News from US Franciscans

Friars Vote to Recommend One US Province

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Voicing their support for the revitalization of Franciscan life in the US, six provinces of the Order of Friars Minor have voted to form one new organization. On May 30, the friars of each of the six provinces voted at meetings in their communities...

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Religious Brothers Day

The second annual Religious Brothers Day is being held today, May 1, 2018, on the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Rooting his life deeply in God, the Brother consecrates all creation, recognizing the presence of God and the Spirit’s action in creation, in cultures...

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Franciscans March for Our Lives

A number of Franciscans joined hundreds of thousands of people at the March for Our Lives here on Saturday, March 24. Other Franciscans marched in one of the hundreds of similar marches around the world.

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News from US Franciscans

Recent #FriarFriday Reflections

#FriarFriday – Borders

Twenty-five years ago I helped grow the new Franciscan presence at the United Nations by developing interest among Franciscan Friars around the world.

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Recent #FriarFriday Reflections

News from the OFM English-speaking Conference

ofm.org posts

New Custos in England

Br. Aidan McGrath OFM, the provincial minister of the Province of Ireland, has announced that Br. Michael Copps OFM has been elected as custos of the Custody of the Immaculate Conception in Great Britain. The ESC's prayers and best wishes go to Br. Michael and to all...

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Merry Christmas 2017

t happened, three years prior to his death, that St. Francis of Assisi decided to celebrate at the town of Greccio the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus with the greatest possible solemnity, in order to arouse devotion. So that...

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Conference meets with General Definitorium | Fall Newsletter

ENGLISH SPEAKING CONFERENCE | ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR                                                                                                         Thomas S. Washburn, OFMPO Box 61128  • New Bedford, Massachusetts 02746 • exec@escofm.org                       ...

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US Franciscans look to future renewal with hope

each made simple statements of why they voted as they did:Kevin Mullen, of Holy Name Province, said, “One new Province provides us with the opportunity to have a vital fraternal experience.  With regard to mission, one new Province allows us to take the core values of...

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US Franciscans statement on Charlottesville violence

8/17/2017 0 Comments FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | August 2017 As followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of peace, we, the Franciscans Friars of the United States join with the many public and religious leaders and fellow-citizens who have condemned the recent...

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New Custos in England

Br. Aidan McGrath OFM, the provincial minister of the Province of Ireland, has announced that Br. Michael Copps OFM has been elected as custos of the Custody of the Immaculate Conception in Great Britain. The ESC's prayers and best wishes go to Br. Michael and to all...

read more

Merry Christmas 2017

t happened, three years prior to his death, that St. Francis of Assisi decided to celebrate at the town of Greccio the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus with the greatest possible solemnity, in order to arouse devotion. So that...

read more

Conference meets with General Definitorium | Fall Newsletter

ENGLISH SPEAKING CONFERENCE | ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR                                                                                                         Thomas S. Washburn, OFMPO Box 61128  • New Bedford, Massachusetts 02746 • exec@escofm.org                       ...

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News from the General Curia in Rome

ofm.org posts

The Order revitalizes its presence in Cuba

On May 15thlast, three friars arrived in Havana, Cuba, to form a new international fraternity in Holy Cross parish. As well as offering support to the Cuban members of the Custody of St. Mary of Hope (3 Solemnly Professed friars and 6 in Initial Formation), Brs....

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Capuchin Franciscans Elect New General Minister

On 3 September 2018, Br. Roberto Genuin, OFMCap was elected General Minister of the Capuchin Order. Br. Roberto was born on September 20, 1961 in Falcade, a town in the Belluno civil province of the Italian region of Veneto. At eleven years old he entered the Seraphic...

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Franciscans, Planning for COP24, Katowice

COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP24 will take place from 3-14 December 2018, in Katowice, Poland. It’s relevant to the Franciscans to participate in COP in any...

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In the Company of Angels | Franciscans, Youth and Faith

The word “accompaniment” captures an essential element of “Franciscan Presence.” We enter people’s lives reverently and humbly. We walk with them, sharing the Good News of Jesus by sharing in the joys and struggles of their lives. This is what we do at Valley of the...

