Nearly 300 Third Order Regular (TOR) Franciscans gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin June 17-20 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Federation at its annual conference, titled “God’s Love & Mercy.”
On Saturday morning, during a breakfast co-sponsored by UPF film productions and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, FAN’s Sr. Marie Lucey introduced Nadia Malik to speak about the UPF docudrama, The Sultan and the Saint. During her presentation, Nadia showed two short film clips and responded to questions. Her talk was received with enthusiasm, after which many conference participants spoke with Nadia at the FAN exhibit table and filled out forms to receive more information about screenings around the country beginning in the fall.
Speakers Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF and Edna Michel, OSF recalled past and present TOR experience and Franciscan Federation history, while David Couturier, OFM Cap., offered insights about Millennials as TOR looks to the future. On Saturday evening, participants mingled with men and women who frequent a nearby park, some who are homeless, for conversation and a picnic. During the celebration banquet, past and present Federation presidents and executive directors were honored with gratitude for their service.
In the closing session, the JPIC Committee’s resolution calling for action on gun violence, was approved unanimously. The statement delineates the Federation’s pledge “to work for the elimination of gun violence by committing ourselves to respect for life by cultivating a culture of life that explores nonviolent living…” You can read the statement in its entirety by clicking the attachment link below.
As 50 years of Franciscan Federation history came to a close, Federation leadership and membership were commissioned to move into the future with renewed energy for claiming the TOR lay foundation , and for living and promoting its charism of continuous conversion.