Saturday, April 18, 2015
Fraternity as Family
Last night at our Fraternity meeting several people noted that with the Fraternity they felt as if they were among family - something they sensed even before beginning formation and being professed.
I understood what they were saying. My Fraternity is indeed like a family in so many ways to me. I can be myself in many ways I can't even be with some members of my biological family.
One person noted, however, that it took many years before he came to that realization, and only after he discovered he could not pursue priesthood. He needed to grow before he was ready to see what the Fraternity was.
I also understood that. I remember my first encounter with the Fraternity nearly 30 years ago. I went to a Fraternity picnic with a friend who was a Secular Franciscan.
I was in the midst of my progressive Catholic phase. I looked at the Franciscans as nice, but kind of quirky, quaint, and old-fashioned for my taste. I viewed them as representing the "old Church."
I had a lot of growing to do before I was ready to see the Secular Franciscans for who they truly were.
Then in 2008, after my pursuit of the diaconate proved a dead end, I thought of checking out the Franciscans again. I went to my first meeting in September of that year, and things just clicked. Some of the same people, the same spirituality, but this time it clicked.
I'd found a home and family.
And this July I will mark 4 years of being a professed member.
Pax et bonum