Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Ministry of Service

"On various levels, each fraternity is animated and guided by a council and minister (or president) who are elected by the professed according to the constitutions.

Their service, which lasts for a definite period of time, is marked by a ready willing spirit and is a duty of responsibility to each member and to the community." (Article 21a-b, Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order)

Yesterday, November 14th, fifty members of Saint Anthony Fraternity, Boston, MA, braved torrential downpours; and gathered for a Chapter of Elections. It has been the largest attendance we have had all year. Among the results, I was elected for a third consecutive term as Minister, something that has not happened ever since I joined the fraternity in 1988. I needed a 2/3rds majority of the vote to be elected (truth be told, I was the only one who accepted the nomination).

Now I and my fellow Council members have the responsibility of animating and guiding the fraternity. This is going to be done as much by example as by developing ongoing formation programs. And still after 21 years as a professed member, 6 years as Minister, I still feel unworthy of this office, because I know there have times I have not lived up to the Franciscan ideals. There is much I have to ask the Father for, in way of grace, in order to be of true service to my Franciscan brothers and sisters.

Father Francis, pray for me!

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