'FOLLOW ME!'
Luke 9:23

Monthly Newsletter of

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE

Butterfly Symbol of the BSP of Saint Francis

of
          St. Francis

August 2010 – Retreat Issue


BSP MEMBERS AT THE RETREAT


BSP MEMBERS AT THE RETREAT

From Left to right, front: Martha Baez-Elmer of Escondido, CA., Dorothy Winczewski, Leona Trost, and Rebecca Maness of Our Lady of Sorrows Chapter in Coon Rapids, Minnesota; Father Anthony (Tony) Cirignani O.F.M., Visitor to the BSP; Dolores Bichsel of Morning Star Chapter. Left to right, back: Sheila Mesiere of Escondido, CA and their Chapter there; Shelley and Bruce Fahey begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Paul Beery, Donna Welter and Ted Welter, all of Morning Star Chapter in St. Paul, Minneapolis.

VISITOR’S MESSAGE— FATHER TONY’S TALKS AT THE RETREAT

St Francis

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope, and where there is darkness, light. Grant, Oh Divine Master that I might not seek so much to be consoled as to console others; not so much to be loved as to love others; not so much to be understood, as to understand others, for it is giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned, and in dying that we are born to eternal life.” St. Francis

THE PEACE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
(Not written by St. Francis, but attributed to him)

The main focus of our Christian lives is to become positive, holy, people of God. These qualities are what will let us help the Church and our neighbors to become more effective and filled with peace. So we need to ask ourselves several questions relative to this, as are posed by the Peace Prayer itself.

What positive qualities do I have, and how can I use them to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ? The Lord said that where our hearts are there is our treasure. We should be nourished by the growth and well being of others and our efforts to promote that, in our families and in the world. The real question we need to answer to attain this is: “How is Jesus Christ Lord and Divine Master of my life? If we can affirm within our hearts that this is true, and if we work to make it real we have made progress on this first mission of the Peace Prayer. We are becoming positive and holy people of God.

THE WOLF OF GUBBIO

We need to sow love where there is hatred. St. Francis loved the hated wolf of Gubbio, and as a result he not only tamed the wolf, but also the people of Gubbio, who hated the wolf. This is a main theme of the Peace Prayer. Not like the 60’s, my years, where love was taunted everywhere but it really meant love as a liberation from Christian values. Freedom to do anything. That is not who we are to become.

Today there is a major marriage crisis. Marriage is under fire and being redefined in a very godless way. We need to stand up for what is right. The marriage of one man and one woman under God, and in God. In this way we will better witness to Christian love and service. What will I do if this commitment gets difficult? We need to ponder this.

One of the biggest ways to sow love where there is hatred is to forgive injuries against ourselves by others. It is hard to forgive for us human beings. But when we forgive we bring on a new dimension to this suffering. We bring on the peace of Christ. We become peacemakers and Blessed are the Peacemakers the Lord said. It is something beautiful to experience the unconditional forgiveness of another person whom we have offended. It heals wounds. The questions we need to answer for ourselves are: Do I resent someone? Family, neighbor, or coworker? What choices can I make that will bring closure to the problems I am having with them? Often it is a simple matter of forgiving them. That brings love to where there was hatred. And, when can I show mercy? If we don’t show mercy to others we will not receive it from God. Haven’t we all got positive memories of when we were shown mercy, whether great or small?

SOWING HOPE AMID DESPAIR

Hope is an emotion that saves us from tragedy. When was the last time we had a tragedy? We all have them. What gave us hope when we had the tragedy? How can we bring hope to others?

SOWING JOY AMID SADNESS

Life and Faith are the two greatest gifts that give us joy and light. Among our friends we often find beacons of light? We do well to ponder their gifts. To be grateful to them for what they do and how they change the atmosphere of sadness into one of joy. It should lead to ask pondering the question of how we can become beacons of light to others. What resources do we have that will allow us to do that? Are we keepers of the Faith in our families? If we are we can bring joy to sadness, and sow light in the darkness of people’s lives. How would you describe your personal image of God? This image affects how we can spread joy around us.

