Our next Regular Meeting is on Sun., November 13th, 2016. We meet at 2:00 PM. North Room, St. Helen Parish in Vero Beach, Florida. Meeting ends at 4PM.
Light in the Window
When we are remorseful for having fallen yet again, and we ask Our Lord to forgive us with the intention to try harder this time,... He will do so! He forgives even the most hardened sinner if only we ask for His help. What I have written is true regardless of religion, status in life, your former failings or even if you are not a firm believer in God. He loves us and when we ask for His help, He will always come to our assistance. I believe this without hesitation. From writings by holy men and women (St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bonaventure, St. Augustine and the great mystics of the past - when you study what they have to say to the world, to us, the conclusion is that God cares for us deeply, and that He will heal us when we call upon His name!
A Franciscan approach to Advent observance.
The focus of Advent is preparation for the coming of the Lord -- both in commemoration of His Nativity and His coming again at the end of time. Though most Christians see this time of year as a part of the "Christmas Season," it isn't; the Christmas season does not begin until the first Mass at Christmas Eve.
The mood of Advent is one of spiritual preparation, and the gaudy "Christmas" commercialism that surrounds it in the Western world should be overcome as much as possible. The singing of Christmas carols (which comes earlier and earlier each year), the talk of "Christmas" as a present reality, the decorated trees and the parties -- these things are "out of season" for Catholics; we should strive to keep the Season of Advent holy and penitential, always remembering, as they say, that "He is the reason for the Season."
Secular Franciscans, once called the “Order of Penitents,” can make their Advent Season very special in a very
personal way. Penance must be filled with a spirit of gratitude and joy, not pessimism. Through the cross we share in Christ’s Resurrection. That’s a privilege he grants to those he loves. We know that suffering, pain, disappointments and fatigue are a part of everyday life. St. Francis has shown us that these sufferings are an opportunity to share an intimacy with Jesus in His mission of salvation. So take this time of Advent, and really look for daily opportunities to share this intimacy with Jesus’ suffering. St. Francis of Assisi is such a great inspiration when it comes to penance. Let’s make sure that we recognize Advent for what it really is,
a time of preparation for the coming of Our Lord. Some people believe that the Christmas season begins around Thanksgiving... that’s a worldly perception, and Franciscans know better than that. Shove all this worldliness to the sidelines, and go on with the real preparation for Christmas.
Advent is a great time to practice daily conversion; for Franciscans however, this is something we should be doing every day of the year. After all, we strive for perfection and that takes a great deal of daily effort. Spiritual reading helps us tremendously in keeping us going in the right direction.
Fred Schaeffer, ofs
Regional Minister's spoken messages are found on home page of Regional Website
Officers as of 1/10/2016
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Eugene Caldarone, OFS
Donna Haro, OFS
Councillors at Large:
Ed O'Donnell, OFS
Jack Reddy, OFS