"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

A special "Thank you!"
Goes out to
John Michael Talbot
for giving us permission
to use his song on our
"Come to the Quiet"
You Tube Video
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Real Presence in the Eucharist

Saint Paulinus of Nola (353-431 A.D.) wrote: "It is a truly spiritual desire to see the places where Christ suffered, rose from and dead, and ascended into heaven....The manger of His birth, the river of His baptism, the garden of His betrayal, the palace of His condemnation, the column of His scourging, the thorns of His crowning, the wood of His crucifixion, the stone of His burial: all these things recall God's former presence on earth and demonstrate the ancient basis of our modern beliefs (in the Real Presence; Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ceremony of Investment Into the Franciscan Lay Apostolate


The investment of postulants with the scapular and cord takes place ordinarily twice a year at the monthly fraternity meeting of the Order. Only under special circumstances should private investments be permitted. The ceremonies of investment and profession can also be combined, to give more time for the monthly conference.

The postulants should receive a notification of investment beforehand, and the notification slip, bearing their name, address and new name in the Order should be presented to the Director as he invites each one. From these slips the record of investments is entered into the Fraternity Register of Investment and Professions. This same procedure should be followed by profession.

Postulants may be invested at the Communion rail, or preferably, at the altar step, the Novice Master and Mistress assisting to adjust the scapular and cord.

The Ritual of Investment
1. Opening the Meeting

Vested in surplice and stole, the priest kneels on the first step of the altar and begins the Prayers Before the Meeting on page 1. If, as is customary, the Come, Holy Ghost is sung before the sermon, the Veni Creator may be omitted at the beginning of the investment ceremony, i.e., after the blessing of the scapulars and cords. In this case, the priest may recite the Veni, Creator privately. After opening prayers the sermon is given.

2. The Petition

After the sermon, the priest, either standing or seated in a chair on the predella of the altar on the Epistle side, puts to the postulants kneeling before him the following question:
Quae est petition vestra? (What do you ask?)
Respondent postulantes: (The postulants answer together:)
Rev. pater, ego humiliter postulo habitum Tertii Ordinis de Poententia, ut cum eo salute aeternam facilious consequi valeam. (Reverend Father, I humbly ask of you the habit of the Third Order of Penance, * in order that with it * I may more easily obtain eternal salvation).
Tunc sacerdos ait: (The priest says:)
Deo gratias. (Thanks be to God.)
The priest addresses a few words of exhortation to the postulants. Then, facing the altar, he blesses the habits of the Third Order.

3. Blessing of the Scapulars and Cords

 Front view of the Caperon (Scapular) worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolates

Rear view of the Caperon (Scapular) worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolates

Photo of the Badge worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolates
(St. Francis of Assisi Scapular with the Tau Cross Attached)
Photo of the Cincture worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolates 
(aka the "White Cord of St. Francis of Assisi)

V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini
(Our help is in the name of the Lord.)
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
(Who made heaven and earth.)
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam,
(O Lord, hear my prayer,)
R. Et clamor meus ad te ventiat.
(And let my cry come unto you.)
V. Dominus vobiscum.
(The Lord be with you.)
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
(And with your spirit.)

In private receptions, the following prayer is omitted.

V: Oremus
(Let us pray:)

All: O Lord Jesus Christ, who have deigned to put on the garb of our mortality * and to be wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger, * and who have graciously inspired your glorious confessor our blessed father Francis to institute three orders * and the Supreme Pontiffs of the Church, your vicars, * to approve them: * we humbly beseech the abundance of your clemency that you would deign to bless and sanctify these garments, * which the same blessed Francis enjoined his fellow soldiers, the Brothers of Penance, * to wear as a badge of penance and as a strong armor against the world, the flesh, and the Devil; * that these your servants, devoutly receiving them may so clothe themselves with you that they may in spirit of humility faithfully walk in the way of your commandments till death. Who live and reign world without end. Amen.

