(This article originally appeared in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of the TAU-USA.)


20th Quinquennial Congress Prayer: Lord God, Heavenly Father, we come before you in awe of your love for us. We acknowledge Your divine seed in everyone. Through your merciful compassion, help us to see our need for conversion. In our service to each other let us experience this time of JUBILEE! We walk the path before us upon foundations laid by our brothers and sisters. We are thankful for our present and excited for our future, always believing that You, O Lord, guide our journey. AMEN

With nearly two years to go to the Quinquennial Congress, where we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of our Secular Order, we are actively seeking dynamic presenters who will not only add to our body of Franciscan knowledge but also speak to our hearts to increase our Franciscan spirituality and call us continuously to conversion.

Our first presenter, Father Couturier, OFM Cap, is the Dean of the School of Franciscan Studies at Saint Bonaventure University. He is a 1975 summa cum laude graduate of St. Anselm College. He earned a Masters in Divinity from Maryknoll School of Theology in 1978, a Licentiate in Psychology from the Gregorian University in 1984, and his PhD in Pastoral Psychology (Organization Studies) from the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2005. His familiarity with and expertise in how we are called to conversion and the stages we experience in conversion will bring deep discussions in our Little Fraternity groups, as well as insights in our personal reflection. At the Q, he will address the topic, The Four Conversions: A Spirituality of Transformation; which is the title of one of his books.

Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, our second keynote presenter, is from the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. He is the third bishop of that diocese and was consecrated as bishop in 2015. He professed his solemn vows in 1992 after completing his studies in history and philosophy at Saint Louis University in Missouri. He received his degree of Master of Divinity and Licentiate of Sacred Theology with an emphasis on Church history. He was ordained a priest in 1995 and served in El Paso, Texas, parishes. Bishop Stowe joined the Pax Christi USA Board as their Episcopal President in 2018. His keen awareness of and active participation in today’s opportunities to follow the Gospel by living our Franciscan lives of mercy and forgiveness will stir us to consider how we can improve our involvement in our individual communities to hear the marginalized and address their needs and to be their voices when they cannot be heard.

In the next article, we will share information about two Secular Franciscan couples who have lived their married life and raised their children in the Franciscan way of life through all ups and downs of today’s encounters.

If you are interested in helping now with the Q 2021 planning, or during the Q, please contact Susan Simeone, 602-315-1950 or sksimeone@cox.net.