the earth and how after death our bodies will decompose, and we'll return to dust. The little boy turned to his friend, and he said, "You know, I think I got somebody under my bed at home. I'm not sure whether he's coming or going."

FROM THE WEB: The Pelianito Journals: http://www3.telus.net/pelianito/

  • "Worry no longer about your present problems or your future circumstances, but give all to me through my Beloved Son whom I gave for you."
  • Thank you Father for this indescribable gift! Father I give you all my present problems and my future circumstances through the cross of Christ and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she who trusted you without reserve.
  • "This is a prayer my child that I cannot refuse, for the great love of my Son and my Mother can conquer anything! Anything! Theirs is a love so pure and unwavering that no evil can touch it, nor anything recommended to it. Take refuge in this love and you will see miracles. Live in this love and you will never die. For I am there. There you will find me and there you will capture me. And we will be one through Jesus and Mary. What love! What joy! Run to my love child. May the love of Jesus and Mary ever surround you my child." Thank you Father!
  • Enter into the Word:
    Luke 2:9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
  • "Beloved one hear me. It is the night of glory, the night filled with the everlasting light of Christ. Be always eager to walk in the light. This night, above all, will sustain you in the light. Pray child. Ask for gifts, especially on this night, ask for all the gifts and graces the Lord desires to shower upon you. For this night all things become possible."
  • Father, Beloved, in Jesus’ name I ask for all the gifts and graces you desire to give me, but most especially for the grace of complete surrender to you.
  • "Beloved little child be assured that no such prayer would ever go unanswered, least of all on this night. Child you cannot even imagine the glory of this night. The angels themselves are filled with awe and wonder. There is MUCH to celebrate, much to be thankful for. On this special night, do not forget to thank the Theotokos, my Mother and yours, the Blessed Virgin Mary, for her total surrender to God’s holy plan. Your gratitude should fill you to overflowing."
  • Beloved Mother of my heart, I thank you. I am filled with gratitude for the great gift of your “yes” to God. My Mother, the best way I can show you my gratitude is to ask your help in imitating you. Help me Mother. I am yours. Beloved Jesus, Infant King, I adore you, perfect Saviour of my heart. Jesus I belong to you! "Child go in peace. You have my special blessing."

Thanks be to God!
Pelianito

THOUGTHS FOR THE NEW YEAR: Joy Pachowicz—WV

         Here we are another year, another opportunity for growth. While proceeding to write a few word regarding: New Year's Resolutions, I found myself asking myself: "Who am I to write something for others to read" "Am I someone who can say something of resolutions?" "Haven't I, myself, year after year made resolutions and somehow or other failed in them?"
         Of course I have. Yet, since God has given me this challenge and my fingers seem to have no problem moving across the keyboard; I am proceeding to jot down a few thoughts.
         Resolution, according to the English Dictionary is resolving to do something. All of us do this. This is not something reserved for New Years Day. It's not something reserved for beginners in the spiritual journey to God. Rather it's something we do so often without even giving it a second thought.

         What's so special about a this Year then? Moreover, what'so important about making resolutions as Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St Francis? Well, first off, we as a organization are starting off on a New Beginning; or shall I say returning to a Former Beginning. We are striving to recapture what motivated our response to God's Holy Spirit calling us to a deeper understanding of the Penitential way. We will be trying to allow our souls to be molded by the rule and admonitions of our Holy Father Francis so that the world in which we live in may experience that simplicity and joy once felt when our Holy Father Francis walked about the world. We will be resolving in our own way to live more faithfully the individual call we have received during our baptism and which is ever more fully being made know to us through the movements of God's Holy Spirit moving in our fraternity.

         No one will ever be able to choose for us the special area in our life we should try to improve. No one is going to act as our conscience and tell us what it is we should choose for our New Year's Resolution. But, we can be certain that as members of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St Francis, we will have ample supports for our journey. We will find a well defined roadmap to deepen and intensify our union with our Beloved Lord and will find a joyful peace that no one shall ever be able to take from us. So what are we waiting for? We have so much to do. As our Holy Father Francis had said I now echo "Let's begin brothers (and sisters) for up to now we have done nothing".
         May God give you His peace and I humbly thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

        In Jesus and Mary,

Joy Pachowicz BSP
(BSP Formation Director and Novice 3)

Words of the Blessed Virgin spoken to Juan Diego
December 9th and 12th 1531 Guadalupe, Mexico
"Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God . . . here I will show and offer all my love, my compassion, my help and protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows . . . their necessities and misfortunes . . . Listen and let it penetrate your heart . . . Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?"

