Today, the Immaculate Conception Fraternity of Secular Franciscans of Jonesboro, GA, Brothers and Sisters of St. Francis Region, celebrated their Jubilee Anniversary. To honor this special occasion, we received a special Papal Blessing.
Jubilee Anniversary of Immaculate Conception Fraternity - Jonesboro, GA
We celebrated a special Mass and luncheon at St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church in Jonesboro, GA. Mass was celebrated by Fr. Michael Kolodziej, OFM Conv, Minister Provincial of the Saint Anthony of Padua Province
. Fr. Michael also delivered the homily which reflected on the “party” spirit of St. Francis as appropriate to our festive spirit. Our Gospel reading was the parable of the Prodigal Son to which Fr. Michael likened St. Francis and challenged us to place ourselves in that Gospel as the father, the son, and the jealous brother.
Concelebrating OFM Conventual Friars were Fr. Gregory Hartmayer (Pastor of St. Philip Benizi), Fr. Mark-Thomas Booth, Fr. Abelardo Huanca and Fr. Linus De Santis. We were joined by brothers and sisters from neighboring fraternities in and outside of Georgia. We are deeply grateful for the support of our First Order friars and fellow Secular Franciscans.
Each of our twelve dining tables had a table-scape reflecting a scene in Francis or Clare’s life. The table-scapes were a collaboration of contributed items from fraternity members and those scavanged (with permission) from around our Franciscan parish. Fr. Linus spoke at our luncheon and challenged us as the Penitents. Not the sort of penitence that is inflicted through acts of self-mortification; but, the sort that is found in relationship with our brothers and sisters, “We are in continuing conversion.” This is exactly what drew me to St. Francis — his love of the Gospel and I saw through his expression of Gospel life – a true model of continuing conversion.
Francis prays before the San Damiano cross
Francis preaches to the birds
Clare allows Francis to cut her beautiful locks of hair
Candle memorial table for our deceased brothers and sisters
Is living the Gospel of Jesus in the spirit of St. Francis calling you?