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Pax Et Bonum
Peace and all good to you from the friars of the Order of Saint Francis! We hope that you find this site informative and helpful. If you do not find what you are looking for, please feel free to contact us with your questions.
The Order of Saint Francis (OSF) is an active, Apostolic Christian religious order within the Anglican Communion, in connection with the See of Canterbury. Rather than living in an enclosed communal setting, OSF Brothers live independently in different parts of the world, with ministries based on the needs of their local communities. Members are baptized men who have been confirmed within the Anglican Communion, and who voluntarily commit to live by a set of professed vows for a term of years or for life.
To get a better understanding of who we are, please visit the 'Vocation' and 'Brothers' pages.
Photos from the Episcopal Church General Convention 2015
The Lord granted me, Brother Francis, to begin to do penance in this way: While I was in sin, it seemed very bitter to me to see lepers. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I had mercy upon them. And when I left them that which seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body; and afterward I lingered a little and left the world.
And the Lord gave me such faith in churches that I would simply pray and speak in this way: "We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ, in all Your churches throughout the world, and we bless You, for through Your holy cross You have redeemed the world."
Afterward the Lord gave me and still gives me such faith in priests who live according to the manner of the holy Roman Church because of their order, that if they were to persecute me, I would still have recourse to them. And if I possessed as much wisdom as Solomon had and I came upon pitiful priests of this world, I would not preach contrary to thier will in the parishes in which they live.
And I desire to fear, love, and honor them and all others as my masters. And I do not wish to consider sin in them because I discern the Son of God in them and they are my masters. And I act in this way since I see nothing corporally of the Most High Son of God in this world except His Most holy Body and Blood which they receive and which they alone administer to others. And these most holy mysteries I wish to have honored above all things and to be reverenced and to have them reserved in precious places. Wherever I come upon His most holy written words in unbecoming places, I desire to gather them up and I ask that they be collected and placed in a suitable place. And we should honor and respect all theologians and those who minister the most holy divine words as those who minister spirit and life to us.
And after the Lord gave me brothers, no one showed me what I should do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the form of the Holy Gospel. And I had this written down simply and in a few words and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me. And those who came to receive life gave to the poor everything which they were capable of possessing and they were content with one tunic, patched inside and out, with a cord and short trousers. And we had no desire for anything more. We who were clerics used to say the Office as other clerics did; the lay brothers said the Our Father; and we quite willingly stayed in churches. And we were simple and subject to all.
And I used to work with my hands, and I still desire to work; and I firmly wish that all my brothers give themselves to honest work. Let those who do not know how to work learn, not from desire of receiving wages for their work but as an example and in order to avoid idleness. And when we are not paid for our work, let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, seeking alms from door to door. The Lord revealed to me a greeting, as we used to say: "May the Lord give you peace."
Let the brothers beware that they by no means receive churches or poor dwellings or anything which is built for them, unless it is in harmony with that holy poverty which we have promised in the Rule, and let them always be guests there as pilgrims and strangers. And I firmly command all of the brothers through obedience that, wherever they are, they should not be so bold as to seek any letter from the Roman Curia either personally or through an intermediary, neither for a church or for some other place or under the guise of preaching or even for the persecution of their bodies; but wherever they have not been received, let them flee into another country to do penance with the blessing of God.
And I firmly wish to obey the minister general of this fraternity and another guardian whom it might please him to give me. And I wish to be so captive in his hands that I cannot go anywhere or do anything beyond obedience and his will, for he is my master. And although I may be simple and infirm, I wish nonetheless always to have a cleric who will celebrate the Office for me as it is contained in the Rule. And all the other brothers are bound to obey their guardians and to celebrate the Office according to the Rule. And if any are found who do not celebrate the Office according to the Rule and who wish to alter it in any way or who are not Catholics, let all the brothers be obliged through obedience that wherever they come upon such a brother they must bring him to the custodian nearest to that place where they have found him. And the custodian is strictly bound through obedience to guard him strongly as a prisoner day and night, so that he cannot be snatched from his hands until he can personally deliver him into the hands of his minister. And the minister is strictly bound through obedience to send him with brothers who shall guard him as a prisoner day and night until they deliver him before the Lord of Ostia who is the master, protector, and corrector of the entire fraternity.
And let the brothers not say: This is another Rule; because this is a remembrance, an admonition, an exhortation, and my testament, which 1, little Brother Francis, prepare for all of you, my blessed brothers, so that we may observe in a more Catholic manner the Rule which we have promised to the Lord.
And the minister general and all other ministers and custodians are bound through obedience not to add to or subtract from these words. And let them always have this writing with them along with the Rule. And in all the chapters which they hold, when they read the Rule, let them also read these words. And I through obedience strictly command all my brothers, cleric and lay, not to place glosses on the Rule or on these words, saying: They are to be understood in this way. But as the Lord has granted me to speak and to write the Rule and these words simply and purely, so shall you understand them simply and without gloss, and observe them with their holy manner of working until the end.
And whoever shall have observed these things, may he be filled in heaven with the blessing of the most high Father and on earth with the blessing of His beloved Son with the most Holy Spirit the Paraclete and with all the powers of heaven and all the saints. And I, little brother Francis, your servant, inasmuch as I can, confirm for you this most holy blessing both within and without.
Every Friday Br Don and I get bread from a Strack and VanTil's grocery store in Lowell, IN which is about 40 miles away from where we live. We load the truck and bring the bread to Good Shepherd Church in East Chicago and leave enough bread at the Church to serve the people who go there for help. Most of the people we serve do not have cars, they live in dangerous areas and can not get to the church due to the distance. We bring the bread out to the neighborhoods where there is need for help, we open the rear hatch and the people start come out. Next to the bread we place some Bibles, rosaries and pamphlets and if people ask we tell them to please take as much as they need. We have had people ask us to pray for sick relatives, pray with them, pray for them and their families. These are the kind of things I was called for. Serving, feeding, praying, talking and listen to what these people have to say, is inspiring. The experiences I've had there, talking with children, listening to a proud mom as she introduces me to her children, laughing and just the joy of being with people has really opened my eyes. We are commanded to love our neighbors and now that I have experienced that love, I am starting to feel God in my heart and my heart is overflowing with love. I love these people!
Cosmo Knows Secrets
Cosmo is a dog. His owner is Anthony. Cosmo lives with Father Phelps in the apartment attached to Good Shepherd Episcopal Church because Anthony can’t have pets at his apartment. Cosmo lives his life as most dogs, he is just a little spoiled and he is well loved. Cosmo knows secrets! I know that seems like a strange thing to say but let me tell you what I saw.
It was a very warm and muggy Sunday evening in East Chicago Indiana. Evening prayer was finished and we were finishing up serving dinner in the church basement. I guess I must have looked a little haggard because Father Phelps asked me to come upstairs and cool off. No one was waiting to be served and things were winding down so I decided I wouldn’t be missed and joined Father upstairs. I sat down and watched as Father was giving Popsicles (a real treat) to the children from the neighborhood. Well it wasn’t just the children there were some adults too. It’s funny how when an adult gets a treat like that they can light up just like the children do, I had to chuckle to myself at that.
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