RALEIGH, N.C. — Flu shots, remembering the deceased, a partners in ministry forum, and a fair trade market were all part of a busy fall season at St. Francis of Assisi Parish here. The parish also welcomed their pastor, Mark Reamer, OFM, back from sabbatical.
In October, Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh
visited the parish to confirm 113 of the church’s youth and, later, participated in a partners-in-ministry forum. The event began with a keynote talk by
Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, who challenged attendees to envision the Franciscan parish of the 21st century. David McBriar, OFM
, then discussed current issues of the parish and community. Mark followed up with the vision of what is possible at the parish, said Marc Kielty, the parish’s coordinator of ministry support.
Sr. Ilia also facilitated a program, “Is Peace Possible?” on Oct. 2 that discussed the Franciscan perspective on the topic. She said: “If all creation flows out of love and unto love, then there is no other reason to exist except to love. To be Christian is to love well, to love first.”The night concluded with a party for Mark, who returned from sabbatical.
On Oct. 18, the staff gathered for a day of formation led by George Corrigan, OFM, of Sacred Heart Church, Tampa, Fla., who was ordained in Raleigh three years ago. The staff reflected on the Franciscan tradition as a Roman Catholic Church.
A three-day fair trade market also was held in October. Dubbed “Gift It Up,” the fair included free trade items from merchants. The parish learned about fair trade issues and how supporting fair initiatives is good for small-scale producers, helps the poor, and fosters stewardship of natural resources.
The parish, which is marking November as a month of remembrance, held a presentation on “Coping with Grief During the Holidays,” Nov. 7. On Nov. 13, at 10 a.m., the liturgy for the day celebrates the life and faith of those inurned and memorialized in the St. Francis Memorial Garden and those buried in the St. Francis portion of Raleigh Memorial Park.
Reflections from Mark about his sabbatical and news on programs of the Raleigh parish can be found on its blog.