Transitus – October 2018

The Transitus Service is an annual Franciscan devotion for religious and secular alike observed over the past three decades.   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.
 
The Fraternity of Brother Francis, Newton NC celebrated the annual Transitus service with our brothers and sisters and a few guests.  What a powerful evening of spiritual awakening and fraternity!!  We began by dimming the lights in the little church of St. Joseph’s Newton NC and lighting two candles on a small burlap covered table surrounded by little statues and icons of our beloved Brother Francis.  In front of the table a brown hooded shroud with a knotted rope waist cord lay at the foot of the table cascading down the altar step, empty, bodiless, as our Seraphic Father is no longer in this world.

With the mood and spirituality focused on God, we prayed the Franciscan Proper Evening Prayer at the beginning of our intimate Transitus service.  We paused and passed bread in an offertory basket to our brothers and sisters as we read how as Sister Death was approaching, our holy father Francis commanded that bread be brought to him and ceremonially blessed and broke it, giving it to those at his side whilst the book of St. John, “Before the feast of the Passover” was read to him as Thomas of Celano shares in “The Desire of a Soul” Chapter CLXIII, #217.

What a beautiful tribute and remembrance of our dear St. Francis.  What a powerful evening of spiritual awakening as we joined together, praying and breaking bread as a Fraternity on a perfectly peaceful North Carolina October evening. God is so Good.  St. Francis, pray for us.

-Paula Coleman, OFS

Canonization of Pope Paul VI!!! – October 14, 2018

Today Most Holy Father Pope Francis canonized Blessed Pope Paul VI!!  This is hugely significant for all Secular Franciscans, as we follow what is called the “Pauline Rule”.

St. Pope Paul VI

 Auspicato Concessum,  (Sept. 17, 1882) Pope Leo XIII’s  encyclical letter glorified St.Francis of Assisi on the occasion of the seventh centenary of his birth. In  this encyclical, the Pope presented the Third Order of St. Francis as a Christian answer to the social problems of the times.  The constitution Misericors Dei Filius (June 23, 1883) expressly recalled that the neglect in which Christian virtues are held is the main cause of the evils that threaten societies. In confirming the rule of the Third Order and adapting it to the needs of modern times, Pope Leo XIII had intended to bring back the largest possible number of souls to the practice of these virtues. 

Although his intentions were good, to make the rule easier to follow with hopes of growing the order in size, an increase in piety did not follow with the successful increase in numbers. 

The Third Order of St. Francis as it was called then became more of a social club, a group that met for food and prayer, rather than a true order of penitents who certainly met and prayed, but must spend their lives devoted to “Living the Gospel according to the rule of St. Francis of Assisi”.  (Rule 4)

Tau

The Rule of St. Paul VI approved in 1978, the “Pauline Rule”, brought our beloved order back to its roots as penitents of a true Third Order of St. Francis, renamed the Secular Franciscan Order.  We wear a Tau as our “habit” and live our lives in the world, while in prayer and helping others in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

Carole’s 25th OFS Anniversary & Paula’s Profession to the OFS – August 11, 2018

Saturday, August 11th – The Feast of St. Clare-Two Celebrations!!!

Carole 25th Anniversary!!!

The Fraternity of Brother Francis celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Profession for our minister, Carole Marmorato, OFS.
August 8th was the actual anniversary and
how fantastic it was  to celebrate this achievement
on The Feast of St. Clare.
Also celebrated was the Mass of Permanent Profession to the Secular Franciscan Order for Paula Coleman, OFS.  Paula is now the newest permanently professed member of the Fraternity of Brother Francis, Secular Franciscan Order.
The day was filled with celebration and joy!  Thanks be to God.

June 24th 2018 – OFS 40 Year Anniversary of Pauline Rule

June 24, 2018 is the 40th year anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI approval of the revised rule for the Secular Franciscan Order!!! So our jubilee year begins!
CIOFS our international leaders have provided a wonderful video outlining the history of our order and how the Pauline rule came about.
Enjoy!
English:

Spanish:

Bernard Taft Profession to the Secular Franciscan Order – February 2018

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.

Father Jim & Bernie

All Saints Day Party – November 2017

The Fraternity of Brother Francis and Knights of Columbus celebrated a hot dog and treat feast for the little people parishioners of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newton, NC.  Angels and Saints abounded included a mini St. Francis of Assisi!