February 24th, 2018 Mr. Bernard Taft, OFS made his solemn profession to the Secular Franciscan Order! Bernie was joined in a Franciscan Mass of Profession presided over by Father Jim Collins of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newton, NC. Bernie’s friends and Franciscan family were all present and the celebration continued afterward in the Holy Family Hall.
Did you know? The origin of the Christmas creche is attributed to the very holy man, St. Francis of Assisi.
In the year 1223, St. Francis was visiting the town of Greccio, Italy built on a mountainside. St. Francis realized that the chapel of the Franciscan hermitage would be too small to hold the congregation for Midnight Mass. So he found a niche in the rock near the town square and set up the altar, one unlike anything every created before.
According to St. Bonaventure (d. 1274) in his “Life of St. Francis of Assisi” :
It happened in the third year before his death, that in order to excite the inhabitants of Greccio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion, [St. Francis] determined to keep it with all possible solemnity; and lest he should be accused of lightness or novelty, he asked and obtained the permission of the sovereign Pontiff. Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed. The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise. The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem. A certain valiant and veracious soldier, Master John of Greccio, who, for the love of Christ, had left the warfare of this world, and become a dear friend of this holy man, affirmed that he beheld an Infant marvelously beautiful, sleeping in the manger, Whom the blessed Father Francis embraced with both his arms, as if he would awake Him from sleep. This vision of the devout soldier is credible, not only by reason of the sanctity of him that saw it, but by reason of the miracles which afterwards confirmed its truth. For example of Francis, if it be considered by the world, is doubtless sufficient to excite all hearts which are negligent in the faith of Christ; and the hay of that manger, being preserved by the people, miraculously cured all diseases of cattle, and many other pestilences; God thus in all things glorifying his servant, and witnessing to the great efficacy of his holy prayers by manifest prodigies and miracles.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!!!
Courtesy of a minor friar blog https://friarminor.blogspot.com/
May 13th, 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the first time our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal. Two of the three children will be canonized by Pope Francis during his visit to Fatima May 12-13th.
The first Marian apparitions began May 13, 1917, when 9-year-old Francisco Marto and 7-year-old Jacinta Marto, and their cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing the Virgin Mary. The apparitions of Mary continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.
This fascinating event contains secrets which Mary shared with the children as well as the “Miracle of the Sun” witnessed by thousands of spectators.
A year after the apparitions, both of the Marto children became ill during an influenza epidemic that plagued Europe. Francisco died April 4, 1919, at the age of 10, while Jacinta succumbed to her illness Feb. 20, 1920, at the age of 9.
The children’s cousin Lúcia moved to Porto in 1921, and at 14 was admitted as a boarder in the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar, on the city’s outskirts. On October 24, 1925, she entered the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy as a postulant in the convent in Tui, Spain, just across the northern Portuguese border. Lúcia professed her first vows on October 3, 1928, and her perpetual vows on October 3, 1934, receiving the name “Sister María das Dores” (Mary of the Sorrows).
Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97. The diocesan phase of her sainthood cause concluded in February and now is under study at the Vatican.
Links to some great information and timeline of the apparitions may be found at the following links:
EWTN: https://www.ewtn.com/fatima/ , and Catholic News Service: http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2017/fatima-at-100-story-of-apparitions-continues-to-attract-attention.cfm
Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for us!!!!
Fraternity of Brother Francis is proud to offer a new Bible Study class based on Jeff Cavins The Bible Timeline series.
First class is Monday April 24th, and will meet each 2nd and 4th Monday evenings each month 6:30pm to 8:00pm at St Josephs Catholic Church in Newton NC.
Parishioners Welcome !!!
Bring your Bible and Catechism to each class. Class workbook $35 and we will try to help those who cannot afford the cost. This is a wonderful study of the Bible Narrative books of the old testament and puts old testament in context of the new testament.
For more info and to register please email Paula Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come join us for fellowship, fraternity snd spiritual growth in God’s Word.
Blessings to you!!
Paula Coleman, OFS
Secular Franciscan Order
February 11th, 2017 marks the liturgical anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes when the blessed virgin Mary appeared in the vicinity of Lourdes in France. The first of seventeen apparitions occurred 11 of February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a “lady” spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (a mile from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Pope Pius IX approved the veneration in Lourdes in 1870.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
In celebration of Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy the Fraternity of Brother Francis embarked on a pilgrimage to St. Lawrence Cathedral in Asheville, NC May 10th, 2016.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy features a very special plenary indulgence (the complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin).
I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed.
– Pope Francis, Letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Sept. 1, 2015.
There have been many Jubilee Years – 26 ordinary Jubilees and three extraordinary – and each has featured a special plenary indulgence.
Rule Article 5 of the Secular Franciscan Order states:
“Secular Franciscans, therefore, should seek to encounter the living and active person of Christ in their brothers and sisters, in Sacred Scripture, in the Church an in liturgical activity…”
In the Spirit of our charism we enjoyed an amazing day of spirituality, fraternity and prayer together. Thanks be to God!
To receive a plenary indulgence:
- It is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgence work is completed.
- A plenary indulgenced can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
- have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
- have sacramentally confessed their sins;
- receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required); and
- Pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
- It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
- For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
- Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
– Adapted from the decree on the plenary indulgence for the 2000 Jubilee Year.