Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Secular Franciscans of St. Francis Fraternity, Spokane, elect new council leadership

the Inland Register

(From the June 20, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

From left: Secular Franciscans Michael Gardner (Councilor), Michelle Gardner (Secretary), Trish Naughton (Formation Director), Deacon Dave Dudinsky (Vice Minister), Cathy Dudinsky (Councilor), Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Pat Gordon (Spiritual Assistant, appointed by the Friars Minor of Santa Barbara Province), and Secular Franciscans Dennis Daniel (Minister) and Lorraine Huffaker (Treasurer). Not pictured: Paula Bacon SFO, appointed Liaison/Representative for Deer Park Emerging Fraternity). (Photo courtesy of Gail Robasciotti SFO)

On May 11, Secular Franciscans in Spokane gathered to elect a new leadership team.

Emphasizing servant leadership, these members are charged with the role of shepherding the fraternity for the coming three years as fraternity members seek to grow continuously in their responses to the call to follow Jesus, and to live Gospel life in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare.

Assisting with the election were Franciscan Father Alberic Smith of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Spokane (Pastoral Visitor), and Secular Franciscans B.J. Christensen of Dayton, Wash. (Fraternal Visitor and Regional Formation Director) and Bob Fitzsimmons of the Tri-Cities area (Regional Minister).

“The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people. Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly. Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the Gospel, going from Gospel to life and life to Gospel.” (Excerpt from Secular Franciscan Rule)

Originally known as “Brothers and Sisters of Penance,” and sometimes referred to as “Tertiaries” or “Third Order Seculars,” the Secular Franciscan Order is a member of the greater Franciscan family, and is a canonically established Order within the Catholic Church. St. Francis gave it its first Rule in 1221, with approvals and modifications following in 1289, 1883, and most recently 1978. Its structure includes local, regional, national, and international fraternities.

St. Francis Fraternity was established in Spokane in 1926. Over the years it has had a role in fostering new fraternities and satellites in several areas of the Inland Northwest: Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston/Boise, Idaho; Walla Walla/Dayton and Tri-Cities, Wash.; and most recently Deer Park, Wash.

To learn more about the Secular Franciscans visit the web site: or contact individual members: Trish Naughton (509-328-2812, Spokane), Sandy Neal, (208-255-1125, Coeur d’Alene), or Gail Robasciotti (509-276-1586, Deer Park.)

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