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The Order revitalizes its presence in Cuba

On May 15thlast, three friars arrived in Havana, Cuba, to form a new international fraternity in Holy Cross parish. As well as offering support to the Cuban members of the Custody of St. Mary of Hope (3 Solemnly Professed friars and 6 in Initial Formation), Brs....

read more

Capuchin Franciscans Elect New General Minister

On 3 September 2018, Br. Roberto Genuin, OFMCap was elected General Minister of the Capuchin Order. Br. Roberto was born on September 20, 1961 in Falcade, a town in the Belluno civil province of the Italian region of Veneto. At eleven years old he entered the Seraphic...

read more

News from our Facebook Page

5 days ago

Suresh K Thomas

Dear Respected All

My name is Suresh K Thomas I don’t know how to write all these things because I haven’t write such letter before .So pardon me if there is any mistake as you may think like insult. if you believe this post is in violation of this page's policy or ethics please delete it
Dear friends Me and my family is a victim of recent Floods Happene in Kerala .We lost everything I mean nothing left except the dresses which we wear . We are in refuge camp since last one week. A portion of my new house has been collapsed. All of you can see the photo. We need a emergency relief to solve our problems All of our things and belongings has been washed out due to the flood .Nothing is remained with us .In my family I have wife ,2 children and my old aged Parents .I don’t know how to overcome this situation .When my children and and my parents are crying for food ,as a father /as a son I it hurt me a lot .Please share one day food expenses of yours to us as a charity if you could help me we will be very much thankful to you and Jesus Christ will reward you a lot Even a single Dollar will be a great relief for us .We all are praying to Lord Jesus and I am sure that Jesus Christ will helps through the hands of all of you .Please consider this a s message of a helpless person.Here in kerala a lot of people are suffering worse than us .In some areas
people have no food no water and no shelter Dear all please pray for them also
I was working in UAE in an employment visa . But due. to some illness I was forced to come back to Kerala after 48 Days I have 2 blocks in my Heart and had done one surgery and had removed one block. The other one is almost 70% and doctor told me that it may be cured By medicines .If it not cure I have to do one more operation.
Now I can’t go back to UAE for job because My physical conditions will not allow it .The visa is already expired ..I f anybody can provide me a job anywhere I will we very much thankful to you all
I don’t know how to tell this If you could help us please help otherwise please pray for us .Even a single dollar will be an great relief for us.Please don’t consider our cast or religion .Please consider as Human being .In the name of JESUS CHRIST we: beg your mercy Don't consider it as a fake message.. All it happens is true
Nothing More to Add .Ending with lot of love and Prayers

MY Bank Details
SURESH K THOMAS
STATE BANK OF INDIA
BRANCH JANAKPURI
AC NO S/ B 67355762809
IFC CODE SBIN 0001706.
MICRCODE 110002054
SWIFT Code: SBININBB543
Pan No AFKPT 7114H
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1 week ago

USfranciscans

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Comment on Facebook

God bless you,IC-ADLA pray for you

Perfect!

2 weeks ago

USfranciscans

One of the first struggles of a novice is to learn to 'slow down' and to find some 'quiet' in one's life. This 'slowing and quiet' can be difficult in a world that keeps us distracted and scattered. Pray for us as we settle into a life of quieter and simplified living. 'Lord, give us the grace to enter into this space of 'encountering you' and a deeper understanding of your deepest desire for us.' ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Amen to that