COUNSELING, UNDERSTANDING, LOVING

The ‘black hole’ of the ego is contained in the words: “I”, “me”, and “my”. From these we become focused on ourselves and can live in a self-centered world. If we use these words a lot the world revolves around us and that makes ‘me’ the center of my universe. That ‘black hole’ sucks all of life into ourselves. Our ego thrives and does this. We need to break out of this way of thinking. We need to live for others. The message of Jesus Christ, and his servant, St. Francis, is to live for others.

St. Francis did this with the lepers. They had to wear bells in the times of St. Francis to let people know they were coming so they could get out of the way. St. Francis learned to love the lepers, when he broke out of his own universe and began to live for others. The lepers were some of the ‘others’ he lived for. He was an unspoken example to his age.

The road of the Master moves us out of ourselves. His call breaks down our ego. His call us into His Presence, and it is that presence that brings us to focus on others beginning with Him. How can we serve Him? How can we do His Will and not our own. That was the great value of the call to obedience which is one of the vows religious people take. To be obedient to others; the Church and their leaders, and by that to kill their own wills and live for others. How do I feel about the power of presence? In others, and in myself? We need to move out of our selfishness and into the emptiness of others. In that there is joy, and love.

IN DYING WE ARE BORN TO ETERNAL LIFE

Asceticism means ‘to practice’. If we seek to become ascetical we seek to move out of practice and into doing the things that are holy. We need to move to ‘thee’, not ‘me’.

The fact is that if we do our best to live our Faith in the Church we can be assured of a light sentence in Purgatory. Death is the finish line for this life. It is a beginning more than an end. We can choose to run from death or welcome it. St. Francis called it Sister Death, and he ran to greet her. Eternal life is to remain forever focused on the ‘Thee’. So this again leads to us asking ourselves some key questions.

What do I need to let go of right now in my life to lead a better Christian life? Certainly if we take on this examination we will find some ways we can improve. We need to make these decisions first before they will happen.

How can the penance of surrender help me do that? We don’t consecrate ourselves to Christ. We surrender to Christ, if we are spiritually mature. He is the God of all things and all situations, especially in our lives. So we need to make a good act of surrender to God and His Will to grow spiritually.

How do I feel about my own death? Do you ponder it? How do you feel about it? Is it a positive? Or a negative with you? This meditation is most worthwhile. Have we reached the point that death is ‘sister’? Or do we run from it as the world values? If we can get to the point we look forward to our death as a beginning in Christ we have made progress. What experiences in my life will help me to answer the call of the Peace Prayer in my own life? That is a meditation worth pursuing. Say it daily.

Fr. Tony Cirignani O.F.M.
Visitor to the BSP

Bruce Fahey begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting and Shelley, his wife, BSP Administrators
ADMINISTRATOR'S MESSAGE...

THOUGHTS

The thought is the father to the act. Our thoughts, while pure spirit, become reality just as God, who is pure spirit, brings everything into reality. We need to use our thoughts to glorify God, who knows our thoughts like we know the spoken word.

It goes something like this. We become what we think, if we persist in so thinking. Our thoughts will inevitably transcribe themselves in our actions. If we think we want to be successful at something, anything for that matter, we will begin to do the things to get there. We will study the surroundings, and people, who can help us reach our goals.

So it is with our spiritual life. What are your thoughts about your spiritual life? Is it important to you? Do you have a prayer life? Are you virtuous? Is virtue even important to you? If you don’t have a prayer life, and if you are not in strong pursuit of virtue, begin there. Start by desiring it. Then you will do what you need to do to find it and create it in your life. You will discover, on pondering the lives of Saints and holy people you know that they spent time at prayer, and lead deliberately virtuous lives. How did they do that? Read up on them. Because they made time for prayer, and virtue, in their lives. Look at your own life and see if you have made that time. It does take time to pray. It takes even more time to grow in virtue. To fast and do good works for instance. To speak kindly to others always.

God has given us all a limited amount of time, and he has not told us how to spend it. He will however tell us how we decided to spend it when we are judged. Every minute of it.

