Saturday, September 30, 2017

Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi

A statue of Francis is kept ready for procession at the hall where the scenes of Francis’ encounter with the word of God are enacted.   A paschal candle will be carried by the Celebrant when the procession progresses. Then Br. Leo emerging in front of the audience introduces himself and speaks. 

Bro. Masseo :  I am brother Masseo, a soul mate of Holy Father Francis.  Like his master, he was constantly on journey preaching for the salvation of his neighbors. Even as late as two years before his death when he was already carrying the marks of the Lord Jesus, he caused his half dead body to be carried around on an ass through towns and villages.  Besides, he began to have a most grave illness of the eyes that he had to be taken to Rieti for treatment on his eyes. He longed to depart this life and be with Christ. His illness became even worse, and he asked to be taken to Assisi.  There he was lodged in the palace of the Bishop. There began the last moments of his life.   Bro. Elias is here to narrate to you what happened there.   (Bro. Elias appears and begins to speak)
Bro. Elias:  While in the palace of the Bishop of Assisi, Francis felt strongly that the last day of his life was very near. Thereupon, he summoned the brothers and began to bless us one by one.  Then I was sitting to his left.  He crossed his hands and placed his right hand on me.  Since he could not see, he asked, 
St. Francis:
‘on whom do I place my hand?” 
Bro. Elias:  Everyone said 
All “Brother Elias.”
Bro. Elias:  Then Francis said, 
St. Francis: ‘I wished it so.’  
Bro. Elias:  My eyes were all in tears.  He blessed me in the following way: 
St. Francis:
“I bless you, my son, in all and through all, and just as the most High has increased my brothers and sons in your hands, so too, upon you and in you, I bless them all. May the king of all bless you in heaven and on earth.  I bless you as I can, and more than I can, and what I cannot do may the One who can do all things do in you. .. ” (1Cel 108) 
Bro. Masseo:  Having said this Francis wanted that he be carried quickly to the place of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula where he first came to know perfectly the way of truth. 
Narrator: Now we go in procession carrying the float of St. Francis to relive how he was carried to Portiuncula.  This will be the order of procession. The celebrant will lead the procession with a Paschal candle, which will be followed by the float. Then we all can follow.   On the way, the procession will just pause a while at the lawn.  Then it will proceeds to the chapel.  On reaching the chapel entrance, the adoration of the Cross will be sung thrice. Once it is finished we all will enter the chapel and take our seat. 

(When the float reaches the lawn)
Bro. Masseo: Francis turned to his brothers, then he said:
St. Francis:
“Good-bye, all my sons.  Live in the fear of God and remain in Him always, for a great test will come upon you and tribulation is drawing near! Happy are those who will persevere in what they have begun: many will be separated from them by the scandal that are to come. But now I am hurrying to the Lord and I am confident that I am going to my God whom I have served in my spirit.”

(When the procession reaches the main chapel Br. Masseo speaks.)
Bro Masseo:  On reaching Portiuncula, as was our custom, we all knelt and sang the Adoration of the Cross
Here the Adoration of the Cross is sung as follows three times: (Choir)
Holy Lord Jesus!
We adore and bless you!
Here and in all your churches round the World
By your Holy Cross You have redeemed the World
Therefore, we adore you! We Adore You!! We Adore You!!!

(After all taking their seat Masseo continues)
Bro. Masseo: Following the example of the Lord who, on Holy Thursday, wanted to eat with his apostles before dying, Holy Father Francis wanted to eat blessed bread with his brothers present, and in their person, with all the brothers of the order.  So, Francis had bread brought in:
Bread is brought in procession with the accompaniment of music: 
Francis blesses the bread silently.  

Narrator: Now the blessed bread is passed around. You are invited to take a piece and pass it on.  When the bread is being passed a hymn will be sung. 
Remember Me
Take and eat this is my body
Broken on crossroads too lonely to mention
Take and drink this is my blood
Spilled on your allies and lost in you hallways
Remember Me, Remember Me

Take and east this is myself,
Given to love in the face of rejection.
Take and drink this is my life
Know its my pledge now to be with you always
Remember Me, Remember Me.

I couldn’t be here, remember me
I live all alone, remember me
I walk on your street and sleep by your highways 
Remember Me, Remember Me.

I ride on your bus, Remember Me
I sit in your jails, Remember Me
I live in your sick bed and wait for your footsteps
Remember Me, Remember Me

Br. Masseo: One of the brothers realizing that the saint was nearing the end said:

A Brother:
“Oh kind father, your sons will now be without a father, and will be deprived of the true light of their eyes! Remember the orphans you are leaving behind; forgive all their faults, and gladden them all, whether present or absent, with your holy blessing.”
Br. Masseo:  Then the holy man answered: 
“ See, my sons, I am being called by God.  I forgive all my brothers, present and absent all their faults and offenses, and I absolve them insofar as I am able.”

