Minister’s Message for 2019
Greetings Brothers and Sisters: Ad Majorum Dei Gloriam
(For the Greater and Gloria of God [AMDG])
Earlier this Summer, I had the honor and privilege to be invited to speak
to a boys scout troop about what it means to me to be a professed member
of the OFS and to share a story with them about our father Francis.
They are members of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe.
This Union is a Lay Association of Pontifical Rite recognized by the Holy See.
The North American organization is called the Federation of North American
Explorers. Locally in Albuquerque, they are the Sangre de Cristo Group. The
boys that I spoke to are the Timber Wolves. Their name inspired me to tell the
story of the Wolf of Gubbio. It is a very important story to me as I walk in the
footsteps of our Seraphic Father, because it is a story of redemption. I was invited
by my friend and colleague Miles Gloetzner, whose own spirituality encourages me.
He is the scout master in the photo, saluting, along with the Timber Wolves members
and Father Artur Bubnevych, Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish.
Naturally I had to prepare for what I would share, so I reached out to my
Big Sister Rena who supplied me with ample material to study by. She
encouraged me to ‘become an expert on the Wolf of Gubbio’. My visit with
the youngsters started with a solemn Rosary lead by the scouts ranging
from 5-24 years in age. Then the different scouts broke up in smaller groups.
I marched with the Timber Wolves to a nearby park where they performed
a devout scout ritual on community. We sat in a circle where I told the
story. I was going to use a script Rena had provided of the story by Mother
Mary Francis PCC and I became inspired by the Holy Spirit and went off script
and adlibbed the story, as by now I was very familiar with it. We shared with
each other how we are all like the characters in the story, the towns folk, the wolf
and even St. Francis. Especially we talked about how St. Francis called the wolf to
community and not isolation. The children had some remarkable insight how this
story applies to us, every day. As service goes, I learned more from them than they
did from me. It is a story about all of us Sisters and Brothers and I am now inspired
to share the story with all of you in an upcoming On Going Formation.
So, let’s get to it Sisters and Brothers and place ourselves into the stories
and life of our Father Francis, learn them and him and follow in his footsteps in
the world, but not of it.
Matthew 18:3 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.
Peace and all good,
Abraham Placencio, OFS
Servant Minister, St Anthony Community, OFS