The Rule, Article 4

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Come Let Us Adore

Come, Let Us Adore,

Come, let us adore….Jesus Christ, the gift of God Our Father, delivered personally by His Servant, Mary, to a world still waiting for a reality that can be trusted, longing for the cloud of depression to evaporate, breathlessly clinging to a conviction that yes, God is still with us, and will stay.

Come, let us adore....a noble, voiceless, Child, born to the humble and unknown, a Child with our human needs and His boundless gifts. When we look out and beyond ourselves, we find we are in the midst of people who still look, who unwaveringly believe, who continue to see the face of God elbow-close in their own private reality. We are surrounded by warm-blooded gifts personally planned and continually sustained by our Heavenly Father so that our family hearth will stay lit, our neighborhood watch will remain secure, and our faith will live.

Come, let us adore….that is, let us put aside the ambition of perfect and important, preferred and proper. Let us pick up the poor and lonely. Let us look beyond ourselves; and let us not be surprised at being surrounded by the caring and thoughtful. Trusting friends lighten our walk and quicken our pace toward that which lasts beyond the ribbon and the light. We remember that the one who came still walks with us.

Come, let us adore....the Incarnate God who came to share our human nature so that we may realize the Divine Plan of being united with Him.. God comes among us as human to show us the way to Godliness. We have seen; we have heard; we believe; and we worship the Gift of God the Father so that we may have Life with Him, now and in eternity.. Awed that we are included and cared for., we daily care and include. In His littleness the Son of God made man assures us of the greatness of His Love.

Come, let us adore....the Gift of God the Father Who keeps in His Heart our weary world. We join St. Francis, on our knees in gratitude for and in fidelity to our call to be Seraphic Servants For the privilege of being called and forgiven, we, humbly forgive in His name. May the Christ of Christmas lift us beyond the temporal and the tempting. May the God, Whose Only Begotten Son is with us, be praised and glorified, now and forever. May our lives be profound witnesses to Peace in His Limitless Love.

Sister Josephine Boyles, OSF, Spiritual Assistant

Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Eucharist
Independence, MO, USA

(picture: Giotto's "Instruction at the Crib at Greccio"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We are officially established!

On September 17 Bishop Robert Finn signed the documents that allowed our fraternity to continue to the final step of becoming canonically established.

On October 4. Fr. Felix Petrovsky performed the ceremony.
Fr. Felix Petrovsky, OFM, St. Josephine Boyles, OSF, Spiritual Assistant, and Jeanette Harriman of Our Lady of Sorrows Fraternity sign the documents in the Chapel of our Lady of Angels.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From the Summa off Tommy Augustine-Art.2

Last month I mentioned Lynda and me moving after spending thirty-two years at the same address. The Moving Process still fills our days, taking our time, sapping our strength, and zapping our energy.

However, we can see the end as the first house has sold. Yes, sold. Buyers are a young couple, first house, two kids, moving into OUR place on top of OUR memories! Unless we remove the memories first. That’s what happens when one scrapes them off the walls, sucks them out of the carpets, and stuffs them in those special moving boxes, the ones for moving hearts. There is room, I am told, for moving all the good memories we cherish, all those we‘d like to re-visit on long evenings with special people, to the new house. The Moving Process is also the opportunity to move on without yesterday’s bad memories and bad dreams and all their poison we harvest to use so methodically to infect our present moments. We all do it. Listen in any group as someone (maybe you? maybe me?) rehearses to others the hurts nursed for decades.

We shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to stick such dreams and memories into black plastic sacks, tie the strings extra tight, and then (when they stop struggling) leave them at the curb on trash day. Unfortunately, sometimes old friends are left behind that way. What and who was precious move inadvertently from the core to the periphery of our lives-and everyone moves on, accidentally forgetting those once treasured.

Purgation of habits and attitudes works about the same. This is a lot like facing Purgatory now or Purgatory later. I, unfortunately, am finding there’s going to be plenty left over for the later if I keep at my current rate of spiritual development. I talk holiness. I tell Franciscan tales. I fantasize what knowing Padre Pio would have been like. Then I realize that when I found reason to skip confession this week from my parish priest--again, it makes any thoughts of much holiness on my part look premature. Without Mercy, they are truly stillborn.

After all is said and done, I confess I am really pretty comfortable spending the day sniping at others, foregoing repentance for self-righteousness. Surely somebody reading this understands. You know, it’s like when you awake to find what you held precious as a “gift of discernment” was really a “critical spirit”.

Again and again, I have to move back to Matthew 7:5. That’s the one about the log in my eye and the speck in yours. I can discern your behavior. I just can’t judge your being or personhood. God does that with precision. Colossians 3 fills in a lot here. Read it. Pray it as you move through the words.

