View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

FAN - and Fr. Groeschel

Father Groeschel wants to meet with us! (more on that below)

At our Secular Franciscan meeting last night, Marty handed me an information sheet about the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) - figuring, I suspect, that I'd be interested given my social justice orientation.

The particular notice he gave me was from January. It concerned the Franciscan Life Campaign targeting the Freedom Of Choice Act (FOCA). Although that campaign was specifically for January 21-31 and while FOCA has supposedly been put on hold, the fight against it goes on as the dark forces of will continue to push for it, or will try to sneak it through piecemeal or by the back door.

I went to the site to see what other things they are about.

In addition to abortion, they are concerned with war, poverty, immigration, economic recovery, the environment, and more. The Consistent Ethic of Life. My cup of tea.

They say of themselves:

FAN is a grassroots, faith-based legislative advocacy organization with a growing national base of organizations and persons who are inspired by the witness and example of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi. FAN's work is presently supported by 41 Franciscan organizations throughout the United States as it works to build a base of persons who can propel this movement forward. FAN's mission to bring a coordinated and effective voice to matters of justice, peace and care for creation to Washington, D.C., throughout the U.S., and beyond is achievable, but we need committed people to make this vision a reality.

Ah, a recruitment pitch!

They have written about economic recovery, elections in Africa, and of course, FOCA. There's more at the site. I need to do some more reading of it. But definitely interesting.

Anyone else had time to look into this group?

The other bit of news is that Father Benedict Groeschel is coming to Rochester to do a Lenten Mission at St. Lawrence Church, and he specifically asked to meet with the two local Secular Franciscan groups. We will be meet with him March 23 at 1 p.m. - a day I just happen to have off from school (Catholic karma?), so I can make it.

I find it interesting that, according to the our group's newsletter, he "requested a special meeting."

By the way, I'm still listed in the group's report to the regional as an "aspirant." There are several people in formation - they will make their profession next August - but I joined the group too late to be a part of them. And since I am the only new person, they have not started a "class" with me. One will start eventually, but for now I remain on the bottom rung of formation. A lesson in patience - and humility.


Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Lee, I have been getting FAN emails asking me to push FOR the stimulus package because it "looks to be legislation that approaches our Franciscan values of care for persons in need. It is not perfect; there are items that Franciscans would want added and removed, but, on balance, it has good provisions to support persons who are poor. In fact, the majority of the policies that give support to people who are poor or marginalized have the best chance of helping the economy to grow. In other words, for each dollar of support in the bill, more than a dollar of economic activity occurs. This effort is one means to help stabilize the economy and stop the job losses. So, we see this legislation presenting a win-win scenario. Adding to this support to persons in need are projects for infrastructure improvements (e.g., to roads, water systems, schools) and a move towards a greener economy."
They have a link to an article about the Franciscan approach to economics. I have not read that yet. It's going to take some time and thought on that one.

I am not convinced that FAN is not merely a group pandering to liberal hot-button issues. I just don't know enough yet to make that evaluation.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks for that response. I will look more carefully at FAN's particular statements later.

I have issues with the stimulus package myself - I think there'sd a lot of pork in it. BUT I do believe we need to reach out to the poor and unemployed especially at this time. I like some of the proposals concerning unemployment insurance and COBRAs, for example.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm a big fan of Father Groeschel! When is he coming to St. Lawrence Church? I'd like to try and make at least one his talks.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

At least according to the info I have, Father starts the mission at St. Lawrence at 7 p.m. Monday March 23. He will have evening sessions tere at 7 p.m. on the 24th and 25th, and morning Mass and sessions at 9 a.m. on the 24th and 25th.

There may be other events - give the church a call.

He is also scheduled to do a book signing at St. John's Religious Shoppe out in Spencerport from 2-3:30 on the 24th.

Hope you can catch him.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

need info on his fowler michigan mission,when

8:17 PM  

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