(This article originally appeared in the TAU-USA Fall 2022 Issue #107)
Doug and Marion Clorey, OFS; Tim and Kathy Taormina, OFS;Lori Hinker, OFS
Continuing with the spirited theme of the Quinquennial, “JUBILEE! Rejoice in the Choice!,” ﬁve Secular Franciscans concluded the keynotes with a call to live our vocation.
Speaking in the ﬁnal keynote were Doug and Marion Clorey, OFS, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and Tim and Kathy Taormina, OFS, and Lori Hinker, OFS, of Apple Valley, Minn.
Doug Clorey, OFS, opened the talk by reminding the audience that although the Rule has changed over the years, its speciﬁc focus remains the same now as it was 800 years ago—observing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the manner of St. Francis. “It is this foundation on which we go forward to build communities of caring and trusting encounter,” he said.
All spoke of the importance of the call to conversion that exists in the order.
Marion Clorey, OFS, emphasized the Franciscan themes of fraternity, simplicity, family and reconciliation, prayer, and peace. While all these are equally important, she said, fraternity drew her to the Order. “Reading Francis’ story, I felt a connection to him. His declaration ‘the Lord sent me brothers,’ as his way of describing the beginnings of fraternity resonated with me,” she said.
While a life of simplicity calls us to detach from material goods, it means more, especially considering Pope Francis’s Laudato Si. “The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are inextricably linked. In more recent times, our local fraternity’s JPIC team has been challenging us to live more simply and to promote justice initiatives as suggested in Article 15.”
Lori Hinker, OFS, reminded Franciscans that Francis and Clare were young adults when they began their orders and that we need to reach out and encourage the youth and young adults among us. “In the United States, young adults are those young people from all cultural communities and abilities between ages 18 and 39 who are single or married, with or without children, divorced or widowed, and in college, working, unemployed, incarcerated or in the military. These young adults are indeed adults and are impacting the church and society today,” Lori read from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
She said the enthusiasm of young people is contagious and reminiscent of the Franciscan call. “They ‘get it’ without too much explanation. They want to get their hands dirty and serve those in need. Remind you of anyone? St. Francis and St. Clare.”
She called on Franciscans to live out their vocations through the sacraments, their witness and personal invitation. By frequenting the sacraments, we remind ourselves that Christ is the center of our lives. The sacrament of Reconciliation also reminds us that we are not perfect.
Sharing our faith journey with family and friends, the young and old, is a way to witness, she said. While we are witnessing, we also can extend invitations to family and friends to attend our Franciscan gatherings. Lori became a Franciscan after an invitation from her parents, Tim and Kathy Taormina, OFS, who also spoke in the keynote.
Kathy Taormina, OFS, talked about the model of Francis leading others to God.
“As Francis lived his life and brothers gathered around him , common people were also attracted to his way of life. Were they already in penitential movement of the day? Possibly. Or maybe this was the ﬁrst time they heard someone who looked like them, and probably dressed worse than they did, preach about a God who loved them just because he chose to do so.” He provided a strong example to follow on the pathway to Christ, including his love for the Eucharist, fervent prayer life, love of creation, life of penance and the ability to let go.
As God sent Francis into the world when it needed him, because of chaos and division of classes, He sends Franciscans to do the same, said Tim Taormina, OFS.
“As the Swiss mystic Father Zundel once said, ‘We carry in ourselves a treasure capable of changing the whole universe.’ Of course, he was speaking
of our Lord Jesus Christ, but does that quote not also reﬂect the vocation the Holy Spirit has given us and the profession we have attested to?”
Tim believes that the pandemic and the ﬂexibility to communicate at times via Zoom is a sign of the ﬂexibility of the Order. “No challenge can stop us from
being a viable order.” “Francis said, ‘He who works with his hands, and his head, and his heart is an artist.’ Let us be artists of awareness and communication.
The complete texts and video recordings of the keynote addresses can be found at https:// www.secularfranciscansusa.org/updates-from-the-q-august-3rd-through-7th-2022/