Bro. Elias: As a further reverent reminder of the Last Supper, Francis confirmed the deep love that he had for his brothers by commanding that a book of the Gospel be brought and that the following passage from the Gospel according to St. John be read:
Narrator: Now the Gospel is brought in procession with due reverence.  Then the Homilist or female Franciscan  will read the Gospel

Celebrant: The Gospel of John 13:1-17 


(After the Homily Elias continues)
Bro. Elias: As Francis’ death approached, he then invited all creatures to praise God. By means of the Canticle of Brother Sun, which he had composed earlier, he exhorted them to love God:
Canticle of Brother Sun – It is played on the screen

Bro. Masseo:  As summoned by him two brothers started praying the psalm 142  with a loud voice and joyful spirit:
Narrator:  Now the Psalm 142  is sung.  All join for the refrain, while a Canter sings the verses     
Psalm 142: (Join for the Refrain only)
Refrain:       The Lord hears the cry of the poor
Blessed be the Lord

With a loud voice I cry to the Lord,
With all my voice I entreat the Lord.
I pour out my trouble before him:
While my spirit faints within me.
On the way where I shall walk
They have hidden a snare to entrap me,
Look on my right and see:
There is none who takes my part.
I have no means of escape
Not one who cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O Lord.
I pour my heart before You!

Refrain:       The Lord hears the cry of the poor
Blessed be the Lord

I have said: You are my refuge,
All I have in the land of the living.
Listen, then to my cry.
For, I am in the depths of my distress.

Refrain:       The Lord hears the cry of the poor
Blessed be the Lord
Rescue me from those who pursue me
For they are stronger than I am
Bring my soul out of this prison 
And then I shall praise your name.

Refrain:       The Lord hears the cry of the poor
Blessed be the Lord

(once the Psalm is ended Masseo continues)
Bro. Masseo: Many brothers gathered there, stood there reverently, all awaiting his blessed departure and happy end.  Then Francis sang in praise of the Sister death adding a strophe to the canticle of Bother Sun he composed after his stigmata.

(Francis Sings Solo in praise of Sister Death)
Br. Francis: 
Praise for our sister, Death of the body,
Gate way to woe or gate way to glory,
No one alive can flee her embracing,
Happy are those she finds in your friendship.

Bro. Masseo: And then that most holy soul was released form the flesh, and as it was absorbed into the abyss of light, his body fell asleep in the Lord.

Then the Elias takes the Paschal candle and blows out and the Church bell tolls death knell. 

Br. Masseo: Then one of the brothers present there seeing in vision the soul of Our Holy Father ascending to heaven exclaimed:  
A Brother:
“I saw the soul of the most holy father rise straight to heaven over many waters.  It was like a star but as big as the moon, with the brilliance of the sun, and carried up upon a small white cloud.”  (1Cel 110)
Narrator: The intercessor prayer is had.  All join for the refrain, while the canters read the intercession. 
Refrain:         We desire the Spirit abides in us 
The Spirit abides in all

Bro. Masseo: They lifted his sacred body from the Portiuncula and carried it with great honor to the city.  Arriving at the place where he first planted the religion they laid him out in the church of San Damian.   The small window meant to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s body was opened.  Lady Clare and her sisters appeared and mourned his death. 
St. Clares and her sisters:  (Video Clipping may be flashed)
Father, O father, what shall we do?  Why are you abandoning us poor women?… why didn’t you send us ahead of you in joy to the place you are going,…? O death, dreadful death! You are killing thousands of his sons and daughters by taking away their father! Our poor efforts bore fruit through him, and you rush to tear him far from us, beyond recall!” (1Cel 116)
Bro. Elias 
My groans gush forth like waters in a flood. Our consoler has gone away from us and he who carried us in his arms like lambs had gone on a journey to a far off country.  He who was beloved of God and of man,…has been received into the most resplendent dwellings…in his absence darkness surrounds us and the shadow of death covers us…. we are orphans without our father and bereaved of the light of our eyes… do not mourn beyond measure… bless the God of heaven and praise Him before all, for He has shown His mercy to us.  Hold fast the memory of our father and brother Francis…Pray for him, as he begged us, and pray to him that God may make us share with him in his holy grace. (L. An. Death 2)
Bro. Masseo: Yes my dear people, it is of no use to waste our tear on his death, rather we rejoice for he will pray for us that we may share with him in his holy grace.
A dance of jubilation, in praise of Francis, may be had.
Now you are invited take turn to pay homage to the image of St. Francis by placing a flower or a candle.

The Commission meeting in Progress

The preparatory commission for the General chapter next year 2018 continued their meeting this morning too.....we had a lot to do and discuss.....we invited Br. Jaime to speak to us about the Ratio Formationis which is going to be one of the agenda points to be discussed in the forthcoming chapter. We asked him to propose a methodology to discuss and arrive at some concrete decisions. 
 The commission members are contributing  a lot to bring about a solid agenda to discuss in the chapter
 Our president Sergio is animating well

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Morning Session of the agenda commission

 The morning we began with the prayer...
 The presentation of the work

 The mode of discussion....

