Transitus

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Until I attended a church staffed by Franciscan Friars, I had never heard of the term transitus.┬áSimply put, it means,”the time of passage through death to life.” Last night our beloved senior Friar, Father Andrew, passed from this life into the next. He was celebrated a few weeks ago with a street party to honor his 60 years of service in his order.

Occasionally, one meets a person who lives out St. Francis’ words to “Preach Jesus, and if necessary use words.” Fr. Andrew was such a one. To be with him, or to watch him focus completely on the person in front of him, was to get a glimpse of how we are meant to be one to another. He gave full attention, as if there was all the time in the world, to the child wanting a stuffed animal blessed or to the elderly parishioner sharing her ills.

Tomorrow we observe the 800th anniversary of St. Francis receiving a special permission from the Pope to use his Chapel for pardon and healing. Today, all Franciscan Churches provide a yearly opportunity to come together for the same purpose. May all of us, whatever religion or none, seek pardon for our failings as a nation and healing for the divisions so blatant among us today.

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