'Why Francis? Claim the gift!'
Secular Franciscans from all over the United States and abroad will, for the 18th time since 1921, come together to celebrate their Franciscan charism and family at the 2012 Quinquennial in Chicago, IL., Quinquennial Co-Chair Clare McCluggage reported at the National Chapter held near Albuquerque, NM from Oct. 20 to 25.
The celebration will take place July 3-8, 2012. Its theme will be: “Why Francis? Claim the gift!”
Chicago was the site of the first Quinquennial in 1921. That year, 4300 Secular Franciscans attended. In 2012, some 400 to 600 are expected to converge for the celebration.
Programming will be centered around a series of questions that are meant to help Secular Franciscans revisit the vision and to claim the gift that Francis left us.
Among the questions that will be raised: Who are you, O Lord? And who am I? Who are Franciscans? Who are we, the SFO?
The Order invites all Franciscans to gather. Let us “open our hearts for the full vision of who we are in the United States,” said Clare, a past national councilor.
The Quinquennial is a time to enjoy the company of Secular Franciscans, friars and sisters, and to joyfully engage in conversations that will help us better understand Francis and claim the gift, she said.
Events will be take place at the North Shore Skokie Holiday Inn.
Besides Clare, the committee includes: co-chair Patrick Mendés, immediate past national minister; Cyl Maljan; Barb Morgan; Sarah Mulholland, former national secretary; Anne Mulqueen, international councilor; Mike Reiday; Dennis Ross, national treasurer; and Pat Brandwein-Ball, past national councilor.
“Everyone should come to the ‘Q’!” exclaimed Mary Francis Charsky upon hearing details at the national gathering. “It’ll be a Franciscan family reunion and more!”
Mary Frances, regional minister of Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha Region, added: “You’ll experience the Franciscan identity and spirituality in a meaningful way with brothers and sisters of penance and peace. I look forward with joy to seeing old friends and meeting new Secular Franciscans so that we can continue our Franciscan journey of following gospel life in the spirit of St. Francis.”