Around the Province — along the East Coast and abroad — friars extended Easter greetings both in person and online last weekend. Ministries from Florida to New England offered Triduum services and festive Easter celebrations as partners-in-ministry joined in Easter egg hunts and assorted community programs, including traditional holiday meal distribution. Many friars, parishes and other ministries shared their commemorations through photos and social media. A photo of the Franciscan Food Center of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston appeared in an Associated Press story that was published around the country.
To give an overview of the Province’s people and commemorations, a sampling is provided here. Additional photos and news about ministries around the Province can be found on the Facebook pages of ministries including St. Anthony Shrine, St. Anthony of Padua in Camden, N.J., Mt. Irenaeus in Western New York, Furman University Catholic Campus Ministry in South Carolina, and the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo.
Why is this day so significant in the Christian community? “Basically, we are celebrating the foundation of our faith,” wrote John Anglin, OFM, a member of the Province’s Ministry of the Word,” in a blog post titled “He is Risen, Alleluia! Some Thoughts about Easter and the Church and the Role of Women.”
“It is because we believe today the message that those women passed on to the apostles that we are the Church. Unfortunately, I think that most folks think of the Church as a human organization that promotes belief in Christ and a certain code of conduct. I could never believe in such a Church,” he wrote. “It is only because I believe that Christ is in the world through the Church, through all of us who believe, that I remain.”
Another Ministry of the Word friar William DeBiase, OFM, wished friends a happy Easter via his Easter Sunday YouTube video. For every Sunday, William shares a video where he reads the Gospel and follows it with a brief reflection. Videos can be viewed on Bill’s blog, Franciscan, or by connecting with him on Facebook.
On the day after Easter, Dating God blogger Daniel Horan, OFM, reminded readers that “Easter is marked by a full season — not just a feast or solemnity or even octave — it gets weeks’ worth of emphasis!”
In “Season of Easter: Moving Forward or Back?” Dan asks: “What can be more life-changing than the extraordinary good news that death no longer has power over us? That death does not have the last word? That God so loved the world that, despite our best intentions to ‘do it our way’ out of the hubris of original sin, we are brought back into the loving embrace of Trinity in baptism and life.”
This year, the season of Easter runs from April 7 through May 27, as the bulletin of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City points out, publishing three prayers as well as information about “A Season for Justice.”