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Confraternity of Penitents Newsletter -- September 2019

May the Lord Grant You Peace!

It seems that our world has become unhinged. In so very many ways, we seem to have turned our back on God. We know the answer is not to wring our hands and fret. The answer is penance – prayer, fasting and self-giving acts of charity.

  • Penance brings us personally closer to God. And penance can help rescue our world and our Church from the darkness.

  • Penance can reestablish a proper relationship to money, to health, to the exercise of power.

  • Penance can save our souls, our Church, and our world.

  • Promoting penance is what the Confraternity of Penitents is all about.


Over the past 20 years, we together have grown spiritually. Living the Rule of 1221, we have disciplined ourselves, drawn closer to God. None of us are the people we were before we began our formation as penitents.




The Penitential Movement is the Holy Spirit’s inspiration to adapt the Rule of 1221 to the modern age. The Holy Spirit led each of us to find this way of life and to embrace it.

Now is the time to step up our game. To carry the message of penance forward. To actively promote to others a life of prayer, fasting and charity. But our Lord warned us not to build our house upon sand but upon a solid foundation. The plan that we propose is the solid foundation, we believe, for the Confraternity of Penitents.

Providing for the continual growth and development of our Confraternity is a priority. As the Minister General (also acting as Chief of Staff) is now almost 71 and her husband 74, they will have to retire sometime from the day-to-day administration of the Confraternity of Penitents, but the CFP Council has developed a plan to ensure that the charism of prayer, penance, and holiness, as laid out in the Rule of 1221, can continue in an orderly and logical way. This newsletter will introduce this plan.

Thank you for your prayer support and consideration. – CFP Council of Directors


Kay-Marie is a live in volunteer who, along with her part time job, manages the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop. Here she is sitting at her computer, printing off orders. Kay-Marie also does the dishes and keeps the kitchen and bathrooms clean and tidy.


Most CFP members have little idea of the work that is currently being done at the CFP Administrative Headquarters in Fort Wayne IN USA. This work keeps the CFP operating on a day to day basis to spread the message of penance world wide and to minister to its members and others. In addition to the work of the Church, which is praying the Divine Office daily, and attending daily Mass, CFP volunteers in Fort Wayne are involved in the following activities. These naturally take time and money.

  1. Management of the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop/Net income approximately $18,000 yearly.

  2. Maintenance of Mary’s Glen ½ acre Catholic Prayer Park

  3. Composition, printing, mailing of weekly prayer list and monthly newsletter and putting these on line.

  4. Maintenance and development of CFP website and Gift Shop website as well as two Franciscan Penance Library sites, Oratory of Divine Love (weekly on line Bible Study reflections), and four additional websites dealing with conversion and Franciscan topics.

  5. Updating CFP address list and membership files, mailing out information on CFP, answering calls about the CFP, etc.

  6. Corresponding with prisoners in the CFP Alessandro Prison Ministry.

  7. Continuous contact with Regional Ministers regarding new inquirers, current members.

  8. Continuous contact with Formators who lead members through the 4 year formation program.

  9. Payment of bills for offices, gift shop, utilities, etc.

  10. Managing 6 live in. on site volunteers

  11. Managing two volunteers who live in their own homes and who assist in the work weekly.

Erin is currently discerning a religious vocation. Along with her part time job, she is a CFP live in volunteer who currently compiles, posts to the internet, and postal mails the CFP Weekly Prayer list. She also prepares and posts the weekly Oratory of Divine Love Bible Study reflection. In addition, Erin does a range of other jobs such as weeding, housekeeping, and posting items on line to the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop. Here she is dusting the Holy Family Statue in the Holy House in Mary's Glen at CFP headquarters.


At the end of his life, Francis told his brothers, “I have done what was mine to do. May you do what God shows you is yours to do.” God has given each of us a mission in life, and for those who are or will be pledged in living the CFP Rule and Constitutions, this life is part of what is “yours to do.” When a CFP member attends a CFP retreat, he or she realizes, at once, that they are not living this life alone. Others are benefiting from living this same, self-giving and self-emptying way. We are all sisters and brothers.


Our goals over the next five years have been thought about and prayed about for a year or more. Many options have presented themselves, but the Confraternity Council considers our proposal to be the wisest in order to meet the following goals.


  • To enable the Confraternity of Penitents to continue and expand its mission to spread the message of penance (conversion)

  • To provide administrative help to run the Confraternity of Penitents by providing CFP owned housing for the Chief of Staff and for live-in volunteers who will work for the Confraternity in exchange for housing.

  • To generate ongoing income to meet the expenses on these buildings, through the donations oflive-in, elderly, able bodied gentlemen.

  • To avoid having continually to fund raise to pay salaries.

  • To avoid having to ask members to triple their suggested tithe in order to pay salaries.


