On December 29-31, 2023, more than sixty-five Franciscans from the various branches of our family tree gathered at the Mount St. Francis Center for Spirituality, Mt. St. Francis, Indiana, to celebrate the Christmas at Greccio.
Our featured speaker was Dennis Feece, OFS. He focused on the theme: “What We Bring to Greccio and What We Take from Greccio.” We also enjoyed a video address, specially recorded for our group, from His Eminence Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., Preacher to the Papal Household.
On Saturday evening, we used the “Greccio and the O Antiphons” meditation, prepared by Friars Michael Lasky and Joseph Dorniak, as a text for recreating the Christmas at Greccio in the context of a dramatic prayer service that concluded with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
From December 31 to January 2, 2024, Friar Michael Lasky led eleven post formation friars, all solemnly professed for one to five years, on a continuing formation retreat. Using the arts, the friars reflected on their first years in active ministry and friary life through the American artist Thomas Cole’s painting series entitled, Voyage of Life. The friars also attended a screening of the newly released movie, The Color Purple. This led to a reflection on who God is in our lives and in what spaces we find God. The film also inspired the group to consider more sensitive ways of approaching friary living and ministry.
At the same time, Friar Joseph Bach conducted a retreat about John Duns Scotus and the Incarnation for some friars in formation from the San Damiano Friary in San Antonio, Texas.
-friar Michael Lasky OFM Conv.