Minister’s Message

Good Communication As Part of Our Communications Plan

As Catholics and Secular Franciscans, we are called to shape society and our Order's future. We are called to be good communicators and users of the means of communication available to us. When we hear the word “communication,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is media, that is, forms of communication with an “s.” ... All the communications (media) in the world go to waste if we do not communicate who we are to others and seek to understand who they are.

2023-08-01T21:51:06-04:00May 29th, 2023|Categories: From the Newsletter, Minister’s Message|1 Comment

National Minister’s Message

Have you heard the adage: “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority?” Of course, we don’t profess to live one article of the Rule at a time. But like the liturgical seasons, or the feast days, it does help to focus on one facet to deepen our understanding of it. We focus on one aspect while still applying the other aspects of our faith and Rule each day. ...

2023-03-05T16:25:15-05:00March 6th, 2023|Categories: From the Newsletter, Minister’s Message|3 Comments


It’s October 15, 2022, about 1:45pm Eastern time, and I have been elected National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States (OFS-USA) by a majority vote of the members of the OFS-USA Fraternity Council at our Chapter in Detroit, Michigan. ... I have been integrating my first vocation (marriage to Brian Bamman – 32 years) with my second vocation (OFS – 27 years) for most of our married life. My husband is a “Fourth Order” Franciscan. Service as the National Secretary was a privilege and honor, but also took up quite a bit of time, so I was ready for a break. Brian and I prayed about it and discerned that it was ok to take my name off  the nominations list. What a relief! ...

2022-12-18T15:26:51-05:00December 19th, 2022|Categories: From the Newsletter, Minister’s Message|1 Comment

Franciscan Jubilee – Minister’s Message Summer 2022

I will never forget my 50th birthday. My daughter, aware of the significance of this 50-year mark, made a sign that she hung on my mailbox. It simply said, “It’s Jan’s Jubilee!” I still have that sign. It now hangs on a wall in my garage as an important reminder to always turn to God, where I find joy and peace beyond all I could ask or imagine. It was not my idea that the theme of the 2022 Quinquennial Congress would be “Jubilee,” but when Br. Bob Brady, OFM, suggested it, I was thrilled. ...

2022-08-15T08:48:57-04:00August 15th, 2022|Categories: From the Newsletter, Minister’s Message|2 Comments

State of the Order Spring 2022, National Minister, Jan Parker, OFS

A little over a year ago, my daughter and I stopped at the “Little Church”, one of my favorite places of prayer. We prayed together before heading to the hospital for my surgery that day. It’s been quite a year since then, with many months of chemo. ... I reflect on all this because I am far from alone in having had to face trials this past year. As I prepared for this talk, it occurred to me that the State of our Order depends to a great deal on the state of each of us. We have all been through a lot. Health issues, isolation, job losses, and drastic changes in our lives, not to mention natural disasters, political divides, and social unrest. ... This pandemic has affected each of us, and it has affected our Order as well. ... So, what do we do when fears and worries surround us? We continue to pray. And we listen for God’s voice. [...]

2022-09-30T08:03:54-04:00June 27th, 2022|Categories: From the Newsletter, Minister’s Message|0 Comments

National Minister’s Message – Who We Are

Three years ago, I made a Visitation to Tau Cross Regional Fraternity. Something happened during that visit that made quite an impact, and I have remembered it ever since. Our ongoing formation topic that day was the OFS Rule. I was interested in what the Rule meant to those gathered, so I handed out blank postcards and asked everyone to write down three words – just three words – to describe the Rule. ...

2022-05-13T13:49:47-04:00October 18th, 2021|Categories: From the Newsletter, Minister’s Message|0 Comments
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