As we begin 2024, we are reminded of two special calls for deepening our relationship with Our Dear Lord and our suffering sisters and brothers. The Franciscan Family is commemorating the “the Gift of the Stigmata” and the whole Catholic Church begins the final year of preparation for the Eucharistic Jubilee.

Eucharistic Jubilee:  On January 21st, Pope Francis invited the Church into a Year of Prayer before we celebrate the Jubilee Year in 2025. Pope Francis expressed his desires for the Church with these words:  “From now on I am happy to think that the year preceding the (Eucharistic) Jubilee event, 2024, will be dedicated to a great ‘symphony’ of prayer. First of all, to recover the desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to Him and adore Him. In preparation for the Jubilee, therefore, individual dioceses are invited to promote the centrality of individual and community prayer during this year.”

Gift of the Stigmata: among the notes from the Franciscan Family Committee for the commemoration of “the Gift of the Stigmata”, we find

  1. In celebrating the Centenary of the Gift of the Stigmata as a Franciscan Family, we are invited to restore the dimension of prayerful and contemplative silence in our daily lives, the silence that places us before the essential, that lets us recognize our desire for the infinite that resides in our hearts, that allows us to listen to ourselves, to others and to God.
  2. Even today, the Poverello is presented as a person who made listening a way of life: “Saint Francis heard the voice of God, he heard the voice of the poor, he heard the voice of the infirm and he heard the voice of nature. He made of them a way of life. My desire is that the seed that Saint Francis planted may grow in the hearts of many” (Fratelli tutti 48) [OFS-USA Theme: Listen-Discern-Go Forth]

Taking these recommendations to heart and acknowledging our responsibility to support/accompany our struggling fraternities at all levels, the Centenary Task Force is suggesting that we start a “Prayer Chain”.  No sign ups needed; no specific commitment of time needed.  While individuals may choose their own prayer form & dedicated prayer time, we are asking Regional Leadership to assign one or two fraternities to each month from now through January 2025. We are also suggesting that these generous souls pray the Franciscan Family Chaplet for this intention.  If you aren’t familiar with this prayer, it is a short prayer form covering the whole Franciscan Family. We ask St. Francis to intercede with us in seeking new dedicated vocations and for support for those of us currently in the Family. The prayer may be found on our National website,  by clicking on either the Centenary link for the Stigmata or clicking on the “Prayer” link in the banner near the top of the home page:

OR  STIGMATA-PRAYER-ACTIVITY_Franciscan Family Chaplet.pdf

Thank you in advance for considering this request and for your generosity in responding.

The Centenary Task Force