The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, USA

Report of the National Vice Minister - 11/03 to 9/04

Elections and Visitations

-Elections presided over:

1.Mother Cabrini Region, December 13, 2003, Patrick Mendes reelected.

2.St Katharine Drexel Region, March 12-14, 2004, Stephanie Wiecer elected minister.

3.Tau Cross Region, April 23-24, 2004, Barbara O'Neill reelected.

4.Franciscans of the Prairie Region, May 1, 2004, Sue Nelson elected minister.

5.Our Lady of Indiana Region, July 10, 2004, Kathleen White reelected.

6.Los Tres Companeros Region, July 30- Aug 1, 2004, Delia Banchs elected minister.

7.Brothers and Sisters of St Francis Region, Sept 10-12, 2004, Judy Haupt elected minister.

8.Scheduled for Nov 13, 2004: Juan de Padilla Region.

-Fraternal Visitations Made:

LaVerna Region, May 21-23, 2004, along with Loren Connell, OFM, Pastoral Visitor.

Five Franciscan Martyrs Region, May 28-30, 2004, with Kevin Queally, TOR, Pastoral Visitor.

Scheduled for Oct 29-31, 2004: St Margaret of Cortona Region.

Scheduled for Nov 6, 2004: Exaltation of the Holy Cross Region.

-Scheduling:For 2004, 12 regional fraternity elections and 8 visitations were scheduled.

Scheduled so far for 2005: 2 elections (8 are due in 2005) and 8 visitations (14 are due).

-Packages for Elections and Visitations: Each regional minister who has asked for a fraternal visitation or a fraternal election Presider is sent a package of documents to use in preparation and in answering questions about what will happen and what is expected of them. For the "Elections Package", I have revised the previous version by updating it for the new National Statutes and added a new document that lists all the legislation we have relative to elections. (I have also prepared two other items of general interest: an outline for writing visitation report notes, based on the GC, Art 92 - 95, and a listing of the duties of the NFC and NEC, and of NEC officers as reflected in the GC, NS and other legislation.)

-Other items: Many emails and telephone calls have been exchanged with RMs involving election questions, especially due to the revised National Statutes. We have had several discussions on the possibility of amending certain articles. One motion was made but later withdrawn.

Working with New Treasurer

-Dennis Ross came to my house twice to obtain all my current records, to review procedures and record keeping with Quicken, our computer program for accounting, which he is already familiar with, and to go over things for the preparation of the 2004 fourth quarter financial report. His name has been added to the signature cards of the checking and savings accounts, and he has access to these accounts on the Internet, where most of our payments are made.


-Carol asked me to facilitate the activities of the Computer Committee to help them in achieving the goals that have been set for the National Database. To get started on this I contacted Diane Halal to make sure that what I would be doing would not conflict with what she has been doing so ably in the past. Next I asked Bill Wicks to jot down notes as to his recollection of what the goals of the database were when we started and as we progressed on the project. His lengthy report is an excellent review of that and will be referred to often as we proceed. I was added to the list-serve for the computer committee and reviewed all the posted correspondence there. The committee is doing a wonderful job under demanding circumstances, and I wonder how they can do so much and I can understand so little. The only thing I can take credit for is talking Dan Mulholland into accepting a role on the committee.


-I was asked to obtain the commercial general liability insurance required for the ACC. I made application to three "event insurance" providers. The Regis representative accepted the lower aggregate limits that I was able to get from an insurance company in California. The coverage also included payment in case the event was cancelled or interrupted due to a terrorist incident.

-Archives: I made three trips with Eleanor Cox, SFO, to the NAFRA Archives at St Bonaventure University, and two trips alone to drop off archive records. Together we sorted and filed away all the old National Treasurer's office files, and all the files from Fr Benet Fonck, OFM, and a small box of items from Marie Amore that she got from Tom Ricard. Eleanor and I made one last trip to the Archives June 1 and 2, with Elizabeth Allen and our archivist Sharon Deveaux. This was Sharon's first foray into the actual NAFRA archives and it proved to be very interesting for her and for the rest of us.

-Meetings attended: NEC - Tampa, March 17-21, 2004, and Denver, June 21-24, 2004.

-Following up on an item for the Tampa NEC meeting, I initiated and guided to completion the process of voting on amending Article 29 of the National Statutes. Anne Twitchell ultimately made the motion, which was seconded by Patricia B. Ball, and approved by a margin of 38 to one, with 3 abstentions.

Article 29 now requires a notice "at least 60 days before the vote on said amendment is to be taken."

-Bill Wick's old lap top computer is now in my possession. I had it evaluated and cleaned up and am happy to report that it can still be used by us for e-mail, etc, as Bill did. As long as it continues to work, I will be bringing it to our meetings.

-Long Distance Calling:

BigZoo - As I have been doing for many years, I continue monitoring the BigZoo long distance telephone service we use, and recharge it periodically with my credit card. 800-Francis Toll Free line - I have secured a reduction of the rates charged by AT&T from 88 cents per minute to 27 cents per minute.

-After all the work of putting it together, Carol set aside the "NAFRA Chapter Guidelines" in favor of a narrative description which was more easily understood by all and was accepted by an almost unanimous vote on NAFRA-L.

-Approval of the publishing of Fr Lester Bach's new formation book, "Pick More Daisies": This involved some legwork with Dave Barbo, the Formation Commission and the National Treasurer, as well as with the author. Approval was granted by the NEC, and the project is near completion.

-I have been asked several times recently about the possibility of a local fraternity setting up a trust fund with the proceeds of a bequest received from a deceased member. My answer has been generally:

"It is OK if the fraternity wants to set up a trust fund or endowment fund, earn interest yearly and spend that interest not on ordinary fraternity expenses, but on extraordinary things like apostolates and charitable activities. To just hold the money and do nothing with it, or take a little each month to pay regular fraternity bills because the members are failing to do their duty in giving to the common fund, is not in the spirit of Franciscanism." The NEC has agreed that this is a good policy statement.

-As always, I have been in frequent communication with the National Minister, and other NEC members, to deal with various problems and questions that arise from time to time.

Your brother in Christ and Francis,

John K. Sanborn, SFO, Vice Minister, NAFRA

September 19, 2004 (File: vm report Nov03-Sept04)