Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Secular Franciscans gather for Retreat Day

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 21, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Members bless Elizabeth Stout, OFS, on her profession day. (IR photo courtesy of Jim Huss)

“The Secular Franciscan Order holds a special place in this family circle. It is an organic union of all Catholic fraternities scattered throughout the world and open to every group of the faithful. In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state. By their profession they pledge themselves to live the gospel in the manner of Saint Francis by means of this rule approved by the Church.”

– From Secular Franciscan (OFS) Rule, Chapter One

“The Francis Effect: Saint and Pope” was the theme on July 12, as more than 30 Secular Franciscans from both Spokane and Deer Park gathered at The Franciscan Place at St. Joseph Family Center in Spokane for a retreat day of prayer, reflection, and sharing.

The day opened with Mass; presiding was Franciscan Father Michael Blackburn, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Spokane. Music ministry was offered by Secular Franciscan Annette Roy of St. Mary’s Presentation Parish in Deer Park.

After a brief welcome by OFS Fraternity Minister Dennis Daniel, participants engaged in presentations and discussions facilitated by Franciscan Sister Pat Millen, executive director at The Franciscan Place.

After both spoken and audiovisual considerations on topics of call and charism, and the effect of Francis the saint and Francis the pope, on church, both then and now, retreatants had time for silent prayer and reflection, followed by OFS member Bob Stirling.

The day closed with prayer led by Deacon Dave Dudinsky of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, another member of the OFS. Gratitude was expressed for all who had worked in the preparation for and the hospitality of the day.

Participants were sent on their way to live the Gospel, and to respond in their everyday lives to Jesus’ invitation to St. Francis of Assisi, “Francis, rebuild my house ….”

Along with the July retreat day, it has been an active year for the group.

Last September, three new members, Ethel Bowen, Jim Huss, and Sue Huss, all from St. Thomas More Parish in Spokane, were admitted to the Candidacy.

On Oct. 3, OFS member Tammie Fabien, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, coordinated the annual Franciscan celebration of Transitus at St. Francis. Transitus is the Franciscans’ commemoration of the death of St. Francis of Assisi.

On Oct. 12, Elizabeth Stout of St. Ann Parish, Spokane, made her solemn Profession into the Order.

In November and December, members participated in annual activities: the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Bazaar and a Christmas Outreach. Special thanks are given to OFS members Helen Sargeant and Lorraine Huffaker of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, and to Janet Murphy, Trish McGraw, and Elizabeth Stout, all of St. Ann Parish, as well as their many helpers.

Numerous individuals from the area spent time this year with the fraternity. Of these, Nicky Nossek and George Nossek, of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, continued, and in May were welcomed into the Inquiry phase of formation. Also in May, Spokane and Deer Park Secular Franciscans gathered at St. Mary Presentation Parish for a Reflection Day.

In June, OFS members Dennis Daniel and Trish Naughton, both of St. Aloysius Parish, were elected to the Secular Franciscan Troubadours of Peace Regional Council. Also in June, a successful yard sale was accomplished by OFS member Celia Hart, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, and other fraternity helpers.

Summer activities typically slow down a bit, but are rekindled annually when, each August, Secular Franciscans in the area gather with other Franciscans and Friends, to celebrate the feast of St. Clare with the Poor Clare Sisters at St. Clare Monastery in Spokane. This year, 2014, marked the 100th anniversary of the prayerful presence of the Poor Clare Sisters in Spokane.

(For more information about the Secular Franciscan Order, visit the international and national web sites at www.ciofs.org/portal/ and www.nafra-sfo.org/, or call 1-800-FRANCIS. For information in the Deer Park and Spokane areas, call (509) 276-1586 or (509) 328-2812.)


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