A call for reflection, prayer, and support.
"Peace be with you." In John's Gospel, these are the last words the Risen Jesus breathed upon his disciples and the words of his mission: "So I send you." St. Francis of Assisi took those words seriously. Those words were his prayer for everyone he met, including the Sultan of Egypt, then, at that time, the archenemy of Christian Europe.
The words of Jesus and Francis' prayer are these days so crucial for our country. We understand the frustration and outrage of our African American brothers and sisters. We pray for peace in our streets. Yet we know there can be no peace without justice. Racial injustice has plagued our country from its earliest beginnings. As a result, expansion from "sea to shining sea" has not been so glorious for our African American, Native American, and Mexican American brothers and sisters. Currently, they are also disproportionately attacked by the virus, still in rage around us.
A long history of systemic racism led to the killing of George Floyd. The first Africans were brought to Virginia as slaves in 1619. It is time to pray for peace, for an end to violence on the part of everyone, the violence of frustration, and the violence of enforcement. But prayer is not enough unless we examine in our hearts even the hidden, unconscious racism embedded therein; and unless we also courageously address and change our systems of human, ecclesial, economic, and political interactions that exclude and marginalize the other. May we embrace the Gospel mission, now.
Announcement regarding Covid-19/Corona Virus.
The Covid-19 virus spreads ever more tragically. Public health leaders have offered more definitive guidance. We realize all our communities have a significant role to play in the concerted public health response.
The Conventual Franciscan Friars of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation have decided to cancel, postpone, or reschedule retreats, programs, and events at our three retreat centers: Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake; MN; Mount Saint Francis – Center for Spirituality in Mount St. Francis, IN; and Holy Cross Retreat Center in Las Cruces, NM. This decision follows careful consideration of CDC and local government recommendations and recommendations of our dioceses and archdioceses. It is effective immediately, Friday, March 13th. We will monitor the situation. As more information becomes available, we will later announce our forthcoming schedules.