Our Lady of Guadalupe: A glance back...

        December 12th is known in Mexico and America as the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe) celebrating the appearance of the Virgin Mary on Dec. 9th to the Aztec native and Christian convert Juan Diego, in 1531.
         On his way to church for morning services, Juan Diego, age 57, climbed through the Tepayac Hill country in central Mexico. Near Tepayac Hill, he encountered, by surprise, a beautiful dark skinned woman surrounded by a ball of light as bright as the sun. She spoke to him in his native tongue and asked him to go to the bishop and request that a church be erected in her honor, on the very spot they were standing.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
         Juan did as Mary, Our Blessed Mother, requested, but feeling disappointed by the bishop’s response, he considered himself unworthy. The next day he met the Blessed Virgin Mary again on the hill with the same request. So, he implored her to send someone else. But Mary told him that he was the one she had chosen. The next day Juan returned to the bishop and repeated Our Lady’s request. On re-hearing his story, the bishop asked that the Lady provide a sign as proof of who she was. Juan dutifully returned to the hill and to Mary. She, in turn, asked Juan to return to the hill again, the next day, and she would have a sign for the bishop. Unfortunately, Juan did not return. His uncle was dying and needed his care. After two days, when Juan was rushing to find a priest for his uncle, Mary appeared again to him. She assured him of a cure for his uncle; and instructed him to take his tilma (his cape) and gather into it the roses that had miraculously grown at her feet, despite the winter frost. So Juan took these flowers to the bishop, and as they poured out from his tilma, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on it, precisely as Juan had described her.
         The following day, Juan took the bishop to the spot where he first met Mary. He then returned to his village where he met his uncle who was completely cured! His uncle told him that while Juan was away, he was met by a young woman surrounded by a soft light, who told him that she had just sent his nephew to the bishop with a picture of herself. And then she said: “Call me and call my image Santa Maria de Guadalupe.”
         It is believed that the word Guadalupe was actually a Spanish mistranslation of the local Aztec dialect. The word that Mary probably used was “Coatlallope” which means “one who treads on snakes”! Within six years of this apparition, six million native Mexicans had converted to Catholicism.
        Not only a church, eventually the Basilica of Guadalupe, was built on the site of the apparition. The tilma, the relic, has been kept in this cathedral and inexplicably preserved for more than 400 years. The image on the tilma is one of the Virgin surrounded by the light of heaven and the stars of the winter solstice sky. The stars represented on the Virgin’s mantle are said to be the exact constellations that were present at the time the tilma was presented to the bishop. It remains complete and on display to this day. Basilica de Guadalupe is, by far, the most popular religious pilgrimage site in the Western Hemisphere and the Americas.

Paul Beery
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY

         There are many ways God shows His love for us. John 3, 16 comes to mind: “For God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son.” And Jesus manifestly displayed that love by laying down His life through the passion and death on the Cross.
         But there is another, more hidden manifestation of God’s love: the birth of Jesus as a helpless infant. One would think the arrival of the Son of God on earth would be accompanied by great pomp and circumstance, with incredible natural marvels to attract people’s attention to the coming event. But God is full of surprises. Jesus would come to earth in a most humble way, to show us the necessity of humility. There is a way to really enter into this mystery.

         God reveals Himself to the lowly. Two Venerable women have been given great revelations concerning the details of the life of Christ. “Our Sunday Visitor” just did a special on both of them: Venerable Mary of Agreda (1602-1666), a Franciscan nun, and Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824). They will become more widely known as Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of Christ,” makes its debut early next year. Mel consulted the writings of each for details in presenting an accurate picture of the Passion and death of our Savior Jesus Christ. We too can learn a great deal about some of the mysteries of the life of Christ and our Blessed Mother.

         Venerable Mary of Agreda became a nun in a Franciscan convent in Spain. Before her death in 1666, she wrote the “Mystical City of God,” from revelations she had received. This book had a profound influence on my spiritual conversion at the tender age of 21. Even though modern translations are available, I still treasure the original English translation by Fiscar Marison, 1902 edition.
The following is written on the front page after the title: “The Miracle of His Omnipotence and the Abyss of His Grace, The Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God. Manifested in these later ages by that Lady to her handmaid Sister Mary of Jesus, Superioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception of the town of Agreda, of the province of Burgos in Spain, under obedience to the regular observance of the Seraphic Father Saint Francis. For new enlightenment of the world, for rejoicing of the Catholic Church, and encouragement of men.”
         With Mary of Agreda we enter into an otherworldly dimension that lifts our hearts to God. We see angels interacting with the human family for the sole purpose of glorifying God. We see the daily life of the Holy Family, their relationships and prayer life. We have a glimpse of eternal life through the manifest holiness of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who become role models for us.