So, we need to DECIDE to give time to prayer. And, more than that, we need to DECIDE to become holy. What? We can decide to be holy? The only answer to this question is a big YES!

Unless you decide to be holy you will not become holy. This is easy to say as it is well established, in the Church and among the Saints, that unless you want to be holy you will not be holy. This is true because to want to be holy is already holy, itself! Bravo! Step one accomplished! The Lord said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall be satisfied.” ( Mt 5:6)

So, in your thoughts hunger and thirst for holiness. Make a decision to pray more. Recognize the elements of a holy life. They are the elements of the Rule of 1221, the Rule of the BSP, by the way. You need look no further. That is why St. Francis gave us the Rule.

The rich young man of the gospel asked the Lord, “What must I do to be saved?”, because it is said, he wanted to justify himself. The Lord said, “You know the commandments, and you have the prophets. Heed them.” The young man said, I have done that. Then the Lord “Looked at him with love.” God is love. He said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you own, and come follow me.” (Mt 19:21-22 ) The rich young man walked away. He couldn’t do that.

We walk away often from what we must do to be holy. That is so easy. It demands nothing of us.

So, we should all ask ourselves three questions. 1. Do I want to be holy? If the answer is ‘no’, forget it. You won’t become holy. 2. What must I do to be holy? For the Lord said we should “Be holy as your Father in heaven is holy.” (Mt 5:48) We can spend some time at this to our benefit. A good way to start is to talk to your priest, or a holy person you know. Lay down your guard, and ask them what you must do to be holy. And, 3. Am I holy? The answer to this is always ‘NO’, in capital letters, for the Lord said LK 17:10 “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'" (LK 17:10) We can never say we are holy. That way we always keep trying to grow in holiness. We have never ‘arrived’. In fact we do well to diminish ourselves, and our self esteem, in every situation.

So, the thought is the father of the act. Today, think about becoming holy. Tomorrow, start doing it.

May the Lord bless and lead us all.

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP.
Administrators

Paul Beery
NO GREATER LOVE:
by PAUL BEERY BSP - August 2010

“After He had dismissed the crowd, Jesus went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.” (Matthew 14:23)

The ultimate reason to go on a retreat is to imitate Jesus, to pray to the Father in secret, for there is much time to be alone with God. The Prior Lake Retreat Center is a fabulous place to experience “the one thing necessary.” I was saddened that there were not more people able to attend and receive the great spiritual nourishment all of us were granted by the grace of God. I hope to live to see the day that there will be “standing room only” as at a sold-out baseball game! Along with ample prayer-time, it was so good to see old friends again, some of whom we meet only once a year. God has granted us the special gift of friendship in life, and I trust the spiritual friendships we engage in will last for all eternity.

Fr. Tony gave an excellent retreat. He outlined Franciscan spirituality as defined by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, an excellent authority on the subject. Most of my comments will revolve around the following three aspects of Franciscan spirituality as given by Fr. Benedict: it is MARIAN, EUCHARISTIC, and fully in tune with the MAGISTERIUM of the CHURCH.

Marian: Fr. Tony is the perfect person to explain how Franciscan spirituality is Marian, since he is associated with both Our Lady of Fatima, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Apostolates. There are few things that can recommend a man more than his association with the Mother of God, and our spiritual Mother. At the end of his first conference on Friday evening, he showed us the movie on Fatima: “The Thirteenth Day.” We need to be reminded constantly of the intense Spiritual Warfare going on today, which our Blessed Mother came to warn us of, while giving us the weapons to fight it successfully: prayer and penance. Gosh, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Magisterium: “Francis himself, as if to sum up his inner experience in a single word, found no concept more pregnant with meaning that that of ‘penance.’ ‘Thus did the Lord grant to me, Friar Francis, to begin to do penance.’ (Testament, I) So it was that he saw himself essentially as a ‘penitent,’ as it were, in a permanent state of conversion. Abandoning himself to the Holy Spirit’s action, Francis was converted ever more closely to Christ, transformed into a living image of Him on the paths of poverty, love and mission. Formation for the mission means that formation must be considered an ongoing journey centered on the ability to let oneself be molded by the Spirit, which cannot be based on anything except listening to the Word in an atmosphere of intense and ceaseless prayer.” (Pope Benedict XVI from his talk at Assisi, June 17, 2007, “Meeting with the participants in the General Chapter of the friars minor Conventual and the Community of the Sacred Convent in the Upper Basilica of St. Francis,” celebrating 800 years since the conversion of St. Francis).

