Eight hundred years after his death, St. Francis of Assisi is still having an impact on the world. This could be from his status as the global Patron Saint of the Environment, or perhaps his name being chosen by Pope Francis, or the first encyclical of Pope Francis being on the environment.
The morning began with an outdoor procession which included the entire student body and also students who attend the JCM feeder schools, St. Jerome, St. Garnier and St. Wilfrid’s elementary catholic schools. The procession of 1200 students and staff followed a beautiful new statue of St. Francis. The singing of the Prayer of St. Francis accompanied the procession and helped to lift the mood and spirits of those in attendance.
At the start of Mass the new statue was blessed. It will stand in the foyer of JCMcGuigan as a welcome to all and a reminder of Francis’ charism… “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!”
Following the Liturgy, students, staff and visitors were treated to a BBQ lunch, music and outdoor activities bringing to life an ancient tradition of fellowship after worship. A student from one of the visiting elementary schools said, “I didn’t know the school could make this much good food”. A festive atmosphere held out the rest of the afternoon and the Feast of St. Francis was duly and properly celebrated.
Students from the JCM community noted and highlighted several aspects of the day. “I thought it was a great experience for our school, and it was nice to have the elementary kids here”, said one student.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.