Living & Serving in the Way of St. Francis, Reflections for Franciscan Volunteers
With a foreword by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, OFM Cap
Edited by Julie McElmurry
It is a great joy to mark the publishing of this book containing the reflections of young adult volunteers who have sought to live and serve in the spirit and path of Saint Francis of Assisi. These volunteers give the Church such hope and joy and demonstrate the vitality of Christian witness and service.
Our Catholic understanding of service flows from Holy Thursday when Jesus washed the feet of his Apostles and commanded them to do the same for others. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, followed this command by washing the feet of prisoners in a Roman prison, celebrating the Feast of the Lord’s Supper, not in a church, but in that very prison. The Holy Father’s actions challenge us to glimpse the truth and message of the Gospel. With a simple gesture, Pope Francis has tested our assumptions regarding power, authority and leadership. As he told the prisoners, this is a symbol, it is a sign. “Washing your feet means I am at your service,” he said.
I pray that as you reflect upon your own call to service in light of Testament of Saint Francis that you will be moved to heed Pope Francis’ call and become ministers capable of warming people’s hearts; walking with them in the night, dialoguing with them about their hopes and desires; mending their brokenness; allowing them to help us in understanding our own brokenness; and bringing the joy of the Gospel to all we meet. Like Saint Francis may you preach the Gospel in all that you do - using words when necessary.
With all good wishes and assurance of a remembrance in my prayers, I am Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap
Archbishop of Boston