         Come, Lord Jesus, Come and teach us to be like you in your humility, as you come to us as a helpless infant. Come and teach us to love you with all our hearts as Mary loved and cared for you.

St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Winnie Spencer-Dealy
RESOLUTIONS!
By Winnie Spencer-dealy… ID

When we think of the New Year, we almost always think of resolutions. Resolutions are good things, kept in their proper perspective. For those of us following the Rule of 1221, we must strive to see resolutions in their proper light. We must endeavor to live the spiritual life, and this includes any resolutions we would make for ourselves. Let us then consider what it is we should resolve to do.

We must be resolved to deepen our lives of prayer. Prayer is the infrastructure, so to speak, of our life in God. In prayer we come into contact with that living Reality, where we converse with the Most High. Prayer is more than speaking, indeed, listening is what we should resolve to do. To be quiet in prayer is our goal, so that Jesus would speak to our hearts. When our hearts are at rest we rest in God, and that peace which surpasses all understanding pervades our souls, allowing us to be One with He Who Is. Yes, let us resolve to attain the prayer of quiet, which many Saints have alluded to. May it be so in Christ, our Lord.

Let us now consider our action. Life should be a healthy balance between contemplation and action, with our faith underlying it all. What can we do better this year? Where have we fallen short in our lives of action? We should consider if love has been the foundation of our daily living, Do we go about our daily lives in a spirit of love and consideration, or is there anger and resentment in our hearts? Often we forget to encounter Jesus in everyone we meet. St. Francis encountered the poor Jesus in others, and tried to be of service to them. Let us follow his example, and reach out to the poor Christ in all. We should resolve to meet the poor Christ daily in those with whom me move about and relate to. Let us resolve to serve others better, to serve Jesus better.

And Love. Do we have Love? Does the Most Holy Trinity dwell in our hearts, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? We should resolve to be mindful of the Holy Spirit, Who pervades our hearts and minds. In Love we are nourished by the Body and the Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He has been born into our Hearts this New Year; we should continually seek Him. Visit Him and encounter Him in the Sacraments of the Church, most especially in the Eucharist. Aha! So we shall be resolved to partake of the Sacraments more frequently, then going about and serving others, letting His goodness enrich and infuse life into our souls. And of course, we could go on, adding more resolutions to our list.

It's plainly seen that we are not short of any resolutions this year. When we think of what we will resolve to do, let us put God first. For all strength of soul, and all peace of mind comes from God, so we would do well to acknowledge His place in our lives. Our Rule says simply, "Let each member fortify his household to serve God." And that is what we shall resolve to do.

Winnie

A NOTE TO ALL: from Donna Kay in PA

Lord Jesus, when the world was growing cold, You renewed in the flesh of St. Francis the sacred marks of Your Passion and inflamed in his heart a fire of love for You. Divine Savior, impress on my heart an ardent death, that I may cheerfully carry my cross and with joy embrace my penances.
Lord show me the areas of my life where I need mostly to follow the example of St. Francis. Pax Et Bonum!

Donna Kaye Rock, Postulant in January, and a Professed Member of The SFO. She professed into the SFO on the Feast of St. Lucy, December 13.

LK 6:37 "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”


Author unknown, the Nativity, Louvre, Paris Author: an unknown Italian painter
called "The Master of the Louvre"
Nativity
Paris, Louvre Museum

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS is a Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance for lay people in our modern world, based on the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221. We have the approval of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. Also, the mission of the BSP fulfills what Our Lady is asking of us all today: personal conversion. Welcome to all!

Visit our Web site at:
www.bspenance.org

ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER…
All members are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in the newsletter if they are directed towards the formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle.
Just send them to: Bruce and Shelley Fahey at email: minncc@aol.com
or mail to BSP at
20939 Quadrant Ave. N., Scandia MN 55073.

Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication in the Association.

Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis!

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


Communication Center:

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

bspenance@yahoo.com

postmaster@bspenance.org