Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ceremony of Investment into the Franciscan Lay Apostolate


 The investment of postulants with the scapular and cord takes place ordinarily twice a year at the monthly fraternity meeting of the Order. Only under special circumstances should private investments be permitted. The ceremonies of investment and profession can also be combined, to give more time for the monthly conference.

The postulants should receive a notification of investment beforehand, and the notification slip, bearing their name, address and new name in the Order should be presented to the Director as he invites each one. From these slips the record of investments is entered into the Fraternity Register of Investment and Professions. This same procedure should be followed by profession.

Postulants may be invested at the Communion rail, or preferably, at the altar step, the Novice Master and Mistress assisting to adjust the scapular and cord.
The Ritual of Investment
1. Opening the Meeting

Vested in surplice and stole, the priest kneels on the first step of the altar and begins the Prayers Before the Meeting on page 1. If, as is customary, the Come, Holy Ghost is sung before the sermon, the Veni Creator may be omitted at the beginning of the investment ceremony, i.e., after the blessing of the scapulars and cords. In this case, the priest may recite the Veni, Creator privately. After opening prayers the sermon is given.
2. The Petition

After the sermon, the priest, either standing or seated in a chair on the predella of the altar on the Epistle side, puts to the postulants kneeling before him the following question:
Quae est petition vestra? (What do you ask?)
Respondent postulantes: (The postulants answer together:)
Rev. pater, ego humiliter postulo habitum Tertii Ordinis de Poententia, ut cum eo salute aeternam facilious consequi valeam. (Reverend Father, I humbly ask of you the habit of the Third Order of Penance, * in order that with it * I may more easily obtain eternal salvation).
Tunc sacerdos ait: (The priest says:)
Deo gratias. (Thanks be to God.)
The priest addresses a few words of exhortation to the postulants. Then, facing the altar, he blesses the habits of the Third Order.
3. Blessing of the Scapulars and Cords

 Photo of the Scapular worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolate

Photo of the Scapular worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolate

Photo of the Badge worn by the Franciscan Lay Apostolate
(St. Francis of Assisi Scapular with the Tau Cross Attached)
Photo of the Cincture
(aka the "White Cord of St. Francis of Assisi)

V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini
(Our help is in the name of the Lord.)
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
(Who made heaven and earth.)
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam,
(O Lord, hear my prayer,)
R. Et clamor meus ad te ventiat.
(And let my cry come unto you.)
V. Dominus vobiscum.
(The Lord be with you.)
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
(And with your spirit.)

In private receptions, the following prayer is omitted.

V: Oremus
(Let us pray:)

All: O Lord Jesus Christ, who have deigned to put on the garb of our mortality * and to be wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger, * and who have graciously inspired your glorious confessor our blessed father Francis to institute three orders * and the Supreme Pontiffs of the Church, your vicars, * to approve them: * we humbly beseech the abundance of your clemency that you would deign to bless and sanctify these garments, * which the same blessed Francis enjoined his fellow soldiers, the Brothers of Penance, * to wear as a badge of penance and as a strong armor against the world, the flesh, and the Devil; * that these your servants, devoutly receiving them may so clothe themselves with you that they may in spirit of humility faithfully walk in the way of your commandments till death. Who live and reign world without end. Amen.
Benedictio cinguli seu chordae: (Blessing of the Cord:)

V. Oremus (Let us pray:)

All: O God,  who, to set the slave free, * would have your Son bound by the hands of impious men, * bless, we beseech you, * these cinctures * and grant that your servants who are girded with this bond of penance, * may be always mindful of the cords of our Lord Jesus Christ * and ever acknowledge themselves bound to your service. Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
The priest sprinkles the habits or scapulars and the cords, with holy water.
4. The Investment

The priest kneels before the altar and recites or sings alternately with the congregation or the choir the Veni Creator, unless it has been sung earlier in the meeting; or, while the priest recites it alone, the members can sing the Come, Holy Ghost:

The hymn being concluded, the priest rises, goes up to the altar steps to the predella, and turns to the postulants kneeling before the altar. Propriety requires that the following rites be done individually. If ever great numbers make it necessary to use the plural at the giving of the articles, the form may be said once for all, the priest then proceeding to bestow the respective articles on each postulant in succession.

May the Lord divest you of the old man with his acts, and turn away your heart from the pomps of the world, which you renounced when receiving Baptism
R. Amen.

The priest gives the scapular to each postulant, saying:

May the Lord clothe you with the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.
R. Amen

Giving the cord, the priest says:

May the Lord gird you with the cincture of purity and extinguish in your loins the passion of lust, that the virtue of continency and chastity may dwell in you.
R. Amen.

