Sunday, July 8, 2012

'Be Who We Are in All We Do,' Leader Sums Up

Deacon Tom Bello, OFS
 CHICAGO -- Calling it "a Trinity of Scary Basics," National Minister Deacon Tom Bello summed up at the final evening session what he saw as key themes coming out of the small group discussions at the 18th Quinquennial Congress.

He saw an initial overarching three-part theme of a life-long commitment to the Trinity, a life-long commitment to fraternity, and a life-long commitment to sanctification of the self. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

'Be Christ in the World' a Key Message

Anne Mulqueen, OFS
"Secular Franciscans are Christ in the world."

And "just do it".

That was how Quinquennial co-chair Clare McCluggage, OFS, summed up the messages of some of the presenters at the 18th "Q". International Councilor Anne Mulqueen, OFS, spoke those words on behalf of Clare, who was ill, during the morning session on Saturday, July 7, the final full day of the conference.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just Start the Journey, Speaker Challenges

Pat Brandwein-Ball, OFS
Pat Brandwein-Ball, OFS, took a moment to survey the hall from the podium and said:

"From up here the room is aglow because I see in your eyes the light of God."

Then she reminded attendees that "God wants us" to be holy, which the first part of the Secular Franciscan Rule addresses.

Order's History Chaotic with Vitality

Br. Bill Short, OFM
"We're so diverse…and beautiful."
That was one of Br. Bill Short's opening comments during his plenary talk about the Franciscan Family July 6 on Day 4 of the Q. The theology professor tried to put the Secular Franciscan Order, originally called Third Order, in the context of the family's history, which, he noted, one historian referred to as chaotic, but nonetheless showing vitality because it has flourished for 800 years.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Theologians Point to Human Dignity, Prayer

Harpist Friar Robert Hutmacher
CHICAGO -- The third day of the Quinquennial Congress featured two Franciscan theologians.

Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, led off with her third and final talk, addressing the Franciscan understanding of the human person; that is, seeing the human person as sacrament.

Then, following Mass celebrated by Fr. Stephen Gross, OFM Conv. and a lunch break, Secular Franciscan Ed Shirley, OFS, who teaches theology at St. Edward's University, addressed the topic, "Deepening Our Relationship with God."

In the  evening, musician/composer Friar Robert Hutmacher, OFM, performed a concert on the harp and piano.

Francis Gets to Heart of Matter, Keynoter Notes

Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF
CHICAGO -- Franciscan theologian Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, reminded attendees at the 18th Quinquennial Congress that St. Francis of Assisi had wanted to be a famous knight until he smashed into the reality of battle, ending up as a prisoner of war and ill. But it's often when times are tough that God speaks to us, she noted, and touches our heart.

"The key to Francis…is not the mind, but the heart," said Sister Ilia, whose two keynote talks highlighted day 2 of the "Q". The morning presentation addressed the conference theme, "Why Francis? Claim the Gift." The afternoon talk zeroed in on a Franciscan view of God.

After each presentation, attendees broke into small groups, or "fraternities," to reflect on and discuss a series of questions related to Sister Ilia's topics.

Francis demonstrates, she said, that "the way to search for God begins within… begins with the heart."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Leaders Bring Special Messages to Q

National Minister Deacon Tom Bello
CHICAGO -- National Minister Tom Bello,General Minister Encarnita del Pozo and Chicago Auxiliary Bishop George J. Rassas all had special messages for more than 500 Franciscans participating in the opening of the 18th Quinquennial Congress here July 3.

Deacon Bello said he had three simple prayers for the group.

"My first prayer is that everybody knows we are family. There are no strangers here. We're all brothers and sisters." The audience erupted into wild applause.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Over 500 Franciscans Converge on Chicago

Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF
More than 500 Franciscans converge on Chicago July 3-8 for the U.S. Secular Franciscan Order's Quinquennial Congress. Held every five years to bring Secular Franciscans, friars and sisters together as a family from across the U.S., the Quinquennial this year focuses on gaining insight into the call by St. Francis of Assisi to live the Gospel in one's everyday life.

Chicago Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop George J. Rassas welcomes the group and presides at the opening liturgy Tuesday evening, July 3, at the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore Skokie Hotel.

The keynote speaker is Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, author and senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, where she concentrates in the area of science and religion.