Amen

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News from our Facebook Page

5 days ago

Suresh K Thomas

Dear Respected All

My name is Suresh K Thomas I don’t know how to write all these things because I haven’t write such letter before .So pardon me if there is any mistake as you may think like insult. if you believe this post is in violation of this page's policy or ethics please delete it
Dear friends Me and my family is a victim of recent Floods Happene in Kerala .We lost everything I mean nothing left except the dresses which we wear . We are in refuge camp since last one week. A portion of my new house has been collapsed. All of you can see the photo. We need a emergency relief to solve our problems All of our things and belongings has been washed out due to the flood .Nothing is remained with us .In my family I have wife ,2 children and my old aged Parents .I don’t know how to overcome this situation .When my children and and my parents are crying for food ,as a father /as a son I it hurt me a lot .Please share one day food expenses of yours to us as a charity if you could help me we will be very much thankful to you and Jesus Christ will reward you a lot Even a single Dollar will be a great relief for us .We all are praying to Lord Jesus and I am sure that Jesus Christ will helps through the hands of all of you .Please consider this a s message of a helpless person.Here in kerala a lot of people are suffering worse than us .In some areas
people have no food no water and no shelter Dear all please pray for them also
I was working in UAE in an employment visa . But due. to some illness I was forced to come back to Kerala after 48 Days I have 2 blocks in my Heart and had done one surgery and had removed one block. The other one is almost 70% and doctor told me that it may be cured By medicines .If it not cure I have to do one more operation.
Now I can’t go back to UAE for job because My physical conditions will not allow it .The visa is already expired ..I f anybody can provide me a job anywhere I will we very much thankful to you all
I don’t know how to tell this If you could help us please help otherwise please pray for us .Even a single dollar will be an great relief for us.Please don’t consider our cast or religion .Please consider as Human being .In the name of JESUS CHRIST we: beg your mercy Don't consider it as a fake message.. All it happens is true
Nothing More to Add .Ending with lot of love and Prayers

MY Bank Details
SURESH K THOMAS
STATE BANK OF INDIA
BRANCH JANAKPURI
AC NO S/ B 67355762809
IFC CODE SBIN 0001706.
MICRCODE 110002054
SWIFT Code: SBININBB543
Pan No AFKPT 7114H
... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

USfranciscans

... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

God bless you,IC-ADLA pray for you

Perfect!

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Local US Franciscan News

14 hours ago

SW Franciscans

These two photos are from the V Encuentro that just concluded in Dallas. Fathers Erasmo Romero and Jose Luis Peralta pose with a dear friend of OLG Province, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, CA. and with a group of parishioners from Holy Family Parish in Albuquerque. ... See MoreSee Less

These two photos are from the V Encuentro that just concluded in Dallas. Fathers Erasmo Romero and Jose Luis Peralta pose with a dear friend of OLG Province, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, CA. and with a group of parishioners from Holy Family Parish in Albuquerque.Image attachment

 

Comment on Facebook

Was in theology with Gerry Barnes great bishop

Was in theology with Gerry Barnes great bishop

Are you considering a #HolyLand Pilgrimage with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land and 800 years of experience? Are you waiting for your #Pilgrimage date to arrive? Maybe you have already experienced this trip of a lifetime and want to share your experiences? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, please consider joining the Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimage Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2MrPL3O ... See MoreSee Less

Are you considering a #HolyLand Pilgrimage with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land and 800 years of experience?  Are you waiting for your #Pilgrimage date to arrive?  Maybe you have already experienced this trip of a lifetime and want to share your experiences?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, please consider joining the Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimage Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2MrPL3O

Happy Mountain Sunday! On the 4th Sunday in the #SeasonofCreation, we reflect on one mountain in particular, Mt. Tabor. Located in Galilee, and now home to a Franciscan Monastery, Mt. Tabor is the historic location of the Transfiguration of Jesus. ... See MoreSee Less

Happy Mountain Sunday! On the 4th Sunday in the #SeasonofCreation, we reflect on one mountain in particular, Mt. Tabor. Located in Galilee, and now home to a Franciscan Monastery, Mt. Tabor is the historic location of the Transfiguration of Jesus.

 

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful view I want to go there

Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

It isn’t often that we hear the voice of the really wicked person in the Hebrew Scriptures. Usually we hear the voice of God’s prophets or even God’s voice. So the reading from the Book of Wisdom that we hear this morning might be just a bit jarring. The wicked are plotting the death of a good person who, because of his goodness, is making them look bad.