It’s a powerful chapter if you’re at all like me, who when I’m climbing the ladder of spiritual progress, suddenly realize, the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. So again I move it and start over--again, postponing spiritual ecstasy at least one more day.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Canonical Establishment of Fraternity

On Sunday, October 4, Father Felix Petrosky, OFM Cap, will oversee the official establishment of the Secular Franciscans of the Holy Eucharist as a canonically recognized fraternity. This event is the culmination of three years of formation, visitations, reviews of documentation and activities. Fraternity members will celebrate with a reception in Bonaventure Hall after the 11:30 Mass at the Franciscan Prayer Center. Our fraternity, located in the heart of America, has grown to approximately 65 members over these three years!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What We Are About - The Order

For those viewing our blog who have no idea of what the Secular Franciscan Order is about, we will begin adding some posts that we hope will provide some insight. Today's post is from the General Constitution of the Secular Franciscan Order, Articles 1-7. It is our intention that these posts will answer questions, rather than provide blog posting experience.

The Catholic Church teaches that all the faithful are called to holiness and have a right to follow their own spiritual way in communion with the Church. Within the Church there are many spiritual families with different charisms. Among these families, the Franciscan Family, which in its various branches recognizes St. Francis of Assisi as its father, inspiration, and model.

The Secular Franciscan Order is a public association in the Catholic Church. It is divided into fraternities at various levels: local, regional, national, and international. Each one has its own juridical personality within the Church.

The SFO is open to the faithful of every state of life, which includes men and women and secular clergy (deacons, priests, bishops). Both are inspired by the gospel options of St. Francis of Assisi, committing themselves to continue his mission with the other components of the Franciscan Family.

The SFO is governed by the universal law of the Church, and by it own: the Rule, the Constitutions, the Ritual, and the particular statutes.

The Rule establishes the nature, purpose, and spirit of the SFO.

The full Constitution is on the National SFO website. The link to our fraternity's website on the left of the main blog page has a link to the National site.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From the Summa off Tommy Augustine-Art.1

We’ve recently moved after thirty-two years of marriage from our first home to our second home. I’d say we are 90+ percent finished with the project. To give perspective, we bid the house three weeks ago, closed two week ago at 9:00 am before movers came three hours later that same day. We are really tired.

So how does this relate to you? First, since we still own the first house, if you’ve ever had an idea you’d like to move to Liberty, this is your opportunity for the deal of a lifetime! I’d love to have you meet our realtor!

Second, my Illusion about my level of Simplicity. I honesty believed I had this conquered. I was not one of those materialists. No way, not me. The ladies at the thrift store knew me personally from the boxes and bags we deposited on their back step. Oh, I had other problems, just not Simplicity. Well, boy was I wrong.

Moving taught me I had done little to de-clutter my life materially. My assessment of my success in this virtue reveals pride, ignorance, or some toxic combination. Stuff was everywhere. Junk of every description. Things too good to throw away but which I’ll never use. Slowly, ever so slowly, my little pile of treasures is being diminished. But I could have done it, and done it right, years ago.

If this reflects what is really going on interiorly, for me-- and I believe it does---I am stuck in the purgative stage even more deeply than I had ever imagined. And this was a perceived strength!

Finally, Television. What can I say? We have all, or most all sat through Cable TV playing the same gruesome news over and over. We’ve complained of MTV, then sat mesmerized with Dancing With the Stars.

Lynda opined we could do without cable TV, just keep the internet and phone. She then suggested getting the fastest road runner. I was hooked. And all we regularly watched was EWTN, anyway. We get good reception on the internet and the radio.

So do I miss television? Very little. And spiritual reading leaves my head in a much better place than some dark detective drama.

One more change I am planning is Devotion to Sacred Heart. Even bought me a statue. Never did it two days in a row in my life. Look at what it promises in last month’s news letter! Better deal than I’ve heard lately.

Want to try it, too? If you stop, you can always get the old you back.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

AUGUST 11 - Feast of St.Clare of Assisi

Born July 16, 1194

Died August 11, 1253

Canonized September 26, 1255

Clare fled from her wealthy family to live a life of poverty, founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) at San Damiano in Italy and led it for 40 years.

Quotes from St. Clare:

"Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me."

“Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Are Invited

Our lives are busy, busy, busy. Good intentions to step aside from the secular race of life and focus on where we are in our relationship with the Lord melt from one day, greeting us the next day, only to flow forward again and again. We are a Scarlett O'Hara people (Gone With The Wind) saying I can't think about that right now. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Make good on that promise to yourself. Save this date - October 3, 2009. Attend a day of reflection hosted by the Secular Franciscans of the Holy Eucharist at the Franciscan Prayer Center in Independence, Missouri.

The date of October 3 is important to Franciscans around the world as they observe the Transitus of St. Francis.

Our day of reflection will end in a special Transitus prayer service.

Let this October 3 be an important day in your life.

Come! Lay down your burdens and find rest in the Lord!

More information will be posted soon, or you may email us at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Congress and Catholicism, and Reaching A Critcal Mass

I rarely am given to political comment. In the interest of full disclosure, neither party inspires me. Most politicians on either side of the aisle in Washington, Jefferson City, and Topeka appear to operate from a worldview dedicated to seizing power, then maintaining the power they've seized. This is done by spending money like there's no tomorrow. My money. Your money. Our great grandchildren's money.

I know this is not what Bernie Madoff did. That was crooked. Surely Congress wouldn't take everything, live "high-on-the-hog ", leave us broke, and.........surely not.

