Dear Friends and supporters,
Please enjoy the first edition of The Explorer, which we hope will be a quarterly newsletter of the FNE.
If you are in the South Jersey/Central Jersey/Philadelphia area and are interested in starting a new FNE unit, please contact Deputy Group Leader David Smith at bagheera(at)northstarexplorers.org.
Please welcome West Virginia, the Mountain State, to our FNE family! With the approval of our general commissioner, we are pleased to announce the Our Lady of the Annunciation FNE Group in Charles Town, West Virginia, starting with a boys’ Timber Wolf Den. More information will be forthcoming over the next few weeks, but for now they have chosen royal blue and gold for their colors:
“For scarf colors, we’ve chosen royal blue and gold. Royal blue because it is the color of royalty often used to welcome a king, which is what we hope to be doing for our boys, preparing them for His return. Royal blue is also the color often depicted on Our Lady. The gold symbolizes what is precious and majestic, namely God himself.”
Please welcome Texas, the Lone Star State, to our FNE family! With the approval of our general commissioner, we are pleased to announce the Pope Bl. John Paul II FNE Group in Sugar Land (Houston), Texas with units for boys and girls.
At the beginning of the civil year, I would like to wish to your groups a happy and holy new year. There is one thing that we should pray every single time we tighten our belts; that is “Semper Parati.”
What does it mean?
The exact and proper translation is “Always Ready”! An Explorer is someone who prepares himself to be “Always Ready.” He wants to realize his mission: “The Explorer is made to serve and save his neighbor” (Fr. Jacques Sevin, SJ).
Chivalry is the ideal of our Explorers. An ideal they took from the past to act in present time. We are not nostalgic dreamers, but we are dreamers, not in fantasy but in reality. Our dream is to serve. It is a dream we take from the past, looking to those knights, soldiers and monks. It implies temporal and spiritual duties.
Drawing the present with the past. How strange?
Because our love for God is a reality, we are happy that God wants us to live and act in this society — a society that is wounded and even fights against nature and humanity without knowing it.
It is exactly because we are living most of the time in nature that we know the riches of God’s creation. Being close to nature is being close to God, and being grounded in reality. Recalling my summer camps, there is one memory that I like to most: the campfire. At the end of the day, when we had a wonderful day in which we lived a new experience in our patrol, in which we have tried to serve our patrol members and form, together, a family gathered around the patrol staff with God’s grace. Our bodies are tired but our minds are always active because we are trying to be ready.
Ready to receive that story given by our Chief or our priest. That story they heard themselves from their chiefs coming from a time when our country’s identity was Christian. These stories came from the time when Chivalry meant service. They formed that link that we, ourselves, are living, today.
Principles and law
I cannot be “Always Ready” without knowing exactly what I am supposed to do. The source is the Explorer Law. Our fathers gave us that Law which is, in a way, that link I received from the past in order to serve in the present.
If every day, I meditate on that Law, I will understand how the Explorer movement, the Chivalry of modern times, will penetrate deeply into the souls of our boys and girls and will transform them, into happier and better men and women.
The Explorer Law is a concrete expression of the Gospel, a practical translation of principles posed by the Decalogue. Our law emerges in the heart of children and opens up into the most beautiful Christian virtues that nature and God’s grace make fruitful.
By our way of life, our way to educate in games, an Explorer receives what he needs physically in all the skills he receives at camps, and that which he acquires through the hierarchy. He acquires the art to manage his life in order to untangle others. He is a pioneer, a colonist, a missionary.
He also receives what he needs spiritually by the way he lives our way of life. You can play a game just for fun or in order to prove something to yourself or to someone else but what is the purpose? It is a really poor one!
If you do it with the virtues that are included in the Law, it is then another challenge. You are using your skills for your patrol, for your friends, to excel in your generosity.
By the Law and all the virtues that it claims: virtues of loyalty, dedication, and purity, an Explorer becomes really a knight ready to serve.
Do it without reserve, without rest, without limit, give all that you have and you will receive what is most necessary to a knight: to be “Always Ready.”
Good camps to all and may we have the pleasure to share a campfire once again altogether under the stars of Our Lady.
Hoc’h Gouez (E) a Faouëdic
Link to Pdf:
Francis de Sales was the oldest of twelve children. His parents were well to do and pious, but they intended for Francis to become a lawyer and advance his family’s influence and power. He was a very good student and, with high honors, earned doctorates in both civil and cannon law. When he returned home from university, he was offered an honorable position in the senate of Savoy.
But he soon received a message in his heart. “Leave all and follow Me.” He declined the senate position and entered the seminary to become a priest. His family was much opposed to this, especially since they had arranged a marriage for him that would further advance their family’s standing.
Francis prayed constantly for his family, and was always kind and gentle. Soon they accepted his decision. After his ordination he was assigned to the diocese of Geneva, Switzerland where the Calvinists were strong. His gentle ways, and simple clear explanations of Catholic doctrine won many calvinists back to the Catholic Church.
Indeed he was so successful at wining converts, that many times the Calvinists spread lies about him, laid all kinds of plots against him, and even made attempts on his life. Eventually he was appointed bishop of Geneva. He continued to work tirelessly to evangelize, and even used sign language to reach the deaf. It is said that during his time there he converted over 70,000 people back to the Catholic faith. Many of his letters and spiritual guides are still widely used today. They are of such quality that he was even named a doctor of the Church.
St. Francis de Sales was kind and gentle, even to those who persecuted him, but he was no push over. When it came to following our Lord, he never wavered in the slightest. Wether it was enemies of the Church or even his own family trying to dissuade him, he always held firm.