Jan Parker, OFS

Franciscan discernment starts with listening, and National Minister Jan Parker, OFS, called upon fraternity members to do just that in her State of the Order address delivered at the National Chapter meeting on Oct. 11-15 in Detroit.

Jan said contention within local and regional fraternity groups has taken up time and energy from the National Executive Council that could have been spent on projects and priorities.

“We are not modeling fraternity, we’re not embracing each other in reconciliation, we’re not bringing the Gospel to life.  Rather than being salt and light, we are mimicking society,” she said.

Jan urged Franciscans to Listen, Discern and Go Forth as a way of addressing issues that are pervasive among fraternities.  She noted that the process begins with listening to each other because it becomes an encounter with God and others that directs our discernment.

“We strongly recommend this process of Franciscan discernment as a starting point for each of us as we seek God’s will for our own lives, and also as we discern where our National Fraternity is being called in the next three years,”  Jan said.

“We need conversion.  Like Francis, we must be tireless in pursuit of holy newness. Like Francis, we must constantly hope to begin again,” she said.

Listen to the State of the Order in its entirety on the 2022 Chapter page of the https://secularfranciscansusa.org/ website.