After all, many of them claim to be Catholic. Like Gov. Sibelius, Nancy Pelosi, Say-it-ain't-so Joe Biden, the gravely ill Ted Kennedy, etc.

As unsettling as are the spending practices of these politicians who claim the name Catholic, they at least are on spongy ground.

But abortion is too much for them to support and still be Catholic. Send their membership paperwork to the Unitarians or to Rev Wright in Chicago. Them claiming to be Catholic is like claiming to be a car because you were born in a garage.

If that isn't okay, or if Rev Wright won't accept them, how about praying for their souls? Candles all over the sanctuary!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

How to comment on a post

1. Go to the post "Franciscan Prayer".

2. Go to "comment' just beneath post on right.

3. Click "comment".

4. Write in white space.

5. Click "Comment As".

6. Click "Word URL".

7. Put in name

8. Click "post comment'.

9. Follow instructions from there.

Kansas Catholic: Smile, You're Catholic

Kansas Catholic: Smile, You're Catholic

This is from Kansas Catholic., a marvelous blog

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Franciscan Prayer

The other morning at Mass, I was reading some prayers in the back of the missal and was struck with how Franciscan one of them seemed to me. I thought I would just check it out, so I went to our fraternity website at to check the Well Known Franciscans and there he was. Here is the prayer I found.

Let Us Not Be Blinded
O Lord, do not let us turn into "broken cisterns" that can hold no not let us be so blinded by the enjoyment of the good things of earth that our hearts become insensible to the cry of the poor, of the sick, of orphaned children and of those innumerable brothers and sisters of ours who lack the necessary minimum to eat, to clothe their nakedness, and together their family together under one roof. Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

It is now officially Lent. We are called to prayer, fasting and alms giving during this time. I think I may have just found my Lenten prayer. What is yours?

Bonnie Venture

Sunday, February 22, 2009


It's starting soon! And I've made no definite plans about what to do yet. I'd like to give up coffee (and drink Mountain Dew or Red Bull instead). That does seem to smack of duplicity as I think of it. Although I've done the coffee substitution in the past, this year will be different

Lent reminds me of eating fish on Friday. I have eaten a nice grilled salmon before on Friday and declared it a holy act. My wife thinks I'm doing better than doing nothing when I order salmon, but she holds I shouldn't be looking to impress God or anyone else when I do such. Particularly when salmon is my favorite food.

We also had a serious discussion on tithing one time. Guess who wanted to tithe on net and who wanted to opt for gross?

TV is possible for sacrificing. Me giving up television---except for continuing to watch Huckabee, Fr Groschel, AND the NCAA Basketball Tournament, of course---doesn't seem too rigorous. All I'd really be sacrificing is watching Hallmark chick flicks with Lynda. And HGTV. Forgot that.

Maybe I'm not some Franciscan Holy man after all. My carnality appears to be exceeded only by my self-righteousness. Hey, there's an idea, give up self-righteousness.

But, of course I need help. Leave a comment what I might do. All are appreciated.

What do you think of saying Rosary before breakfast?

Tommy Augustine

Monday, February 16, 2009

Computers and Sin

I find it easy to whine when a computer problem overwhelms my technological savvy. My outrageous pride thinks I should know all the answers on my own. Sounds a whole lot like me trying to overcome Sin. Both computers and Sin seem to remain challengingly similar adversaries.

Knowing now that I need to rely on God for patience, insight, forbearance, prudence, revelation, self-discipline, and so forth when clawing my way out of my latest computer debacle does keep me humble. But relying on the Holy Spirit when clawing my way out of my latest non-computer debacle is even better. Both teach me how limited I am and how awesome God is.

I still occasionally try fighting my computer (and Sin, too )on my own. That's the thing about being self-centered: one hates to give up the habit of making dumb choices without a fight. Unfortunately, I still all too often turn to Him only when I'm fresh out of ideas. Happens with computers and with Sin.

But God hasn't given up on me, so why should I?

-----Tommy Augustine

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Shameless Effort To Get Your Attention

Now, if you have never commented on a blog, this is your time to begin.   For example, you may have questions about what we do at meetings or about Franciscan Spirituality. We will try to answer them.   (Our answers will often even relate to your questions.)  When we have no clear cut answer, we will beat around the bush.

If you like what we  say, tell others.  If you don't, keep it to yourself.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Each Day, each year,
God Begins anew....
planting within us
the seed,
the promise,
God's own self.
May our journey
give birth each day
to the Love which
will heal and
transform our world.

Spl Ckr

Looks lik I aut to use it

Friday, February 13, 2009

It Begins

Our goal is to focus on following Francis as Francis followed Christ. For openers, that means we are interested in all things Franciscan in Metro KC. And all things Catholic.

So what's our axe to grind? We don't have one. The Catechism spells out where we stand. We believe Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and Magisterial Teaching clear up most questions we've had about anything important.

We support Bishop Finn and Archbishop Naumann as successors of the Apostles.

We aren't attempting to be right wing or left wing, but we will steer clear of those who appear bent on turning blood into wine or wine into water. We'll still love you, but just from afar.