Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Regional Chapter - 2010

On the weekend of April 23 to April 25, 2010, Ministers of Secular Franciscan fraternities from New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont; gathered at the Franciscan Center, Andover, MA, I was one of them. We were there for the annual Chapter of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Regional Fraternity. 26 out of 34 fraternities were represented.

In 2009 and 2010, many of our local fraternities held their elections, during which fraternity Ministers and Councilors were elected. For a good number of these Ministers, it is their first term. Because of that, the Chapter was structured to give these new Ministers information on how to organize and lead fraternity functions, what makes up a good formation program, both for those just joining the SFO, and those who have been professed for a long time.

The first presentation was on the relationship between the Spiritual Assistant and the fraternity; the relationship between the First Order (Friars) and the Third Order (Secular Franciscans). This was followed by presentations on how to run a Council meeting; what makes a good monthly fraternity meeting (I was on this panel); and what are the nuts and bolts, the documents and reports that keep a fraternity organized.

We also had various reports, the Regional Minister’s and Treasurer’s, to listen to and accept. When the Regional fraternity was established in 1996, we had 40 fraternities, with about 1000 members. Since then we have had to deactivate 10 fraternities, this year, and our membership numbers 680. We hope this is the bottom, and we can begin building up. You can already feel the new energy in some of the fraternities, as you hear how they are trying to build a sense of community among themselves.

Chapters can be a time where those of us who a Ministers are re-energized with the Franciscan spirit. And we carry that energy back to our fraternities.

1 comment:

  1. I'm headed to our Regional Meeting and Chapter of Elections in May. :-)