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Franciscan Seculars

St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi

I find many toiling for the body and few for the soul, for many toil for the body by breaking rocks, razing mountains, and performing other works fatiguing to the body, but who is there that labors so courageously and fervently for his soul? —
Brother Giles, follower of St. Francis of Assisi

“Silence implies consent.” St. Thomas More, OFS


The Words of St. Francis

His words for Politicians and Government leaders


The Words of our Holy father, Pope Francis

We are a church of martyrs, Pope says

Jesus cannot be understood without his mother: Pope Francis

Spiritual and Eucumenical Endeavors, and other colloquies.



 For information about Secular Franciscans and books for inquires.order here ->>->



Pray The Divine Office



Formation Articles


A Christian can never remain silent in the face of violence, poverty, hunger, corruption or abuse of power. – Pope Benedict XVI

Pilgrims Giving Thanks

In 1607 pilgrims from England settled the first English colony in America. Jamestown, Virginia was the site of a colony that suffered many hardships. The first years were very difficult because of disease, poor water, food shortages, dissension, disillusionment, and Indian hostility. So many people died in those early years that, in April of 1609, the settlement in Jamestown was temporarily abandoned. Other settlements were begun, one being in Plymouth; but here too, there were serious problems.

At Plymouth they entered “their own starving time that winter of 1621-22 (with all the extra people to feed and shelter), and were ultimately reduced to a daily ration of five kernels of corn a piece. (Five kernels of corn – it is almost inconceivable how life could be supported on this.) But as always, they had a choice: either to give in to bitterness and despair or to go deeper into Christ. They chose Christ. And in contrast to what happened at Jamestown, not one of them died of starvation.”

After that year, the pilgrims, at their Thanksgiving feast, would place 5 kernels of corn by their plates as a reminder of that winter.

(We do this as well, and during dinner, each person tells the 5 things they are most thankful for that God has done for them that year. Quote taken from: The Light and the Glory, p. 139, Peter Marshall and David Manuel).

Insurers to cover abortions

Obama mandate, HHS: California is permitted to force insurers to cover abortions
June 23, 2016

The US Department of Health and Human Services has determined that California’s decision to force insurers to cover abortions does not violate federal legislation designed to protect conscience rights.

The Weldon amendment, which protects the rights of health-care officials to avoid involvement in abortion, applies “only to health care entities and not to individuals who are patients of, or institutions or individuals that are insured by, such entities,” stated the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Catholic colleges in California had invoked the Weldon Amendment to justify excluding abortion coverage from their employees’ health-care plans. That policy was challenged by faculty members at two Catholic universities: Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara University. The universitie agreed to add abortion coverage, but the Catholic bishops of California joined several groups in challenging the California law. Under the new HHS ruling, all religious institutions would appear to be legally required to offer abortion coverage.

“It is shocking that HHS has allowed the State of California to force all employers – even churches – to fund and facilitate elective abortions in their health insurance plans,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. 

“This administrative ruling fails to respect not only the rights to life and religious freedom, but also the will of Congress and the rule of law,” they added. “As a remedy to the Administration’s unwillingness to fulfill its responsibilities, we urge Congress to pass the Conscience Protection Act and stop further discrimination against people of faith and against all who respect unborn human life.”

References:
• In ‘shocking’ move, California churches forced to cover abortions (Catholic World Report)
• Obama Administration Forces California Churches to Pay for Abortions (LifeNews.com)
• Obama’s health advisors reject ‘right of conscience’ challenge to California’s required abortion

coverage (Los Angeles Times)
• HHS Rules That California Did Not Violate Weldon Amendment (Religion Clause)
• USCCB Committee Chairmen Say Federal Agency Fails to Protect Churches from California Elective Abortion Mandate (USCCB)

“Aggressive gender ideology

Cardinal Wuerl decries ‘aggressive gender ideology’
The Nature of the Human Being, Male or FemaleJune 02, 2016

Lamenting “aggressive gender ideology” and criticizing the Obama administration’s recent letter on the use of bathrooms and locker rooms by public school students who state they are transgendered, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington emphasized in a recent blog post that the human body “is not extraneous, but goes to our very essence.”

“Before all else in this world, before we are able to form a single thought or make any decisions, from the very moment of our origin and conception, we have a body that is intrinsically sexually differentiated and constituted male or female in a way that cannot really be changed,” he said. “Furthermore, the body reveals that man and woman are made to complement one another – they are made for love, the reality that forms the basis of family.”

“This is the objective, intrinsic, self-evident truth of who and what we are,” he continued. “Revealed in the body and discernable by right reason, this truth thus applies to all regardless of religious beliefs. Also, one’s subjective choices or beliefs cannot alter this reality – what is revealed in the body as one sex cannot be changed to the other.”

Stating that the Church must be “a beacon of truth in the darkness,” Cardinal Wuerl added:
One of the enervating forces of our culture is the assertion that everything is up for grabs. What was once grasped as objective truth is now dismissed as mere construct, and there is a growing relativism that seeks to reconstruct the most fundamental realities.

Last year we saw a societal redefinition of marriage and family. Today, the concept of humanity itself is called into question with an aggressive “gender” ideology which holds that whether a person is male or female is not an objective reality, but is subjectively determined. Increasingly, those who do not go along with this new order are denounced and ostracized as bigoted. It is as if we all must now affirm that the world is flat lest we be condemned of discrimination.

