About Carolyn Seal

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So far Carolyn Seal has created 190 blog entries.

PRAYER: The Heart of Who We Are

Do you know the secret of perseverance in our vocation? Ever wonder how people remain committed as Secular Franciscans for 30, 40, 50 years? The answers seem simple but are, in fact, difficult to live because they require untiring efforts and a penitential option for the spiritual path. Even professed members can lose their vocation through the busyness of family, work, and other commitments if they fail to make prayer and contemplation be the soul of all they are and do. (OFS Rule, 8) ...

2024-02-22T20:13:27-05:00February 26th, 2024|Categories: From the Newsletter|1 Comment

Where Are Our YouFras? (Youth Fraternities)

As the Franciscan Youth and Young Adult Commission has stated many times, our mission calls us to share the Franciscan way of life through prayer, formation, and social justice action. Even though we may only have a few official YouFras in the states, we discovered in reading last year’s annual reports, there are individuals, fraternities, and regions all across the United States who are taking seriously our OFS Rule, Article 24 to “Foster communion among members,” especially with our young people, and to “adopt appropriate means for growth in the Franciscan and the ecclesial life.” ...

2024-02-13T17:44:18-05:00February 19th, 2024|Categories: From the Newsletter, YouFra|0 Comments

A New Call to Prayer and Contemplation

As we begin 2024, we are reminded of two special calls for deepening our relationship with Our Dear Lord and our suffering sisters and brothers. The Franciscan Family is commemorating the “the Gift of the Stigmata” and the whole Catholic Church begins the final year of preparation for the Eucharistic Jubilee. ... In celebrating the Centenary of the Gift of the Stigmata as a Franciscan Family, we are invited to restore the dimension of prayerful and contemplative silence in our daily lives, the silence that places us before the essential, that lets us recognize our desire for the infinite that resides in our hearts, that allows us to listen to ourselves, to others and to God. ...

2024-02-17T12:11:58-05:00February 17th, 2024|Categories: Centenaries 2023-2026|0 Comments

Seek with Encounters, Dialogue with Others

I couldn’t help thinking how our meeting – an Anglican priest at the Chapter of a Catholic order – would have been, for far too long, unthinkable. Until people did think of it! And then these people acted on it: Roman Catholic Secular Franciscans reached out to the Anglican TSSF and the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans and asked for dialogue. Meetings were held, and five principles of Franciscan unity, across our denominations, were discovered: baptism, charism, call, Christo-centrism, and the prophetic voice. The Joint Committee on Franciscan Unity was founded, and in time the Order of Lutheran Franciscans joined. “How blessed it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity,” (Ps 133:1).

2024-02-07T10:57:04-05:00February 12th, 2024|Categories: Ecumenical Interfaith Committee, From the Newsletter|0 Comments


Today, in Franciscan circles, specific words or phrases are used to describe the Franciscan understanding of Christ and Christ’s relationship to humanity and creation. Too often, no clear definition is given, and many Franciscan teachings are skipped over without understanding what is meant. This should not discourage us because St. Francis’ understanding of the Almighty deepened throughout his life. The man who began by repairing churches was not the same man who wrote the Canticle of the Creatures and gave himself back to God in the arms of Sister Death. So, Let us begin...

2024-01-31T11:08:19-05:00February 5th, 2024|Categories: Formation, From the Newsletter|2 Comments

What Way are You Going?

Abraham Lincoln had it right. We should not claim God’s blessing and endorsement for national policies and practices. We should not proclaim that God is on our side. Rather, said Lincoln, we should pray whether we are on God’s side. Martin Luther King Jr reminded us of God’s purposes for peace, for justice, for the building of the “beloved community,” where everyone is welcomed, everyone is included, and no one felt left out of the conversation. By the working of the Holy Spirit in human hearts, unity is forged in diversity. ...

2024-01-25T15:00:29-05:00January 29th, 2024|Categories: CNSA, From the Newsletter|0 Comments

JPIC – A Change in Leadership

Joe Makley, OFS, is the new national animator for Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation. He replaces Carolyn Townes, OFS, who was appointed to the position in 2013 by the late Tom Bello, OFS.  Bello asked Townes to work on educating Secular Franciscans on JPIC issues. The National Executive Council paid tribute to Caroline (Carolyn) for her 10-year term with a retrospective slide show featuring her work on the JPIC commission. ...

2024-01-12T14:10:40-05:00January 15th, 2024|Categories: From the Newsletter, JPIC|2 Comments

Franciscan Centenary Celebration Activity

Vickie Klick, OFS, chair of the Centenary Task Force, led an activity focusing on the four-year Franciscan Centenary Celebration. Chapter attendees had an opportunity to participate in an exercise focusing on the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. The attendees worked in pairs to discuss questions focusing on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. The goal of the activity was for the participants to better understand how living the Rule, builds relationships between sisters and brothers.  ...

2024-01-03T20:13:59-05:00January 8th, 2024|Categories: Centenaries 2023-2026, From the Newsletter|0 Comments

Chapter Day Away

National Chapter attendees celebrated the feast of our patron, St. Louis IX, King of France, at a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis at its 2023 Chapter on the feast day of St. Louis, Aug. 25. Fr. Tom Nairn, OFM, provincial of Sacred Heart province, was the celebrant. ...

2023-12-28T15:31:05-05:00January 1st, 2024|Categories: Chapter News, From the Newsletter|0 Comments
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