As CFP members, we realize that many people, just like us, could benefit from this way of life, if only they knew about it and had the support to embrace it. God is calling people to the vocation of living a life of continual conversion, which is what penance is all about. People may or may not recognize the call. Those who do recognize it, look for others to support them. Striving to give up one’s will and surrender it to God (whom many no longer believe exists) is certainly counter cultural in today’s world. Yet the Holy Spirit leads individuals to the Confraternity of Penitents, and it is our great joy to walk with and support them. Your prayers and continual support are critical to this ministry.

Francis was no longer minister general when he died. He had passed that baton on to another friar. He knew that the Order was not his. It belonged to the Lord Who had called him initially to do penance and Who had grown things from there. The CFP is at the point where it, like Francis, must look to the future. The plan outlined here is the CFP Council’s solution, reached through God-portunities and much prayer, to address the future needs of those now living a life of penance and those whom God will call to do so. Please pray for this initiative and support it as the Lord leads. –Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP.

What We Have Now --- What We Propose: A Three Part Plan

  1. What We Have NowRENTED CFP ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS, CFP HOLY ANGELS GIFT SHOP, MARY'S GLEN --1702 Lumbard Street Housing for CFP Administrative Volunteer, Gift Shop Manager, Property Manager plus CFP Administrative Offices in the house—only privacy for volunteers is their bedrooms, and two of the three volunteers have office space in their bedroom. The CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop is on this property as is Mary’s Glen, a half acre Catholic Prayer Park. The CFP currently rents this property (7 city lots) from the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend. The current Minister General is also acting as Chief of Staff.

  • What We ProposeCFP OWNED CHIEF OF STAFF HOUSE, CFP HOLY ANGELS GIFT SHOP, MARY'S GLEN. Purchase the Lumbard Street Property (house pictured above--property is 7 city lots and consists of house currently being used as CFP Administrative Headquarters as well as, in another building, the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop, and in the rear Mary's Glen) from the Diocese and convert the house into a private, 3 bedroom home (2 baths, living room, family room, kitchen, laundry area) for a Chief of Staff and his or her family. The Chief of Staff will administer the day to day needs and growth of the Confraternity of Penitents, oversee all CFP help, and retain contact with the Minister General, wherever the Minister General may live.

  1. What We Have Now -- CFP VOLUNTEERS BEING HOUSED IN A PRIVATE HOME. Three additional volunteers housed in a private residence a block from the Lumbard Street property. These volunteers perform administrative and Gift Shop work for the CFP. Housing in the private residence was necessitated by city and county officials deeming that the 3 volunteer resident cabins used for sleeping did not meet code unless they were modified to each have a kitchen, rest room, and handicapped accessible entrance and were securely anchored to the ground. This was deemed an excessive use of funds by the CFP Council especially since a bathroom and kitchen (both handicapped accessible) were within 50 feet of the sleeping cabins. The cabins have been sold and are being used as they were designed in other locations in two other states.

  • What We Propose – CFP VOLUNTEERS HOUSED IN A CFP OWNED HOME. Renovate a CFP owned residence (pictured above) within walking distance for live in, volunteer help. This residence will also house a few elderly, able-bodied men whose monthly contribution for room and board will assist the CFP in paying for this residence. We will relocate the CFP Administrative Offices from Lumbard Street to one floor of this property.

  • Rooms in the to-be-renovated CFP Owned Volunteer Residence and Administrative Office Building

  • : CFP Office -- Efficiency Kitchen; Full Bath with Shower; Double Laundry (2 washers and 2 dryers); Storage with Shelves; CFP Office 1, CFP Office 2;CFP Office 3; CFP Library; Meeting Room

  • First Floor: Living Space--Patio and Fenced in Yard; Large Covered Front Porch, Parlor; Kitchen; Dining Room, Powder Room; Full Bath with Shower: Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, Bedroom 3, Bedroom 4, Living Room, Chapel

  • Second Floor: Living Space: Bedroom 5, Bedroom 6, Bedroom 7, Bedroom 8, Powder Room, Full Bath with Shower, Eat in Kitchen, Attic Storage

  1. What We Have Now –NO PRAYER CHAPEL AT EITHER LOCATION. The city and county deemed that the prayer chapel we had in Mary's Glen did not meet code because it needed a second, handicapped accessible entrance, code approved windows, an attached handicapped accessible bathroom and needed to be anchored to the ground. The CFP Council deemed these modifications were  too costly, especially since the city and county could not state that they would satisfy all the code modifications required. The chapel and sacristy have been sold and are being used in two other locations. The sacristy items and chapel items, however, have been retained for a future chapel that meets code from the ground up.

Chapel 1.jpg
  • What We Propose— A PRAYER CHAPEL AT EACH LOCATION. The volunteer residence already has a room designated as a prayer chapel. The prayer chapel at Lumbard Street will serve Mary’s Glen, will be built on a foundation attached to the Gift Shop, and will meet all city, county, and state commercial code requirements. See above rendering. The part marked "EXISTING" is the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop and common area.

piggy bank.jpg
  1. The Diocese is very generous in asking only $50,000 for the Lumbard Street House, CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop, and Mary’s Glen, covering seven city lots amounting to 1.75 acres of property.

