Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha Region Secular Franciscans
covering most of Upstate New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania
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Tavola of St. Francis

Br. Ed Coughlin, OFM

Bro. Ed to Lead Central NY Experience March 8

The Wonder of Francis’ Life Seeks to Reveal
God’s Love in Life Journey of Every Person

The Central New York Franciscan Experience, hosted annually by the Sisters of St. Francis, will take place Saturday, March 8, 2008, featuring Franciscan friar and scholar Ed Coughlin, OFM.

Held at the Sisters of St. Francis Center, 2500 Grant Boulevard, Syracuse, the Experience is being co-sponsored by the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Region of the Secular Franciscan Order. Because of the co-sponsorship, Secular Franciscans are invited to attend the event free of charge. The region's support is through the Alma Kraus Memorial Endowment.

Brother Ed will give two presentations in the morning, and two in the afternoon, expounding on the topic, “Francis’ Story/My Story: Ongoing Conversion as Our Way of Life.” Brother Ed is vice president for the Franciscan Mission at St. Bonaventure University and an associate professor in the School of Franciscan Studies. He is former director of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure.

 “The life of St. Francis is filled with stories of the wondrous ways in which the power of God's love seeks to reveal itself in the life journey of every person,” Brother Ed explains. “Using selected stories and images, this program will invite participants to explore the human-spiritual dynamics that called forth conversion and commitment in the life of St. Francis. Participants will also be invited to consider how the ongoing gift of God¹s graced presence in their own stories might be inviting them to follow Christ more closely after the example of Francis, Clare and the great crowd of brothers and sisters who have gone before us marked with the sign of the TAU.”

Brother Ed’s presentations will delve into Francis’ encounters with “Otherness” as mirror and mentor. He will specifically reflect on some of the images of the saint’s life painted in the “Tavola of St. Francis” – scenes showing encounters with The Leper, The Word, The Sultan, The Hungry Brother. Each encounter will be the focus of one of the four sessions.

The day will begin with morning prayer at 9:15, with the featured presentations starting at 9:30. Lunch will be at about noon. The Central New York Experience will conclude at about 4 p.m.

Even though there is no cost, Secular Franciscans need to register in advance so that the Sisters will know how many to expect, particularly for lunch.

Secular Franciscans may confirm their plans to attend by calling Ceil Beard, SFO, minister of St. Elizabeth-St. Bonaventure Fraternity in Syracuse, at 315-468-3898,  or by e-mailing Ceil. Give names of those attending and from what fraternity, as well as a contact phone number/email address. Registration deadline is Feb. 8.

Others wishing to attend may register by calling Sr. Patricia Larkin at 315-634-7019; or by e-mailing Sister Patricia. The cost is $25.00, and includes lunch.