Franciscans on Care for Creation
Fr. Bernard Younas OFM
St Francis of Assisi (1181 or 1182 – 1226), founder of the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, lived during the late 12th and 13th centuries in Italy. He is recalled for his kindness, love for the poor and his dedication, readiness and commitment to serve the lepers of his times.
However, what many people remembered about him is his love for the earth, animals and nature. St Francis died at Portiuncula, Assisi, on October 4, 1226.
The Franciscans all over the world celebrate his feast on 4th Oct. It is a great tradition of oneness in Christ that on the 4th of October Dominican friars are invited to celebrated the Holy Eucharist for the Franciscan families, since St Dominica and St Francis of Assisi were con-temporizes of their times.
The Portiuncula Friary Karachi, Pakistan kept the tradition intact and alive for years by inviting the Dominican friars to celebrate the Feast for the Franciscan family communities.
Fr. Akhtar Naveed OP presided over the Holy Eucharistic along with Fr. Thomas Bhatti OP and Fr. Zeeshan Francisco OP. Fr. Zeeshan Francisco Op gave an introduction at the Holy Mass setting the tone for the homily. He emphasized on the renewal of the Spirit of St Francis of Assisi, that it is the time when the whole world is concerned about the care for creation and St Francis of Assisi showed his love 800 years ago, and is known as the patron saint of creation.
The Fr. Akhtar Naveed OP gave a motivational, challenging and inspirational Homily. He said that today we remember a mystic, a Saint, a prophet who in an ordinary way inspired the whole of humanity not only by his words, but through his actions. However, his life is a big challenge for not only to the Franciscans but to the whole world, to be with the poor, ready take an action and bring good news to them by showing our solidarity with every creature of the world.
He also red to the ‘Season of Jubilee’ and how Pope Francis encouraged the whole world to care for creation. The spirit of St Francis of Assisi does not only belong to the Franciscans but to everyone, He added.
The other congregations were also invited to celebrate the joy of the Feast with the Franciscan families, namely the Rector of Christ the King Major Seminary along with his resident staff and student body.
The choir of Christ the King Major Seminary students sang inspiring spirit filled hymns for the Holy Eucharist.
The Priests from the Archdiocese of Karachi and OMI priests and brothers were also invited to be part of the program.
After the Holy Mass There was also a social program organized. The brothers from different congregations presented different items related to the theme of the Feast ‘Love for Creation’.
It is also important to remember Fr. Shahrukh, the guardian, Fr. Eric, the Student Master, Fr. Azeem Lawrence the novice master and the friary and Darkhshan friar students who dedicated their services to make the celebration a memorable event.
At the end of the program, Fr. Shahrukh the guardian of the Portiuncula Friary thanked everyone who took part in the celebration and thanked all the friars who worked hard to make it possible.
Fr. Moghal Peter OFM, Custos of St John the Baptist Custody, Pakistan, blessed everyone and the food to share the joys of the feast with each other.
At the end of the celebration a festive Dinner was served to all.