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franciscan - May 1997

© The Society of Saint Francis, 1997

Community Routes

New Minister General SSF

The First Order brothers worldwide have elected Brother Daniel as their new Minister General to succeed Brother Brian, who retires from the position on 30th June. Daniel joined the Society in 1964 in England, where he trained as a friar. He was professed three years later, having lived in several houses in the Province. In 1970, he went out to work in the Pacific Province.

Brother Brian writes:

Daniel comes from South Shields in the north-east of England. Before joining the Society, he was an engineer in the merchant navy, which has made him a very practical brother wherever he has lived. He is in his element when he pulls apart an engine (or a building!) and then puts it back together again, making it better than it was before. If there is a job to be done, he gets on and does it – there’s no procrastinating with Daniel!

Most of his life as a brother has been in the south-west Pacific. He was one of our first brothers in the Solomon Islands, of which he was the first Guardian. He was ordained in the Church of Melanesia, having been one of the only European students ever to attend Bishop Patteson Theological College, Kohimarama. He has also spent some time in Papua New Guinea. So he speaks two sorts of pidgin well!

For some years, he was at the Friary in Auckland, where he became a New Zealand citizen. He has also been at friaries in Australia as a much-loved and respected parish priest. He has a keen eye and imagination for re-ordering the furnishings of a church or chapel, according to contemporary liturgical principles. And his sermons nearly always contain an appropriate homely and topical story.

For the past ten years, Daniel has been the Minister of the Australia/New Zealand Province, as well as the local parish priest at the house in Brisbane.

The Brothers in the Australia/New Zealand Province will now have to elect a new Minister Provincial.

Pacific Ministry

Brother Giles ended his time as Minister of the Pacific Islands Province at the end of 1996 and was very glad to hand over the reins to two indigenous brothers, each acting as Minister in one of the two Regions.

Brother Andrew Manu is the new Regional Minister of the Solomon Islands. He is a Polynesian from the island of Tikopea, which is a long way from all the other Solomon Islands. Andrew went there for his ordination to the diaconate by the Bishop of Temotu just before Christmas, after completing four years as a student at Kohimarama. He had to wait until the beginning of March before there was a ship to bring him back to Honiara. In the early part of his Franciscan life, Andrew spent a year at the Auckland Friary. He was also the Novice Guardian in Papua New Guinea for two years.

Papua New Guinea also has a new Regional Minister: he is Brother Clifton Henry, who is a Melanesian from the island of Malaita in the Solomons. He, too, has spent time in Auckland. He prepared for his ordination to the priesthood at Newton Theological College in PNG, so he also knows the scene in that country. Recently, he has been the Guardian of the Hautambu Friary on Guadalcanal in the Solomons.

Both Andrew and Clifton are blessed with a keen sense of humour and appreciate the funny side of life, which is good for any community. Andrew particularly knows how to tell a good story without malice!

Tertiary Ministry

Carolin Clapperton, the newly-elected Minister Provincial of the Third Order, has had a long association with SSF. It began when, as a child, she and her family worshipped with the brothers at St Bene’t’s Church, Cambridge. Carolin now lives near Glasgow, with her husband and family, and has been a Tertiary for fifteen years. From 1986 to 1992, she was Regional Guardian for Scotland and Ireland, and, as a member of the Provincial Chapter, served for a time on the Standing Committee and a number of working groups.

Trained in counselling and human relations, Carolin has her own counselling and consultancy practice and is in much demand as a spiritual director. In the Province of the Scottish Episcopal Church, she is an active member of the clergy appraisal scheme and the Education Committee.

The Birmingham Six

It is now expected that Alan Michael, Arnold and Kevin will move down to Ley Hill around 20 April. This is the first part of the establishing of a new SSF presence. The brothers have been allocated one three-bedroomed flat, well-positioned, but in much need of decoration and transforming into a home. Silas will remain at Gillott Road for the time being. He will join two novices, Chad San Andres and Nicholas Alan, who will go to Ley Hill for their Urban Training year. At that point, it is hoped a second, adjacent flat will be made available.