____________________________________

Throughout history, but more acutely in our day, people have pondered the mystery of their life. The details on resumes – occupations, education, residence – really do not answer the fundamental question of our very essence. We want to know the objective and enduring truth about ourselves, “Who am I? What am I? What does it mean to be human?”

To understand this question of our nature, we must begin with the observation that we each have a body – a body that we did not personally make. We are bodily creatures and not simply spiritual beings, and we did not and cannot subjectively create ourselves.

This body is not extraneous, but goes to our very essence. The body is the outward visible sign of the reality of the person.   It is in the body that we obtain our being and existence, our primary nature and identity. It is in and through the body that we think, believe and feel, and how we experience and know things and the world around us.

We see in the body also that we are human. We are different from the birds and fish and animals. Moreover, we are persons and not mere things or mechanical objects.

In a particular way, the body also reveals to us the innate truth of our human nature that we are from the beginning made male or female. Before all else in this world, before we are able to form a single thought or make any decisions, from the very moment of our origin and conception, we have a body that is intrinsically sexually differentiated and constituted male or female in a way that cannot really be changed. Furthermore, the body reveals that man and woman are made to complement one another – they are made for love, the reality that forms the basis of family.

This is the objective, intrinsic, self-evident truth of who and what we are. Revealed in the body and discernable by right reason, this truth thus applies to all regardless of religious beliefs. Also, one’s subjective choices or beliefs cannot alter this reality – what is revealed in the body as one sex cannot be changed to the other.

For its part, religious faith confirms and expands upon this truth of human nature. Scripture teaches that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Humanity is explicitly made male and female and inherently in relationship, made in the image and likeness of God the Trinity who is Love and Truth. Thus every human is to be cherished and respected precisely as he or she is made from the moment of conception.

Jesus said that he came into the world to testify to the truth (John 18:37) and so must we who are his disciples. It is the Church’s duty “to serve humanity in different ways, but one way in particular imposes a responsibility of a quite special kind: the diakonia of the truth” (Fides et Ratio, 2). Central to this mission is proclaiming the truth of the human person. It is only in this truth that one can be free.

This service in the truth is particularly needed today. One of the enervating forces of our culture is the assertion that everything is up for grabs. What was once grasped as objective truth is now dismissed as mere construct, and there is a growing relativism that seeks to reconstruct the most fundamental realities.

Last year we saw a societal redefinition of marriage and family. Today, the concept of humanity itself is called into question with an aggressive “gender” ideology which holds that whether a person is male or female is not an objective reality, but is subjectively determined. Increasingly, those who do not go along with this new order are denounced and ostracized as bigoted. It is as if we all must now affirm that the world is flat lest we be condemned of discrimination.

Now the federal government has issued a “guidance” for “transgender students,” which says that school bathrooms and locker rooms should effectively be open to persons of the opposite sex. This development is deeply disturbing, as noted in a letter from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops objecting to this decree.

“It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality,” says Pope Francis on this very issue (Amoris Laetitia, 56). It is not an act of discrimination to assert, “We cannot say that what is false is true.” By saying this, we are not advancing an alternate ideology, but proposing and defending reality and genuine human dignity.

In the face of this cultural divide, the Church will do what we have always done – what we can only do – and that is to be a beacon of truth in the darkness, lovingly giving voice to what it means to be authentically human and helping people to appreciate themselves as they were created (cf. Amoris Laetitia, 285). This means standing firm in the truth that sexual differentiation is not a construct of the mind, much less a social construct, but is a permanent reality revealed in the body, male or female, whether or not one chooses to acknowledge or accept this reality (Id.). To do otherwise, to not testify to the truth, would be to deny our own identity as Catholics and as a Church.

– See more at: http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2016/05/nature-human-male-female/#sthash.zukjqcE7.dpuf

Catholic Eye-opener

A Charity Hospital run by the Sisters of Charity in New Orleans, along with the Upjohn company developed the plasma system in the 1930’s that saved so many lives in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and in the middle east now.
 
During the Civil War most of the  nurses were nuns.
 
Even if you are not Catholic, this is eye opening:
 
When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no hospitals.  Today, one out of five people in this country receive their medical care at a Catholic hospital.
 
When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no schools.  Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools.
 
Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world.
 
The new Obama  Health Mandate could end all this and the tax payers would have to make up the loss.
 
Also, all Catholic adoption services will come to an end… a human disaster.
 
There are more than 77 million Catholics in this country.  It takes an estimated 50 million Catholic votes to elect a president.
 
I am asking all of you to go to the polls in 2016 and be united in replacing all Senators and Reps with someone who will respect the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions.
 
Mr. President, you said, “The USA  is not a Christian Nation”.  You are wrong – we are a Christian Nation founded on Judeo-Christian values allowing all religions in America to worship and practice freely… something that Islam will never do.
 
Oh, by the way, on MUSLIM HERITAGE IN America… Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital, heard a Muslim orchestra, seen a Muslim band march in a parade, know of a Muslim charity, ever seen Muslims shaking hands with a Muslim Girl Scout, or ever seen a Muslim Candy Striper volunteering in a hospital?
 
Have you ever seen a Muslim do much of anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?
 
One more note… in every church or synagogue I have ever been in in the United States, I have always seen an American flag.  No mosques in the United States carries an American flag.