“As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ.
A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.” (Art. 13, Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order)
As I have written in an earlier blog, because the number of clients using a food pantry at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, MA, had grown so large; they needed to expand the space they were using. This meant that our fraternity had to be creative in how we hold our monthly meetings at the Shrine, which called for a good deal of flexibility.
Earlier this month, our fraternity held a town meeting, during which members voiced their feelings about the situation. And did some of them voice their feelings! Some felt that since our fraternity has been meeting there for so long, we should get priority over the meeting space. Others, including myself, reminded the fraternity that as Franciscans, we claim nothing as our own, including a meeting space. We are called to serve the poor, and if sacrificing our meeting space aids in that service, so be it!
So we continue to be inventive on how best to use the space we have; and we continue to seek ways to serve the poor. The friars in their magazine “The Anthonian,” have published a story about the Franciscan Food Center.