Friday, May 6, 2011

Trish Bugajski's Final Profession as a Secular Franciscan

Trish B-Lady Makes Her Final Profession

Last Saturday was a big day for the Holy Family Fraternity of the Our Lady of Indiana region of the Secular Franciscans. On that day Trish Bugajski made her final profession. That means after almost three years of formation she took that final step that made her a full member of our Order. That the service occurred during the season of Easter was great. The chapel was full of flowers and rebirth. That it occurred a week before graduation at the university was appropriate, this is a service of launching and joining. That is occurred during spring was most fitting. This is a service of promise, hope, growth and beginnings. That is occurred on one of the few days we have had so far without rain and clouds was simply a gift!

Just Getting Ready for Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony

The Secular Franciscans Order is the third Order that Brother Francis founded 800 years ago. Everyone is familiar with the First Order, the friars. Most people know of the Second Order the Poor Clares. However, 800 years ago there were people drawn to the Gospel Life as lived by Brother Francis who could not responsibly leave their spouses, children and obligations. The Secular Francis Order, known as the Third Order r then was founded for them. It is a full Religious Order with a Rule recognized by the Pope. Like the other members of our Franciscan family the Rule and the style of participation has changed over the last 800 years. However, like the rest of our Franciscan family our commitment to living a Gospel Life has not changed. This is what Trish was joining herself to last Saturday.

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: the altar

Trish did not simply join a club. This has been a true journey for her. She has a keen mind and a honed sense of moral responsibility to humanity and to her fellow sister and brother creatures. That means she did not simply accept the faith you was raised in, she struggled with it, she questioned it. For Trish faith is a verb. Trish and her husband Ken were AFCU pilgrims to Assisi and Rome. Trish attended the 2006 Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities Symposium. She was so moved by the experience that she became one of the key planners of the 2010 AFCU Symposium at USF. It is fair to say that much of the 2010 Symposium success rests on her shoulders. Trish completed the AFCU on-line Franciscan Studies Certificate program. She was trained as a leader in the "God's Extravagant Love” program. B-Lady supports Saints on the Street (SOS) a local group that hangs with and provides basic support for the homeless. To be honest here, Trish was a Franciscan way before she made her final profession!

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: Intro by Sr. Anita Holzmer, OSF

It is so appropriate that the Seculars are the Order for Trish. Her family is important to her. Her daughter, “the little blond girl” is a source of joy and pride for Trish. It was great to see her actively participate in the service. Trish’s husband Ken shares a common faith with Trish but not exactly the same journey. He is a Knight of Columbus. He has attended Catholic Collegium twice, once as a graduate student and once as a faculty member of a Catholic university. Ken is a funny, funny man. He is bright and a leader. Best of all for me, he is a fantastic cook. Now to be honest I am a very good cook, at times I am a great cook. I am a rookie compared to Ken and always look forward to sampling his latest creation. Yep, the Seculars are right Order for Trish, this is a family worth valuing!

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: Entrance

The service was wonderful Father Adam Schmitt gave a wonderful homily. He was able to weave components of the Catholic faith and history, of the Seculars and of the season together. He was simply uplifting and affirming. Sisters Anita Holzmer and Jacinta Krecek, OSF, provided the music. Whenever I see the two of them walking the halls of the University of Saint Francis in their habits carrying their guitars I expect Ed Sullivan to appear. (“Tonight we have a really big shooow, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Singing Nuns”.)

Bill Duffy, one of our fraternity inspirational leaders and Trish’s daughter Krystka (aka, The Little Blond Girl) were the altar servers.

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: Vicky Foltz, SFO, reader

So many members of he fraternity made sure they had a part in the service. Erin Gigle designed the program, Martine Meeks handed them out. Kathy Harpel and Dick Lowden were Eucharistic Ministers. Vicky Foltz was the reader and she was wonderful.
Trish and Vicky Jacobs presented the Gifts during Mass. This was significant because Trish was making her Final Profession and Vicky was in formation. It was like watching new branches spring forth from your favorite tree.

Trish Bugajski's Rite of Profession

The Rite of Profession was lead by the Fraternity Minister, Jon Cooper and the Fraternity Formation director Dick Lowden. Potential members meet with the Formation Director on a regular basis for at least two years and often up to three years. Additionally the candidate participates in the fraternity’s on-going formation studies during the monthly meetings. So this Rite was the culmination of a lot of growth, exploration and prayer.

Trish Bugajski's Rite of Profession: Questioning

Trish was then questioned by Father Schmitt. I think by that time Trish could have aked the questions and answered them herself. She was clearly ready to join!

Welcome to the Family: Trish Bugajski, S.F.O.

Welcoming a new member to the fraternity and to the Order is such simple and yet joyful act. Hopefully because of Trish’s journey over the last three years she has grown. What is clear is because of her journey we have grown. She represents the promise of an invigorated future, of new possibilities for the fraternity, of continued growth. On this day our Franciscan family has grown. We were all so happy to see this day happen.

A Peek at Ken's Tau-shaped Cake

After the service we all met in the Social Room for snacks, cake and conversation. Ken made a Tau shaped cake and as usual, it was delicious. It was a wonderful day. Sunshine, fellowship and a Final Profession, yep, Trish B-Lady is a Secular Franciscan.

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