May 7, 2020.
Dear Regional Ministers,
I am writing regarding a very important initiative that is being launched by the National Fraternity of Canada. Well4Africa is an initiative whose objective is to dig wells for some of the struggling communities in Africa and thus allow them to have their own source of fresh, clean water.
During these challenging times in which we are living, we are told to wash our hands frequently as a precaution against contracting the COVID-19 virus. We are also encouraged to drink lots of water. For most of us, we simply turn on the tap and avail ourselves of an unlimited supply of clean water to do as we are advised. This is, of course, but one example of the importance of water in our lives. In short, we cannot live without water! Here in Canada, we sometimes take for granted the vast quantities of fresh, clean water that is ours. Regrettably, this is not the case for many in developing countries, especially in Africa, where obtaining clean water is difficult and challenging.
The OFS National Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Team is calling all Secular Franciscans from across Canada to join in this life-saving initiative. Without a doubt, Well4Africa has and will continue to save lives in African communities where people can only dream of having clean water, the essential gift of creation. The Well4Africa project will undoubtedly yield many benefits for the communities involved, including better health for its inhabitants, a reduction of illness and diseases, concrete support for farming, the growing of vegetables and the planting of trees, a reduction in the stress experienced by its people, especially for women who are normally responsible for fetching water for their families and carrying it over long distances, better education and safety of children, and an overall boost to the development of local communities.
Through this letter, I am calling on all Secular Franciscans from across our wonderful country, and their friends, to support the Well4Africa project and to work together in collecting funds to see another well built in Africa. More specifically, funds raised will be used to support the provision of water to the villages surrounding St. Lawrence Parish in Malawi. Approximately $10,000 CAD will be required to see this project to its completion.
Please circulate this letter and attachments to all of your local fraternities. This is an important initiative that we, as Secular Franciscans, can undertake to really make a difference in the lives of others, including members of our Franciscan Family. May God keep you safe and well.
Doug Clorey, ofs
See the Well4 Africa May Newsletter for additional information
Dear National Council members and Regional Ministers,
In light of the recent killings in Nova Scotia, I would ask you to please remember in prayer all who have been affected by this tragedy - those who have died, their surviving loved ones, neighbours and friends, the police and first responders, as well as the entire Nova Scotian community.
In the words of Eileen Izzard, local fraternity minister of St. Bonaventure Fraternity in Halifax, NS, "This heart breaking violence strikes pain deep in all our hearts. While being unified in Christ through prayer, may He bring courage, healing and hope to all affected in any way."
Please circulate this message to all of your local fraternities. Thank you.
Doug Clorey, ofs
IMPORTANT RELEASE MARCH 14, 2020 from Doug Clorey, National Minister
The National Council highly recommends that all face-to-face local and regional chapters or meetings be cancelled for the time being. If this involves cancelling elective chapters, either locally or regionally, the National Council will continue to recognize the existing elected councils until such time as elections can be held.
Michel David, Regional Minister, adds:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
The National Spiritual Conference was held in Loretteville October 11 to 13, 2019. It was a wonderful weekend. Speaker Fr. Michael Cusato ofm (in the white shirt, front row), led us in the significance of the meeting between St Francis and the Muslim, Sultan Malik Al-Kamil. We learned of the importance of this meeting of Francis and the Sultan, something more than what first meets the eye. In the near future we are expecting National Council to post on the National website, some of the proceedings from the talks. Stay tuned!
Also located on the National website: http://ofsnational.ca/Publications/NationalBulletin_July2019.pdf
Secular Franciscan Order of Canada - Future Orientations
At the Chapter the delegates deliberated on what should be the future orientations (priorities) of the Order in Canada. The result was the following document.
Address from Michel Janian, ofs, CIOFS Representative
Address from Fr. Pedro Zitha, OFM, International Spiritual Assistant