Fr. Tony also commented on what Pope Benedict said to some three thousand Franciscans gathered at the Chapter of Mats last April in Assisi. “The Poverello became a living Gospel, capable of attracting to Christ men and women of every epoch, especially young people who prefer radicalism to half measures.” They need to see the ideal lived out which they can see and touch, people bearing witness to wholeness and holiness. I obtained a copy of Pope Benedict’s address, and would like to quote from it at length on obedience to the Magisterium at the time of St. Francis, and now, when there is not only a lack of zeal for Holy Orders and Religious life, but cultural opposition to all that is good and holy..

Pope Benedict quotes St. Francis: “The Rule and the Life of the Friars Minor is this, that is, to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” He goes on to say: “Pope Innocent III recognized the evangelical authenticity of the proposal of Francis and his companions and they were able to encourage their commitment, also in view of the good of the universal Church.” Here is where it gets interesting.

“Francis might also have not gone to the Pope. Many religious groups were forming at that time, and some of them were opposed to the Church as an institution, or at least did not seek her approval. A polemical attitude to the hierarchy would undoubtedly have gained Francis many followers. Instead, he immediately thought of putting his journey and that of his companions in the hands of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter.

This act reveals his authentic ecclesial spirit. The Pope for his part might not have given his approval to Francis’ life project either, perhaps fearing that little group of friars might resemble the other heretical cliques of the time. On the contrary, the Roman Pontiff was able to discern in it the initiative of the Holy Spirit and accepted, blessed and encouraged the nascent community.”

This is such an important point, that any “nascent community” seek the blessing of the Magisterium of the Church, as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis have always done. There are plenty of “heretical cliques” out there today, with a “polemical attitude to the hierarchy,” living by principles inimical to the Gospel of Life. In our BSP morning prayers we ask our Blessed Mother: “We beg you to obtain for us the true spirit of the Gospel.” Marian and Magisterium, true hallmarks of Franciscan spirituality!

Fr. Tony showed by example how the Franciscan life is also Eucharistic. On Saturday we were blessed to have the rector of the St. Paul Seminary, Msgr. Callaghan, preside at the 4:00 PM Mass, where Brother Patrick Heath professed his vows to the BSP rule of life, the Rule of 1221 from St. Francis. So Fr. Tony proposed to have an early “private” Mass at 6:30 AM, and almost all of us attended. That was followed by one of the two devotions he said were particular to Franciscans: the Franciscan Crown (the other being the Way of the Cross). It was a good thanksgiving prayer after receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord in Holy Communion. What a beautiful way to start the day, in Holy Communion with our God of Love! “My ways are not your ways,” says the Lord. I love to study the ways of God.

Who could have imagined that God would want to be so close to us, in such com-union as to actually be within us! Can’t get much closer than that! How blessed we are to receive the Lord in this way. Francis recognized this fact to such a degree that he reverenced priests who may not have been of the best character, for only through them could he receive the Holy Eucharist. Many of our separated brethren come home to the Catholic Church through their longing to receive the Body of Christ, as the only way to fulfill Christ’s invitation so thoroughly explained in John, Chapter six.

And of course Fr. Tony went through the Peace Prayer, to show us how we can be better Instruments of Peace. He emphasized that the Peace Prayer takes us through the long journey from self-centeredness to being other-oriented. It so well expresses the spirit of St. Francis, that his name has become attached to it, even though the prayer originated sometime after 1900.

