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CONFRATERNITY OF MOTHER FRANCISCA
DEL ESPIRITU SANTO DE FUENTES
(COMFES )

 

I. RATIONALE


Mother Francisca, foundress of the Beaterio de Santa Catalina de Sena, now known as the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, was born in Manila in 1647. Widowed and childless after a brief marriage, she dedicated herself to the service of the young, the sick and the poor. On August 24, 1711, she died bringing to a happy end a life of deep fidelity to God. Her spirit continues to live through the members of the Congregation she founded who commit themselves to a life of service to God, to the Church and to all regardless of faith, race, culture, age and state of life.

To make the spirit of Mother Francisca known and alive in the ~ contemporary time, the Confraternity of Mother Francisca del II Espiritu Santo (COMFES) is organized in every school/community of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena.


II. CONDIT10NS


1. Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo lived 300 years ago. Little has been done to make her life and works known to all.

2. Today there is emphasis put on women's issue: dignityof women, rights of women, equality, etc. Mother Francisca yesterday is the woman today, for she lived a life that was counter-culture of her time.

3. PCP II and PCM II underscore the empowerment of laity. Mother Francisca, the widow, the tertiary and the foundress of a Congregation for the Philippines is a model for the laity.

4. The Beaterio de Santa Catalina de Sena in Intramuros which she founded in the 17th century still exists today and is known as the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, a sign of her holiness of life.

5. Mother Francisca dedicated her life to the YOUTH, the SICK and the POOR. These people and conditions still exists in our time and in our country.


111. OBJECT1VES


1. To make Mother Francisca known to all peoples.

2. To encourage people to pray to Mother Francisca.

3. To show that Mother Francisca's life and examples are very relevant in our time.

4. To assist the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in making Mother Francisca's spirit alive.

5. To undertake services intended specially for the YOUTH, the SICK and the POOR in our midst.


IV. LIFE OF THE COMFES ' MEMBERS

 

The members have genuine love and commitment to Jesus and His Church and desire to follow the example of MFES and to make her known.

A. PRAY

1. Members actively participate in the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration and devoutly receive the Body and Blood of Christ.

2. They avail themselves regularly of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

3. They have a special devotion to Mary and pray daily a part of the Rosary.

4. They pray daily the Prayer for the Beatification of MFES.

5. They attend a day of Recollection during Advent and Lent.

B. STUDY

1. Members are knowledgeable of the history of the Beaterio and the virtuous life of MFES. They seriously study the "ABC on the life of MFES", the "Breve Relacion" and wrritings on the life of MFES.

2. Members attend monthly meetings.

3. Members form study-groups as venues for studying and sharing life of MFES

C. WORK

1. Members are involved in some forms of works of mercy, in .particular, those which concern the poor, the sick and the youth.

2. Members make known the life of MFES and the cause of her beatification through sharing in parish activities, school forum, or simply sharing with friends, etc. ...

D. PLAY

1. COMFES celebrate annually a one-month program to honor MFES on July 26-August 26.

2. Members gather yearly on the regional level and once every 3 years on the national level.


V. INCORPORATION TO THE CONFRATERNITY 

 
A. MEMBERSHIP

The Confraternity is open to all young people adults (OP Or non-OP schools/communities) in 3 levels:
              • Primary Level --10-14 years old
              • Secondary Level --15-25 years old
              • Tertiary Level --26-above years old

Requisites for Admission:
             1. A practicing catholic who desires to follow the example of MFES and to make her known.
             2. A letter of intent to join COMFES.
             3. A letter of recommendation from the religion teacher/guidance counselor/parish priest/OP sister.

B. STAGES OF FORMATION:

1. ASPIRANTS (Probationary Period (6 months) )
             • Read and study the life of MFES.
             • Attend monthly meeting.
             • Pray daily fOr the beatification of MFES
             • Pray daily a part of the Rosary.
             • Participate actively and devoutly in the Eucharistic Celebration.
             • Attend scheduled Recollection.
             • Observe and assist full-pledged members to make MFES known.

2. MEMBERS (Full-Pledged)

           •  Deepen knowledge of life of MFES through study groups.
           • Attend regular monthly meetings.
           • Pray daily for the beatification of MFES.
           • Pray daily a part of the Rosary.
           • Attend scheduled Recollection.
           • Participate actively and devoutly in the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration.
           • Be involved actively in the promotion of MFES's beatification by sharing in parish activities, giving talks, etc.
           • Do works of mercy, in particular, those towards the poor, sick and young.
           • Encourage and campaign for new members.

C. STRUCTURE AND GOVERNMENT:

          1. Moderator

                     • Plans and implements the activities of the COMFES.
                     • Coordinates with the moderators of other levels.
                     • Assists, guides and promotes the members in their Christian and apostolic life according to the spirit
                       of Mother Francisca.

                     • Orients the members of the guidelines, the Confraternity's spirituality and apostolate.
                     • Prepares the courses of study of the life of Mother Francisca according to the group's level.
                     • Evaluates work of Confraternity and of the members. Shortens or prolongs the postulancy or juniorate
                        period depending on the performance of the member.

          2. Chair

                   • Leads the Confraternity.
                   • Promotes unity and development of the Confraternity in close collaboration with the moderator.
                   • Presents the agenda of the meetings and presides over it.

         3. Vice-chair
                 • Assists the Chair, substitutes for him/her in his/her absence, takes his/her place when the office is vacant
                    until the new Chair is elected.

        4. Secretary
                • Takes the minutes of all Confraternity meetings.
                • Responsible for all communications sent out and received in behalf of the Confraternity, especially
                  meeting notices.

        5. Treasurer
               • Responsible for keeping the funds with accurate records.
               • Gives regular reports at meetings of the accounts of the Confraternity.


VI .CONFRATERNITY SET-UP


COMFES falls under the umbrella program of the Mother Francisca Commission in the Congregational Level. However, since the Confraternity is school/community based, the highest authority is the Chair of the local Mother Francisca Commission.



VII. EVALUATION


Initial and internal evaluation of the Confraternity's plans and activities and of its members is done by the group themselves. This will be consolidated and summarized by the moderator. Evaluation of the group's activities may be done after every program. The members in the postulancy and juniorate groups are evaluated yearly in accordance with the length of time designated for their stages of formation. External evaluation may be done by the school/local community where the Confraternity is based.


VIII. GRACE


Each member of COMFES will be blessed with graces that flow from the inner desire to be holy as Mother Francisca desired to be holy. The desire leads to acts of Faith, Hope and Love to God, the source of all that is good, and moves one to reach out to the YOUNG, the SICK, and the POOR. The community served will eventually recognize God's providential care for them and hopefully know, love and serve Him as well.

May Mother Francisca pray for all of us that the work she has began may not be in vain.