March 2016

We had a wonderful meeting this past Saturday with more details below.  May you have a blessed Lenten & Easter Season.  Your input and feedback for this newsletter are very much appreciated, and feel free to submit ideas, stories, links, and photos.  

Pax Et Bonum, John


Enjoying God's Creation this Spring!

We hope to have some wonderful events this Spring in helping to bring the bounty of God's Creation to others:

Saturday March 19th 12:30-3:30pm:  Church of the Incarnation's Community Garden Spring Preparations -- garden's bounty helps to feed the poor in our food ministry (contact is Sheila)

April 2016 -- planning to prepare garden for men at Piedmont House -- garden's bounty to serve men coming out of prison (contact John)

May 2016 -- planning to pray and hike the Stations of Creation at Terra Patris in Goshen, VA (contact John) -- probably a Saturday to set at our next meeting.

 Looking for ways to help the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament at the Francis-Emma property in Powhatan, Virginia -- see blog by John for details

National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.  March 20 - April 17

Cherry Blossom Peak predicted to be March 18-23


Meeting notes - March 12, 2016

Attendance:  Carl, Phil, Kathleen, Therese, Sheila, Melanie, Brother Matt, and John

Guests:  Bernadette 

1) Opening Prayers 

2) Formation with Brother Matt

• Reflection on Saint Francis our Seraphic Father and the San Damiano Cross

• Updates on Capuchin brothers:

• Brother Kip - has been helping to rebuild a new friary that is serving the poor in Philadelphia.

• Brother Brian - has passed his exams for priesthood and will be ordained in Pittsburgh this coming June.

• Fr. Gregory will be at our next meeting to offer us instruction on praying the Divine Office

3) Great fellowship and food -- thanks for all those sharing their bounty, thoughts, and prayers!

4) Kathleen & John attended the presentation from the Madonna House community in Roanoke, Virginia.  They have two Poustinias in Roanoke, and Fr. Gregory is offering the small apartment above the Rectory's garage to be used as a Poustinia for use for those who wish to make this type of unique retreat.   Fr. Gregory has made a call to start a new ministry that would help maintain the Poustinia, and Kathleen has answered the call to help.  Contact Fr. Gregory if you want to help with this ministry.

Madonna House in Roanoke website

5) John shared news from Jan Parker that the International Secular Franciscan Order has selected the United States of America to host the International Chapter in 2017.   Looking quickly for a retreat space in U.S. that would host 150+ people, is close to an international airport, and can keep costs to $55/day for facilities and food -- if you have a suggestion contact our National Minister Jan Parker.  John suggested the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Philadelphia -- please say a prayer that we can find an inspiring and affordable place to host this event.

6) Secretary's Report:  John will contact Helga arrange a visit with sister Rose in March.  Positive feedback on new newsletter.

7) Treasurer's Report - Melanie Bninski

Mount La Verna Fraternity

Januarry & February 2016

Balance at end of December 2015: 

Checking  $281.40

Savings       100.00

Pay Pal        154.93

Cash            269.60

TOTAL        $805.93


Donations    429.00

Total Income  429.00


Deposit for Retreat OlofA  50.00 

Refund (rosaries)  10.00

Website (CWS)  30.00

Books/supplies  109.80


Net Income/Expense 229.20

Balance at end of February  2016:

Checking     $485.20

Savings        $100.00

Pay Pal        $154.93

Cash            $295.00

TOTAL          $1,035.13


7) Please continue to pray for Deacon Tom Bello, O.F.S. and follow his inspirations each day at  He is very appreciative of everyone's prayers, and loved the Franciscan Crown Rosary that was made by Elizabeth and Melanie.


8) Carl has a person who may be able to lead our Fall Retreat -- stay tuned...


9) Closing prayer -- Divine Mercy Chaplet (with many special intentions offered from those present and by e-mail)


Fraternity Milestones:


• Melanie Bninski - March 21st

Remembrance for those who have gone before us:

• Mary Benza, O.F.S.


Upcoming Dates:

• March 19th - 12:30-3:30pm Spring Garden planting Incarnation Community Gardens

• March 26th - 10am Trader Joe's Food Donations Pickup

• Social Justice Stations of the Cross on Downtown Mall -- TBA w/ Casa Alma & Pax Christi - hoping to organize for Good Friday.

• April 2, 2016 - Day of Reflection for Candidates and Inquirers at St. Anthony Shrine

• April 4-6: Parish Mission for the Jubilee Year of Mercy  iMission: The Divine Hotspot. A mission for the Jubilee Year of Mercy with Fr. Bill Garrott, O.P. 7:30pm Monday through Wednesday evening, April 4-6 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

• April 9, 2016 - Next Mount LaVerna Fraternity Meeting at 12:15pm

• April 22-24, 2016 - Annual Regional Retreat at Priestfield

• May -- Pilgrimage to Terra Patris with John -- details TBA

• June 30 - July 4, 2016 - Quinquennial Meeting in St. Louis

• Virginia Gathering of Secular Franciscans - Mid-July at Incarnation PAC

• Saturday, October 8th -- Elections for officers (done every three years -- prayerfully consider)

• Saturday & Sunday October 22-23 - Annual Fraternity Retreat at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Crozet.


Mercy in Action

Our fraternity is beginning a new work of mercy to help our parish food bank each month.  We will be making a monthly pick-up of food at Trader Joe's.  Sheila reports that this ministry is now serving 140 area families, who receive needed food each week.  On Saturday February 27th we filled-up 4 cars with food from their generous donation. Thanks for everyone's help.

NEXT PICK-UP:  Saturday, March 26th at 10am


Prayer Wall on our fraternity website

Please check out our new Prayer Wall on our fraternity website:

• You can submit your prayers and view them on the prayer wall.

• Click on prayers to send message that they are prayed for.

• Submissions can also be made anonymously.

• You can check box to get a daily e-mail of how many people prayed for you.

Prayer Wall LINK

Prayer Wall Submissions LINK


Please follow the wonderful daily reflections from Deacon Tom Bello, O.F.S. at


Newsletter of the Mount LaVerna Fraternity from Charlottesville, Virginia