Sunday, December 13, 2009

Materials for the introductory video

Here's what you need to customize the video for your fraternity's use:

1) The PowerPoint presentation. This is the version customized for the National Fraternity.
2) The MP3 file with the music. Right click on the link to the left and click "Save link as." The MP3 file will need to be placed in the same directory as the PowerPoint file. Note that it is a large file (over 3.5Mb) and may take a little while to download.
3) Microsoft PowerPoint and the free iSpring PowerPoint to Flash converter (available at I was also able to convert PowerPoint to Flash using OpenOffice (a free office suite), but it didn't incorporate the music. You can also Google for other ways to convert PowerPoint to Flash if you don't have PowerPoint.

If you want to see the video for a local fraternity, it's available here.

The making of an introductory SFO video

More from Mary Lou Coffman, SFO, about the making of their introductory video on the SFO. In a subsequent posting we will include links to the materials needed to adapt it to your own use.
    Vickie Klick

About a year and a half ago, our Fraternity had arranged to have a sister from a local convent come to give a talk on centering prayer. Two days before our meeting, Sister Charlotte became ill, and we were left scrambling for a topic of discussion and way to launch the discussion.
We handed out 3x5 cards and told each person to complete the sentence: I am a Secular Franciscan because I am looking for. . . . Each person wrote one phrase on a card; the cards were passed in, shuffled and read. We were deeply moved to hear all of the reasons to become a Secular Franciscan. As we discussed the ideas, it became clear that these were the reasons that it's necessary to pray, and we were prepared for the following month, when Sister Charlotte was able to come and talk to us.
Our webmaster posted the ideas on our Fraternity website. They can be found at Then I made them into two standup posters with photos of our various activities; we used the posters at our annual parish Ministry Fair.
Our Webmaster created a movie, which he posted on our Web site. I thought that was terrific, so I sent a link to our Regional Minister, Mary Thuman. She liked it a lot, and asked if we could make one for each fraternity in our region. I didn't know how to modify the movie, so I created a PowerPoint presentation, and changed the information to be specific to each Fraternity (30 in all!). Then I used ISpring to make a movie of each presentation.
We showed the PowerPoint at our annual meeting in November, and gave each fraternity a CD of their material. Tom Bello was there and liked the idea a lot, and asked if we could present it nationally.
At that point, I had to make a confession. Our Webmaster had downloaded the music that's in the background. I did a little digging and discovered that it's in the process of copyright, and I surely didn't want to have a national movie with bootlegged music. I don't think that would say anything good about the integrity of Secular Franciscans.
I tracked down the composer and told him what we're doing, and he kindly gave permission to use the music as long as nothing was being sold and if we would use the attribution language he sent. I added a final page to the presentation, giving credit to everyone who had a part in putting it together.
Editor's note: Mary Lou has adapted the presentation for the National Fraternity. It is available at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who We Are - Introductory video about the SFO

I'll be posting a nice introductory video about the SFO from St. Margaret of Cortona Regional Fraternity. We hope to have Mary Lou Coffman, SFO, one of the producers of this video, share how this came to be made and how other regional and local fraternities might do something similar. Stay tuned...