Monday, August 13, 2012

St. Francis of Assisi's 8th Admonition

Beware the sin of envy

"St. Paul tells us, No one can say Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 12: 3) and, There is none who does good, no, not even one (Rom. 3: 12).  and so when a man envies his brother the good God says or does through him, it is like committing a sin of blasphemy, because he really envying God, who is the only source of every good."

                                                                                            St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Again, Another Sad Story Involving a Priest and Children

On the air waves, and local news websites; came the news of the arrest of a priest in South Boston, MA.  He is being charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.  And the saddest part of this story, for me anyway, is that the priest is a Franciscan.

The Boston Globe is reporting the details of this investigation and arrest.  The priest is a Franciscan Conventual from a Polish province, sent to Boston to serve the Polish community there.

Having been in different periods of vocational discernment in the Church, I know how psychological screening in the seminaries has changed over the years.  In the '70's, it was a multiple choice test.  When I was considering a vocation to the Franciscan friars in the U.S., it was a day long series of tests and interviews; same when I entered the Permanent Diaconate formation program for the Archdiocese of Boston.

I know that it is becoming popular for dioceses to import clergy from overseas to fill the needs of their parishes.  But do we really know how carefully the dioceses of other countries screen their own candidates for priesthood? 

Feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula

Today, Franciscans celebrate the chapel of the Portiuncola.  One of the chapels near Assisi that Francis repaired, it would become the "mother church" of the Franciscan Friars, indeed, of the Franciscan movement.  In keeping with Franciscan poverty, the chapel does not technically belong to the Friars, but to a nearby Benedictine monastery.  Every year, the Franciscan friars give the monks a basket of fish as rent.

Francis persuaded the Pope to give an indulgence to anyone who came into the Portiuncola chapel and pray for the forgiveness of sins. The Portiuncola privilege has been extended to all Franciscan churches and chapels; as long as one also goes to confession, attends Mass and receives communion.

Pray for us, Mary, Our Lady of the Angels, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.