Monday, October 08, 2007

The Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi

Why a Solemnity? Because, this year, I celebrated this feast at the Capuchin Friary of St. Felix of Cantalice. The Friary (because the Capuchins who are Franciscans of the 1st Order, are friars, not monks) house Friar Guardian Fr. Paul Cheong, Fr. Joe Matthews, Bro Allan Fernandez, brother of our parish priest, and Bro. Gilbert who's on his way to taking his vows. Oh, err... OFM Cap's all. They had celebrated the Transitus or Passing of St. Francis the day before, Oct 3rd.


Here's what the Friary Chapel looks like. It's a small Chapel, but sufficient for the needs of the friars who live there.

Among those who joined in the celebration were the extended Franciscan family in Penang, including the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) who have their convent here and operate the Mt. Miriam Cancer Hospital, the top such centre in the Northern Region of Malaysia, and the secular Franciscans.


Sr. Auxilia, FMDM read an introduction to the life of Sr. Francis before the Mass began.


The Mass was presided by Fr. Joe Matthews OFM Cap. Also concelebrating were Fr. Paul Cheong, OFM Cap. and Fr. Decroix MEP who lives across the street from the Friary. Note the nice Francis and Clare chasuble...


One of the Secular Franciscans read the First Reading, from the Book of Sirach about how Simon son of Onias rebuilt the house and fortified the Temple, things that are certainly applicable to the Poverello.


Bro. Gilbert then read the Psalm.


An FMDM sister read out the 2nd Reading as well the the Sequence for the Feast.



Fr. Joe delivered an excellent homily about the life and person of St. Francis of Assisi and how he preached the Gospel.



The music of the Mass were perennial Franciscan favourites such as the Canticle of the Sun and the Prayer of St. Francis.


I took this photo as the people were lining up for Communion. There were another 30 people in the adjoining hall of the friary as the Chapel could not contain them all.


The sister at the bottom right of the photo celebrated her Golden Jubilee in the Religious Life this year.

After the Mass, all adjourned outside for a feast, in typical Malaysian fashion. Unfortunately for you guys reading this, the camera batteries ran out, so you 'll just have to trust me when I tell you that the chicken curry, roast lamb, stuffed egg omelettes and other delicacies were delicious =) Like I told the Fr. Guardian, I was glad the did not serve St. Francis' favourite food... bread and water .. haha.


Anyway, I leave you with pamphlets distributed by the Secular Franciscans attempting to introduce their charism.


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