Greetings of Peace from Saint Francis Retreat Centre
Lent began with Ash Wednesday and the marking of the cross on our foreheads – an ancient tradition full of meaning. I always look forward to this season of intentional renewal, and one line from Fr Anthoni’s homily has stayed with me – ‘the cross on my forehead (as a sign of) purifying my mind,’ as though, through its very presence it was looking inside my thinking, sanctifying me, preparing me for another season of living. Thanks be to God.
The Christchurch terrorist attack on our Muslim brothers and sisters remind us again about the fragility of life, and the terrible consequence of deranged thinking that led to such a hideous crime. There have been wonderful examples of bravery and forgiveness; God’s face has shone through these gentle humble people. We continue to pray and ask for God’s strength and comfort for those who are suffering, and for those who bury their loved ones and learn to live without them.
There is a group of Prison Chaplains in residence at the moment. I hear their singing and sometimes see their praying as I walk past the open door. They too must encounter many different needs and suffering. We pray for them.
Lenten Stations of the Cross – Please come and use these stations as a place for reflection during this Lenten season or join the friars on a Saturday morning at 10.30am. They are situated on the ground closest to the road, accompanying material may be obtained from the Office.
Healing Services – Next month on the 3rd April, 7.30pm – 8.30pm, we will be offering a Healing Service. These will be offered on the first Wednesday of every month. We envisage it being a gentle way of each one of us coming before God and asking that our needs and longings for healing be recognised. We will be here to pray with you if that is what you desire.
Thank you for your prayerful support and encouragement. If we can help you in anyway please contact us 09 625 6651 or email@example.com
May God bless and keep you.
In case you missed this news of our Celebration last year I will leave it for another month.
The 8oth Anniversary Celebration of the laying of the Foundation stone on the 27th October went well as many came in support of our work here and to share stories of their part in our Franciscan story. Family members of Br Francis Erni, Fr Lucian Armstrong and friends of other deceased friars, as well as previous staff members and supporters swelled our numbers. Our Auckland Bishop, Pat Dunn and our local MP, Michael Wood added their colour to our day as did the Tongan Legion of Mary, boys from St Peter’s College, and St Terese church choir. The weather was glorious in spite of the weather forcaste which meant we could celebrate at the front of the building in the open air.
The theme running through the weekend celebration was one of Thanksgiving to God for his faithfulness in the whole process from the beginning when Australian friars came to start the small community in the late 1930s until today. The Friary was opened in 1940 with the express purpose of providing a place of quietness for people to seek God in reflective prayer.
You are most welcome to have a look at Br Philip’s Annual letter to helpers and benefactors of the Friary. As well as focusing on this important day of Celebration it focuses on other aspects of our friars work. Please click on the link. http://AnnualNewsletter2018pdf
Fr Anthony Malone ofm, Michael Wood MP, Bishop Pat Dunn, Fr Anthoni Selvaraj ofm, Hayden Kingdon DRS St Peter’s College.
P. S. If you would like to contribute towards the cost of all the building changes please contact Fr Anthoni Selvaraj or Br Philip Jeffares at: firstname.lastname@example.org and one of them will respond to you. Thank you.