A fraternity in mission

Occasionally, people will ask me “What order are you?” and other questions that eventually lead to the inquiry, “Where are y’all from?” I have noticed that people not native to the South have picked up that Southern expression. But it leaves me in a dilemma. I wonder if the one I am speaking with understands there is a difference between “y’all” and “all y’all”. So, I am not sure if they are asking where I am from (y’all having, in some cases, a singular use) or they are asking where all we friars are from (all y’all would have been clearer in use and intention). The answer to the question “Where are all y’all from?” might well be “Holy Name Province.” Continue reading

Francis of Assisi – “And the Lord gave me brothers…”

It is later in the autumn of 1206 that with his decision to “leave the world” Francis began to be aware of the powerful Divine Presence in his life through, his work among the lepers near Assisi, and his habit of taking refuge in churches for prayer and rebuilding the structures.  At San Damiano he encountered the consoling presence of the Savior who had suffered and died for him. It was a presence he soon came to recognize in other church: “And the Lord granted me such faith in churches that I would pray simply and say: We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, in all you churches throughout the world, and we bless you, because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.” (Testament 4-7).  Francis was at the beginnings of an inner peace. Continue reading

Admoniton Eleven

People of a certain age have children who are now adults.  Their kids are establishing careers, families, and planning for the future. They are more and more becoming their own persons – and the parent-child relationship is giving way to the peer-peer relationship – at least in some part and form. Some of my friends insist on the parent-child dynamic. Continue reading

Admonition Eight

Someone once described the décor in my room in the friary as a wonderful example of “early American randomness.” Random?  Really? I suspect they really meant chaos in the mathematical sense – because there is always an order present – even if it is not readily apparent.  One of my friar brothers, in his life before joining the Franciscans, was a successful interior designer whose work brought beauty in to the world from the chaos of materials and ideas. His work has graced the cover of Architectural Digest several times. Another brother teaches at a noted school of medicine. Another is a cobbler, another a tailor, and another an elementary school teacher.  We have lawyers, dentists, business executives, musicians, academics, writes, cooks, social workers, counselors, and even a candlestick maker. All different gifts to build up the fraternity of men, who like Francis, on our best days work to build up the Church. Continue reading