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Elective Chapter of the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in Canada, Lorettville, Quebec City, Canada, May 14th - 17th, 2015

How to Build a Fraternity
Contributed by a member of the St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity, Vancouver, BC

Th is presentation is an exercise of team effort, teamwork and full participation in the team by all members. Everyone present does this presentation.
(See also the NOTE below.)

First of all, everyone begins by calling out a number --- the first person is ONE, the second person is TWO, the third is THREE, the fourth is FOUR and the fifth one is FIVE. Then we begin from ONE again. This goes round the room until everyone has a number. This is for establishing groups.

There are five groups, and those with the same number will gather at the same table. Then each group is given a package.

In each package there is a PUZZLE, a card for each person, a piece of card stock and a glue stick.

First of all each person in the group is give one or two puzzle pieces. Their task is to look at their piece and then try to make up the puzzle. When they get the whole picture, they will glue the pieces onto the card stock.

The next task is to give each person the card. What is on the card?

Page 1 is the SFO Rule Article 4. "The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan is:
To observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people." I put this rule on page 1 because this is to remind each member our role as a Secular Franciscan.

Page 2 is for everyone within the group to write down the names and phone numbers and/or email addresses of each member. Through out the month, make an effort to contact each other. Unless we get to know each other, we cannot care for each other. We need to have a personal relationship before we can build a strong foundation within our fraternity. We begin with working in a small group. As time goes on, we extend our relationship with other members of the fraternity. Unless we get to know each other, it is very difficult to work together smoothly.

Page 3 is for the Prayer Intention. The task is to discuss and then agree on a prayer intention. Each group has to pray that intention every day for a month. Prayer helps us to establish unity, especially when we are praying for the same intention.

Page 4 is the Prayer of St. Francis before the crucifix. "Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord that I may carry out Your Holy and true command. Amen." Each member is invited to pray this prayer every day.

When all the tasks have been completed, it is time for presentation. Each group takes turns to go to the front and present their work [the puzzle]. Each member take turns to give his/her experience on doing the puzzle.

On each piece of work there is a tip on how to build our fraternity plus there is a drawing related to the tip.

Group 1
The picture is about putting a puzzle together by four people and the word brotherhood is on the puzzle. ( Slide 04 ) The picture is about "As SFO, we help one another and find the best way to live as one united family."

Group 2
The picture is about St. Francis of Assisi praying before the crucifix. ( Slide 05 ) "We follow the example of St. Francis by praying for one another.

Group 3
The picture is about someone who is asking for HELP. ( Slide 06 ) "As Franciscans we are called to help one another."

Group 4
The picture has three people. ( Slide 07 ) The person on either side is supporting the one in the center.

"Community life in fraternity strengthens Franciscans to be faithful, to be one united family."

Group 5
The picture has two ladies. ( Slide 11 ). One says "Sorry" and the other says, "I was wrong". They are shaking hands.

"As SFOs we live in harmony with all of creation, human and nature alike. In doing so we face the need to grow in relationships with one another."

First the whole fraternity read the inscription on the picture. Then each member of that group share his/her experience in the team work of building the puzzle. Then each one will tell the whole fraternity their names.

The first thing to build any community is to get to know each member. The first thing is to know the name of each person, then greet each other by addressing and greeting each other by their names.

When all groups have their turn in the presentation, we all read Article 14 [numbers 1, 2, 3] of the Constitution. The gist is to encourage all members to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist as frequently as possible.

This is followed by the presentation of the gift of the Holy Spirit to each member. One gift is inscribed onto a card. The gift is special to each member. Our task is to thank God for this gift daily and to share this gift with others. For example, you have the gift of WISDOM. Thank the Lord for this gift daily and share your WISDOM with others.

To open/download a pdf copy of " How To Build Our Fraternity ", CLICK HERE .

To open/download a copy of the "How To Build Our Fraternity" Powerpoint presentation, CLICK HERE .

PLEASE NOTE: It is the dialogue, discussion and team work in putting the puzzle pieces together that initiates the FIRST STEP to begin a personal relationship with one another.
STEP TWO is coming to a consensus on what to pray for as a group encourages the commitment of caring for one another.
STEP THREE writing down the phone numbers and then making effort to call is a means to build better relationship.
STEP FOUR without intra and inter personal relationship we cannot build up a TEAM THAT WORKS IN UNITY.
STEP FIVE the sharing of individual experience with the whole fraternity tells all members HOW GOOD IT IS TO WORK AS A TEAM.

Can you see the value and benefit of the exercise?
Just by reading the Powerpoint is really meaningless. It only becomes useful if one goes through the whole presentation LIVE with HANDS-ON activities and then agrees to commit to what was learned, only then can we begin to build UNITY WITHIN OUR FRATERNITY.

"How To Build Fraternity" Powerpoint Slides