SME Newsletter Highlights 2011 ESC Missionary Efforts

Rebecca Doel Around the Province

In their newest issue of Towards A Franciscan Missionary Spirit, the Interprovincial Secretaries for Missionary Evangelization of the English-speaking Conference share updates about Franciscan missionary efforts around the globe.

In an opening letter, Br. Vincent Delorenzo, OFM, SME chairperson, reflects on an October 2011 meeting of the secretaries, where they “discussed the importance of communicating with each other the various mission and evangelization projects that are happening in the OFM Conferences.”

He noted: “It is the aim of this newsletter to be informative and inspiring of the missionary/evangelization projects that the brothers and sisters are doing in the English-speaking Conference and possibly to motivate collaboration with each other.”

Holy Name Province’s recap highlights the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo, which in 2011 experienced the March 11 earthquake.

“You could see the cars actually bounce on the street, and we did not get the full-force of the earthquake that hit up north,” said Russell Becker, OFM, director of the chapel. “We shook, everything closed down in the city and, when the earthquake stopped and we went back into the building, we turned on the television and saw the devastation of the tsunami in real time.”

In the days following the earthquake, the chapel center opened its doors to 50 evacuees — mostly women and children. The entire report, submitted by HNP’s secretary for missionary evangelization Thomas Cole, OFM, can be read in the January 2012 newsletter.

Holy Name friars are also mentioned in a report from the Franciscan Mission Service by executive director Kim Smolik.

She wrote: “In last year’s newsletter, you may have read about Br. Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, and Fr. George Corrigan, OFM, friars of Holy Name Province who were drawn to Franciscan life while serving as FMS lay missioners.” George currently serves as president of FMS’s executive board, and Paul began work as the FMS’s director of development on Jan. 1.

In addition to Holy Name Province and the Franciscan Mission Service, the 20-page newsletter includes reports and photos from six other ESC provinces.

— Compiled by Rebecca Doel