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. John Ryan
Ministry During Pandemic
After the initial shock of “lock down” and realizing I am a part of a high risk group it took me a few weeks to reason things out. Being restricted by the parish I am on staff at, and the directive of our Minister General I knew there had to be another way to continue in ministry. Certainly the works of prayer and study are primary in our way of life, but I felt there had to be more!
Beginning in April of 2020 the idea of a “ministry of masks” kept pushing its way in my head. I knew I had the resources to cover the cost. I went to the manager of the building I live in and asked to put masks for people to take as needed, it took off. Everyday since there are free masks individually packaged in the lobby. From April 2020 through April 2021 2500 masks have been given away.
Ordering masks online in bulk with bargains from a “Dollar Tree” store there have been creative and fun ways to encourage folks to use masks. The only restriction I asked from management was the source of the masks remain anonymous. Some folks have figured it out (or the manager may have let it slip out) and I get the occasional “ thanks for the mask Brother”! That is o.k. it is good P.R. for Franciscans.
The fun part - Last Fall the packaging was Autumn colors ; Christmas Season the masks had seasonal patterns on them; for Valentine’s Day they were in small plastic bags with Valentine’s Day designs and a small foil wrapped chocolate heart; St. Patrick’s day the packaging had shamrocks (of course!). Easter is great fun - the plastic egg shaped containers used for candy each have a mask in them; Fourth of July will have American flag designs and the rest of the Summer will be masks with bright fun colors. In the big picture of things this is a small effort, done with care and love and Great fun. Gospel Life in a Franciscan Spirit, caring for others.
This outreach is a blessing to me. I have found over the years leaving myself open to the needs of others brings opportunities for grace to flow. Peace and All Good to each of us. Br. john Ryan, OSF
Justice - Poor People's Campaign
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.
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
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.
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
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.