News - July/August 2016
Death of Br Dunstan SSF; Closing of Friary of the Divine Compassion, Hamilton, NZ.
Province of the Americas
This is just a brief note to tell you that our Brother Dunstan died early this evening, Sunday 26th June, at the Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson, NY. He was 93 years old and less than a week from his 62nd Anniversary of Profession in SSF. His dear friend Lauranne was at his side when he went, and she says he seemed comfortable and at peace for the first in several days. We anticipate that the formal Requiem mass will not be held until fall, when Bishop Provenzano of the Diocese of Long Island returns from a sabbatical.
We know many of you will have many fond memories of him. Please join us in prayer for the repose of his soul, and for all who mourn him. Rest in peace, Brother Dunstan, and rise in glory.
Province of the Divine Compassion
Christopher John writes: The brothers of the First Order of the Society of St Francis have been living in New Zealand for nearly fifty years. However, changed circumstances led the SSF Provincial Chapter to review our life in New Zealand. Reluctantly, we have had to decide to withdraw from the Friary of the Divine Compassion at Te Ara Hou Village, Hamilton. We feel very welcome here and there is no shortage of potential ministries. Unfortunately, we lack the brothers to sustain a community life and active engagement in ministry. Nor are there brothers available elsewhere in SSF. Our presence here has been carried over the past few years by Brothers Brian and Damian Kenneth, with the Rev’d Phil Dyer, a member of our Franciscan Third Order, living with us as a member of the local community. Brother Brian died late last year. We miss him a great deal, and his loss has focussed us on the need to adjust our situation to what we can manage with current resources and needs.
Brother Damian Kenneth will be moving soon to retirement village accommodation in Hamilton; the Rev’d Phil Dyer’s plans are still to be decided.
This doesn’t mark the end of Anglican Franciscan presence in NZ. Just that there won’t be a friary with a community of brothers. The Third Order of the Society of St Francis are very much the Franciscans on the ground, throughout much of New Zealand and beyond. First Order brothers will continue to visit from overseas and I hope there can be short-term ministry engagements from time to time as resources permit.