A word from Terry:
The Franciscan Spiritual Center is a vibrant place that fosters peace, presence, and community. Today I am asking you to contribute to allow this ministry to continue to impact people’s lives. One program offered is the Franciscan Hermitage. More than 25 years ago, Sister Mary Jo envisioned and created the retreat to invite participants to experience a cornerstone in the life of St. Francis in the opportunity to pray together without the distractions of the world.
Hermitage has been transformational in my life and in the lives of the dozens who have participated. Hermitage is a four-day retreat that combines silence with an introduction to the Franciscan charism. Each day follows the rhythm of eating together in silence, praying together, listening and learning, and an extravagant amount of time for silent prayer and reflection. St. Francis and St. Clare demonstrate their ongoing relevance in our world. Their faith in following in the footsteps of Jesus, living simply, and being peacemakers shows us a path of hope and healing.
When I leave Hermitage on Monday afternoon, I am in awe and wonder at the gifts I have received…the gift of friendship, the gift of community, the gift of support, the gift of truly being seen. I am inspired to continue to see the face of Jesus in all whom I meet. With Francis and Clare as role models, this task still is not easy, but it does seem possible. St. Francis is honored as an ambassador of peace. He greeted everyone he met with the words “pace e bene” (peace and all good), which was so revolutionary. His times were as troubled as our own, yet he truly did not see others as different from himself. All were brother and sister, even the birds of the air and the creatures of the forest. St. Clare cared for her community at San Damiano for 42 years. I feel Francis’s influence as I “seek to understand” instead of being understood. I am no longer frustrated by my inability to create world peace. Instead by following Francis and Clare, I find a path to inner peace and to greet all I meet with peace.
Please donate today to allow this and the other life-changing programs to nurture the souls of our community.
Click here to read more stories in the Season of Franciscan Giving series.