The framers of the lectionary use this reading to introduce us to one of the passages in which Jesus tells his disciples of his forthcoming passion and death. Then, with remarkable irony, St. Mark tells us that the disciples have been discussing which of them is going to be regarded as the greatest. Mark brings the point home powerfully by contrasting Jesus’ shameful death with the apostles’ concern for glory and honor. This “reversal of fortune” theme is common to all the Gospels. If you want to be great, then you must be the least! If you want to be first, then you must be the last!

Introducing a child into the teaching makes it even more powerful. However, I have a feeling that Western readers will miss Mark’s point because we value our children so greatly and will do just about anything to make it possible for them not only to live but to thrive. Oh yes, there are the odd examples of parents who harm their children. However, the vast majority of parents consider their children their greatest treasure. This was simply not the case in the Middle East in the first century where and when parents chose not to get too close to their children until they reached maturity. The reason for this was quite simple; children often did not live to see adulthood. 30% of all infants died at birth or shortly thereafter. Of those who survived the first year, another 60% died before puberty. Disease and poor hygiene were the main culprits. Children were the most vulnerable members of society. Consequently, parents avoided getting too close to their younger children so that the unavoidable pain of losing a child would not be so hard to bear. When a son or daughter made it to puberty, their parents could breathe a little easier and hold their children a little closer.

The vulnerability of children was so pronounced that in times of famine, they waited until the adults were fed. In dangerous situations, the elders were the first to be protected. Before we think too badly of these people because of this attitude, we should remember that this thinking persisted even into the Middle Ages. Even Thomas Aquinas wrote that the children should be considered last when the family was in straits. Slaves ranked higher in the family hierarchy than minor children because their value was greater than that of young children whose lives might be snuffed out without warning by disease or accidents.

So when Jesus placed a child in their midst and tells them that when they welcome a child, they welcome him, they would have been shocked. How could Jesus put himself on a par with a child? It would have been considered cultural suicide to go to this extreme. Yet this is how Jesus demonstrates how they are to consider themselves. If you want to be great, then you must consider yourselves as insignificant as a child.

We live in what purports to be a Christian nation. Over and over again, I hear the slogan “Make America great again!” Jesus gives us the way to become great. Greatness will be ours when we make ourselves the least and when we protect the most vulnerable among us before considering our own needs. Therein lies true greatness, the greatness of a servant of God.
... See MoreSee Less

Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary TimeIt isn’t often that we hear the voice of the really wicked person in the Hebrew Scriptures. Usually we hear the voice of God’s prophets or even God’s voice. So the reading from the Book of Wisdom that we hear this morning might be just a bit jarring. The wicked are plotting the death of a good person who, because of his goodness, is making them look bad.The framers of the lectionary use this reading to introduce us to one of the passages in which Jesus tells his disciples of his forthcoming passion and death. Then, with remarkable irony, St. Mark tells us that the disciples have been discussing which of them is going to be regarded as the greatest. Mark brings the point home powerfully by contrasting Jesus’ shameful death with the apostles’ concern for glory and honor.  This “reversal of fortune” theme is common to all the Gospels. If you want to be great, then you must be the least! If you want to be first, then you must be the last!Introducing a child into the teaching makes it even more powerful.  However, I have a feeling that Western readers will miss Mark’s point because we value our children so greatly and will do just about anything to make it possible for them not only to live but to thrive.  Oh yes, there are the odd examples of parents who harm their children.  However, the vast majority of parents consider their children their greatest treasure. This was simply not the case in the Middle East in the first century where and when parents chose not to get too close to their children until they reached maturity.  The reason for this was quite simple; children often did not live to see adulthood. 30% of all infants died at birth or shortly thereafter.  Of those who survived the first year, another 60% died before puberty. Disease and poor hygiene were the main culprits.  Children were the most vulnerable members of society.  Consequently, parents avoided getting too close to their younger children so that the unavoidable pain of losing a child would not be so hard to bear.  When a son or daughter made it to puberty, their parents could breathe a little easier and hold their children a little closer.The vulnerability of children was so pronounced that in times of famine, they waited until the adults were fed.  In dangerous situations, the elders were the first to be protected.  Before we think too badly of these people because of this attitude, we should remember that this thinking persisted even into the Middle Ages. Even Thomas Aquinas wrote that the children should be considered last when the family was in straits. Slaves ranked higher in the family hierarchy than minor children because their value was greater than that of young children whose lives might be snuffed out without warning by disease or accidents.So when Jesus placed a child in their midst and tells them that when they welcome a child, they welcome him, they would have been shocked.  How could Jesus put himself on a par with a child?  It would have been considered cultural suicide to go to this extreme.  Yet this is how Jesus demonstrates how they are to consider themselves.  If you want to be great, then you must consider yourselves as insignificant as a child.We live in what purports to be a Christian nation.  Over and over again, I hear the slogan “Make America great again!”  Jesus gives us the way to become great.  Greatness will be ours when we make ourselves the least and when we protect the most vulnerable among us before considering our own needs.  Therein lies true greatness, the greatness of a servant of God.

