Meeting Notes from January 14th, 2020
“He must increase, I must decrease.”
Our meeting began in the usual manner with morning prayer being presided over by Joyce Brooks. After morning prayer, the Rite of Reception into Formation took place. Gerry and Hermine Toomer were received into formation by Fr Ivan Monteiro, OCD. Gerry and Hermine were delayed by the birth of their daughter, a beautiful distraction and a joyous occasion itself. The holy mass was presided over by Fr Ivan, who is graciously guiding us in Fr Rohan’s absence. The community is grateful for his help and direction. The homily was based on the baptism of Jesus and how John’s role decreased as Jesus’s ministry grew. John, humbly, directed his followers to Jesus, as the one who was to follow John. God sent the Spirit out to Jesus, during John’s baptism of him. God speaking and the spirit descending illuminated who Jesus’s was and what his mission would be. Fr Ivan stated that this should be our primary goal in life. To allow Jesus to increase in us, while we die to ourselves. St Paul in his letter to the Galatians 2:20 discusses this decrease in self and increase in Christ. Selfishness needs to be abandoned and we must humbly allow Christ to shine in us. Trusting humbly in God with a proper sense of self, Jesus will lead us to do God’s will. If we allow Jesus to lead us our life will become a prayer and God’s will will be accomplished in us. The Lord’s increase in us is cause for rejoicing.
The holy mass was followed by spiritual instruction by Fr Ivan. The topic was our call to holiness issued in Scripture and reinforced by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical, Christifideles Laici. The meaning of being holy is to be set apart, sacred, belonging to God. Holiness is our daily endeavor and we must strive to be holy in all our actions. Jesus stands in the gap. He is our bridge. He has opened the gates of heaven to us in assuming our humanity. Today, we live in a society which tells us that a holy person gives up all the fun in life. In a way that is true because we give up selfish pleasure. In doing so we gain joy and as John of the Cross tells we gain all. Holiness is a matter of our stone hearts being transformed into tender, loving hearts. Bringing our will into union with God’s will makes holiness a reality. We accept God fully within us gladly. Sinner’s become holy sharing in Jesus’s divinity. God’s grace changes our hearts as we imitate Jesus. Each of us must step aside and allow God to act in all that we do. Do not be afraid of holiness. God does not call us to do something without providing for all our needs. Pope Francis in his encyclical, Gaudete et exsultate, instructs us in the ways of holiness. Avery worthwhile read for all of us.
The instruction was followed by an interesting discussion. Generally, the consensus was the more we allowed Jesus to dwell within us and fill us with love, the closer we came to holiness. The guests were greeted and introduced themselves. Betty Sousa was generous enough to lead us in Lectio Divina on the Sunday gospel, Acts 10:34-38. This reading is about the Holy Spirit coming to the Gentiles. Since God has not shown any partiality in bestowing the Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles, he, in all good conscience, cannot deny them the blessing of baptism. Mary Ho lead the prayer for vocations and grace before brunch.
Kathy Miller lead the Opening Prayer for the new year at the beginning of the business meeting. The people who attended the past two retreats lead by Fr Thomas Koller voted to ask someone new for our annual retreat held Sept 11,12,13 this year. Please mark your calendars. Attendance is encouraged and scholarships are available upon application. Char Feldkamp talked about prayer partnerships for Lent through the Lanteri Center. Please contact Char Feldkamp in our directory for more information. This is an opportunity to grow in scriptural prayer with a partner and spiritual guide.
Annual dues to the Central Office are due. Please bring a check for $35.00 payable to OCDS, with Central Office Annual Dues on the memo line. If you have done so already, please ignore this reminder. Thanks to Michelle Kennedy and her committee for the directories now available. If you have not picked up your directory, please do so at our next meeting. Please remember to pray and then pick your three candidates for president and your three candidates for councilor. These need to be in order of preference. If you do not know who is eligible, get with a friend who attended the meeting. Angela Stornetta is our Acting Treasurer with Mary Fran Kappel as Acting Community Secretary. Karin Layman will discontinue the monthly book ministry as soon as her inventory is sold. She will continue to order formation texts and will accept special orders from our members.
Please remember to pray for our dear Michael Young during his serious illness. He is holding his own currently.
Sean and Elijah Lynch obtain Christmas trees for our sisters and deliverer them to the monastery. This has been going on for four years. My question is where were we and why did we not know? Thanks for taking care of our sisters at the monastery and providing them with trees. There is something special about a lit Christmas tree in the silent dark night.
The Angelus is the first prayer of all formation groups.
February Food Group Leader is Jeanette Mars.
We ended meeting at 1:00pm with the Salve Regina and then were dismissed
Please pray for the elections of the OCDS, sisters and friars. May the holy Spirit guide us and inspire us as we renew the leadership of our communities.
Acting Community Secretary
Mary Fran Kappel