Then, a lighted candle is presented to the postulant, with the words:

Receive, dearest brother, the light of Christ as a sign of your immortality.
R. Amen.

Now the priest may give the novitiate a new name, saying:

Your name as a Tertiary shall be Brother (Sister) N.

And turning towards those present, the priests blesses everyone, saying:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, descend upon you, and remain forever. Amen.

The ceremony being concluded, each novice's Christian name, surname, residence, and the day of clothing must be entered in the register of the fraternity. It is customary to inscribe the date of reception on a page provided for this in the manual of prayers of the Third Order, The Tertiaries Companion. Certificates of reception can also be given to the novices.

Mark Hegener, O.F.M.

Pius J. Barth, O.F.M.
Minister Provincial, Sacred Heart Province

Conradin Wallbraun, O.F.M.
Marion Habig, O.F.M.
Censores Liborum

Samuel Cardinal Stritch
Archbishop of Chicago

April 16, 1955

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Monday, March 03, 2014

Harry S. Truman Was a Different Kind of President

Harry S. Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 32 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence , Missouri . His wife had inherit...
ed the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me ... It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the
Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, too many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (ie. Illinois ).

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!

We ought to have cloned him for telling it like it is and being frugal with our tax dollars!

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I Am Not A Catholic Priest

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ;
Please know that I am not a Catholic Priest and I have never claimed to be one. The title "Fra" is the abbreviated form for the word "Fratello" which is Italian and translates to "Brother." I am a "Lay Franciscan Brother." The title "Fr." is the abbreviated form of the word "Father," which denotes someone ordained in the priesthood. Nearly every day I am referred to as "Father," or "Father Chris" or I am questioned by someone who sees the title "Fra" and mistakenly believes it denotes the title of "Father."
I hope this eliminates any confusion.
Pace e Bene!
Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.
Servant General
The Franciscan Lay Apostolate


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

70,000 Rosary Rallies for the Catholic Church in America !!!


The Franciscan Lay Apostolates Launch 70,000 Rosary Rallies Praying For The Catholic Church In America 

Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.,
Servant General
Franciscan Lay Apostolate


  Jerusalem, Ohio, Saturday, October 11, 201, 70,000 public rosary rallies will take place across America to ask God to intervene and save the Catholic Church in America from attacks; spiritual, moral, and political. October 11 is the Saturday closest to October 13, anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the sun.

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate is coordinating the events and expect it to be one of the largest network of public rosary rallies ever held.

October 13 is the day the Miracle of the Sun occurred before 70,000 witnesses in Fatima in 1917. The date also marks the last apparition of the Blessed Mother, when she asked for conversion, penance, prayer and especially for the recitation of the rosary.

There is a lot of anxiety about our future. We believe that's why we need 70,000 rally captains to volunteer to organize Rosary Rallies and spread Our Lady's Fatima message We Catholics have great confidence in the Mother of God who promised at Fatima: 'Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.' Are you willing to become a captain in your city/town?

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

St. Francis of Assisi Was Not a Sissy!

Go To Confession If You Are Sad


Saint Francis used to tell his brothers to go to Confession if they were sad. Many of the brothers thought that Francis was telling them that only sin makes you sad. Therefore, if you were sad, all one needed to do was go to Confession. Saint Francis would always say this with a twinkle in his eye and some of the brothers knew from that twinkle what he was really telling them: If you are sad about something that is not a sin, then you are sad about something that you are still attached to and you are not surrendering or trusting in the Lord enough to turn it over to him. ~ Fra Chris

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Clothe Yourself In Humility

In the Book of Exodus, God wishes to humble the children of Israel and make them know themselves, so he commands them to strip off the fancy garments in which they had been roaming the desert, saying, "From now on, leave aside your festive ...ornaments and put on common working clothes, that you might know the treatment you merit." In other words, when you wear clothing appropriate to celebration and mirth, you feel less humble than you should. Take off this attire. Clothe yourself in humility, that you may know who you really are and what is rightfully yours. ~ Saint John of the Cross

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A Spirit That Is Pure And Simple And True

These are the qualities of a spirit that is pure and simple and true: They do not feel like talking about themselves, even to their spiritual guides, because they consider their religious deeds to be so insignificant that they are not worth... mentioning. They are much more interested in discussing their faults and transgressions than their virtues, eager to share whatever is wrong with them. They are inclined to seek direction from people who do not think much of them or of their spiritual accomplishments. ~ Saint John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul)


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Being Alone In Quiet


"Contemplation usually kindles an inclination and a yearning to be alone and in quiet." ~ Saint John of the Cross


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Spiritual Accomplishments


Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.
Servant General of the Franciscan Lay Apostolate
"Spiritual accomplishments are not only worthless but can actually become vices." ~ Saint John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul)


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Casual Catholicism

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Instruments Of Love In The Hands Of God


"If our poor die of hunger, it is not because God does not care for them. Rather, it is because neither you nor I are generous enough. It is because we are not instruments of love in the hands of God." ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta


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Have You Done Your Best?


