I’m home again after two days at Stella Maris Retreat in Skaneateles, New York. It was the annual meeting of the Kateri Tekakwitha Region Secular Franciscan Order. I’m humbled to be a member, much less a minister of our local St. Irenaeus Fraternity. The Secular Franciscan Order, originally known as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance follow a rule of life much like that followed by Franciscan friars and nuns everywhere in the world except they follow it as very ordinary folks. Some are retired, some are not. Some are married, others are not. Some of our members are social workers, nurses, while others are teachers and some are even computer geeks. Our members come from all walks of life and all around the world. We’ve got one thing in common and that is a desire to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the same way that our seraphic father St. Francis of Assisi did.
I’m humbled to be in the presence of such holy people. I feel like I am the least of the brothers.
Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone “who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself,” let them exercise their responsibilities competently in the Christian spirit of service.