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 (2021). It was great to see all the brothers together and pray for those not able to join us. Next year we are excited to be back at the DeKoven Center.

Br. Billy  Isenor

Celebration of New Ministry

 

On August 25, 2021, the Feast of St. Bartholomew (transferred) there was a Celebration of a New Ministry Eucharist at St. Mark, Ocean Park. The Reverend Billy Isenor, OSF was inducted Rector of the Parish. Presiding at the induction and the Eucharist was the Right Reverend John Stephens, Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster.

Rev. Isenor succeeded the Reverend Craig Tanksley whose last service as rector of the parish was January 18, 2020.

Brother Billy, his wife Dana and their four children including a new baby arrived by car in Ocean Park from Spruce Grove, Alberta on July 2. The Reverend Isenor is one of several priests from the Diocese of Edmonton now in ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster.

The full story is available here.

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Br. Paul Dahlke

Going for a walk.. on the Pacific Crest Trail

For those of you that know Br Paul it does not surprise you that he likes to walk. He seems to prefer that mode of getting around more than any. Walking to work, walking to church, just walking. Miles of walking. So it should not have been much of a surprise to the brothers when he announced that he would walk the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

The PCT starts near the US Mexico border in California and winds it's way through the California, Oregon, and Washington state for about 2,650 miles. Many people attempt sections of the trail and a few brave souls attempt the whole thing.

After getting his permit for the trail he embarked on March the 3rd. Brother Paul said he did not pack any cooking devices such as a stove because it would just add extra weight. He packed very light. Luckily there are sufficient locations along the route to replenish supplies, get mail, take a hot shower, and eat to replenish your body's supplies. He mentioned that he has lost a lot of weight. It is early September and the last entry he made indicated he was near Leavenworth WA. We anxiously await the safe return of our brother.

To follow Br Paul's trip click here.

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Br. Andrew Jones

Ministry at Saint Ann's Church for the Deaf

 

St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf is the oldest and first church for the Deaf in the United States. St. Ann’s was founded in 1852 by the Rev. Thomas Gallaudet and was incorporated into the Episcopal Church in 1854. Their first service in sign language was held on October 3, 1852 in the chapel of New York University.

 

I freely admit that my reason for starting to visit them in the fall of 2019 was just to brush up on my ASL and re-immerse myself in signing and the Deaf community. But that motivation quickly changed.  You see, St. Ann’s has been without a priest for over 8 years and they had been relying on the monthly visitation of a Deaf priest. The other Sundays utilized a very cobbled-together liturgy, led by a lay leader, of the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament from the presanctified elements.

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Our Bishop strongly desires that when the services of a priest are not available, the principle service be one of the daily offices. The Office of Morning Prayer was completely alien to this congregation so I quickly fell into the task of introducing them to, and shepherding them through, the morning office.

2021 Miscellaneous Photos

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Boundary Crossing

During the week of our OSF Convocation (June 2021), while the experience was virtual and I could only attend parts of it, I was grateful to spend a stretch of that time at the Diocese of Maryland’s Bishop Claggett Center. In that time away, I was able to ground myself spiritually in a variety of necessary ways but especially because of opportunities to walk and run in the woods, fields, and along the river. This landscape and the poem that follows is a gift I received in my time away that I wish to share. 

Br. Kristopher Lindh-Payne
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I wonder… Do you…see the sign...see the wheat field...see the rising sun...see the hill leading up to Sugarloaf Mountain? I wonder what else you notice.  

 

Boundary Crossing

 

Anticipating a new day dawning, 

I journey out beyond the boundary of my known territories

in search of something more

as Spirit calls me forth. 

 

Early morning mists

give way to sunburst rays of promise,

and I make my way down into the indigenously named river valley. 

 

The careening paths, 

cut with care to co-create the way to walk upon, 

make it possible to lovingly greet new (to me) neighbors of winged variety

as they come and go from their humble dwelling places.  

 

My pace quickens, as I feel the moist meadow penetrate my protective layers. 

 

The sounds of insect and bird song in an orchestral symphony serenade one another,

and all of the created order that has ears (or whatever else they need) to hear.

But who is listening?