Benedictio cinguli seu chordae: (Blessing of the Cord:)

V. Oremus (Let us pray:)

All: O God,  who, to set the slave free, * would have your Son bound by the hands of impious men, * bless, we beseech you, * these cinctures * and grant that your servants who are girded with this bond of penance, * may be always mindful of the cords of our Lord Jesus Christ * and ever acknowledge themselves bound to your service. Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

The priest sprinkles the habits or scapulars and the cords, with holy water.
4. The Investment

The priest kneels before the altar and recites or sings alternately with the congregation or the choir the Veni Creator, unless it has been sung earlier in the meeting; or, while the priest recites it alone, the members can sing the Come, Holy Ghost:

The hymn being concluded, the priest rises, goes up to the altar steps to the predella, and turns to the postulants kneeling before the altar. Propriety requires that the following rites be done individually. If ever great numbers make it necessary to use the plural at the giving of the articles, the form may be said once for all, the priest then proceeding to bestow the respective articles on each postulant in succession.

May the Lord divest you of the old man with his acts, and turn away your heart from the pomps of the world, which you renounced when receiving Baptism
R. Amen.

The priest gives the scapular to each postulant, saying:

May the Lord clothe you with the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.
R. Amen

Giving the cord, the priest says:

May the Lord gird you with the cincture of purity and extinguish in your loins the passion of lust, that the virtue of continency and chastity may dwell in you.
R. Amen.

Then, a lighted candle is presented to the postulant, with the words:

Receive, dearest brother, the light of Christ as a sign of your immortality.
R. Amen.

Now the priest may give the novitiate a new name, saying:

Your name as a Tertiary shall be Brother (Sister) N.

And turning towards those present, the priests blesses everyone, saying:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, descend upon you, and remain forever. Amen.

The ceremony being concluded, each novice's Christian name, surname, residence, and the day of clothing must be entered in the register of the fraternity. It is customary to inscribe the date of reception on a page provided for this in the manual of prayers of the Third Order, The Tertiaries Companion. Certificates of reception can also be given to the novices.

Mark Hegener, O.F.M.

Pius J. Barth, O.F.M.
Minister Provincial, Sacred Heart Province

Conradin Wallbraun, O.F.M.
Marion Habig, O.F.M.
Censores Liborum

Samuel Cardinal Stritch
Archbishop of Chicago

April 16, 1955



All:  Realizing the importance of saving my immortal soul * and the great value of the Third Order Rule * to achieve this all important goal in life * I hereby resolve to observe this sanctifying Rule * not only in part * but as fully as human frailty will allow.

With God's grade, * I will assist at Holy Mass on weekdays, whenever possible * recite my Seraphic Office faithfully * never omit grace before and after meals * and examine my conscience each night.

I will receive the Sacraments at least once a month * attend the fraternity meetings regularly * and contribute according to my means for the charities of the Order.

I will always carefully observe the Commandments of God and the Church * wear my Scapular and Cord * avoid extravagance in dress and manner of living * avoid dangerous amusements * be temperate in food and drink * set a good example to my family and fellow-man * avoid dangerous reading * be at peace with all * avoid vulgar and improper speech * and practice charity towards all * with special solicitude toward sick and deceased members.

May Saint Francis * so wonderful in penance and love of Jesus Crucified * grant me the necessary spirit of prayer * penance * love and sacrifice * so that I may faithfully observe his rule until death. Amen.

