As I write these words on Friday, June 2, we friars are preparing for our provincial chapter which was held this past week at Siena College. Last week we prayed the following prayer at all masses here; we friars have been praying the same prayer (the pronouns of course have been changed below) for the past month or so leading up to the chapter:
Loving God, send your Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, into the hearts of the friars as they prepare to gather together in Chapter. Lead them and draw them into that future which is your will for them as Franciscans of the United States in the 21st Century. Inspire them, that they may preach your Word with authenticity and audacity, that they may embody your Word with compassion and openness, as fellow pilgrims, not strangers, to all they meet. Give them the courage to walk more closely In the footsteps of our father, Francis, Who incarnated your loving care for each human person and for creation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
This week, we have exciting news to share. Our parish will be supporting a refugee family who will be arriving at RDU airport this coming Tuesday, June 13. The Omari Family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been living in a refugee camp for over a year: father, mother, two girls, ages 12 and 9, and two boys, 7 and 5. Many parishioners have already donated items to furnish an apartment for this family and some parishioners will welcome them at the airport on Tuesday. We will continue to walk with the family in faith, prayer, and solidarity as they make this transition. We invite you to pray for the Omari family, for their travels, for their transition, for their new life in our country. Through decades of genocide and wars, many have been displaced in the Congo and have lived under harsh conditions for years. This is an exciting moment for this family. We will share more news about our journey with them in the bulletin. Thanks to many who have helped make this possible. You can contact Aggie Dalton, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping in this important work of mercy.
Blessings on your week!