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 over 25 vowed brothers serving Christ across the world.
When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
`In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' "
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.