Secular Franciscans and Youth

Secular Franciscans and Youth
We are all family and we all have families! Our family is where God has placed us! How can we reach our children and grand children within our own families? By following Jesus and His words, by following our Rule as a Secular Franciscan and by living the Gospel, we are reaching out to our family

A Secular Franciscan is called to a deeper service and love of others. We are called to help in the mission of “rebuilding” the Church. We are called to simplicity and joy. The Family is the little church – the home church – It stands to reason that building up families will help build up the Church.

Our Franciscan Family, is a wonderful family to share!! We can begin by being inclusive whenever possible, with family events, playing games, going fishing, telling stories and sharing faith and meals, whenever possible, with our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren and all the Lord may bring!

Jesus shows us how to prioritize children as part of our mission of Love:
  • "suffer the children to come to me and do not stop them"
  • And "unless you become as a child you cannot enter the kingdom!"
  • And, "better that a rock be tied around your neck and you be tossed into the sea, than what my Father will do to anyone who harms one of His little ones."
  • And then again let us hear Jesus: when one of the few things recorded that He spoke on the way to His death and in the midst of His suffering He found the strength to say to us, "Weep not for me but for yourselves and your children".

  • Do we weep for our children and our selves sometimes? Many families need our tears, prayers and help, today more than ever!

    St. Francis defined Evangelization
    Francis said, “to evangelize a person, understand, is to say to him (her), “You also are loved by the Lord.” And not only to say it to him (her) but to truly think it, And not only to think it, but to behave with this person in such a manner that he(she) feels and discovers that there is in him (her) something saved, something greater and nobler than he(she) had thought! And so he (she) awakens to a new awareness of himself. That is what it means to announce the Good News.” (editor added in brackets)

    This evangelization, taught by St. Francis is Beautiful and at the same time it is “radical.” Can we live this Evangelization with Children and Youth? Yes we can! Yes we can evangelize! We can build them up by telling stories of faith, parables, personal witness and life experiences, as the Holy Spirit leads us in our family gatherings! Yes we can evangelize! We can build them up by knowing the scriptures the Lord has said and what St. Francis has said. And we can reinforce these thoughts by praying for and with, our children and youth , sharing the prayers of the Church like the Rosary, experiencing Adoration and prayers from the heart.
    Yes we can evangelize. We can build them up by being welcoming to our children and youth at family gatherings and maybe even in our fraternal gatherings offering a safe place to gather, creating some special times for celebrating and having fun! Giving our children and youth little roles of responsibility and allow them to help if they want to, gives an opportunity for them to respond to the good! Without pressure and this will help them feel valued! The Holy Spirit will guide us in living the Gospel with all we meet like St. Francis and St. Clare especially with the little souls entrusted to us in our families! You are not by chance related to that little child!
    • “special” he is… and so are all our children especially to the Lord!
    • How about building a “mail box” for God and writing or drawing pictures to send to Him?

    • Practical Ideas:
      • In little things, remember, “bloom” where you are planted and in all things big or little things. What is happening in my parish with youth that I can help with? Is there something at the school I could do? Is there something at home? What am I or my Fraternity doing that could include family? Could we have a family potluck?
      • Would my children, grand children, nieces, nephews, like it if I showed the cartoon of St. Francis or shared a colouring book? What craft or skill can I share with my children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins?
      • How can I support my Parish Youth Group? Could I share “stories and prayers and activities” that show my Franciscan Charism? Can I be more “present” “love more” “listen better” Laugh longer with my family?
      • Perhaps a little cleaning project, somewhere? Kids love to be active and to do things that are appreciated by others! My two year old grandson loves to hold my rosary and bless himself! He loves games and he likes helping his dad carry wood and helping “granny” wash dishes. When he helps with the windows, it makes more work for mommy and granny BUT he feels so good and happy it is worth it!! He feels “special” he is… and so are all our children especially to the Lord!
      • How about building a “mail box” for God and writing or drawing pictures to send to Him?

      What comes to your mind?
      We are already witnessing to children! We are the living book they see and hear! Do NOT be afraid but only listen to your heart and the Holy Spirit. The Lord will guide you in this most beautiful and precious part of our mission and family. There is no act of kindness that is too small! There is NO person too small! Who comes to mind right now? Who will be the first child or youth that God will place before me to share in a deeper way? Remember it is in the little things done in love that children grow into holy people! They say a child is formed by the age of 7 years. Remember that in the passing of 7 years, a 3 year old is now 10 years old. And then another 7 years and a 10 year old becomes 17. These are vital years of formation, because before you know it that 17 year old is an adult! Years go fast!

      Important Note
      When working with Youth in your Parish be sure to follow the Guidelines in place by your local Parish or Diocese. Most ministry and volunteer work, that is with those most vulnerable, i.e. the young and the old, require a CPIC (Police Criminal Record Check ) When the work is volunteer, there is usually no costs related to this.

      YOUNG ADULTS AND YOUFRA VISIT OUR YOUNG ADULTS AND YOUFRA PAGE

      Brochure & Handouts, Prayer Program and Resources Page

      RESOURCES
      Tools for Evangelizing Youth and Young Adults

      Youfra Brochure

      An OFS Prayer for Youth

      Monthly Prayer Intentions 2020 for OFS and Youfra

      Additional Resources