Communio

…bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Category: Franciscans

Communio

…bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Category: Franciscans

  • Franciscans by the 2015 numbers

    I’m always curious to where the various religious orders are in terms of ministry and the manpower. What can we extrapolate from the numbers and how is the charism lived? Next to the Society of Jesus the Order of Friars Minor are the most significant orders Mother Church has to preach the Gospel and to administer sacraments. Prescinding what may be several institutional issues like faithfulness to the charism, orthodox teaching, authentic and holy life according to the mind of the founder, and the like, Franciscan friars have taken up the call to serve the Divine Master since the 13th century. The matter becomes: what difference does Jesus and the Church make in the lives of the friars? In the laity who follow the Saint Francis? Franciscan Friar Father Dominic, a Franciscan historian stationed at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, presented these facts: The Order began the year 2015 with a membership of 13,632 friars. This is 113 friars fewer than the previous year, as the growth of the Order in the younger entities cannot yet compensate for the losses in Western Europe and North America. There are 11,794 solemnly professed friars, including 9,243 priests, 59 permanent deacons, 416 friars preparing for ordination, and 1957 lay friars. There was a slight increase of friars in initial formation — 1413 temporary professed and 425 novices. In terms of age, 34% of the world’s friars are under the age of 45, 29% between the ages of 45-64, and 37% over the age of 65. A closer look […]

  • Criminal escapes Capuchin friary

    I laughed and laughed and laughed this morning when I read the story of a criminal serving his sentence with Capuchin friars pleading to be sent back to prison… because Capuchin life is too hard, he claimed! The reason for the humor is that Capuchins aren’t too known for their austerities today in North America; the Capuchin order may be strict only in a few places in the world but…may be this is a wake up call to the Friars Minor Capuchin (and others)… I got this story via a friend: Austere existence: A convicted criminal serving out his sentence in a Sicilian monastery run by Capuchin monks has escaped for the second time and asked to be sent back to prison because life there was too tough . Thief David Catalano, 31, was sent to a Santa Maria degli Angeli community run by Capuchin monks in Sicily last November. But he found their austere lifetstyle too tough to handle and soon escaped. After a short while on the run he was caught by police and sent back. On Monday he fled for the second time in six weeks, only to swiftly turn himself in at a police station and beg officers to send him back to jail in the nearby town of Nicosia. He told the stunned policemen: ‘Prison is better than being at that hostel run by monks.’ A police spokesman said: ‘Catalano arrived out of the blue and said there was no way he could stay on with the monks. ‘He said it was too tough and he wanted […]

  • First woman named Rector of a Roman School

    Sister Mary Melone, a  Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina, born in 1964, is the next Rector of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University Antonianum. The venerable Antonianum is run by the Order of Friars Minor. In recent history of this Roman pontifical university, Sister Melone is the first woman to be appointed a dean, and now the first woman to become a rector of a pontifical university in Rome. Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education appointed Melone to a term lasting from 2014-2017. She is an expert on St. Anthony of Padua, and other points in Franciscan theology. May Saint Anthony of Padua intercede for Sister Mary Melone’s intentions.   When Sr. Melone was elected the dean of the Antonianum she gave an interview to L’Osservatore Romano where she said:  The approach of a woman: “I don’t give much importance to these kinds of labels, female theology. Above all, I don’t like comparisons although I recognize that in the past there may have been a reason for making comparisons. Maybe there is one today as well, I don’t know. More space definitely needs to be given to women. The reference to female theology does not really fit with my vision of things: all that exists is theology. Theology as research, as a focus on mystery, as a reflection on this mystery. But precisely because this requires different sensitivities. A woman’s approach to mystery, the way in which she reflects on this mystery which offers itself and reveals itself, is certainly different from […]

  • Friars of the Renewal –ordinary witness, extraordinary era

    In my opinion, the Franciscans of the Renewal (the friars and the sisters) are among a few very dynamic communities in the USA who are actually living the gospel and being formed by sacred Tradition. Their following and their belonging to Jesus Christ is out-of-this-world. I may be biased because of my friendship and experience with many of the CFRs, but I think you might say the say if you went to pray and work among them. A recent article on the CFRs speaks a little to their charism…

  • Secular Franciscans of Bethlehem at 125

    The Secular Franciscan Order of Bethlehem are celebrating 125 years. Laity, according to their own context and vocation, are living the gospel and bringing the gospel message to the world. The SFO are living witnesses in imitation of Saint Francis of Assisi. The SFO provides personal formation to its members, education to youth, are present to the needs of the local church and assist in the Church Universal in a myriad of good works. Living in Bethlehem brings a unique due to the fact it’s the place where the Lord lived, died, rose from the dead and ascended to God the Father. The Franciscan Media Center carried the story here. The vocation to follow in the steps of Saint Francis of Assisi and the blessers and saints of the Order is available around the world. You can check locally to see about the presence of SFO. Each fraternity is unique and one may not have the same vigor as another. Following the Lord in this way is a rewarding way to know, love and serve Jesus.

  • Raniero Cantalamessa re-confirmed Preacher Apostolic by Pope

    Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa has been re-confirmed Preacher Apostolic by Pope Francis. A letter dated July 18, 2013 from the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Father Raniero of the decision by the Pope: “I now have the pleasure to inform you that his Holiness Pope Francis, who knows your depth of mind and heart, confirmed you as preacher of the Pontifical House.” Friar Raniero was appointed preacher of the Pontifical House by Blessed John Paul II on June 23, 1980, He was subsequently re-confirmed by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, October 29, 2005. Raniero is a member of the Province of the Marches in Italy. You can visit the website of Raniero Cantalamessa published in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese at www.cantalamessa.org. The office of Preacher Apostolic was established in 1555 by Pope Paul IV as one among many ways to reform the Roman Curia because the Preacher Apostolic would speak about theological matters as well as points of spiritual and ministerial discipline. Members of various religious families had the ministry of Preacher Apostolic until 2 March 1753 when Pope Benedict XIV gave the ministry perpetually to the Capuchin Franciscans. The Capuchin order was known then as a keen “example of Christian piety and religious perfection , the splendor of doctrine and Apostolic zeal.” Father Raniero is a popular speaker and has authored several books.

  • Pope in Assisi: let the crucified Christ gaze upon us…to be forgiven and recreated by love

    I give you thanks, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25). Peace and all good to each and every one of you! With this Franciscan greeting I thank you for being here, in this Square so full of history and faith, to pray together. Today, I too have come, like countless other pilgrims, to give thanks to the Father for all that he wished to reveal to one of the “little ones” mentioned in today’s Gospel: Francis, the son of a wealthy merchant of Assisi. His encounter with Jesus led him to strip himself of an easy and carefree life in order to espouse “Lady Poverty” and to live as a true son of our heavenly Father. This decision of Saint Francis was a radical way of imitating Christ: he clothed himself anew, putting on Christ, who, though he was rich, became poor in order to make us rich by his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9). In all of Francis’ life, love for the poor and the imitation of Christ in his poverty were inseparably united, like the two sides of a coin. What does Saint Francis’s witness tell us today? What does he have to say to us, not merely with words – that is easy enough – but by his life? 1. His first and most essential witness is this: that being a Christian means having a living relationship with the person of Jesus; it means putting […]

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