Friday, August 11, 2006

Notes from the Field: The Franciscans of Peace

You might think it strange but one of the nicest features of the Midwest Family Life Conference is the presence of consecrated religious. There are usually two or three orders present with vendor booths along with religious who simply attend the conference. Believe it or not, there is an intimate connection between religious life, the ordained priesthood, and married life. But that is a post for another time.

Today, I want to mention a great religious order which I have had the pleasure of working with. Out of the diocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul come the Franciscans of Peace. The order came into existence born from the pro-life movement. And typical of those operations which the Lord is planning to bless, adversity has been the watchword. Early on, the founder, Br. Michael, suffered a traumatic brain injury which lead the order to provide full time care. As Br. Anthony tells the story, many of the brothers asked, "What does this mean? Why is God doing this to us?" That became clearer once Br. Paul began working with the family of Terri Schiavo.

This order is just beginning to take off and very unique to this order, there are no clerics, and as far as I could infer, there aren't going to be any. The role of consecrated religious brother is being renewed by this group of men: they are embodiments of the heart given to the Holy Trinity to reveal the Holy Trinity through the three fold vows of religious consecration. Remember to visit their webpage and if you live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, stop by and tell them the Ragemonkey Founder sent you.

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