Sunday, March 9, 2008

St. Joan of Arc Regional Meeting

March 8, 2008

Bobbye, Carol, John and Ouida journeyed to Baton Rouge to the quarterly regional meeting. The meeting opened with Liturgy of the Hours, Morning Prayer.

For formation, we had an excellent teaching on the Beatitudes by Chuck and Dottie, and then broke into groups for sharing. The four of us formed a group with Sandy, Mitzi and Pat of Blessed Marianne Cope, Gautier, MS, and had a great discussion.

The Executive Council had a working lunch while the rest of us ventured forth to eat nearby. After lunch we had a business meeting, presided over by our Regional Minister, Jeff. Handouts for the regional handbook were presented and explained.

Information was announced on the annual retreat which is available on the Regional website at (also on our online newsletter, Pearls on the River). The silent auction and raffle also were discussed.

Jeff announced that the emerging fraternity of Our Lady of the Pearl, who has endured quite a bit, mentioning Hurricane Katrina, has been approved by Fr. Loren Connell, OFM, for canonical establishment. A date will be planned after the bishop’s approval and receipt of papers.

Jeff talked about prison ministry. He said that there is discussion about having a Friends of Francis program in which the men would go through formation but would not be professed. Our goal is not to make Franciscans of them but to evangelize.

Jeff then began reading from material from Our Lady of the Pearl website, “the Secular Franciscan Order is an order in the Church, but is not, properly speaking, a religious order . . . .” He gave kudos to Our Lady of the Pearl for their website. Martha also mentioned to the group that the website had a page on Sr. Fidelis which Ouida explained.

TAU – USA, page 16, spring issue, has information on the process and course to become a spiritual assistant. The book is Franciscan Family Connections and is available from Barbo-Carlson Enterprises (back page of TAU – USA). Approval for an individual would come from Fr. Loren. There is a program in California which our Region can model.

It was announced that one of our own, a Secular Franciscan, Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter, was beatified on October 26, 2007. (See March 9, 2008, post on Our Lady’s Little Scribe blog.) Also, announced is the book by Bill Wicks, SFO, former national minister, on the history of the SFO from 1917 – to 1942. See recent TAU – USA for ordering information.

Sandy, Regional Formation Director, recently went to national formation training and brought back a formation manual which she plans to modify for our region so that each fraternity may have one. Dottie and Ouida volunteered to assist her with this.

We were dismissed with prayer and a blessing by Brother Juniper.

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