Saturday, October 20, 2018

New Fraternity Council




At the Glory of the Most High Secular Franciscan Fraternity meeting October 19, the following people were selected to be the Fraternity Council for the next three years:

Minister - Lee Strong
Vice Minister - Nancy Strong
Secretary - Carolyn Barth
Treasurer - Mary Smith
Formation Director - Betty Carmen
Councilors. Ann Marie Kunz, Dick Kunz

Pax et bonum

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fraternity loses its mind ...


As I feared, at the fraternity election tonight I was elected Minister.

I did not particularly want it - but I left it open to the Spirit.

So for the next three years I will serve the Fraternity in that role.

According to Article 51 of the Order's constitution, the Minister:
 1. While firmly upholding the co-responsibility of the council to animate and guide the fraternity, the minister, as the primary person responsible for the fraternity, is expected to make sure that the directions and the decisions of the council are put into practice and will keep the council informed about what he or she is doing.

2. The minister also has the following duties:
a. to call, to preside at, and to direct the meetings of the fraternity and council; to convoke, every three years, the elective chapter of the fraternity, having heard the council on the formalities of the convocation;
b. to prepare the annual report to be sent to the council of the higher level after it has been approved by the council of the fraternity;
c. to represent the fraternity in all its relations with ecclesiastical and civil authorities. When the fraternity acquires a juridical personality in the civil order, the minister becomes, when possible, its legal representative;
d. to request, with the consent of the council, the pastoral and fraternal visits, at least once every three years.
e. to put into effect those acts which the Constitutions refer to his or her competence.

Okay ...

As I stated previously, among the ideas I hoping to pursue:

Find someone besides me to keep an eye on people leaving at the end of the meeting (for security and comfort reasons).

Find a team to take charge of selecting and leading the music at each meeting.

Encourage the formation director to create a team so that the burden is not entirely on her as, I hope, we attract new members.

Call for monthly meetings during the summer. I don't see why we have to take the summer off each year. If people are on vacation, fine, but even just a few of us meeting is good for continuity. We just  don't have to meet twice a month as we currently do from September to June.

Consult with the nearby Secular Franciscan community to share the Transitus, alternating the location and hosting duties, instead of always having it at their site, which, for some of our members, is a long journey and thus has prevented them from taking part.

Look for more opportunities to minister to others. We currently serve a meal once a year at an inner-city parish, once a year collect infant and maternity items for a pregnancy center, and donate money to a couple of programs. I got a few of us to pray as part of the 40 Days for Life campaign, and I'd like to see us doing even more. But what?

Seek more ways to promote the fraternity and to encourage those who have a calling to join us.
Anyway, my first task is to get ready for the first Council meeting, putting together an agenda.

Blessed be God in all His designs.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pain ...


Threw my back out over the weekend. I've been hurting since.

Ow.

Play practice is having problems. Do we delay opening by one week? Will that run us into basketball practice?

That back ...

Fraternity elections are tomorrow. Not looking forward to them.

Twinge ...

Pax et bonum

Friday, October 12, 2018

Much on my mind


Home today with an ill wife - we were at the emergency room at 5 this morning. Even though we were able to return home, it was late, and I was tired, so no school.

I have a lot on my mind.

Still mulling over what might happen a week from now when we have our Fraternity election. I have misgivings.

Play practice is going well, but there's so much to do, and we perform one month from now.

The possibility of retiring is becoming more real. June? Wait for a year or two?

If I do retire, what then? Part-time job? More volunteer activities? Fraternity duties?

I chose not to do Santa at the mall this year. Will I ever return to the mall, or try to make it on my own?

More writing? Finishing the poetry books? The Slug Chronicles? My own clerihews? Work with the Chesterton Society to create a clerihew collection? And the novel - do I finally finish it? Some of the play ideas? A religious drama?

There are also spiritual issues. There are so many ways I need to grow, to be more serious about developing my prayer life. I need to find another spiritual director.

Then there are the situations with the girls. When will they be resolved? Will they ever?

So much on my mind

But now, finding some props for the play, and grading papers, and going out to the school later to pick up the papers that were handed in today.

And I need sleep ...

Pax et bonum

Monday, October 8, 2018

That coming blue wave thing ...


Image result for people swearing

The only blue wave
after the votes are counted
might be Dems' language
Image result for people swearing

Pax et bonum

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A prayer from Julian of Norwich


Image result for julian of norwich

“God, of thy goodness, give me Thyself;
for Thou art enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honor to Thee.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever Shall I be in want,
for only in Thee have I all.”

