SYDNEY, Australia — Several friars and laity from the land down under associated with the Holy Spirit Province in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, have teamed up on a book about St. Francis.
The group is from Holy Spirit Province serving Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, the province that James Vacco, OFM, visited last summer. Jim, an instuctor at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., assisted at a church in Sydney.
Book Commemorates OFM Anniversary
Interpreting Francis and Clare of Assisi — From the Middle Ages to the Present, conceived by Fr. Campion Murray, OFM, explores how the vision of Francis and Clare has been interpreted over the years. It was published to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Order.
News of the book’s publication was reported in the December newsletter of Holy Spirit, Provincial Bulletin, which described the Dec. 8 book launch. Other contributors include Maurice Carmody, Fr. Jim Fitzgerald, OFM, Briege O’Hare, OSC, Josephine Rush, MFIC, Peta Hills, OSC, and Anna Welch.
The cover of the book shows a tapestry by Australian artist Arthur Boyd depicting St. Francis holding St. Clare’s hair.
“There are four reasons to buy the book,” said Fr. Campion. “First, we should buy Australian. Secondly, it is readable — not written in esoteric language and it is rich with illustrations. Thirdly, it is a tribute to the work done by lay and religious — which is a big thing. And lastly, it is great value.”
Other News from “Down Under”
Human trafficking issues are of concern to the Holy Spirit friars. Its JPIC office joined colleagues in a networking and policy event sponsored by Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans.
The issues include preventing trafficking through promotion of Millennium Development Goals, establishing a national system of financial compensation for people trafficked into Australia, providing safe and supportive accommodation for survivors trafficked in Australia, and expanding human trafficking focus to include people trafficked into non sex-related industries.
For the first time in the college’s history, Padua students made an emotional pilgrimage to Franciscan holy places in Italy, according to the November Provincial Bulletin. During the first two weeks of October, 13 boys and staff members “walked in the footsteps of St. Francis.”
— Compiled by Wendy Healy