Excess Baggage

I’m back from Scotland. By the time I got to the ferry terminal in Aberdeen, even my carry-on backpack and smaller daypack felt too heavy and awkward to carry for any distance. This didn’t stop me from buying a 1.5 kg Shetland fleece on the first day of Wool Week. An undisclosed number of skeins...

St. Francis de Sales: A Saint for Every Man, Woman or Child

I aspire to live certain Franciscan values such as care for the poor, love and care for creation, rebuilding the Church, and love for the Eucharist. Yet, while I try to live simply, my life is far from simple and poor.  St. Francis and St. Clare embraced a poverty I desire to understand. Because of family...

The Franciscan Coat of Arms

If you go to any of our Franciscan friaries, churches, or convents, you will almost always find the Franciscan Coat of Arms hanging on a wall or visible over a doorway. This holds true around the world as well as through the centuries. The Franciscan Coat of Arms often consists of a cross with two arms...

Mary in the Church

“Mary our Mother, Mary our Redeemer.” I was teaching in Manila about fifteen years ago when banners appeared around the city with that phrase. When I first saw one of the banners, I thought: “Oh no! Evangelical preachers will use those banners as proof that Catholics teach idolatry.” Sure enough, it...

Francis In Assisi, Again

October 4 marked the Feast of St. Francis and the first visit of Pope Francis to the hometown of his namesake, whom some say is perhaps the most known and beloved saint of all time. Join Franciscan Father Murray Bodo, author of the classic Francis: The Journey and the Dream, and the more recent release...

Local Woman – a Saint! – Makes Good

I had a chance to visit my hometown of Syracuse, N.Y., last month, the first time in a number of years and the first time since two local women were named saints – St. Kateri Tekakwitha, a Native American born in upstate New York who died in Canada in 1680, and St. Marianne Cope, who worked with leprosy...

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