"God will not ask how many books you have read; how many miracles you have worked; He will ask you if you have done your best, for the love of Him."
~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Caperone: An Outward Sign of an Inward Consecration to God

Photo of the Piccoli VV of Italy wearing the Franciscan Caperone
Our clothing is an outward sign of an inward consecration to God, and identifies us as members of a particular religious order in the Church. The F.L.A. Badge and modest dress (caperone, cincture, sandals and tan clothing) are like our wedding ring and garment, since we are signs of the Church as “Bride” of Christ. The caperone is a sign that one is ‘set apart’ by God as a holy offering to God for the salvation of all humankind. Like a public uniform that identifies one as a policeman or nurse, so the caperone publically identifies us as servants of the Gospel, welcoming others to approach us for aid, prayer and service of their spiritual and temporal needs. Our dress reminds us and others that we are servants to all, for we are all one family under God, the Father and Creator of all. We seek always to give glory to God by our manner of acting, believing and by our dress, so as to be signs of God’s living presence in the world. ~ Fra Chris

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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate (F.L.A.)

Apostolicam Actuositatem is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It defines the mission of the lay Christian faithful to both "lead non-believers to the faith and to instruct, strengthen, and encourage the fa...ithful to a more fervent life". The lay apostolate are made up of laypeople and consecrated religious who exercise a ministry in cooperation with the Catholic Church, whose organizations cooperate with ecclesiastical authorities. They operate "under the direction of her pastors" but are not members of the official Church hierarchy nor in Holy Orders.

Apostolates operate with the permission of the local Ordinary of a Diocese, but without material support.

The Franciscan Lay Apostolate is currently under the direction of Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A. Along with his staff, the F.L.A. works to foster the spread of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, and helps to raise the dignity of people's lives by imitating Jesus Christ.

Contact information:

Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center
P.O. Box 114
Richmond, IN 47375-0114

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

His Words Penetrated Into The Hearts Of The Young Rather Than The Old


Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A., (Servant General of the Franciscan Lay Apostolate)
along with some of the members of the 
Holy Family Youth Group of Oldenburg, Indiana.

"God gave them his Spirit and the manner of speech necessary to satisfy the needs of the time so that their words penetrated into many hearts; especially into those of the young rather than of the old."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions


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Jerusalem, Ohio ... Begging For Stones !!!!


All Catholics in Monroe County, Ohio are being asked to collect all their field stones and drop them off at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road just outside of Ozark, Ohio so that we can use them to build our little Adoration Chapel.
"Francis set to begging for stones with which to restore the church of San Damiano. He called to the passers-by: 'Whoever gives me one stone will have one reward; two stones, two rewards; three stones, a treble reward!' "
~ Saint Francis of Assisi
(Legend of the Three Companions)


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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Order Our Mystic Monk Coffee and Donate to Birthright (a Loving Alternative to Abortion)

Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.

The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

Mystic Monk Coffee is roasted by the Carmelite Monks, a Roman Catholic monastery in the silence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. The monks live a hidden life of prayer and contemplation in the pursuit of God. The monastery is inundated with young men who seek to leave everything to pray for the world, in a tradition at least a thousand years old. It is the monks’ great joy and privilege to share the fruit of their life with you in every cup of Mystic Monk Coffee.The Monk Master RoasterBr. Java is the master roaster who meticulously roasts beans in small batches. His philosophy is that each roast must be not only the labor of his hands, but a master roast of the highest quality. Br. Java is passionate about obtaining the perfect roasts for you. He carefully roasts only the finest gourmet beans under conditions that will make each roast consistent and smooth with a taste that will make your taste buds tingle. With experience and perfection, Mystic Monk Coffee is a coffee to savor and enjoy – with or without cream.The Legend of the First Mystic MonkCoffee is a product perfected and loved by monks from its beginning. When a monk of old heard the anguished tale of a shepherd who had sleepless goats, he himself discovered growing on shrubs the berries, which had such a wonderful affect. Delighted at his find, the ingenious monk boiled the beans in water and drank the resulting coffee. He found in his discovery a hot drink that could keep his eyes awake even amidst the midnight vigils and unceasing prayers of the monastic life.

