Franciscans of Life and Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami Joint Adventure in the Apostolate of Life


In our first joint venture, the Franciscans of Life and the Office for Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami held a formation morning for men serving in Project Joseph, an outreach and formation apostolate to dads in crisis pregnancies. Project Joseph deals directly with the fathers, but includes the mothers and extended family thorugh individual and family sessions.

While every Franciscan of Life is not assigned to Project Joseph, every brother (secular and consecrated) is required to know every aspect of all pro-life work done by the Society.

Brother Jay, Superior of Franciscans of Life and Director of Project Joseph, Archdiocese of Miami, opened the morning with a reflection on the Franciscan School in Christian Spirituality. He focused the key elements of our spirituality which makes it the most appropriate delivery model for the Gospel of Life to our dads in our particular circumstances: minority, fraternity, atonement, the Cross, Incarnation, the Trinity, and empathy.

Brother Chris followed with a meditation on the life and legacy of St. Maximilian Kolbe, stressing St. Max’s lifelong contribution to the Gospel of Life through the Immaculate, which would eventually lead to his voluntary martyrdom to save a father and keep a family united.

Father Alfred Cioffi, Professor of biology and bioethics at St. Thomas University, member of the Board of Advisors of Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami, and long friend of the Franciscans of Life presented on the end of life issues. Father gave a wonderful presentation on the principles that every Catholic must have in hand in order to make appropriate moral decisions when facing terminal illness, be it one’s own or that of a loved one.

Finally, Mrs. Joan Marie Crown, Executive Director of Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami addressed the group on future plans for the ministry. These include the opening of a new facility that will house a pregnancy help center, the diocesan offices of Respect Life and Brother Jay’s office for Project Joseph.

It was an interesting morning. Brother Jay was recently released from the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. But he dragged along his oxygen concentrator and did his thing. After, Brother had the opportunity to spend time with some of the brothers and several young men who are discerning a vocation to the Franciscans of Life as consecrated brothers.

It was wonderful to see an integrated group of men who are responding to Christ’s call to serve him in the voiceless father and his preborn child either as a lay mentor, a secular brother or a consecrated brother. But one thing is clear; these men are clearly brothers to each other and to those to whom Christ sends them.

Finally, we want to thank Mary Tate, the director of the North Dade Pregnancy Help Center of the Archdiocese of Miami for hosting the morning’s event. Mary took time from her free Saturday morning to spend with us. As usual, Mary’s love for the voiceless, the ministry and the brothers comes through the twinkle in her eyes, her warmth, her sense of humor and her patience with all of us. She’s like the mom that Franciscans of Life need.

A few pictures to give our readers a TASTE of the day.

BROS WITH BR JAY 1

Brother Superior needed to catch his breadth — Aspirants and brothers keep him company — This is fraternity

Alberto is about to begin discernment

Alberto is about to begin discernment

Luis mentors Alberto's disccernment

Luis mentors Alberto’s disccernment

Discernment requires a lot of donuts

Discernment requires a lot of donuts

Are you still discerning?  :)

Are you still discerning? 🙂

Joseph King and Jose are doing a little discerning of their own.

Joseph King and Jose are doing a little discerning of their own.

Raul Camarca and Mary Tate emerge out of the kitchen.  More discernment?

Raul Camarca and Mary Tate emerge from the kitchen. More discernment?

Brother Chris and Raul are going for it now.

Brother Chris and Raul are going for it now.

Time to get back to work

Time to get back to work

But Brother, we're so tired from all that discernment.

But Brother, we’re so tired from all that discernment.

Dr. James Dugart and Mrs. Joan Crown in deep discussion during the break.  We have no idea what they were discerning.

Dr. James Dugard and Mrs. Joan Crown in deep discussion during the break. We have no idea what they were discerning.

Father Alfred Cioffi delivers an outstanding presentation on end of life moral principles.

Father Alfred Cioffi delivers an outstanding presentation on moral principles for end of life decisions. No, Joan is not asleep. She didn’t get enough donuts. The brothers ate them. 😮

For more information on this important subject visit:

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/end-of-life/euthanasia/index.cfm

and

http://www.flaccb.org/CDLD/index.php#

You’ll find everything you need to prepare a Catholic Declaration on Life and Death – Advance Directive
(Health Surrogate Designation / Living Will)

The Franciscans of Life want to thank the Office of Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami for this opportunity to come together as brothers and sisters to reflect on the Gospel of Life and our common vocation to holiness.

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