St. Clare of Assisi

In the last several articles we have described the brothers who gathered around Francis and committed themselves to his way of following Christ. Two of the earliest arrivals were Leo and Rufino.  The first became Francis’ chaplain and confessor, as Leo was an ordained priest already. Rufino, a lifelong confidant and wisdom figure for Francis, was also the first cousin of an aristocratic woman of Assisi, the niece of Monaldo, lord of Coriano.  Clare di Favarone di Offredicio was a woman from the very class of landed aristocrats that the young Francis had imitated and longed to join socially. Continue reading

And we wait

easter_crossThe sun has risen on Holy Saturday. The Christian world has remembered and celebrated the events of the Last Supper, all that unfolded in Gethsemane, the trials, the scourging, the via dolorosa, crucifixion, death, burial, and now… we wait. This week someone remarked how lucky I was to be Franciscan friar and that I could take these days for solitude, reflection, and quiet. And indeed, some of my brothers not in parish ministry are able to do that. Many are on retreat. Not so here in the parish.

This morning there is a meeting to finalize the materials for tonight’s Vigil Mass, decorate the church from the solemnity of Good Friday into the joy of Easter morning, and a rehearsal for the events of the evening’s celebration. There are many moving parts in a Vigil celebration well done – some involved in the liturgy come with a veteran’s experience while others, the Elect and Confirmandi, are new to this stage. New to the liturgical choreography is the understanding and framing of the scenes and movements for live stream. The rehearsal will finish, the notes receive a last minute editing, and all put right until we again assemble hours later. Until then we will wait. Continue reading