Growing up in Assisi
By: Br. Rich Atkinson
October 9, 2011
Today to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis, most churches will remember Francis by talking about birds or quoting a bit of poetry which he really never wrote. And so I would like to do something a little different, no birds, no poetry, rather something which most have never heard, a story about his very early life... And to tell the story, I would like for you to pretend for a short time, that I am St. Francis and we have just met...
I would like to tell you a little about my youth in Assisi...
When I was an about this high, I saw in the square of my city, a knight. He was higher than any man I ever saw, as he was on a great horse. The knight shined because of his armor, even his horse shined with the glint of steel. He had the admiration of everyone, including me. From that moment, I knew I wanted to be just like him. [ Read Full Article ]
Br. Jim Di Napoli OSF
The number one question I am asked by people I meet while wearing my tunic is:
So tell me, where is your Monastery? I explain what my role is as a brother in the order of St. Francis with love and compassion. After the shock and astonishment passes when I state that I am not Catholic but Episcopalian, I begin to explain my life of service and prayer. I explain that I am a member of a religious order of men who choose to live and follow the life of our founding father St. Francis.
I explain that we are a group of men who choose to have God live in our lives and love having him reside there. [ Read Full Article ]
Migrant Workers - Exploited and Ignored
A Case Study From England
By: Br David de Verny
The typical story of a migrant worker begins on the draught stricken plains of northern Portugal or the poor eastern parts of Poland where unemployment reaches 40%.
About forty thousand guest workers are employed in Lincolnshire alone. Their labour in the fields, in food processing plants and packing factories keeps the regional economy going. Their pension-, health- and other contributions help to secure the financial and economic future of the indigenous population. The foreign workers come from the poorest parts of Portugal, Poland, Latvia, the Ukraine and several other countries - not all in the EU.
[ Read Full Article ]
Adverts in local newspapers or employment agencies in Poland or Portugal promise well paid work and accommodation in the UK. Sometimes these adverts are placed by reputable companies who will fulfil their promises. More often, however, unscrupulous gang masters, eighty-five percent of whom have a criminal record, advertise in this way. For a flight with a budget airline, which would normally cost not more than £80-100, the gang masters or their agents will charge five times as much and more. They call it “arrangement fee”. As a result, the new guest worker arrives in the UK often already burdened with debts.
Pilgrimage to Assisi
By: Br Nicholas Kis
“Having arrived via Rome, I visited All Saints Anglican Church there and did some local sight-seeing in and around the Vatican. After two full days in the Eternal City I arrived at Assisi. Thanks be to God, the snow stopped falling the week before.”
“The good Sisters at the Casa di Santa Brigida provided a warm and pleasant room plus a wonderful view of the city and Basilica of Saint Francis. It was heavenly.”
“It was a spiritual time for reflection, contemplation and prayerful solitude. One of many highlights was the warm afternoon spent visiting San Damiano and while there reading the Canticle of the Creatures in the very place Saint Francis not only wrote it, but rebuilt it with his own hands. Saint Clare lived for over 42 years never leaving San Damiano. There is nothing in this most holy place which does not speak of poverty and prayer, a place to search for God alone. San Damiano is the symbol of true Franciscanism. [ Read Full Article ]