On 4 May,2013, the St. Francis group renewed their commitment for another year. The St. Clare’s group has completed the first year of their formation and will make their first commitment in 2014. Both groups attended a talk by Fr. Gerard Kelly on the New Evangelization on June 1st at St. Michael’s, Oldham. Fr. Ged discussed the challenges of evangelization in today’s world but encouraged all not to feel hopeless. He reminded the participants of the need to live the Gospel joyfully as they continue to pass on the Gospel through their various ministries as well as their participation in the Associate programme.
Fr. Anthony Sudlow celebrated the Liturgy for the renewal of commitment. His homily stressed the Franciscan ideals that the group has committed themselves to following. He stated:” Perhaps it is appropriate, in this Year of Faith, for all of us to examine and renew our Commitment to Jesus, as we seek to serve Him in a newly enlightened way. It is in following Him that we seek our salvation and that we also bring others to Him. What was that saying of Francis? ” Preach the Gospel…use words if you have to!” That is the essence of our Christian life. We may not be able to speak in high phrases and preach the word of God with deep theology…but most certainly we should, by God’s grace, be able to preach and teach by word and example. Being faithful in little things…Simply living and showing forth the love of God to others as we live out our lives with the added joy of simple Franciscan living.”
Our Associates join in our Franciscan lifestyle through prayer and their own ways of serving in the parish community or the larger community in the places where they live and work. Some of them are able to join with our Sisters in our ministries by volunteering. All of them support our FMSJ Congregation through their prayers as well as their own example of living their Franciscan ideals!