News from US Franciscans

New Assisi Shrine is Reminder to Shed Attachments

In following Christ, the pope said, “we are all called to be poor, to strip ourselves of our egos; and to do this we must learn how to be with the poor, to share with those who lack basic necessities, to touch the flesh of Christ!

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US Franciscans Speak Out on Immigration Ban

The leadership of the US Franciscans have issued a statement against the president's recent travel ban. They say: The recent actions of President Donald J. Trump regarding the treatment of immigrants and refugees entering our country have been troubling to a wide...

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Let Us Begin Again

t. Bonaventure tells us that towards the end of his life St. Francis would tell the other friars: "Let us begin again, brothers, for up until now, we have done little or nothing." One of Francis's other biographers, Friar Thomas of Celano, tells us...

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Merry Christmas

The story is told that St. Francis was discussing with Br. Morico about whether to fast or not when Christmas falls on a Friday.

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News from US Franciscans

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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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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Recent #FriarFriday Reflections

#FriarFriday – Hate Cannot Be Allowed to Win

t is almost unthinkable that we as a nation find ourselves in this same place again. As I saw the images of scores of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and others spewing hateful slogans and carrying torches in the streets of Charlottesville, it was...

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Recent #FriarFriday Reflections

#FriarFriday – Refugees All

At this time of year, we hear of the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt for asylum. We also remember a year filled with political rhetoric directed against refugees and migrants.

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News from the OFM English-speaking Conference

ofm.org posts

Conference holds Spring meeting in Ireland

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

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Singing friar Alessandro to be featured in PBS special

Friar Alessandro, called the “Voice from Assisi”, will be heard across the United States in a PBS special to air in March. The special features Friar Alessandro in a concert recorded in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi on the Feast Day of St. Cecilia, the patron...

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Canadian friar ordained a Transitional Deacon

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA - In a small and intimate celebration on December 3, Br. Joseph Glaab, OFM, was ordained to the Transitional Dicaconate at the chapel of St. Francis Friary here in Edmonton.The celebration was attended by several friends, Joe’s brother Peter,...

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New leadership elected in the Province of Ireland

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

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Sacred Heart Province elects new leadership team

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

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Leadership elected for ABVM Province

Provincial Minister James GannonRACINE, WISCONSIN - The members of the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary gathered in Provincial Chapter from June 4-8 at Siena Reteat Center here.  During the Chapter, delegates elected a new leadership team for the...

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News from the General Curia in Rome

ofm.org posts

The Pardon of Assisi 2018 

The doors of the Portiuncula, in Assisi, are always open to pilgrims and locals who wish to receive the grace of God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. And during the days dedicated to the Pardon of Assisi, thousands of young and old pilgrims go there...

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Fraternitas 07.2018 (No. 257)

The July 2018 edition of ‘Fraternitas’ is now online and can be downloaded in several languages. PDF:  English – Español – Italiano – Deutsch  – Français – Português DOC:  English – Español – Italiano –Deutsch  – Français – Português...

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PCO Chronicles: Monday 25 June & Tuesday 26 June

Monday 25 June We began our day with a short prayer session followed by a sense of gratitude to God for allowing experience Him in the last two days with the poor in Gipsy slum and in nature with the visit to Nairobi National Part. Br. John Puodziunas, the General...

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Beyond the PCO —What Next?

It’s hard to imagine that only two days remain before the Plenary Council comes to an end! So the big question as we leave Nairobi is, what comes next? The purpose of the Plenary Council, as expressed in article 194 of the General Constitutions, is to provide...

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The Friars as Modern-Day Mendicants

History tells us that the Franciscan Order, along with other medieval Orders, began as a mendicant Order — or, more simply, a band of beggars! These Orders represented a counterculture, challenging the prevailing culture that gave priority to an individual’s financial...

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Feast of St. Clare 2018: Letter of the Minister General

Discernment: purification of the gaze, of the heart, and of the will   Dearest sisters, May the Lord give us his Peace! Last year I offered you some reflections based on the words that guided our preparation as Friars Minor for the Plenary Council that we celebrated...

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Fraternitas 08-09.2018 (No. 258)

The August-September 2018 edition of ‘Fraternitas’ is now online and can be downloaded in several languages. PDF:  English – Español – Italiano – Deutsch  – Français – Polski – Português DOC:  English – Español – Italiano –Deutsch  – Français – Polski – Português...

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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
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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

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
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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 🙏🏻🤲🏻🕊

Today we honor the evangelist and loyal disciple, St. Matthew, by being present in this moment that God provides for us. #FaithfulFriday ... See MoreSee Less

Today we honor the evangelist and loyal disciple, St. Matthew, by being present in this moment that God provides for us. #FaithfulFriday

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

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.

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
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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]
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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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