Support the mission of the Holy Land Friars in Washington DC by joining us for the Tenth Annual Franciscan Monastery Mass and Benefit Dinner.

November 10, 2018 | Mass at 5 p.m. | Benefit Dinner to follow.

Purchase your ticket here: https://bit.ly/2OfNE4a
... See MoreSee Less

Support the mission of the Holy Land Friars in Washington DC by joining us for the Tenth Annual Franciscan Monastery Mass and Benefit Dinner.November 10, 2018 | Mass at 5 p.m. | Benefit Dinner to follow.Purchase your ticket here: https://bit.ly/2OfNE4a

2 days ago

SW Franciscans

'Was Jesus a hopeless romantic when he set a little child in the midst of the disciples that day in Capernaum? No, Jesus was not a hopeless romantic--he was a hopeful fanatic! Jesus was fanatic about opening up the commonwealth of God to those nobody wanted to see; he was fanatic about extending hospitality to those considered no more than property. Jesus didn't follow the rubrics or the rules. He healed when he wasn't supposed to, touched people he shouldn't have touched and talked about suffering after a wonderful moment of glory on the mountain top. Jesus taught us that the commonwealth of God is not up but down. All our arguments about greatness mean nothing if we don't stoop down low enough to see the invisible ones in our midst. That day in Capernaum Jesus held a little child in his arms and brought the words of heaven down to earth. I can imagine Jesus whispering in the child's ear: "You are God's Beloved Child."

'Then Jesus looked over the child's shoulder at his disciples and even farther off, Jesus is looking at us. "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." This is not as simple as it sounds. It means caring for children even if we have none of our own. It means being committed to children's health programs as we are to Medicare or AARP. Jesus wants us to see not only our children and grandchildren but children of migrant workers sleeping in the field and the child who moves from shelter to shelter every night. This means bending down low enough to see the child who can't see any higher than our knees. We may not be able to do that at all--unless we're willing to become hopeful fanatics.'

[The Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad is a professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City]
... See MoreSee Less

Was Jesus a hopeless romantic when he set a little child in the midst of the disciples that day in Capernaum? No, Jesus was not a hopeless romantic--he was a hopeful fanatic! Jesus was fanatic about opening up the commonwealth of God to those nobody wanted to see; he was fanatic about extending hospitality to those considered no more than property. Jesus didnt follow the rubrics or the rules. He healed when he wasnt supposed to, touched people he shouldnt have touched and talked about suffering after a wonderful moment of glory on the mountain top. Jesus taught us that the commonwealth of God is not up but down. All our arguments about greatness mean nothing if we dont stoop down low enough to see the invisible ones in our midst. That day in Capernaum Jesus held a little child in his arms and brought the words of heaven down to earth. I can imagine Jesus whispering in the childs ear: You are Gods Beloved Child.Then Jesus looked over the childs shoulder at his disciples and even farther off, Jesus is looking at us. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me. This is not as simple as it sounds. It means caring for children even if we have none of our own. It means being committed to childrens health programs as we are to Medicare or AARP. Jesus wants us to see not only our children and grandchildren but children of migrant workers sleeping in the field and the child who moves from shelter to shelter every night. This means bending down low enough to see the child who cant see any higher than our knees. We may not be able to do that at all--unless were willing to become hopeful fanatics.[The Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad is a professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City]