It is said that the purpose of life is to be infused with the knowledge of God. The BSP retreat is an opportunity to grow in divine wisdom, while associating with people of like mind who truly seek the Lord in holiness of life. It’s very difficult to put into words how beneficial the time we spend together is for the good of our souls. Those of us who take notes know how difficult it is to try to cover even a small part of the retreat. Perhaps another article on the Peace Prayer itself is in store, for it has become a much-loved prayer, with good reason. Perhaps what I am trying to say is: please come next year!

“Jesus went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.” Let us imitate Jesus, and “pray to the Father in secret, and the Father who sees in secret, will reward you.”

Paul Beery BSP
Morning Star Chapter
Minnesota

Janet Klasson
A meditation
by Janet Klasson BSP

Even though I was unable to attend the retreat this year, Bruce invited me to contribute a newsletter item on the theme of this year's retreat: Instruments of Peace.

”He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.” (Ephesians 2:17)

We cannot give what we do not have. That is to say, we cannot be instruments of peace if we do not first of all possess peace. In lives that are busy and beset with challenges, in a world that is fallen and spiraling into decay, peace often seems out of reach, elusive, like a wisp of fog that we can see but never quite grasp.

In the book Abandonment to Divine Providence, Fr. J.P. de Caussade teaches that true peace is within our grasp. It begins with total abandonment to God, something that seems at first glance to be far easier said than done! But Fr. de Caussade explains very thoroughly the necessity of it, and gives practical advice on how to live a life abandoned to God. The book is a spiritual treasure and I recommend it to all who are serious about growing in faith and holiness. For the purposes of this article, I wish to examine a very small passage that can help us to grow in peace so that we are better able to become channels of peace in the world as St. Francis calls us to be.

“May the peace of Jesus Christ be always with us, and in us, since God does not act freely except in peaceful hearts.”*

This sentence alone should motivate us to do our best to cultivate peace, and to root out all that disturbs our peace. Be it worry, stress, busy-ness, or just daily life—if we do not cultivate peace in every circumstance, we block the action of God in our lives, and rob those around us of the peace we have been called to spread.

“To keep yourself in this peace which will, I hope, continually increase, there is no better way than always to practice total abandonment, and that absolute resignation of which I have already spoken to you. You will, without doubt, succeed, if you never lose sight of the great and consoling truth that nothing happens in this world but by the command of God, or at least, with His divine permission; and that, whatever He wills, or permits turns infallibly to the advantage of those who are submissive and resigned. Even that which most disturbs our spiritual plans changes into something better for us.”

So we see that the key to peace is abandonment. However, we cannot abandon ourselves to God unless we trust him completely. If we know and believe that God is all-good, all-powerful, and that he loves us, why do we fail to trust him? Which of his attributes do we doubt? It is only when we have explored our own weakness in this area, that we able to accept everything that happens to us as a gift from God's loving hand.

This is not an easy lesson to learn since we can only learn to trust God in darkness. It is one thing to trust him in time of consolation, but it is in the fire of desolation that our trust is put to the test and purified. It is in the furnace of affliction that our trust becomes truly credible. In our darkest hour, we are called to proclaim with the psalmist: “I trusted, even when I said, 'I am sorely afflicted.'” (Psalm 116:10) Jesus, the very Prince of Peace, shows us what it means to live in total abandonment: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done." (Luke 22:42) He felt fully his distress, but he surrendered in complete trust to the will of his Father, even in his darkest moment.

“Keep firmly by this great principle and the most violent tempests will not be able to trouble the depth of your soul, even though they may ruffle the surface by disquieting the feelings.”

In this passage we see that to live in the peace that comes from God, does not mean that we never feel “ruffled”. Peace has nothing to do with feelings, and everything to do with acceptance of the Divine Will in each moment. We may feel exceedingly ruffled by circumstances, but our attitude and actions must be “submissive and resigned”.

“To be satisfied with the present moment is to relish and adore the divine will moving through all we have to do and suffer as events crowd in upon us.”

The present moment is where we find God—always. Eternity is not a “really long time”; it is the present moment—forever! We possess heaven on earth when we cling to God in the eternally present moment. That is when we become instruments of peace—when the eternal presence of God is allowed to flow unimpeded through us. Abandoned to his will, we may not even realize it is happening, but as God is finally be able to act freely in us and through us, we will see all around us the fruits of the peaceful kingdom. We will have become instruments of peace and channels of the Divine Will. And that, my friends, will be the first of many miracles.

