Father Francesco from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal recently moved to London for his first assignment as a priest. But before he headed off to England, his brothers gave him a proper goodbye.
The Franciscan brothers have a tradition they have when saying goodbye to friends by honoring them. Four of the Franciscan brothers honored Father Francesco in a recent video from Ascension Presents.
It could be a long time before the brothers see Father Francesco again, so they wanted to take time to honor him and the role he has played in the spiritual life of the community.
“We don’t have the internet where we live, we don’t have TV, we don’t have movies. So part of the way in which we have recreation and ‘fun time’ is just hanging out around the table and telling stories,” explains Father Mark Mary. Their video series from Ascension Presents offers viewers a chance to enter into the dynamic of the daily lives of the brothers in the friary.
Each of the three brothers goes on to admire truths about Father Francesco. They compliment the gifts that the Lord has given him, and share how those gifts have affected their spiritual lives.
After being honored, Father Francesco shares in the video that the path of a Christian is a call to friendship. “I receive what you guys say as really an honoring of God who gives the gifts,” he says in response to the honoring his brothers share with him. “When we honor one another we honor God.”
Father Mark Mary comments in the video that this isn’t a tradition that’s just for the Franciscan brothers. “We share this with you also as an invitation in your own families, in places you’re in ministry. Consider as a group, or individually, honoring somebody on their birthday or special day. I think it’s a beautiful thing.”