 

Comment on Facebook

Amen, may God bless all of us.🙏🙏🙏

Start your own #GranolaHabit and support the mission of the #Franciscanfriars #HolyLand here: http://bit.ly/2orX8hY ... See MoreSee Less

Start your own #GranolaHabit and support the mission of the #Franciscanfriars #HolyLand here: http://bit.ly/2orX8hY

3 days ago

SW Franciscans

Fr. Jose Luis and Fr. Erasmo are participating in the V Encuentro Nacional in Dallas this week. Our prayers accompany them and the many participants from the dioceses where our Friars minister. ... See MoreSee Less

Fr. Jose Luis and Fr. Erasmo are participating in the V Encuentro Nacional in Dallas this week.  Our prayers accompany them and the many participants from the dioceses where our Friars minister.

 

Comment on Facebook

Muchísimas bendiciones para los dos 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

Prayers

Ustedes son un gran ejemplo de Acompañamiento en nuestra comunidad, Dios los bendiga y los guíe para que continúen ese servicio 🙏🏻🤲🏻🕊

4 days ago

Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province

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Local US Franciscan News

14 hours ago

SW Franciscans

These two photos are from the V Encuentro that just concluded in Dallas. Fathers Erasmo Romero and Jose Luis Peralta pose with a dear friend of OLG Province, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, CA. and with a group of parishioners from Holy Family Parish in Albuquerque. ... See MoreSee Less

These two photos are from the V Encuentro that just concluded in Dallas. Fathers Erasmo Romero and Jose Luis Peralta pose with a dear friend of OLG Province, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, CA. and with a group of parishioners from Holy Family Parish in Albuquerque.Image attachment

 

Comment on Facebook

Was in theology with Gerry Barnes great bishop

Was in theology with Gerry Barnes great bishop

Are you considering a #HolyLand Pilgrimage with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land and 800 years of experience? Are you waiting for your #Pilgrimage date to arrive? Maybe you have already experienced this trip of a lifetime and want to share your experiences? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, please consider joining the Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimage Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2MrPL3O ... See MoreSee Less

Are you considering a #HolyLand Pilgrimage with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land and 800 years of experience?  Are you waiting for your #Pilgrimage date to arrive?  Maybe you have already experienced this trip of a lifetime and want to share your experiences?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, please consider joining the Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimage Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2MrPL3O

Happy Mountain Sunday! On the 4th Sunday in the #SeasonofCreation, we reflect on one mountain in particular, Mt. Tabor. Located in Galilee, and now home to a Franciscan Monastery, Mt. Tabor is the historic location of the Transfiguration of Jesus. ... See MoreSee Less

Happy Mountain Sunday! On the 4th Sunday in the #SeasonofCreation, we reflect on one mountain in particular, Mt. Tabor. Located in Galilee, and now home to a Franciscan Monastery, Mt. Tabor is the historic location of the Transfiguration of Jesus.

 

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful view I want to go there

Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

It isn’t often that we hear the voice of the really wicked person in the Hebrew Scriptures. Usually we hear the voice of God’s prophets or even God’s voice. So the reading from the Book of Wisdom that we hear this morning might be just a bit jarring. The wicked are plotting the death of a good person who, because of his goodness, is making them look bad.

The framers of the lectionary use this reading to introduce us to one of the passages in which Jesus tells his disciples of his forthcoming passion and death. Then, with remarkable irony, St. Mark tells us that the disciples have been discussing which of them is going to be regarded as the greatest. Mark brings the point home powerfully by contrasting Jesus’ shameful death with the apostles’ concern for glory and honor. This “reversal of fortune” theme is common to all the Gospels. If you want to be great, then you must be the least! If you want to be first, then you must be the last!

