God’s Extravagant Love
Last weekend I was invited by the minister of Blessed John Duns Scotus Fraternity of Ipswich to attend a presentation of “God’s Extravagant Love”. This lecture series is meant to reveal and share the principles of Franciscan Spirituality. This particular session presented, ” The Love and Primacy of Christ”. The series consists of 3 sessions. One session has been presented at The Franciscan International Study Center in Canterbury, Kent, and 2 more sessions will be presented next year.
A few years ago, Franciscans decided to reclaim and re-present the Franciscan Theological Traditions and concepts that are not usually heard. One of these concepts is “The Primacy of Christ” and focuses on the unifying nature of Christ to all of creation. This concept helps reveal the understanding of divine goodness and the unity of God’s love with all of creation.
The SFO team presenting this program consisted of Leon Davison, National Minister, Ursula Mott, National Formation Minister and Kathleen Bishop, South East Regional Secretary. Fr. Philippe Yates, OFM, Principle of the Franciscan International Study Center, Canterbury, was also present as an observer.
This event was well attended by the local Secular Franciscan Fraternities. We met first for Mass at the Church of Our Lady Immaculate and St. Etheldreda, Newmarket then in the hall for the presentation.
Fr. Philippe Yates, OFM presided at Mass which was then followed by Benediction. Afterwards, we were invited to the parish hall for refreshments and social gathering before the presentation.
Much work had gone into organizing this function and it was appreciated by all. There were some parishioners who heard about the program, included where some SFO members reconnecting with fraternities and others who for the first time were hearing about Secular Franciscans and were interested in attending a fraternity meeting. Some great contacts were made.
It was most enjoyable for me to meet so many SFO members in this Region and to listen to the presentation.
National Minister Leon Davison introduced the panel, presented the program introductions and talked about the Franciscan view of the image of God.
National Formation Minister Ursula Mott talked about the relationship of the Triune God and how creation shares in the relational love of God.
Kathleen Bishop talked about the Primacy of Christ and how many early Franciscans found a way to put the image of Christ before them “with skin on”, working with those around them.
Fr. Philippe Yates, OFM, answered questions that people had about the presentation and gave his thanks to all.
I have just given you a hint of what this program is about and hopefully it will be available to those who wish to hear it. Thanks to all who helped put this program together and may it continue to feed our minds and hearts to realize God’s plan for creation.
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