Ritual for Public Functions
Mark Hegener, O.F.M.
Franciscan Herald Press, 1955

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Saint Francis Wandered Through the Villages Preaching Repentance and Penance


"Saint Francis wandered through the cities, villages, and hamlets, and began to preach with increasing perfection, not using learned words of human wisdom, but through the doctrine of virtue of the Holy Spirit most confidently proclaiming the kingdom of God. He was a genuine preacher confirmed by apostolic authority; therefore he spoke no honeyed words of flattery or blandishment; what he preached to others he had already put into practice himself and his teaching of the truth was full of assurance."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
Chapter XIII


The Simplicity of Pure Love


"Dear Jesus, possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of pure love." ~ Fra Chris




"We must entertain silence in our hearts if we are to hear the voice of God." ~ Fra Chris


Monday, March 03, 2014

Lent Begins On March 5th (Ash Wednesday)


Lent Is A Special Time Of Fasting

The brothers are to fast from the feast of All Saints to the Nativity of the Lord. Then, as to the other fast which begins with the Epiphany and lasts uninterruptedly for forty days and which the Lord sanctif...ied with His own fast, those who keep it voluntarily, may they be blessed by the Lord, and those who do not wish to keep it, are not bound to do so. But the brothers are bound to keep the other fast which ends with the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord.

They are bound to no further fasting, then, except on Fridays. And whenever necessity requires that a brother not fast, he is not bound to corporal fasting.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1223 - Chapter III


Ash Wednesday ~ March 5th

When the nuns at St. Damian's had come together to hear the word of God, though no less also to see their father St. Francis, he raised his eyes to heaven, where his heart always was, and began to pray to Christ. He then commanded ashes to ...be brought to him and he made a circle with them around himself on the pavement and sprinkled the rest of them on his head. He remained in the circle in silence. The saint suddenly rose and to the amazement of the nuns recited the Miserere mei Deus in place of a sermon. When he had finished he quickly left. By his actions he taught them that they should regard themselves as ashes...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
Chapter CLVII

Penitents Should Be Temperate In Eating And Drinking

"For Penitents, all Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are days of abstinence (that is, meatless days) unless directed otherwise by a physician. Meat is allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. At all times, Penitents should be temperate in eating and drinking."

Saint Francis of Assisi
First Rule of the Third Order of 1221
Chapter II: Abstinence


Sunday, February 16, 2014

70,000 Rosary Rallies for the Catholic Church in America !!!

The Franciscan Lay Apostolates Launch 70,000 Rosary Rallies Praying For The Catholic Church In America 

Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.,
Servant General
Franciscan Lay Apostolate


  Jerusalem, Ohio, Saturday, October 11, 201, 70,000 public rosary rallies will take place across America to ask God to intervene and save the Catholic Church in America from attacks; spiritual, moral, and political. October 11 is the Saturday closest to October 13, anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the sun.

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate is coordinating the events and expect it to be one of the largest network of public rosary rallies ever held.

October 13 is the day the Miracle of the Sun occurred before 70,000 witnesses in Fatima in 1917. The date also marks the last apparition of the Blessed Mother, when she asked for conversion, penance, prayer and especially for the recitation of the rosary.

There is a lot of anxiety about our future. We believe that's why we need 70,000 rally captains to volunteer to organize Rosary Rallies and spread Our Lady's Fatima message We Catholics have great confidence in the Mother of God who promised at Fatima: 'Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.' Are you willing to become a captain in your city/town?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spiritual Accomplishments


Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.
Servant General of the Franciscan Lay Apostolate
"Spiritual accomplishments are not only worthless but can actually become vices." ~ Saint John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul)


Being Alone In Quiet


"Contemplation usually kindles an inclination and a yearning to be alone and in quiet." ~ Saint John of the Cross


A Spirit That Is Pure And Simple And True

These are the qualities of a spirit that is pure and simple and true: They do not feel like talking about themselves, even to their spiritual guides, because they consider their religious deeds to be so insignificant that they are not worth... mentioning. They are much more interested in discussing their faults and transgressions than their virtues, eager to share whatever is wrong with them. They are inclined to seek direction from people who do not think much of them or of their spiritual accomplishments. ~ Saint John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul)

Clothe Yourself In Humility

In the Book of Exodus, God wishes to humble the children of Israel and make them know themselves, so he commands them to strip off the fancy garments in which they had been roaming the desert, saying, "From now on, leave aside your festive ...ornaments and put on common working clothes, that you might know the treatment you merit." In other words, when you wear clothing appropriate to celebration and mirth, you feel less humble than you should. Take off this attire. Clothe yourself in humility, that you may know who you really are and what is rightfully yours. ~ Saint John of the Cross

