Our Community
About Us

The Brothers

The present members of the community are Brother Wayne (centre), Brother Howard (left) and Brother Geoffrey Adam (right).

The Brothers publish a newsletter, the Bush Telegraph, at the beginning of Lent and Advent each year. There is no subscription but donations towards the production of the newsletter are welcome.

The Brothers sell hand-carved holding crosses, jam, marmalade, blank greeting cards, tea towels and honey. See the Community Wares page for details.

There is a Hermitage for Guests for one person. It is available for retreats, quiet times and short breaks. Meals are provided by the Brothers and guests are encouraged to join the Brothers for prayer. See the Visitors page for details.

All visits must be pre-arranged!

A Day in the Life of a Brother

Times Routine
2:00 am or 4:00 am
Vigil Office following by Lectio Divina
6:00 am to 7:00 am
Morning meditation (together)
7:00 am to 7:30 am
Angelus and Matins (together)
Morning chores followed by get-your-own breakfast
8:30 am
Brothers' Conference (in the Refectory)
9:00 am
Terce (in the Refectory)
until 11:45 am
Work (together) as arranged
Angelus and Midday Office (Sext)
Get-your-own lunch followed by rest
2:00 pm to 5:00pm
Work (alone)
6:00 pm
Vespers followed by silence until the evening meal
7:00 pm
Prepared meal
8:00 pm
Compline
Community silence is kept after Compline until Morning Conference the following day.

Becoming a Brother

A deep desire for God is central of our way of life and, in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we see the perfect expression of God’s longing and love for us.

This desire for God will manifest itself in a commitment to growing in the life of prayer, generosity, hard work and sacrifice within the life of the community of Brothers.

There are four stages in the process of training and discerning if one has a vocation or not.

Aspirant
This involves a number of visits and sharing in the life of the Brothers as a guest. It will also involve discussion and discernment by yourself and the Brothers about your possible vocation and the next stage if that is felt appropriate.

Postulant
This is like being a guest except that it is for a period of up to three (3) months and with the explicit intention of thinking about joining the Brothers.

Novice
This next step takes a more definite form and your responsibilities move from that of a permanent guest to someone in training. It’s for two (2) years and will be tailored to suit your spiritual and educational background and age.

Temporary Vows
This is a serious step where both you and the community enter into a definite commitment. Up until now, both you and the community have been free to decide not to go ahead. The temporary vows are for a minimum of three (3) years to ten (10) years with most being taken somewhere in between.

Life Vows
This is the final stage when you apply for Life Vows or life membership with the Little Brothers of Francis. If elected, these are made in the presence of our Bishop Protector.

Why Eremophila?

One of the beautiful flowering shrubs of Australia’s arid areas is eremophila. It has many diverse forms – some are small tree-like shrubs, others are quite small (under 30 cm); some have almost needle-like leaves; some have short stubby leaves; and yet others have long, hanging strappy leaves.

The flowers are small and trumpet-like and may be white, pink, yellow, mauve or orange. When they are in flower, they can be especially showy, like E Sturtii that is common in western New South Wales and south-western Queensland.

This diversity within one plant family is seen as symbolic of the personalities, gifts and skills to be found and honoured among the Brothers, yet belonging and committed to their vocation within the community of Brothers.

The plant is called eremophila because it is a shrub of the arid zone. The name eremophila comes from two Greek words: eremos – solitude, desert, wilderness, lonely place; phileo – to love. Eremophila is a lover of the desert or wilderness.

We have chosen Eremophila as the name of our place. Although this is not a desert, it is somewhat isolated, as our visitors often remark! For us, however, it is a reminder of the place of solitude in the religious life. The early monks made their homes in the desert and places of solitude were important in the life of Francis and the early Franciscan movement, as they were in the life of Christ Himself. To call our place Eremophila is a way of acknowledging this tradition in our Australian context and also of recognising one of the great beauties of the Australian desert.

It's not an optional extra!

Monks, Nuns and Religious Brothers and Sisters may live on the margins of the Church and they may even seem in disarray themselves at times but their way of life is a way of responding to Christ’s love for us and the message of the Gospel. The Church is incomplete without them.
Prayer for the Religious Life

Lord Jesus Christ, in your great love you draw all people to yourself and in your wisdom you call us to your service. We pray at this time that you will kindle in the hearts of men and women the desire to follow you in the religious life. Give to those whom you call grace to accept their vocation readily and thankfully, to make the wholehearted surrender which you ask of them, and for love of you to persevere to the end. This we ask in your name. Amen.
The great spiritual tradition of the East, as seen in the Orthodox Church, places monks and nuns at the heart of spirituality, as does the Roman Catholic tradition. The Anglican Church, and some Reformed Churches with places like Taizé, have also recognised how impoverished the Church is without this way of life in its midst.

Therefore, we need to make a serious commitment to pray that this way of life is constantly renewed and reinvigorated so that it flourishes among us. To assist this, we have produced a prayer: but it is more than just “saying a prayer” that we are asking.

This prayer is available on a bookmark from all Religious Communities.

Parish Visits

Times Routine
Friday Night
Parish Dinner
Talk
Saturday Morning
9.00 to 12.00: Conducted Retreat
Sunday
Preach at Sunday Worship (Theme: Spirituality, Prayer, Contemplation)
Cast
By arrangement
Contact the Brothers to arrange a parish visit.

Where does LBF fit in?

We are a recognised Religious Order within the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are a member of the Advisory Council for the Anglican Religious Life in Australia.

We are a member of the Franciscan Federation of Australia which is comprised of the Roman Catholic Franciscan communities and those Anglican Franciscan communities recognised by the Advisory Council.

Our Bishop Protector is Bishop Godfrey Friar, Bishop, Diocese of Rockhampton, Queensland and Chairman of the Advisory Council for Anglican Religious Life in Australia.

Sources of Inspiration

There are four sources of inspiration for the Little Brothers of Francis. They are:

1.     The Gospels
The four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – are central to our spirituality and the main source material for our meditation and prayer life.

2.     St Francis
Francis would recall Christ’s words and life through persistent meditation on the Gospels, for his deep desire was to love Christ and live a Christ-centred life.

He was a man of prayer and mystic who sought places of solitude and hermitages played a central role in his life.

Significant events, like the initiation of the Christmas Crib tradition, happened at the hermitage at Greccio and, of course, he received the stigmata while he was at the hermitage at Mount la Verna, to mention just a couple.

Though the early brothers embraced a mixed life of prayer and ministry, Francis wanted places of seclusion – hermitages – for the primacy of prayer, in which three or four brothers lived and for which he wrote a rule.

3.     St Francis’ Rule for Hermitages
In his brief rule for life within the hermitage, Francis avoids a detailed document and sets out the principles that are important:

  • Liturgy of the Hours is the focus and sets the rhythm of the daily prayer.
  • Each hermitage was to have three or, at the most, four Brothers which meant that they would be both “little” and “fraternal”.
  • Within this framework, Brothers could withdraw for periods of solitude.
  • The hermitages were not to be places or centres of ministry.

4.      Desert Fathers
The stories and sayings of the Desert Fathers contain a profound wisdom for any who are serious about the inner spiritual journey.

This is why they have held such prominence in monastic circles in both the East and West down through the centuries and why they are a priority source for us.

5.     The Land: our Portiuncula and Bethel
In Francis’ love for the place called the Portiuncula and the biblical story of Jacob and his dream at Bethel, we see parallels in both being led to this place, Eremophila, and its spiritual significance.