History

HOLY FAMILY FRATERNITY - FORT WAYNE, INDIANA
 
Established: January 31, 1965
 
Fr. Jovian Weigel, OFM from St. John the Baptist Province, Commissary and Fr. Malachy Brogan, OFM Spiritual Director established the Fraternity and twenty novices (term used then) were professed into the Third Order of St. Francis on December 20, 1964.  The Fraternity consisted of all married couples and their focus was marriage and family life, hence the name Holy Family.
 
At that time they became involved with the Cursillo movement, which helped them in their calling to Third Order.  The monthly meetings consisted of a Scripture Service with Father commenting on the readings in his homily.  Then there were group discussions, along with songs and coffee.  Also, a volunteer would report from a reading from Celano's life of St. Francis, short business meeting, and a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
 
In 1974 single people (not part of a couple) were admitted into the Fraternity.
 
As a Fraternity, the Rule was studied, day of recollection with St. Charles Fraternity, Fort Wayne were held, visits to the Poor Clares in Kokomo were conducted, centerpieces were made for a nursing home, dinners to celebrate anniversaries of profession were held, and many interesting speakers shared with us.
 
The Fraternity has been blessed with many wonderful spiritual assistants.
 
The Holy Family Fraternity, Fort Wayne, was host to the Provinical Conference, August 7-10, 1986.  At this time the Province consisted of Michigan, Illinoi, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, New Mexico, Kansas, Lousiana, Arkansas, and Texas.  The conference was held at the Sheraton Inn (no longer in existence).  The theme was "Set Yourselves Free to Love God and your Sisters and Brothers."  Bishop John Michael D'Arcy (Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend) gave a warm welcome to the visitors.  There were representatives of the Province: Fr. James VanVurst, OFM, Vicar Provincial; Fr. Larry Landini, OFM, Provincial Assistant; Fr. Maynard Tetreault, OFM; Fr. Nicholas Lohkamp, OFM; Fr. Oliver Banbenek, OFM Cap,; Fr. Marian Douglas, OFM, Associate Provincial Assistant; plus the lay members of the Provincial Council.
 
Currently the Fraternity has finished the study of the Rule, visits and donations to the Poor Clares in Kokomo, doanations to a parish in Hazard, Kentucky, prepaing food once a month for the Ave Maria House, and making blankets for a variety of other service organizations. In addition, parishes are chosen for the celebration of the Quarterly Masses for our living and deceased memebrs as well as a means to acquaint the local parishes with the Fraternity.  At the conclusion of the celebration the celebrant is invited to dinner.
 
Our Fraternity continues to grow.  We have seven candidates in formation at this time.
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