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Renew and Evangelize, Fr. Ivan
Urges U.S. Secular Franciscans

Secular Franciscans should be entrusting themselves to Francis' protection and commit themselves to begin anew, to take the Gospel seriously and receive the invitation of the Lord joyfully, said Father Ivan Matic, OFM, the General Spiritual Assistant who travelled from Rome, Italy to officially witness the Chapter of Elections of the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order of the United States.

"Persevere in a contemplative, simple and joyful heart... "

Secular Franciscans should live their vocations in society, in the family, at work and in fraternal relationships with all creatures, said Father Ivan. Evangelization is an "important challenge for fraternities."

First and foremost, Secular Franciscans should evangelize themselves and their families, embracing the Gospel life. Listening and praying are helpful in the process of evangelization, he said.

"Envangelize to your fraternities," he said, and then, evangelize to society "with courageous and prophetic initiatives in the field of human dignity," advocating for the weakest and the poorest. "Bring the gospel mentality to public life... Build a more fraternal world."

"Evangelize to the mass media," he added. "Evangelize (to develop) the gospel conscience of justice and peace. Promote the gospel vision based on the redeeming work of Jesus and his revelation."

Finally, he said, "evangelize children and youth. The SFO and YouFra should help children grow up."

He noted that the National Chapter should be renewed in re-evangelization.

"I hope you will begin anew...because as Franciscans we must go out to the touch reality."

Ivan Matic, OFM