The Friars Helping to Renew the Church

A statue of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals and the environment, is seen at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Manorville, N.Y. The saint’s feast is celebrated Oct. 4. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)


Thomas Griffin 12/4/20

The Friars Helping to Renew the Church – Catholic Exchange (12/4/20)

Excerpt: “The nature and purpose of their order is grounded in their “desire to work more definitively for personal and communal renewal” while continuing to fulfill the call of St. Francis to rebuild Christ’s church. Most poignantly, these brothers, sisters, and priests accomplish this renewal by living in conformity with the demands of the Gospel and challenging the present worldly values through their dedication to material poverty, manual labor, and life of prayer. 

The lines of their constitution are filled to the brim with allusions to the fact that their existence is meant to be a bridge which fills the breach between heaven and earth. Pilgrimage themes cover these pages because of their desperate craving to, like Francis, “portray heavenly glory on earth” while “living inside of and participating in the holiness of the Trinity.” This relationship of communion with the divine is lived out and ushered forth from their dynamic devotion to a life of intimacy with the Holy Trinity. “Prayer is to be the very heart of our life.” This is not a slogan to be chanted but a refrain which these friars live out each day. Union with Father through Christ and in the Holy Spirit allows them to meet the demands of the life of a disciple with fervor and joy. “


Thomas Griffin teaches Apologetics in the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island and lives with his wife and son. He received a master’s degree in theology and is currently a master’s candidate in philosophy. He writes for several Catholic media outlets.


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