The feast of Francis of Assisi on October 4th brings out the spirit of celebration in us Franciscans. I was privileged to mark the feastday with two communities this year, the first one being the St. Cloud Franciscan Life group with 8 of our Franciscan Associates. We met on October 3rd at the Welcoming House in St. Cloud, where we shared a pot-luck lunch and an indepth sharing on a chapter in the life of our patron, St. Francis.
The story of Francis' painful separation from his earthly father was a point of discussion. Growth in inner freedom and spiritual maturity requires fidelity to God's call in difficult experiences. Francis found it necessary to turn his back on his father's wealth and the security of his business. Each of us could remember something in our own lives which, painful though it was, brought us to a new levels of relationship with God.
The second celebration was with Sisters Carol Schmit, Paula Pohlmann, and Janice Wiechman of the Clare's Well staff. We chose to spend the day traveling from neighbor to neighbor, spending some quality time with each, and sharing homemade cookies. I can't tell you what a pleasure it was for us to do this together. We ended with a picnic and a walk in a county park on a simply gorgeous day.