Pax et bonum

Kevin O'Brien's "An Actor Bows" proves a good read



I just finished Kevin O'Brien's book An Actor Bows. I've seen him perform a number of times at Chesterton conferences - including this September portraying St. Francis - and a few times on television, and bought a copy of the book just last week.

A quick read - my recent insomnia helped!

I enjoyed it.

His journey from atheism to Catholicism, his struggles to survive as a working actor, his writing of play after play were fascinating. He was honest about himself.

My only quibble was with some of the things he revealed about his wife's struggles She was aware he was writing about them and he gave her a chance to respond, which she did, but I would not have done it.

That aside, it was well worth reading.

The play writing part interested me as that is what I like to do, too. I've written and directed a few plays for school, and my middle-schoolers are currently rehearsing one of my plays (Stone Soup). And I might be adapting Everyman for the spring high school play.

As for the acting part, while I like to act, there is no way I could make a living at it the way he has. I can act, though I suspect not as well as he does, but the idea of constantly doing interactive mystery theater and traveling all the time would be well out of my comfort zone. Writing and being behind the scenes directing are what I like.

As long as I'm at my current school I'll be able to continue to write and direct. Once I retire, it might be more difficult. Maybe if I get involved with community theater I'll be able to do that. Once I do retire I plan to get more involved with that - I already have some connections.

I still would like to do some Christian theater the way that O'Brien does. I'm interested in some of the "older" saints whom I could write plays about and perform. The real St. Nicholas? St. Jerome? A hermit? Hmm.

Much to think about.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Secular Franciscans pray for life



A few folks from the Glory of the Most High Secular Franciscan Fraternity took part in the 40 days for Life campaign.

Morning showers gave way to clear skies and sunshine for our shift in front of Rochester's Planned Parenthood.

Pax et bonum

Fraternity elections coming up


Our fraternity elections are coming up in two weeks. The current minister has made it plain she thinks I should be and will be the next minister.

I would prefer not to be.

I prefer being the porter - setting up, helping people get in, running to get needed materials, escorting people to their cars when it's dark, etc.

That's what I prefer - but let's see what the Holy Spirit leads us to do.

If I am elected, some of the things I'd like to do:

Find someone to keep an eye on people leaving at the end of the meeting (for security and comfort reasons).

Find a team to take charge of selecting and leading the music at each meeting.

Encourage the formation director to create a team so that the burden is not entirely on him/her as, I hope, we attract new members.

Call for monthly meetings during the summer. I don't see why we have to take the summer off each year. If people are on vacation, fine, but even just a few of us meeting is good for continuity. But we don't have to meet twice a month as we currently do.

Consult with the nearby Secular Franciscan community to share the Transitus, alternating the location and hosting duties, instead of always having it at their site, which, for some of our members, is a long journey and thus has prevented them from taking part.

Seek more ways to promote the fraternity and to encourage those who have a calling to join us.

I'm sure more will come to mind - and people in the fraternity will have their own ideas.

And, if elected, I will have to be more involved with regional gatherings and programs - even though I don't like traveling.

Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself. The election has not taken place yet.

Maybe this cup will pass.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

No mall this year




I called the Santa company in September to ask if there were going to be contracts this year - the previous company contacted us in June. I was told yes, and that I'd be getting a call.

 I did get a call the following week, and they offered me a position. They said they would mail the contract. That took another few day. It finally arrived.

No raise - even though I'd been there for some 13 years.

Then I started wading through the forms - which bore repeated threats about the contract being void if I didn't complete it by a deadline.

I don't like threats.

I continued, signing this, filling out that, measuring and responding to a survey.

Then I got to the background investigation form.

It struck me the wrong way. I've been checked before as a teacher. I've been drug tested many times. I've gotten diocesan clearance to play in a church band with teens and to teach in a Catholic school. I've even been checked as Santa before - but this paper seemed so formal, with references and all that. 

At that point I remembered all the rigamarole and poor planning and lack of responsiveness last year. I remembered the long hours, the rushing to get there after working all day. I remembered all the rude parents and kids - in numbers far more than any other year. I remembered how at the end of last season I said there was a good chance I would not go back with the same company.

And I thought of all the things I could do with my wife with the free time. Niagara Falls for the Festival of Lights. The It's a Wonderful Life festival in Seneca Falls. The Mass in the barn in Spencerport.

I e-mailed the company and said I would not be working for them this season.

I will do some Santa gigs. Already set up for my parish. The Knights of Columbus asked if I could come for their party. A woman asked if I could come to her house.

But no mall this year.

Maybe never again.

Pax et bonum