Guylain Prince, OFM 24 May 2019
A pilgrimage with Fr. Guylain Prince, ofm to the Holy Land. Some of our RFEC OFS members were fortunate enough to have joined them. It was everything he says, a trip of a lifetime.
From March 17 to 30, 2019, a group of pilgrims journeyed through the Holy Land, departing from Montreal. Once again, I had the privilege of serving as their spiritual guide. It was the first time that an English-speaking group travelled under the leadership of the Commissariat of the Holy Land in Canada. From the Negev desert, by way of Galilee and Judea, we walked in the footsteps of the people of God and, in particular, of Jesus. I am still thrilled to have visited Nazareth, Jerusalem, Jericho, and so many other places that are the stuff of dreams…
In this Salt and Light Television production, Francis Denis gives us an exclusive look into the Canadian Franciscans at an important time in their more than 400 years of history. In this documentary, you will meet today’s disciples of Saint Francis of Assisi, present throughout Canada’s large territory, searching for the lost and abandoned sheep.
This is a Salt & Light Television documentary, 54 min and is available for rental ($3.99) or purchase ($12.99)
Click here to see the trailer and get more details
Photo from Columban Interreligious Dialogue
The General Minister, Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM writes to the whole Franciscan family:
Eight hundred years ago, our Seraphic Father St. Francis set sail for Egypt, finally fulfilling a long-held dream of reaching out to Muslims. He arrived at the camp of the crusading army, among Latin Christians who through years of preaching and the rhetoric of holy war had been taught to scorn Muslims. Those same Muslims had every reason to scorn Francis, assuming that he, like most in the crusader camp, was an enemy and not a bearer of peace. We today celebrate what no one at that moment could have foreseen: that a Spirit-filled man with nothing of his own crossed the battle lines unarmed to request a meeting with the Sultan, was received with grace by that Sultan, enjoyed an extended period of hospitality with the Muslim leader, and emerged from the visit to reflect anew on the mission of the Friars Minor. Francis returned safely to his homeland profoundly moved by the encounter and crafted a new and creative vision for his brothers about how they could go among the Muslims, about the things Friars could do and say “that would please God” (quae placuerint Domino, RnB 16.8). The anniversary of Francis’s encounter with al-Malik al-Kāmil at Damietta in 1219 beckons us to ask again what deeds and words, amid the pluralism and complexity of the world today, would be pleasing to God...
He challenges us: " ...I encourage followers of Francis who lack much personal exposure to Islam to recall the experience of our founder by taking a simple and concrete step: meet a Muslim. Get to know him or her, beyond the pleasantries of a cup of tea and social nicety. Try to learn and appreciate what experience of God animates him or her and allow your Muslim friend to see the love God has poured into your heart through Christ." READ MORE
The Christmas of a God who knocks on our doors
from Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM, Minister General and Servant His full message below...
Newsletter from our new OFM Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans are the spiritual sons of Saint Francis of Assisi. "For 800 years, simplicity, humility, poverty, justice, peace, joy in God and universal fraternity have formed the heart of our approach," says their website.
"The creation of the new Holy Spirit Province of Canada takes us back to the roots of our Franciscan charism. It reflects a desire to be led by the Spirit, even on unknown paths," says a news release. From Baytoday READ MORE
On October 22, 2018 in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, Holy Spirit Province (Province Saint-Esprit), the new Canadian Franciscan Province, has been created. The union of the two Canadian Provinces (St. Joseph and Christ the King) has been formalized by a decree pronounced by the General Minister, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, OFM. The new Provincial Minister is Br. Pierre Charland, OFM.
“The creation of the new Holy Spirit Province of Canada takes us back to the roots of our Franciscan charism. It reflects a desire to be led by the Spirit, even to unknown paths. It takes us back to the experience of Pentecost, and to the core of the Gospel. This is what I hope will characterize the new Canadian province,” says the new Provincial Minister.
The new Province will include 87 friars from the ages of 32 to 97 present in Quebec (Montreal, Lachute, Trois-Rivières), British Columbia (Vancouver and Victoria) and Alberta (Edmonton and Cochrane). The Provincial Curia will be in Montreal at La Resurrection friary.
Reflection by the Minister General
Brothers and sisters, in St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we are drawn into the great drama of Christian conversion, of what transpires in our lives when we welcome Christ’s invitation to “follow me!” “You are not foreigners or strangers any longer, you are now fellow citizens with God’s people and members of the family of God” (Eph. 2:18-19), St. Paul writes to the Christians communities not only of Ephesus but to all seven Churches of Asia Minor. Paul’s message goes against all common sense and wisdom of his time, and even of ours. Political leaders in the Roman empire used ethnic, religious, and regional differences as a means to divide, as a means to conquer, and as a means to promote their own positions of power and wealth. I am sure none of this has anything to with what might or might not be going on in the world today! HA! Read More
Special blessings to all of the Franciscan brothers of the new Province! May God bring to completion the work that has begun.