The secret of coffee continues to keep monks ever alert and vigilant for their prayers, but now Mystic Monk Coffee shares the hidden, master roasts of monks with all who seek a delightful cup of coffee.
Monks are passionate PerfectionistsThe monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.

Please remember that when you buy Mystic Monk Coffee through the Portiuncula Hermitage, ten percent of all our commission sales is donated to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion.)
Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order direct, simply click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Mug on the Top of this page:

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Franciscan Lay Apostolate: Order of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance


"Carried away by the force of his preaching, great numbers of people adopted the new rule of penance according to the form instituted by St. Francis which he called the "Order of the Brothers of Penance." The way of penance is common to all those who are on the road to heaven and so this way of life includes members of both sexes, clerics and lay folks, married and single. How meritorious it is in the eyes of God is clear from the numerous miracles worked by some of those who followed it."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life


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Holiday Under the Spires in Oldenburg, Indiana


Photo of Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A. taken with the Holy Family Youth Group of Oldenburg, Indiana. What a wonderful group of young High School Youth. The Catholic Church will be in good hands when they take over the helm!

What a great time we had this past weekend selling our
Mystic Monk Coffee
at the
"Holidays Under the Spires"
Oldenburg, Indiana

You can order Mystic Monk coffee direct by clicking on the Coffee Cup (at the top of this page).

Please remember that the Portiuncula Hermitage tithes 10% of all coffee sales to Birthright (a loving alternative to Abortion). 


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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blessing Bags


Blessing Bags to keep in the car when you pass homeless people. Something special you can do with the kids to teach them about caring for others.

  • band aids
  • mouthwash
  • coins or predetermined dollar amount, say 5.00 (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)
  • hand wipes
  • you could also put in a warm pair of socks
  • a packet rain poncho
  • tampons (for women)
  •  Gallon size Ziplock bags
  • chap stick
  • packages of tissues
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • comb
  • soap
  • hotel size shampoos
  • trail mix
  • granola bars
  • crackers
  • pack of gum
The ideas could be endless!
 Assemble all the items in the bags, and maybe throw in a note of encouragement. Seal the bags and stow in your car for a moment of providence.

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Ltc. Buzz Patterson's New Book Looks to "Swiftboat" Hillary Clinton's Run for President

Left to right: LTC Buzz Patterson, Maj. Chris Dickson, Governor Mike Pence (R-IN)

Hey friends!

Buzz Patterson is writing his next book about Hillary Clinton, as she aligns for the presidency in 2016. Some of you know that his book, "Dereliction of Duty," was a NYT best-seller and recounted his years as President Bill Clinton's Air Force aide and carrier of the nuclear football.

Thanks! More to follow!

~ Chris

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saint Francis of Assisi (the Play)


Fra Chris Dickson, FLA

Barefoot and clad in a ragged tunic, Fra Chris Dickson brings to Catholic Schools (K-12) the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, “the little poor man of Assisi,” whose holiness and faith, after 800 years, still continues to draw young men and women into a more perfect imitation of Christ.

As a Third Order Franciscan, Fra Chris has spent over thirty years studying the life of this beloved saint, drawing his inspiration from real life with the poor. “The unique thing about this one man play,” Fra Chris explains, “is that the actor is called not only to believe the words he speaks, as he might be in any dramatic portrayal, but he is called to live them as well. The audience is also called to examine their lives on a very profound level. No one leaves the experience unmoved.”


The Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage
P.O. Box 114
Richmond, IN 47375-0114

"God gave them his Spirit and the manner of speech necessary to satisfy the needs of the time so that their words penetrated into many hearts; especially into those of the young rather than of the old." ~ Saint Francis of Assisi (Legend of the Three Companions)


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Friday, June 14, 2013

St. Anthony Messenger, SHAME ON YOU!

Dear St. Anthony Messenger Editor:

I am utterly speechless. I could not wait to get this months copy (June 2013) of St. Anthony Messenger, fully expecting to see our newly elected Pope Francis on the cover as we Franciscans have a rare opportunity to celebrate our new Pontiff's desire to associate himself with our Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi. Then again, I thought perhaps the front cover might be of our newly elected 120th successor of St. Francis of Assisi as Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Fr. Michael A. Perry, OFM. He is truly a remarkable human being and more people should become familiar with him. Both of these stories are truly noteworthy events in the lives of Franciscans worldwide. But alas, it wasn't to be. Instead, the cover of your magazine was graced by a dissident nun, standing in front of a bus that was bought and paid for by George Soros, while Sister bounces down the road singing the praises of the Democrat Party, abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination, and homosexuality. Shame on you!

Chris Dickson, F.L.A.
Hermitage Scullion
The Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Please Prayerfully Consider Helping Us Build Our Little Chapel


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