The Rule and Life of the Friars Minor is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity.” (The Rule of St. Francis of Assisi)
Stones and rocks! In a sense, the Franciscan charism began with stones and rocks. There was Francis, running to his father’s store to get bails of cloth to sell. He needed money to purchase rocks, stones and mortar. The voice he had heard while praying before the crucifix at the neglected little chapel of San Damiano was clear. The words still echoed in his mind and heart: “Francis, repair My Church, which is falling into ruin.” He looked around the little church and found that it was very much in need of repairs. He needed stones and rocks. Simple enough!
However, the Lord had another ‘rebuilding’ in mind. With time, faith and experience, the Lord’s call to Francis took on a deeper meaning. He discovered that he was being called to live the simple, joyful message of the Gospel, and be an instrument in the spiritual renewal of the Church.
Francis found his true love! There was a new lad yin his life – the Lady Poverty. She was the concrete symbol of a personal, intimate and prayerful relationship with the Lord Jesus. In response to this love, Francis gave up everything. He wanted to follow Jesus in poverty and humility. Letting go of material things allowed him to make room for God and others.
Francis found himself more and more caught up in prayer. This personal, intimate communication with God became a passion in his life. He often got lost in God! So much so that one day, while caught up in prayer on Mount Laverna, Francis had a vision of a seraph that appeared to be crucified. When the vision had ended, Francis was branded with the very marks of the crucifixion in his own body. He bore the wounds or the stigmata of Christ.
In his own words, “The Lord gave me brothers”. Young men from various walks of life soon were attracted to the new vision of Gospel living that Francis had embraced. They became a true fraternity, a Gospel brotherhood. In this small band of brothers, led by the poor little man from Assisi, lay the seeds of a great spiritual movement which continues the mission of ‘Church building’ even today.
“Rebuild My Church!” These words still inspire, challenge and excite us even today. If they speak to your heart, perhaps you can join us as we gather rocks and living stones, and help build with them the Church of today… and tomorrow. Just Come and See!
Our ministry and our life go hand in hand. Our first ministry, our service to the church and the world is our fraternal life. Though each friar comes from a different background and has a different history, we come together and strive to live the life of the Gospel as true brothers. In a lonely and fragmented world, the Gospel call to community is a powerful witness. Friars also serve in a variety of ministries: preachers, fraternal service, teachers, hospital chaplains, administrators, pastors, missionaries. However, we seek to live together in fraternity and support, help and encourage each other.
Like Jesus and St. Francis, we have a preference for serving the poor and the needy. It is in them that we find and experience the person of Jesus Christ in a unique way.
At the end of his life, St. Francis said to the brothers assembled at his bedside: “I did what was mine to do. May the Lord show you what is yours to do”. The Holy Spirit still leads us as we seek to live out the Gospel message in our own day.
We Capuchins seek to discern the signs of the times and the needs of people today. This leads to some exciting new forms of ministry and evangelization. This website is but one of them! What we strive to bring through our work and our ministry is the Capuchin Franciscan charism of Gospel brotherhood.
If, in your own prayer and reflection, you feel that Goa may be calling you to share the Capuchin Franciscan spirit, why not ‘Come and See’?