Birmingham CSF

As the brothers move out, the sisters move in. Hilary has been in Birmingham since January, supervising the alterations necessary to make the house suitable for the elderly and less physically-able sisters. Christine James will be joining her there in early summer, to be followed by Elizabeth and the sisters from Hythe, plus several sisters currently at Compton Durville. Thanks to the brothers’ generosity, one part of the plan which came out of the CSF Review process should be a reality by the Autumn.

Franciscan Writings

Brother Michael's new book, A Word in Time, is to be published this May by Colt Press. It is a collection of sermons and addresses, mainly from the early 1990s, which covers a range of theological and historical themes. The launch of the book is expected to take place on 15 May in St Bene’t’s Church, Cambridge.

Brother Tristam has completed his book, Exciting Holiness, which Canterbury Press Norwich, will publish in September. The project began after a request from the Liturgical Commission for a resource which would provide prayers and readings for celebrations of the saints’ days of the new calendar of the Church of England. Alongside collects and scripture passages, Tristam has provided short biographies of a diverse group of saints and martyrs, representing twenty centuries of Christian life and witness. To facilitate the research and writing required for such a wide-ranging task, Tristam spent a term resident at Westcott House, Cambridge.

This Poor Sort, by Dr Petà Dunstan, a history of the Society of St Francis in the European Province, is to be published by Darton, Longman and Todd in July. The official launch of the book is planned to take place at the Summer Festival at Hilfield Friary in Dorset on 12th July. Those who attend the festival will have the chance to be the first to purchase the book, and Petà, a Companion of SSF, will be there to sign copies. It also contains an interesting selection of photographs, many of which have not been reproduced before; in addition, Christopher Elston has provided some beautiful line drawings of Hilfield and other friaries to illustrate the text. Despite being nearly 400 pages long, the book will cost only £19.95.

Glasshampton Renewal

The SSF Friary of Saint Mary-at-the-Cross at Glasshampton, often referred to as the Monastery, has lived with the exigencies of builders, carpenters and plasterers for some months, and the brothers are pleased with the result: a brand-new Guest Wing. It is still sited in the same place, but that is about all that is unchanged: the sitting room has moved downstairs, the guest rooms have gone up. It was blessed by Brother Damian on 16th March, when local friends came along to offer their support. The accommodation can take women as well as men.

Allan Wippell RIP

Brother Samuel writes:

Allan, who died on 15th December in David-son House Nursing Home, Cerne Abbas, had lived with us at Hilfield for fifty-two years from 1939. His great interest in people, particularly those of the ‘fairer sex’, his love of music, whether playing the harmonium in Hilfield and Hermitage Churches or singing Tavistock Goosey Fayre at parties, his firm commitment to being a ‘middle churchman’, his gentle humour and his humble love of God, made him a great character, and very much part of the wider community at the Friary. We laid his body to rest in our cemetery just before Christmas, confident of his place among the saints in light.


Christopher, Martin Philip and Oswin Paul were clothed as novices at Hilfield on 2nd February ... Nolan Tobias expects to make his profession in first vows on 17th April at the Edinburgh Friary ...Desmond Alban and Philip expect to make their first profession on 22nd May at the Friary at Alnmouth ... Rose expects to make her first profession on 26th April.
Alan Michael and Hilary have moved to Birmingham, and Christine James hopes to move there in June ... Angelo, Damian and Peter Douglas have moved to Gladstone Park in London ... Bruce Paul will be in the Province from June for about a year ... Jonathan returns from the USA at the end of May and will live at the Alnmouth Friary ... Martin has moved to Cambridge.
Angelo has succeeded Tristam as the Provincial Secretary SSF.
Mark Nicholas has been granted Leave of Absence ... Peter has been granted Exclaustration.
Alan expects to be ordained priest on 29th June at Christ Church, Walker, Newcastle ... David Francis expects to be ordained priest on 26th June at St Ninian’s Church, Comely Bank, Edinburgh.
Thomas Anthony has been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to work in Bosnia in initiatives aimed at reconciliation among the various parties of the Bosnian people, initially for twelve months. He will be based in Sarajevo. Part of the task has been to form a communication network, Face to Face, in the name of the Sarajevo Inter-Faith Dialogue Initiative.
Sister Mary Philomena, PCR, died on 9th December 1996 in Mt Sinai, USA, aged eighty-four years and in the thirty-second year of her religious profession. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen. §


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