Minister’s Message for the Feast of the Portiuncula

August 7th, 2022

May the Lord give you peace!


On the Feast of the Portiuncula, I took some time to reflect on the following words of Thomas of Celano: 
Although Francis realized that the kingdom of heaven is found in every dwelling on earth, and though he believed that heaven’s graces are imparted everywhere to God’s chosen ones, he had learned nevertheless that the church of Saint Mary at Portiuncula was filled with more abundant grace and visited more frequently by heavenly spirits. Consequently he used to say to his friars: “See to it, my sons, that you never leave this place. If you are driven out by one door return by another for this is truly a holy place and God’s dwelling.


“Where is my little portion?” I asked myself. Where is that place that I feel close to God’s abundant grace, the place that I can go to that is frequented by heavenly spirits? That was more a rhetorical question. We each can find those special places where we feel closest to God. But the more I think about what this feast means to me, I’m don’t know if I see the Portiuncula as a place of sanctuary, to retreat from the busyness of the world and be still. Rather, I see it is a place of conversion: a place where God transforms us just as he transformed Francis.
And maybe it’s not just a single location, but rather, a disposition of the heart, a desire to be changed, to be transformed, to be re-created.

So in remembrance of the Feast of the Portiuncula, let us all pray for the poverty of spirit to be transformed into the image of Christ and be the heralds of love, hope, and joy that the world so desperately needs.

–Bob Burnham, OFS

SAVE THE DATES!

July 27th, 2022

Save the Dates!

  • Sunday, July 31: Nominations for National Elections! If you are interested in serving in any of the elected offices for NAFRA, please contact Bob Burnham, Regional Minister for more information. The elections themselves are held in Detroit on October 15. 
  • Saturday September 10: We will have our Regional Formation Day! The topic will be on servant leadership. All our encouraged to attend! Bring your friends! Cluster 2 will be offering hospitality and service! (Cluster 2 includes St. Anthony of Padua/Joliet, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Francis/Steger, and Padre Pio) I believe Annie Brotonel has already contacted the ministers of these fraternities. Please ask me or Annie if you have any questions; after August 23, please send your inquiries to me, as Annie will be on pilgrimage. (Pray for us Annie!)
  • Transitus Celebration, September October 1. The Beyond Ite Vos Committee (which is made up of representatives of the OFM, OFM Conventuals, OFM Capuchin, Third Order sisters, and the Secular Franciscans) will be hosting a transitus service for members of the entire Franciscan family! The Transitus is confirmed for Saturday October 1, 2022 at Noon to be held at Sacred Heart Church, 2864 E. 96th Street, Chicago, with our host Friar Stephen Bendenikovic, OFM, Pastor.
Sherkin Island: The Franciscan Friary
Sherkin Island: The Franciscan Friary by Nigel Cox is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Regional Cross-pollination

July 26th, 2022

Take some time to visit other fraternities in your region. Ask your minister to excuse you from a monthly gathering (or even a few) so you can go on a pilgrimage to other fraternities. Report back to your fraternity about what you experienced. Maybe this will help your fraternity get a new perspective. We are, after all, called to conversion. This applies to our fraternities as well as ourselves. (If you want to try a more radical idea, instead of having your monthly gathering, have everyone in the fraternity go to another fraternity’s gathering, then come back the next month and share!) It’s a great way to get to know our brothers and sisters in the regional fraternity.

–Bob Burnham, Regional Minister

Marytown Eucharistic Conference

May 5th, 2022

St. Francis of Assisi can be one of the most misquoted and misunderstood Saints of the past 2000 years. We know St. Francis, not from Hollywood films or popular culture, but from his writings and early biographers. Fr. Benedict will show us the importance of the Eucharist and the Priesthood in the life and spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi in two presentations, opening to us the treasures contained in the Christ-centered heart of the “Poverello of Assisi”. 

S C H E D U L E

SATURDAY  |  JUNE 18, 2022

8:00am  Registration

8:30am  Continental breakfast

9:15am  Conference 1: St. Francis and the Priesthood

10:30am  Break (coffee & donuts)

10:45am  Conference 2: St. Francis and the Eucharist

12:00pm   Holy Mass

Conference ends with Holy Mass.

Registration required before or on June 10, 2022.

CLICK HERE to register!

No refunds

Broken links and missing newsletters

September 7th, 2019

Madam webmaster has upgraded securities and somehow broke all the links. She is fixing them. The newsletters for January, February, March, May, June, July, August and September have gone missing! Please be patient while your webmaster solves this curious case.

UPDATE!!!! THE LINKS ARE FIXED! If you have a problem accessing these, please let me know! They are located in the newsletter link on the left column menu