Friars Invited to ‘Living Laudato Si’ Retreat

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif — To build on the renewal being created as Franciscans discuss restructuring and to reflect on Franciscan themes important to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, a gathering is planned for this summer at St. Francis Retreat in northern California. All friars are invited to the ‘Living Laudato Si’: The Most Franciscan Encyclical Ever” retreat, scheduled for July 9 to 14.

The event is sponsored by St. Barbara Province and is being organized by Br. Keith Douglass Warner, OFM. He is co-author (with Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, and Pamela Wood) of Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press in 2008. He teaches social entrepreneurship and sustainable development at Santa Clara University in California and lives at St. Francis Retreat, where he serves as guardian.

This is “a very worthy initiative that has a lot to do with the task of interprovincial revitalization and of rekindling a prophetic fire,” said Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, chair of the HNP Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate.

“The future of Franciscan life demands renewal, as well as restructuring. Pope Francis has ushered in a Franciscan moment in the Church, and he has provided resources to help us in our efforts at renewal,” said Br. Keith, who in 2013 was a presenter at a Franciscan ecology program held at Holy Name Province’s San Damiano Hall. ‘Laudato Si’’ is one of these resources. It is the most Franciscan papal encyclical ever. Our Father Francis is presented as a model for 21st century Christians, but many themes from our Franciscan tradition run through this encyclical. I believe that by living out the spirituality of ‘Laudato Si’,’ we can renew our religious lives.”

At this summer’s event, participants are invited by Keith to “pray and reflect upon the Franciscan treasures in ‘Laudato Si’.’”

“My dream is that by inviting other friars, we can carry forward the hopeful conversations about our future as Franciscans in the United States,” he said. “I invite you to come, pray, and be moved by the Spirit. I also would ask that you invite your friar friends from other provinces to come, that we might discern a path of renewal together.”

Music and liturgy for the retreat are being arranged by Rebecca Ramirez, who has worked with the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops and other national organizations, and Br. Rufino Zaragoza, OFM, of St. Barbara Province.

Information about the event, including its cost, can be found on an informational flyer. Those interested in registering can do so by phone at 831-623-4234 and by emailSt Francis Retreat is located roughly 45 minutes south of San Jose Airport.

St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista, California.

The July gathering is one of several interprovincial events being held in 2017. Friars from throughout the United States participated in the two winter retreats, titled “Changes for the Sake of God’s Reign: Sources of Resistance, Resources for Renewal,” and this spring, the provincial chapters of the OFM provinces will be attended by friars from outside each province.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

Related Links