Introducing a child into the teaching makes it even more powerful. However, I have a feeling that Western readers will miss Mark’s point because we value our children so greatly and will do just about anything to make it possible for them not only to live but to thrive. Oh yes, there are the odd examples of parents who harm their children. However, the vast majority of parents consider their children their greatest treasure. This was simply not the case in the Middle East in the first century where and when parents chose not to get too close to their children until they reached maturity. The reason for this was quite simple; children often did not live to see adulthood. 30% of all infants died at birth or shortly thereafter. Of those who survived the first year, another 60% died before puberty. Disease and poor hygiene were the main culprits. Children were the most vulnerable members of society. Consequently, parents avoided getting too close to their younger children so that the unavoidable pain of losing a child would not be so hard to bear. When a son or daughter made it to puberty, their parents could breathe a little easier and hold their children a little closer.

The vulnerability of children was so pronounced that in times of famine, they waited until the adults were fed. In dangerous situations, the elders were the first to be protected. Before we think too badly of these people because of this attitude, we should remember that this thinking persisted even into the Middle Ages. Even Thomas Aquinas wrote that the children should be considered last when the family was in straits. Slaves ranked higher in the family hierarchy than minor children because their value was greater than that of young children whose lives might be snuffed out without warning by disease or accidents.

So when Jesus placed a child in their midst and tells them that when they welcome a child, they welcome him, they would have been shocked. How could Jesus put himself on a par with a child? It would have been considered cultural suicide to go to this extreme. Yet this is how Jesus demonstrates how they are to consider themselves. If you want to be great, then you must consider yourselves as insignificant as a child.

We live in what purports to be a Christian nation. Over and over again, I hear the slogan “Make America great again!” Jesus gives us the way to become great. Greatness will be ours when we make ourselves the least and when we protect the most vulnerable among us before considering our own needs. Therein lies true greatness, the greatness of a servant of God.
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Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary TimeIt isn’t often that we hear the voice of the really wicked person in the Hebrew Scriptures. Usually we hear the voice of God’s prophets or even God’s voice. So the reading from the Book of Wisdom that we hear this morning might be just a bit jarring. The wicked are plotting the death of a good person who, because of his goodness, is making them look bad.The framers of the lectionary use this reading to introduce us to one of the passages in which Jesus tells his disciples of his forthcoming passion and death. Then, with remarkable irony, St. Mark tells us that the disciples have been discussing which of them is going to be regarded as the greatest. Mark brings the point home powerfully by contrasting Jesus’ shameful death with the apostles’ concern for glory and honor.  This “reversal of fortune” theme is common to all the Gospels. If you want to be great, then you must be the least! If you want to be first, then you must be the last!Introducing a child into the teaching makes it even more powerful.  However, I have a feeling that Western readers will miss Mark’s point because we value our children so greatly and will do just about anything to make it possible for them not only to live but to thrive.  Oh yes, there are the odd examples of parents who harm their children.  However, the vast majority of parents consider their children their greatest treasure. This was simply not the case in the Middle East in the first century where and when parents chose not to get too close to their children until they reached maturity.  The reason for this was quite simple; children often did not live to see adulthood. 30% of all infants died at birth or shortly thereafter.  Of those who survived the first year, another 60% died before puberty. Disease and poor hygiene were the main culprits.  Children were the most vulnerable members of society.  Consequently, parents avoided getting too close to their younger children so that the unavoidable pain of losing a child would not be so hard to bear.  When a son or daughter made it to puberty, their parents could breathe a little easier and hold their children a little closer.The vulnerability of children was so pronounced that in times of famine, they waited until the adults were fed.  In dangerous situations, the elders were the first to be protected.  Before we think too badly of these people because of this attitude, we should remember that this thinking persisted even into the Middle Ages. Even Thomas Aquinas wrote that the children should be considered last when the family was in straits. Slaves ranked higher in the family hierarchy than minor children because their value was greater than that of young children whose lives might be snuffed out without warning by disease or accidents.So when Jesus placed a child in their midst and tells them that when they welcome a child, they welcome him, they would have been shocked.  How could Jesus put himself on a par with a child?  It would have been considered cultural suicide to go to this extreme.  Yet this is how Jesus demonstrates how they are to consider themselves.  If you want to be great, then you must consider yourselves as insignificant as a child.We live in what purports to be a Christian nation.  Over and over again, I hear the slogan “Make America great again!”  Jesus gives us the way to become great.  Greatness will be ours when we make ourselves the least and when we protect the most vulnerable among us before considering our own needs.  Therein lies true greatness, the greatness of a servant of God.