To that end, let us pray with our Blessed Mother: Fiat mihi. Secundum verbum tuum! Amen.

(*All quotes are taken from Abandonment to Divine Providence by JP de Caussade, p. 120.)

Janet Klasson BSP - Divine Mercy Chapter - Canada

From www.pelianito.stblogs.com December 10, 2009

Ephesians 2:17 He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

“My child, a day will come when I will gather all peoples to myself. Those who once were far from me will dance with joy at finally living in my embrace. My beloved, do not fear the days to come. Inhale the peace I give you and exhale it to those around you and to the whole world. Remember how I breathed on the Apostles in the upper room? In the same way, those who seek to imitate me are a breath of peace and love in the world. Child, remember this and live it. As you know, the world is in great need.”

My Jesus, Prince of Peace, breathe on me your sweet breath of love and peace. By your grace, may every breath I take make me an instrument of your peace to those around me and to the whole world. Amen

Author: Janet Klasson

Brother Patrick Heath
TESTIMONY FROM BR. PATRICK ON THE BSP FORUMS

What a joy it was to attend my first BSP retreat in beautiful Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes and also the State that my Father was born in. It is a very beautiful State, except for the humidity.

It also was an honor to meet face to face with our administrators Bruce and Shelly Fahey and to meet one of our Visitors, Fr. Tony, and talk with him. Also to meet two of the BSP members from the Escondido California Chapter. Sheila Mesiere and Martha Elmer.

The talks that Fr.Tony gave were very enlightening and I see the Peace Prayer of St. Francis in a whole new light. The highlight of the weekend was my Profession of Vows at Mass on Saturday which was celebrated by Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, along with Fr. Tony. Especially when I was presented with the Cross and Crown of thorns. It is a joy to be part of a Holy and Blessed Private Association of the Faithful.

I look forward to coming to many more retreats in the future. and working hard to form a chapter here in Northern California.

Pax et bonum,
Brother Patrick Heath

BROTHER PATRICK HEATH PROFESSION

Left to right, top: Bruce Fahey begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting BSP, Father Anthony (Tony) Cirignani O.F.M., Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan. Left to right, bottom: Shelley Fahey BSP, Brother Patrick Heath BSP, and a seminarian.

His vow:

I, Brother Patrick Heath, vow that I will live to the best of my means and ability, for all of my life, the Rule of 1221 that St. Francis gave us, in fulfillment of the Gospel and for the Love of God. As part of my vow I promise to live the Gospel more fully and to pursue more fervently the virtues of poverty, chastity, and humility, which the Saints all loved and promoted. On this journey, I ask the support and prayers of my family, my brothers and Sisters in the Association, and the blessing of the Church.


RETREAT 2010

Twenty six people attended the retreat this year. Of those, eleven were BSP members, of which seven are professed, and five were professed SFO members. The balance were visitors from the diocese. Mary Kay Kennedy, a long standing attendee at our retreats decided to enter the BSP at the retreat as an Associate, due to her age. She is 83.

Father Anthony (Tony) Cirignani O.F.M., one of the Visitors of the BSP, did a beautiful job as retreat master this year. The subject he spoke on was the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. A brief summary of what he shared is covered in his comments in the Visitor’s Message in this issue. Some pictures from the retreat follow.

MORE PHOTOS


Mary Kay Kennedy” border=

Mary Kay Kennedy, New BSP Associate Member


Californians” border=

The Californians: Left to right: Brother Patrick Heath, of Aptos, CA., Martha Baez-Elmer and Sheila Mesiere of Escondido, CA


Group Large 2010” border=

A Group shot of all those at the retreat on the beautiful grounds of the Franciscan Retreats Center

”For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
(MT 6:21)


The
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS

a.k.a. BSP, 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 blessing 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. Just send them to the BSP at minncc@aol.com. 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
Editors



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