Thursday, June 9, 2011

Special prayer request

In the early days of the order, Saint Francis and the friars would gather for a special meeting (chapter) around the feast of Pentecost. This was a time to pray together as brothers, invoking the help of the Holy Spirit as they discussed various questions concerning the direction of the order. This became a tradition which continues to our day.

In our little community we have our General Chapter every three years. All of the friars in final vows gather to pray and discuss various items. We also elect the leadership for the next three years. This year our General Chapter will be held for one week beginning on June 12, the feast of Pentecost. Please pray for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we gather together.
Giotto fresco of the Pentecost chapter meeting of 1232 in Arles.
Saint Anthony of Padua (l) had an apparition of the recently deceased Saint Francis (r).
God bless you,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary, New York, New York

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Priests!

First things first, for those interested in joining this September, the two week visit will be from
June 30th to July 13th. Please contact the vocation office at 212-281-4355 if you are interested. We are praying for all of you out there. Have courage!

One of the Capuchin Saints used to begin every one of his sermons with the proclamation, “How beautiful it is to love God!” I am filled with great joy as I see this exclamation manifested in my life as a friar. On Saturday May 14th five of our friars, two of whom I live with, were ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. For the friars getting ordained this is the beginning of a new journey, as many of them will get missioned to one of our friaries around the world. Fr. Columba and Fr. Sebastian, the brothers that I live with, will be sent to our friaries in Ireland and London.

It has been a great joy over the past few years to serve with these brothers as we have been involved in an apostolate for young adults in the city under the patronage of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (check out the website Fr. Sebastian had been leading a weekly Bible study and
Fr. Columba had been leading worship at many of the prayer meeting and retreats attend by the young adults. In the last few weeks as they both have been saying their good byes and transitioning into the next chapter of their ministry, the men and women of Frassati Fellowship arranged a going away celebration for our brothers and one by one they shared the impact and presence of Fr. Columba and Fr. Sebastian have had in their life. Many of them have had significant conversions and came to know in a new way or for the first time the person of Jesus Christ and the gift of His Church.

Witnessing the testimonies of these young adults made me realize that the Lord works well beyond my understanding and awareness in the lives of so many who are right in our midst. Their testimonies also encouraged me in my vocation and taught me that discernment is multifaceted. God works in us and prepares us without our knowing. As we set aside time in our life of prayer and look back in time we see our journey and our encounters in this journey are but preparation to fulfill His holy will. In realizing this I have come to certainty that this life is so worth living and sacrificing for. Please pray for Fr. Columba, Fr. Sebastian and myself as we strive to be faithful and generous in what the Lord is asking of us. Take a moment today and look around to be inspired by those who truly love God, and with great gratitude thank the Lord for His many blessings.