2 days ago

SW Franciscans

'Was Jesus a hopeless romantic when he set a little child in the midst of the disciples that day in Capernaum? No, Jesus was not a hopeless romantic--he was a hopeful fanatic! Jesus was fanatic about opening up the commonwealth of God to those nobody wanted to see; he was fanatic about extending hospitality to those considered no more than property. Jesus didn't follow the rubrics or the rules. He healed when he wasn't supposed to, touched people he shouldn't have touched and talked about suffering after a wonderful moment of glory on the mountain top. Jesus taught us that the commonwealth of God is not up but down. All our arguments about greatness mean nothing if we don't stoop down low enough to see the invisible ones in our midst. That day in Capernaum Jesus held a little child in his arms and brought the words of heaven down to earth. I can imagine Jesus whispering in the child's ear: "You are God's Beloved Child."

'Then Jesus looked over the child's shoulder at his disciples and even farther off, Jesus is looking at us. "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." This is not as simple as it sounds. It means caring for children even if we have none of our own. It means being committed to children's health programs as we are to Medicare or AARP. Jesus wants us to see not only our children and grandchildren but children of migrant workers sleeping in the field and the child who moves from shelter to shelter every night. This means bending down low enough to see the child who can't see any higher than our knees. We may not be able to do that at all--unless we're willing to become hopeful fanatics.'

[The Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad is a professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City]
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Was Jesus a hopeless romantic when he set a little child in the midst of the disciples that day in Capernaum? No, Jesus was not a hopeless romantic--he was a hopeful fanatic! Jesus was fanatic about opening up the commonwealth of God to those nobody wanted to see; he was fanatic about extending hospitality to those considered no more than property. Jesus didnt follow the rubrics or the rules. He healed when he wasnt supposed to, touched people he shouldnt have touched and talked about suffering after a wonderful moment of glory on the mountain top. Jesus taught us that the commonwealth of God is not up but down. All our arguments about greatness mean nothing if we dont stoop down low enough to see the invisible ones in our midst. That day in Capernaum Jesus held a little child in his arms and brought the words of heaven down to earth. I can imagine Jesus whispering in the childs ear: You are Gods Beloved Child.Then Jesus looked over the childs shoulder at his disciples and even farther off, Jesus is looking at us. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me. This is not as simple as it sounds. It means caring for children even if we have none of our own. It means being committed to childrens health programs as we are to Medicare or AARP. Jesus wants us to see not only our children and grandchildren but children of migrant workers sleeping in the field and the child who moves from shelter to shelter every night. This means bending down low enough to see the child who cant see any higher than our knees. We may not be able to do that at all--unless were willing to become hopeful fanatics.[The Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad is a professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City]

 

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Amen, may God bless all of us.🙏🙏🙏

3 days ago

SW Franciscans

Fr. Jose Luis and Fr. Erasmo are participating in the V Encuentro Nacional in Dallas this week. Our prayers accompany them and the many participants from the dioceses where our Friars minister. ... See MoreSee Less

Fr. Jose Luis and Fr. Erasmo are participating in the V Encuentro Nacional in Dallas this week.  Our prayers accompany them and the many participants from the dioceses where our Friars minister.

 

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Muchísimas bendiciones para los dos 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

Prayers

Ustedes son un gran ejemplo de Acompañamiento en nuestra comunidad, Dios los bendiga y los guíe para que continúen ese servicio 🙏🏻🤲🏻🕊

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