ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — John Anglin, OFM, might not have ever written a book if it weren’t for the encouragement he received from his fellow friars. Now, he’s the author of two.
“Following Jesus in the Footsteps of Francis: A Guide to Living a Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone” is available through Tate Publishing. The book is based in part on preaching John did during a Provincial retreat in 2011.
“The retreat was well received, and several of the friars, especially Dan Lanahan, OFM, and Rod Petrie, OFM, told me I should write a book based on the themes of the retreat,” said John.
John did write a book, but it wasn’t on Franciscan spirituality. Instead, he authored The Wandering Friar, a compilation of stories of diverse people living the faith. Published in 2013, the book was an extension of his blog that goes by the same name.
But the suggestion of Rod and Dan stayed in the back of his mind.
“I was reluctant to undertake a work on Franciscan spirituality because so many others have done so, many of them great scholars and theologians,” John said. “However, I soon realized that precisely because I was not among those ‘greats,’ I should write on Franciscan spirituality.
“In the course of presenting parish missions and retreats, I perceived a thirst in people for understanding our Franciscan way of life, as well as a desire to live a Franciscan life,” explained John, who joined the Franciscans in 1964. “It dawned on me then that little has been written to assist the ordinary lay person in living a Franciscan spirituality. This book attempts to meet that need.”
In “Following Jesus in the Footsteps of Francis,” John draws on contemporary and traditional Franciscan thought, presenting it in a way that everyone can understand. According to the book’s description, the book “explains the spiritual vision of St. Francis and those who came after him” and explains how the vision “shapes the lives of those who would follow Jesus in this way.”
In addition to lay people, John hopes that friars and Franciscan women religious will also benefit from his work.
“I would hope that my fellow friars might have a look at this book and recommend it to their parishioners, students and others to whom they minister,” he said. “Much has been written lately about our spirituality. People like Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, have written some wonderful works and I have drawn from her and others, but this book is written to appeal to the ordinary person who is interested in following the Franciscan way.”
“Following Jesus in the Footsteps of Francis” is available for purchase on Tate’s website and through other booksellers. Those who wish to learn updates about the book and John’s activities should follow him on Facebook.
John and the other members of the HNP Ministry of the Word team can be contacted through their website. Information about other writers in Holy Name Province can be found on the Artisans & Authors page of the HNP site.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.