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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Franciscans show their solidarity with Refugees.

Br Robert writes:

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One Saturday in mid-September, whilst the heavens were pouring down with rain, 500 hardy people came out to show that Refugees are welcome in the North East. Among the crowd marching to Newcastle City Council who met to discuss the issue, were two Franciscan Brothers. As usual, it was a great opportunity to connect with all sorts of people most of whom knew nothing about Franciscan life or had ever heard about Anglican Franciscans but there were also great conversations with the odd Theological student and with friends from the Quakers. After the speeches we followed several people to pack boxes for the Refugees in Calais, which were collected in the area to show solidarity with the Refugees in Calais. It was inspiring to see the incredible generosity of the people which manifested itself in a store house full of huge piles with food and clothing.

General Chapter

From Monday 7th September until Friday 11th September the majority of Sisters and Brothers from the First Order of the Society of St Francis met in the King’s Park Conference Centre (Northampton) for the General Chapter. The theme for this General Chapter was engaging with people of non-Christian Faiths and we had the great privilege of meeting people from the Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim Faiths. On Tuesday morning Fr Damian Howard SJ delivered a most interesting lecture on Islam suggesting that we should not be afraid to engage our Muslim friends and neighbours in conversation about our Faiths. In the afternoon we heard a thought provoking lecture on Buddhism given by Ajahn Amaro who is the Abbot of the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. On Wednesday morning Dr Jane Williams gave two sessions on two meditations on passages of Scripture which suggest a possible framework for co-operation with people of other faiths and then on Wednesday afternoon two expeditions were organised, one to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery and the other to the Benedictine Monastery in Turvey. On Thursday morning we were introduced by Professor David Ford to the practice of ‘Scriptural Reasoning‘ (a way of discussing comparable passages of Scripture with people of other Faiths) and were then able to observe a Scriptural Reasoning session being conducted by Christians, Jews and Muslims. On Thursday evening we were fortunate to be joined by our Bishop Protector (Bishop Stephen Cottrell of the Diocese of Chelmsford) who celebrated Mass with us an delivered an entertaining and challenging sermon.

Sr Sue CSF, Sr Damien OSC, Brs Christian and Hugh SSF with Julie Siddiqui

Sr Sue CSF, Sr Damien OSC, Brs Christian and Hugh SSF with Julie Siddiqui

Sr Chris, Brs Jason and Malcolm sharing a cup of tea with Imam Ibrahim Mogra

Sr Chris, Brs Jason and Malcolm sharing a cup of tea with Imam Ibrahim Mogra

Taizé: Reflection Week on the Relevance of a Religious Vocation

Br David writes:

In the beginning of July I had the privilege of representing SSF at the Ecumenical Community in Taizé, France. Since this is the Year of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church, the brothers at Taizé had organised a weeklong conference about the relevance of a Religious vocation. The Community at Taizé is an ecumenical community where the brothers come from different church traditions: Catholic, Protestant and Anglican.

There were about 350 Religious from all part of the world attending the conference. Each day we joined with the brothers and the other visitors (about 2000 of them!) for prayers three times and we also listened to several talks each day as well as having time to gather in small groups to talk about our experiences of living out a Religious vocation in very different circumstances.
The talks were given by several interesting speakers: a Coptic Orthodox bishop from Egypt, a former General Prior of the Carthusians, the Superior General of the Jesuits, several Orthodox monks and nuns, the Master of the Dominican Order, the Minister General of OFM, Sister Annaliese from the Community of the Sisters of the Church and many others.

Bishop Anba thomas

Bishop Anba thomas

Sr Annaliese and Br Thomas Durr

Sr Annaliese and Br Thomas Durr

Br David SSF, a Coptic Priest and two Dominican brothers

Br David SSF, a Coptic Priest and two Dominican brothers

Italian Friars singing the Canticle of Creation

Italian Friars singing the Canticle of Creation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Br Michael Perry, Minister General OFM

Br Michael Perry, Minister General OFM

One of the Small groups

One of the Small groups

First Professed Conference at Wantage in August.

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On Monday the 24th to Friday the 28th of August five SSF brothers attended the First Professed conference at St Mary’s Convent in Wantage. During the week we had input from several different people touching on various subjects ranging from the Song of Songs, social media and end of life care.  We also joined the sisters at the Convent for their offices, and there was also plenty of time for socialising with the other First Professed brothers and sisters.