 The commission began discussion about the time table

 The election of the president..

 The secretary for the commission was elected

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Agenda Commission for General Chapter meets the General Council

The General Council has already begun for the celebration of 88th General Chapter. We have already starting talking, speaking and writing about it. The various commissions have been formed.  The Chapter secretary has been already nominated along with two vice secretaries. Two General councillors Sergio and Michael are appointed as the members of the agenda commission along with General Secretary Clayton and another 6 friars from the entire Order.
The Commission met the council and the general minister explained the mode of the Chapter....the various topics foreseen to be on the agenda....the various commissions to be formed well before... 

Novena to St. Francis of Assisi

Day 3 – St. Francis of Assisi Novena – Sep. 27th
Glorious St. Francis, you have acted as a peacemaker even in the face of extreme physical danger. Through your prayers, may we also be imbued with a desire to find peaceful resolutions to the problems that plague us, even in the most trying of times. As an offering to our Almighty Father, I resolve to forgive all the wrongs I have suffered from my fellow men.
Day 4 – St. Francis of Assisi Novena – Sep. 28th

Holy St. Francis, your concern for God’s creation has caused you to be named patron of ecology. May we, through your prayers, follow your footsteps in being good stewards of all of creation which God our Almighty Father has provided. May we also be faithful stewards of the skills and abilities we have been given.
Prayer & Thanksgiving
 God, all powerful, most holy,
most high and supreme;
FATHER: holy and righteous;
Lord: king of heaven and earth;
we thank you for yourself,
because by your holy will
and through your only Son
and the Holy Spirit
you created all things,
spiritual and material.
You made us in your
image and likeness
and placed us in paridise,
and we, through our transgression
fell away.
We give you thanks because,
as you created us through your Son,
so by the holy love
with which you loved us
you willed your Son to be born
true God and true man
of the glorious and holy Virgin Mary,
and through his cross and blood and death
it was your will to set us free
from our captivity.
Also we thank you
because that same Son of yours
will come again in the glory of his majesty
to condemn those who refused to repent
and acknowledge you;
and to say
to all who did acknowledge,
worship and serve you in repentance:
Come, you whom my Father has blessed,
receive the kingdom
prepared for you
since the world began.
And because we are all wretched sinners,
unworthy to speak your name,
therefore let Jesus Christ himself,
our Lord and your beloved Son
in whom you are well pleased,
give thanks to you for everything,
together with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,
as it pleases you and pleases him.
He always satisfies you in everything,
and through him
you have done so much for us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Portrait of General Minister Br. Mauro Jhouri is ready!!!!!!!

 The artist is a friend of Br. General Minister.....he is explaining the portrait......he had to take and examine many photos of General Minister.....he said that the GM also keeps smiling and never closes his it is difficult to paint....
 The portrait has TAU in the Background.....He is holding in hand the "Holy Constitutions" which is the greatest achievement of his 12 years of service....
 Br. Pio introducing the artist and other friends of GM

 The friars are all in full attention.....because the artist explained that if you walk in front of the looks at you....right and moves along with you.....MG gonna watch over all...

 Hope they paint us too.......with smile the desire and intention well written on the face, forehead n in the smiles it is very clear...wish !!!!!

The Second week of the General Council Meeting

The Second week of the General council began on Monday with lots of points on the agenda. There were many canonical and constitutional cases which normally takes time......the procuras do wonderful job by giving us their opinion on each case after much studies. 

The General chapter will occupy most of our discussion and we spent good quality time in discussing about the various things about the chapter....the agenda commission is meeting this week end....some suggestions have been already given to the commission.....the regolamento of the chapter was read and some important aspects were discussed......

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

General Curia Fraternity.....starts preparing for the General Chapter

The General Curia Fraternity dedicated full morning in order to discuss about the forthcoming general chapter in 2018. Br. Alejandro, General economus set the right tone for the discussion by highlighting numerous points like finance is not everything in fraternal life and life of the Order. There are issues, which we need to tackle and confront in order to be vibrant. We all speak and describe the context in which we live and work, in the same context the General Chapter will be celebrated in 2018. There are many realities and challenges, which the General chapter would have to touch and take decisions. There are provinces in the Order like in Asia and Africa where the Order is enormously increasing and on the other hand in Europe the numbers are dwindling. Both have something to offer and it has be reflected upon. The charism and spirituality lived in these two realities need to be studied and reflected upon. The courageous step on part of the Order would open many avenues to look beyond. There will be many who would like to share our charism and way of life

 Full participation on part of the Curia members who contribute a lot in the growth of the Order

 Every office in the Curia is part of the administration

 The General Minister then communicated what are the important things which we need to get ready immediately....the Agenda preparatory commission would be meeting from Thursday to Saturday