World Day of Prayer – March 2017

Top left: Jo Shirley (Holy Trinity Lutheran) Kathy Wood (First United Methodist) Margo Morganti (First United Methodist)

Bottom left: Dalene Garilao, Dr. Carmen Espiritu, Roxy Te, Dr. Lizette Villacorte, Carole Marmorato, OFS and Stephanie Reyes

The World Day of Prayer for Missions began in 1927. In 1928, the name was shortened to World Day of Prayer. Ninety years later – men, women, and children are still being called to prayer. St. Aloysius located in Hickory, North Carolina hosted the World Day of Prayer 2017. There were 15 area churches represented: Bethlehem Lutheran, Christ Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Mt. Olive Lutheran, Philadelphia Lutheran, St. Andrews Lutheran, Corinth Reformed Church, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Hartzell Memorial United Methodist, Highland United Methodist, St. Aloysius Catholic Church, and St. Joseph Catholic Church.

St. Aloysius became part of the ecumenical movement in 1997 when Carole Marmorato,  OFS the current Minister of the Brothers and Sisters of St. Francis Secular Franciscan Order and a parishioner of St. Aloysius, responded to an announcement in the church bulletin about planning a meeting at St. Andrews Lutheran Church for the World Day of Prayer. Twenty years later, Carole, is also the President of the Church Women United of Hickory, NC and is still actively involved in this ecumenical ministry.

Carole Marmorato stated, “The Church Women United ministry plans two ecumenical worship services a year. In addition to World Day of Prayer, they commemorate World Community Day in November. There are sixteen area churches represented in the Church Women United ministry but ten to twelve churches actively participate.”

The World Day of Prayer’s motto is “Informed prayer, prayerful action.” This year’s call to prayer was titled “Am I Being Unfair To You?” and it was prepared by the World Day of Prayer Committee of the Philippines. Each year a different country is selected and they write their program, incorporating into the order of worship their mission, issues, justice, and peace, everything that is important to them.

When Carole approached the Filipino community at St. Aloysius about the World Day of Prayer for the Philippines they were receptive. “The Filipino community at St. Al’s, through the leadership of Carmen Gaston and Dr. Carmen Espiritu, embraced this event with much enthusiasm. They were excited about this opportunity to celebrate their culture and a unique opportunity to share it with others.”

Rite of Admission – Feb 2017

February 11th, 2017 our monthly fraternity gathering included a Rite of Admission ceremony for our latest candidate. During the ceremony the new candidate is provided a “Little Red Rule Book” of the Secular Franciscan Order and given a sign of the SFO, a wooden Tau cross worn around the neck.

Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order consists of three periods of prayerful discernment and contemplation called Inquiry, Candidate and Profession. Candidacy is generally a period of 18 months to 36 months after which a temporary or permanent profession into the Secular Franciscan Order is made.

Lourdes Liturgical Anniversary – Feb 11, 2017

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!

Jubilee Year of Mercy Pilgrimage – May 2016

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.

Transitus – Oct 3, 2016

An annual Franciscan devotion for religious and secular alike observed over the past three decades is the Transitus. Each year on the evening of October 3rd, we remember the passing of Francis of Assisi from this life into God through a Transitus ritual. The Transitus has become a significant annual event where we ritually revisit the story of Francis’ passing. It specifies the living memory of Francis; it intensifies our commitment to follow Christ in the way of the poor man of Assisi.

 

Transitus 2016 the Fraternity of Brother Francis was welcomed by our Secular Franciscan Order brothers and sisters of St. Maximillian Kolbe Fraternity of Huntersville, NC.  We spent a beautiful evening at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Charlotte NC enjoying the beauty of the Transitus ceremony and fraternal bonding with our brothers and sisters.