The Spirit of Assisi in Canada
Report from OFS, Vancouver, BC, Canada. We were reminded that in celebrating the Spirit of Assisi: “We want to remember our call to be signs of unity and right relationships among ourselves and with all of creation, including those who do not share our faith or who profess no faith at all.”
That implies an ecumenical gathering. The St Francis Fraternity, OFS (Vancouver, BC, Canada) failed to do that. The fraternity must try again in the future, hopefully with First Nation, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Russian Orthodox participants. However the fraternity did consider “right relationships among ourselves and with all of creation.” In a presentation entitled: “Cry of the earth, cry of the poor” it saw the links between sustainable stewardship (care of creation) and the struggle for justice for the poor.
At an Area Chapter of Mats held in Surrey, BC (8 October 2011) for seven local fraternities attended by about 30 OFS brothers and sisters, we celebrated the meeting of Francis and the Sultan with a skit and prayer and discussion.
The theme for the next Chapter of Mats for the OFS National Fraternity of Canada (May 2012) is: “Bearers of Peace and Love: Be not afraid.” The Spirit of Assisi will be celebrated with a Pilgrimage, presentations on “Peace,” “Francis and the Sultan” and “Cry of the Earth, cry of the Poor.” At the Chapter, resolutions will be presented concerning the adoption of a National JPIC Plan and adoption of an ethical purchasing (fair trade) policy.