Order of Saint Francis

A Contemporary Expression of Franciscan Tradition within the Anglican Communion

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Peace and all good to you from the little brothers of the Order of Saint Francis (OSF)!

We are an active, Apostolic Christian religious order within the Anglican Communion, in communion with the See of Canterbury. Rather than living in an enclosed communal setting, OSF Brothers live independently in different parts of the world, with ministries based on the needs of their local communities. Members are baptized men who have been confirmed within the Anglican Communion who  voluntarily  commit  to  live by a set of professed vows for a term of years or for life. 

The order was founded in 2003 by Br Nicholas Kis. We are now blessed to have 23 vowed brothers serving Christ across the world.

Due to the pandemic the brothers held a virtual convocation this year. It was great to see all the brothers together and having The Right Reverend Greg Rickel join us.

Epidemics emerge along the fissures of our society, reflecting not only the biology of the infectious agent, but patterns of marginalization, exclusion and discrimination. The coronavirus pandemic is no exception. COVID-19 has revealed deep social and economic failures and will reinforce existing health inequities. Before COVID-19, nearly 700 people were dying every day from poverty and inequality, yet the legislative response does not account for the 140 million people who are poor or one emergency closer to being poor today.

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Poverty takes an enormous toll on this country and its people every day. The economic and social costs of poverty and the injustices of systemic racism, militarism and ecological devastation are unsustainable. The United States has the wealth to end these interlocking injustices, but the political will is lacking. This is why we are organizing among those most impacted by these injustices to compel this country to take action. Fight poverty, not the poor!

In the U.S. today, 52.1 percent of children under the age of 18 are poor or low-income (38.5 million children). When more than half of our children do not know if they will have a place to sleep, nutritious meals, and safe communities, we are failing our families and compromising the future of this country. It does not need to be this way. We have abundant resources for our children.

Militarism and violence are the hallmarks of U.S. policy at home and abroad. From war to mass incarceration and beyond, these policies amplify poverty, racism and environmental degradation. They can and must change.

Br Chuck Hannan

Bishop Reddall gathers Anglican Religious members

On December 5 of this year, Bishop Jennifer Reddall of the Diocese of Arizona, met with 20 members representing seven different Episcopalian religious orders and communities serving in the Diocese.  Represented were Franciscan friars from the Order of Saint Francis (OSF) and members of the TSSF Third Order, Benedictine canons, Dominican friars, Sisters from the Worker Sisters and Brothers of the Holy Spirit, a solitary from the Community of Solitude, and a Gregorian from the Brotherhood of St. Gregory. 

 

Representing the Order of Saint Francis were Br. Chuck Hannan, OSF, and Br. Charles-Paul Sowinski, OSF.

 

Bishop Reddall said that she would like to see religious orders and communities being used in some type of evangelism function within the diocese and their respective congregations.  The Bishop also envisions the creation within the diocese of a Ministry for Religious Life to foster and provide for growth and assistance of vowed religious communities and orders.  This would be the first such Ministry in the Episcopal Church within the United States.

Here is what Bishop Reddall wrote about this meeting in the diocesan newsletter:

 

"The first time I discovered religious orders in the Episcopal Church was the fall of 1997.  I had just arrived at the Episcopal Urban Intern Program in Los Angeles, and we had our opening retreat a Mount Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara.

 

It was transformative.  The routine of prayer, meals, and silence fed me in a way I didn't know I needed to be fed.  There was abundant room for the Spirit to speak, and I was fascinated by the brothers.  They wore habits out in the world, but in their homes they tended toward rumpled clothes and Birkenstocks.  They all seemed very wise -- but had impish senses of humor.

 

The Episcopal Church -- and the wider Anglican Communion -- is blessed with many religious orders.  There really are Episcopal nuns and friars and monks -- and oblates and associates and a number of other ways to engage in a vowed spiritual life.  They are young and old, male and female, gay and straight, conservative and liberal -- rather like the Episcopal Church as a whole.

 

And not only are there religious orders in the Episcopal Church, there are members of religious communities here in Arizona in our own diocese!  Last night, I met with many of the members of religious communities in Arizona -- about 20 of us (Franciscans, Benedictines, and Dominicans) gathered for sharing, prayer, and the chance to get to know one another more deeply and envision how we might more deeply and effectively encourage religious life in Arizona.

 

Some orders live in community, take strict vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  Those orders often have associates or oblates who are connected to the community and follow a rule of life, but live out in the world. Some orders are dispersed, and include people who are single, partnered, and married.  They sometimes have secular jobs, are clergy or lay, and connect to their communities via zoom, prayer, and occasional face-to-face retreats and convocations.  

 

If you are a person of faith who is seeking a deeper relationship with God, and greater direction and accountability in your prayer, affiliating with a religious order may be a path God is calling you to follow.  And if you are looking for a spiritual director, a quiet day leader, or a prayer partner, one of our local religious may be someone to turn to.  We are developing a page on the diocesan website which will contain descriptions of each community and contact information for each."

Br Alan Spurgeon

Don't let a food pantry go empty. If anything we should make sure they are overflowing.

 

You see them around town. They are usually found on church properties along a sidewalk or street. I'm talking about these little free food pantries that are springing up. Yes, almost every town or city has a food bank but sometimes that is not enough. People may be unable to get to a food bank because they work 3 jobs just to be able to pay rent so their children are not homeless. Some don't have a way to get to the food bank because it is miles across town. These little food pantries help those in tough situations.

I ask that every time you go to the grocery store pickup and set aside in your car a bag with the following long shelf life items.. 

box of Mac-n-cheese

bag of 5 ramen packets

box of juice packets

box of pop-tarts

a few cans of soup, stew, or ravioli (get the ones with the pop-top)

4 pack of apple sauce cups or jello

instant rice such as broccoli and cheese or mexican rice

4 pack of toilet paper

small jar of peanut butter

bottled water

 

Don't forget to include items that are easy to chew. Some of the people using the pantry may have painful teeth or gums because they can not afford to go to a dentist. Seniors may be using the pantry and might not be able to afford dentures.

You could even pick up a small teddy bear or box of crayons in case there are kids going without presents on their birthday.

 

Did you know that you can get each one of the items above for $1 each at The Dollar store! The list above would only cost you $14. Spend just $10 to $20 and leave the bag in your car. Then when you pass one of these food pantries stop and put your items in. You will be giving a needy individual or family the ability to eat for a day or two until their next paycheck, food stamps, or social security check comes in.

With everyone doing just a little bit we can make a huge difference.

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