Sr. Kay Berger, OSF d.2017

Next Regular Gathering

Sunday, Dec 8, 2019, 2-4 PM

St. Patrick's Room, Saint Helen Church, Vero Beach, FL



Agenda for our Regular Gathering

2:00   Opening, Reports, etc.

2:10   Formation Program: A Franciscan Christmas (Donna)

3:30   Liturgy of the Hours (Christian Prayer)

3:50   Closing Prayers and Dismissal
Note: We won’t break for refreshments, instead we’ll go to Chef Lins, 1850 US-1, at the conclusion of the meeting    (not later than 4:30 pm)

           (Monthly Council Meeting begins directly after Regular Gathering)

The December 2019 Canticle has been posted



In Memoriam

Our sister Marie Fee, OFS died this evening, Nov. 15, 2019.
May she rest in peace in the arms of the Lord!
 (Professed for 71 years)


see also: Obituaries-recent


Featured Saint for November

               St. Elizabeth of Hungary

1207-1231, Patron of Secular Franciscan Order (3rd Order) Feast Day: Nov. 17


 Elizabeth was born at a time when it was still the practice that parents decided whom their children should marry. By today's standards it seems atrocious that the fate of a child should be decided at age 3 - before the child was even capable of understanding what a spousal relationship meant. That is exactly what happen to Elizabeth, she was to be raised in the castle of her future husband, Louis, also still a child.


Elizabeth was a lovely child and as she matured she was known for her charity to the poor and the needy. Louis, recognized what a generous girl Elizabeth had become, really wanted to marry Elizabeth and when they were 18, they were married. The marriage was a happy one. Elizabeth built a large hospital where she daily fed nine hundred people. That in itself was a very large accomplishment. She gave herself totally to the work, and while Louis was away, she took over the regency of the area. In her spare time she tended to the poor, especially the lepers.


Elizabeth was no stranger to suffering. The crusade to the Holy Land began in 1227 and Louis also went, but on the way, still in Italy, he died. Louis' brothers rose up against Elizabeth upon the news of his death, and Elizabeth was driven out of the palace. She was really not welcome anywhere. She was destitute and homeless with four children, the youngest being just two months old. Finally, after much searching for a place to stay, she was offered shelter in a stable. Elizabeth prayed in gratitude, recalling how Jesus Christ came down to Bethlehem only to find a stable. The only work she found was to spin flax and even from that she saved some money for the poor.


Turning down a proposal of marriage by Emperor Frederick II, she eventually settled in Marburg in a small house near a Franciscan Church. She joined the Third Order of St. Francis and built a hospice for the poor and sick at Marburg. In those days, Third Order members wore a habit and cord. When only 24 years old, in Marburg, Elizabeth died from disease or fatigue. She was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1235. Her body can still be seen today in Marburg in a beautiful gold shrine. Some of the bones found their way to other places, but some are still in the beautiful gothic St. Elizabeth Church at Marburg which is now a protestant church. Pope Leo XIII named her patroness of all charitable organizations of women. We are honored to have her as a Patron to the Secular Franciscan Order.  (F. Schaeffer  OFS)

     How to become a Secular Franciscan

Living the Gospel through our roles
and responsibilities


As an Order, we are actively integrated in the life of Christ. We are part of the body of Christ. The promise we made when we were professed requires us to be more pro-active, more focused on Christ’s mission on earth. Further, we have a very specific hierarchical structure centered on having a council at each level which helps to animate and guide the life of Secular Franciscan brothers and sisters – to help us live our Franciscan charism in family, in fraternity and in society.

Let’s take that concept that we are part of the body of Christ a little further. We might consider the Executive Council at each level as Christ’s heart – which pumps life-giving blood throughout the Franciscan body. In order to ensure the health of the heart, the members of the council must be properly formed (on-going formation) and make certain that they fulfill all their responsibilities.


Whether we serve as officers at the local, regional, national or international level, we are co-responsible for animating and guiding our fraternities and members.


By properly fulfilling our unique roles on the council, we will ensure that the brothers and sisters receive support and guidance to live their Secular Franciscan life as the Rule requires of them. The council should be united in vision and ministry – especially after actions and plans are voted on.


One final note: As international, national, regional and local fraternities, we are not islands. We are intricately woven together as a magnificent tapestry that covers the body of Christ around the world – and our councils provide that important thread that ties us together. We are all ultimately united in Christ through our love and attention to each other.      (VOX Franciscana • 22 • Summer 2019)

Advent in 2019 begins on December 1st. That's not long from now.  So let's talk about the Advent Wreath to get focused on that holy season:


The Advent Wreath
 by Fred Schaeffer, OFS


We have a serious request. Our website is brimming with good reading material but there are very few takers. Well, that was about two weeks ago. Now, two weeks later, the numbers are back up. Thanks and God bless!  Fred Schaeffer, OFS 11/16/2019


  1. Marie Fee, OFS 
  2. Fred Schaeffer, OFS
  3. Ed O'Donnell, OFS
  4. Lamar Thomas, OFS


Eucharistic Reflections


12 Weeks of Franciscan Peace (JPIC)


Franciscan Feature
incl. Franciscan Saints Biographies


The Lord bless you and keep you.
May He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
The Lord bless you!

Please click on image and enjoy this book.
Bro. Fred's Reflections
Look for PDF file

Living the Gospel through our roles and responsibilities
mphasis that we are not alone in this large OFS world)

A very special file - helpful in figuring out hymn tones for Liturgy of the Hours
Metrics in Music (Printable Page).pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [128.9 KB]

iBreviary - the fool-proof way to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

iBreviary is an app. It works best on smart cell phones (Android or similar)
iBreviary org site gives instructions on use

Don't know the tune to a "Metered tune" in the Psalter? Look it up!



Special PDF files from my big website under the index called "Catholic Resource Index."  - contains some good stuff!


What is a Secular Franciscan?

This paper shows strong history of the Rule from the time of St. Francis until now

Donna Marie F. Kaminsky: 
Secular Franciscans: Bearers of Peace, Messengers of Joy

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Original Home page has been split up as it was getting way too lengthy. Click on "More" to get to the Home-extension page.

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Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

Divine Mercy Fraternity

Vero Beach, FL


Term expires: 2/10/2022

Fred Schaeffer, OFS

Helen Caldarone, OFS

Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS

 Jack Reddy, OFS


Formation Director: 
Donna Haro, OFS



 Joanne Giordano, OFS


Fred Schaeffer, OFS

Five Franciscan Martyrs

Fraternities Map

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