Got a busy week coming up.
Tomorrow evening we have as many as nine guests coming to St. Michael Friary: Br. Ray Frias is returning to stay overnight, and the family of one of our postulant brothers is coming to dinner. I'm thinking of making some desserts after night prayer.
Brother Ray is driving the postulants to New Jersey on Wednesday. We are meeting a group of Franciscan sisters known as the Poor Clares, who live a contemplative life marked by prayer, penance, and solitude. They are not ministerial religious, like many of the more contemporary orders of Franciscan women. Their vocation does not play out in the midst of society. Like their founder, Clare of Assisi, they live in a monastery and offer their prayers for the Church and world. That is their great work. We will celebrate Mass with them and share a midday meal with them.
Come Friday the postulants will visit a Catholic grade school in Port Washington on Long Island. We have been invited to a vocation day to talk about the option of religious life. We will present along with a priest, a deacon, and religious sisters, and perhaps some lay secular ministers, too. We made a similar visit to a Catholic high school in Brooklyn last fall and enjoyed very much the opportunity to open young minds and hearts to the Capuchin way of life. Our formators will confer with us on Thursday about our presentation. I hope we can get something beautiful, something memorable about the way of Francis across to the children.
Finally, on Saturday the postulant brothers from the Province of St. Augustine will be arriving from Philadelphia for a Lenten day of recollection at St. Michael Friary. Fr. Jim Gavin, our province's resident Scripture scholar, will lead the recollection and preside at Eucharist. In the afternoon we will adjourn and head to Manhattan for an evening of conviviality.
In the midst of all this we will continue intensifying our prayer practices. We will pray the Stations of the Cross tomorrow evening during the hour reserved usually for spiritual reading; I hope to blog about this traditional devotion of the Catholic Church sometime during Lent. On Thursday evening we will have our hour of Eucharistic adoration. On Friday evening I will lead an hour of Taize prayer. These spiritual practices, too, I hope to describe for you in the days ahead. But then, I've promised all kinds of posts, haven't I? (Still hoping to blog about humor in the Capuchin fraternities, celibacy and vocation, and other things submerged in my subconscious.)