 

The finely woven webs of interconnectivity might serve as invisible barriers for some - 

those initiated in the impermanent albeit messy effect the spider’s handiwork can have upon a landscape. 

(Will they forgive my destructive trespass?)

But for those undeterred, mysteries reveal themselves 

as river bends - 

one way and another -

defining itself.

This ancient Monocacy River shows me the way 

as I amble tentatively along it’s embankments.  

 

I am awash in permeations of salty water

as sweat flows

 faster and faster

and my stride lengthens with the emerging new day. 

The estuary mix of my offering to this great river is scarcely noticed.

But my footsteps, and (MY GOD) my in- and ex-halations are so damn loud

as the flood gates fully open.  

Each breath competes with beating heart 

to overtake the meditative melody of flowing water and winds. 

 

What’s this feeling? Am I intruding? Or do I belong? 

I am welcomed home again 

on a path I’ve never traveled but somehow remember -

even know by heart. 

 

With each turn, I know not what encounter awaits me

but I am ready to receive the gift,

to awaken,

to become more,

to be swept along by soul-filled current. 

 

As paths converge,

and signs of a familiar boundary mark the way forward, 

I stop.

Suddenly.

I cannot run another moment - 

not for fatigue - 

but for the holiness that now infiltrates my senses. 

As Sugarloaf Mountain boldly lines the horizon,

the sun breaks forth

and the new day is beheld in incarnate fullness. 

The honey-sweet-nectar of this bread-for-the-journey rising 

offers a communion like none that can be found before altar’s inside rail.

This heavenly feast of sensuousness invites me to step beyond the barrier -

to pass into a no-man’s land and become something transformed.

 

As grain-filled fields of wheat part, seeds of possibility fall to ground.

What will come of this harvest?

Who and how many will be fed, 

beyond this soul whose hunger and thirst is satiated in this momentary bliss? 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

But this glimpse, that’s come and gone so quickly,

leaves an eternal imprint on the mind, body & spirit

as it remembers how connected it is - 

we all are - 

each to another - 

and to the One who taught of seed’s death and the life that would come next. 

 

In-being with the One who crossed all boundaries to enter creation with us

and show us the way to walk (or run),

I feel like I could stay here forever

and ever.

 

But the process of becoming continues

and I lean forward in sacred movement,

one foot after another,

leaving behind the signs of a boundary being crossed. 

- Kristofer Lindh-Payne 

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 Allen White

Saint Francis Of Assisi Research Library

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On behalf of the The Saint Francis of Assisi Research Library, Brother Allen White, OSF and the library staff we wish you peace and all good! You are most welcome here! 

Launched in the summer of 2018 with the gift of just four books on the Poverello, the Saint Francis of Assisi Research Library officially launched its website and opened its doors to the public on the Feast of Saint Francis, October 4, 2020. Since its founding, the library has grown to become one of the largest research libraries of its kind in the world dedicated exclusively to the life, history, and study of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Our library’s ever-growing catalog of more than 800 books in 40 unique collections includes the titles of some of the world’s most recognized Franciscan scholars and authors writing on Franciscan philosophy, theology, spirituality, and history from the 13th to the 21st century. As such, the library is a Franciscan athenaeum—a sanctuary for anyone interested in learning about the Franciscan intellectual and spiritual tradition.

And working right here from our humble home within Hope Center Houston, our library’s mission is to celebrate and share the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi with the world through its research, education, advocacy, and personal ministry of Franciscan friar, Brother Allen White, OSF.

Finally, as a proud member of ATLA (American Theological Library Association), we are also a lending library offering most of our catalog, research assistance, and resource materials at little or no charge to registered friends of the library, including the brothers of the Order of Saint Francis (OSF), the world-wide Franciscan family, and both students and scholars alike working on various Franciscan research and writing projects around the world.

For now, we hope you’ll take the time to look around and enjoy exploring all the resources of this website, including our catalog powered by Library Thing and Tiny Cat. But when you are ready, we look forward to meeting you face-to-face, providing you with a personal tour of our world-class Franciscan book collections, and introducing you to our beloved Saint Francis of Assisi whose imitation of Christ and timeless message of humility, peace, and love for all of creation still lives in our minds and burns in our hearts today in the twenty-first century.

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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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