  2. The 24 room residence (former convent) two blocks from the Lumbard Street property, which will provide housing for live-in volunteers and elderly, able-bodied men as well as space for the CFP Administrative Offices, has been purchased from a nonprofit organization for 10,000, the cost of cleaning up water damage that occurred when a water pipe burst in the vacant building. The cost of renovating and restoring this residence will come to $120,000.

  3. The property for the chapel in Mary’s Glen will be part of the Lumbard Street purchase. The cost of building the chapel from the ground up (new construction) will be $55-$65,000.

  • The CFP does not bring in sufficient income to pay a Chief of Staff or employees. Scattered volunteers are unable to manage the almost 400 members, associates, affiliates, inquirers, and Alessandro Prison Ministry members in the CFP.

  • When the current Minister General (also currently Chief of Staff) becomes unable to continue, CFP Life Pledged members will elect a new Minister General who will unlikely be able to relocate to Fort Wayne to live.

  • The owner of the private residence that is now housing three CFP volunteers wishes to assume use of that house in a few years.

  • Without a viable plan to provide for a centralized Administrative CFP Office and Gift Shop, along with workers for these, the CFP will be unable to function efficiently in its evangelical outreach and will likely eventually dissolve.


Above: CFP Life Pledged Member Mariah with most of her family at Gazebo in Mary's Glen.


CFO Hermit Ally Sr. Elizabeth, CFP Spiritual Advisor Fr. Jacob Meyer, with CFP Life Pledged Members Sandy and Rita.

  1. The proposed plan provides housing in exchange for volunteer work as well as administrative offices and the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop which is both a ministry and a source of income.

  2. Both properties are within 2 blocks of each other.

  3. Both properties are 2 blocks from historic Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church, home to Franciscan friars and Poor Clare nuns. Once renovations to the church are completed, daily public Mass will resume there and be readily available to CFP volunteers.

  4. Excluding the Mary’s Glen Prayer Chapel, the total cost of providing housing for CFP workers, administrative offices, and the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop comes to $175,000. There are few areas in the USA where two residences totaling 30+ rooms (excluding bathrooms) can be obtained for $175,000. We know this is a lot to most of our members, but we ask your sacrificial help.

  1. Pray. We believe that the Lord has led us to this decision and will bring in the needed funds.

  2. Make a tax deductible donation.

  3. Sponsor a room in the Volunteer Residence. Those who commit to a $5000 room sponsorship are invited to name and/or dedicate the room via a bronze plaque which will be placed in the room, and to personalize the room with one piece of religious art of their choice. Rooms will be assigned by lot to those committing to the $5000 sponsorship. This pledge may be paid over 3 years.

  4. Name the Volunteer Residence for a donation of $50,000. Please contact us directly about this gift.

  5. Name the Chief of Staff house for a donation of $25,000. Please contact us directly about this gift.

  6. Make a monthly gift in the amount of your choice for a period of three years.

  7. If you’re 70 ½ or older, and make your donation straight from your IRA, it will count toward your Required Minimum Distribution and will not be reported as income to the IRS.

Our Lady of Guadalupe outdoor shrine at purchased and to be renovated future CFP volunteer residence. May Our Lady intercede for the CFP and all its members and intentions and may she obtain a blessing for you who are reading this.


[ ] YES! I will pray for the success of the drive to purchase the Lumbard Street Property as housing for the Chief of Staff, the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop, and Mary’s Glen, and the renovation of the 24 room house as a Volunteer Residence and Administrative Offices.

] I I will donate $______ a month for the next three years for the purchase/renovation fund in addition to my current donation of $_______ for CFP operations.

{ } I would like to sponsor a room in the Volunteer Residence. Please check: ___ $5000 one time donation; ____ $417/month for a year; ____ $208/month for 2 years; ____$139/month for 3 years ___

[ ] Enclosed is my one time check for $__________.

[ ] Charge my VISA/MasterCard/Amex Card $________________________________

            Exp ___/___ Signature (required for card donations________________________

[ ] I am 70-1/2 or older and will make a donation of $________ from my IRA. I understand my donation will not be taxable to me and will count as part of my required minimum distribution.

[ ] I can donate $_________ in securities. Please provide information on how to do this.

{ } Please send me ____ additional brochures to distribute to potential donors.

{ } I can conduct a fund raiser of __________ to raise funds for this project. Proposed date _________

{   } I will make an interest free loan to the CFP in the amount of _____________ to be paid back in full by _____________.

[  ] I will donate on line using the donation button to the right.

Name __________________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________________

City ________________________________________State ______ ZIP _____________

Phone ______________________________ email _______________________________

This form needs to be copied and pasted into a Microsoft Word Document. It cannot be filled out on line.

Mail to: To:      Our Rule/Our Future Fund, Confraternity of Penitents, 1702 Lumbard Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46803 USA

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