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Go To Confession If You Are Sad


Saint Francis used to tell his brothers to go to Confession if they were sad. Many of the brothers thought that Francis was telling them that only sin makes you sad. Therefore, if you were sad, all one needed to do was go to Confession. Saint Francis would always say this with a twinkle in his eye and some of the brothers knew from that twinkle what he was really telling them: If you are sad about something that is not a sin, then you are sad about something that you are still attached to and you are not surrendering or trusting in the Lord enough to turn it over to him. ~ Fra Chris

What if...


What if God is not the God we have imagined Him to be; what if through our pride and arrogance we have fashioned a personal God whom we feel comfortable and safe with while thinking that everyone else has it all wrong? What if our God is shaking his head in disbelief as he hangs on the cross upon which we keep him nailed? ~ Fra Chris


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Instruments Of Love In The Hands Of God


"If our poor die of hunger, it is not because God does not care for them. Rather, it is because neither you nor I are generous enough. It is because we are not instruments of love in the hands of God." ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Have You Done Your Best?


"God will not ask how many books you have read; how many miracles you have worked; He will ask you if you have done your best, for the love of Him."
~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Caperone: An Outward Sign of an Inward Consecration to God

Photo of the Piccoli VV of Italy wearing the Franciscan Caperone
Our clothing is an outward sign of an inward consecration to God, and identifies us as members of a particular religious order in the Church. The F.L.A. Badge and modest dress (caperone, cincture, sandals and tan clothing) are like our wedding ring and garment, since we are signs of the Church as “Bride” of Christ. The caperone is a sign that one is ‘set apart’ by God as a holy offering to God for the salvation of all humankind. Like a public uniform that identifies one as a policeman or nurse, so the caperone publically identifies us as servants of the Gospel, welcoming others to approach us for aid, prayer and service of their spiritual and temporal needs. Our dress reminds us and others that we are servants to all, for we are all one family under God, the Father and Creator of all. We seek always to give glory to God by our manner of acting, believing and by our dress, so as to be signs of God’s living presence in the world. ~ Fra Chris

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate (F.L.A.)

Apostolicam Actuositatem is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It defines the mission of the lay Christian faithful to both "lead non-believers to the faith and to instruct, strengthen, and encourage the fa...ithful to a more fervent life". The lay apostolate are made up of laypeople and consecrated religious who exercise a ministry in cooperation with the Catholic Church, whose organizations cooperate with ecclesiastical authorities. They operate "under the direction of her pastors" but are not members of the official Church hierarchy nor in Holy Orders.

Apostolates operate with the permission of the local Ordinary of a Diocese, but without material support.

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate is currently under the direction of Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A. Along with his staff, the F.L.A. works to foster the spread of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, and helps to raise the dignity of people's lives by imitating Jesus Christ.

Contact information:

Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center
P.O. Box 114
Richmond, IN 47375-0114

Sunday, January 12, 2014

His Words Penetrated Into The Hearts Of The Young Rather Than The Old


Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A., (Servant General of the Franciscan Lay Apostolate)
along with some of the members of the 
Holy Family Youth Group of Oldenburg, Indiana.

"God gave them his Spirit and the manner of speech necessary to satisfy the needs of the time so that their words penetrated into many hearts; especially into those of the young rather than of the old."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions


Jerusalem, Ohio ... Begging For Stones !!!!


All Catholics in Monroe County, Ohio are being asked to collect all their field stones and drop them off at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road just outside of Ozark, Ohio so that we can use them to build our little Adoration Chapel.
"Francis set to begging for stones with which to restore the church of San Damiano. He called to the passers-by: 'Whoever gives me one stone will have one reward; two stones, two rewards; three stones, a treble reward!' "
~ Saint Francis of Assisi
(Legend of the Three Companions)