WHO ARE WE?
We are a gathering of men who chose to live in a community, forming a fraternity of friars in the Franciscan Conventual Order. We are commonly known as Greyfriars or simply Franciscans. One can recognise us by the OFM Conv. denomination that we use after our names. We came together because at a certain point in our lives we answered a specific call by the Father. We were living our own normal lives when, in one way or another, God helped us to understand that He wanted something specific from us. At first we did not know what that entailed. We cannot say that today we fully know what it is. Day by day we are discovering it more deeply, and hence are becoming more aware of God's specific love for us. When we were called, we only had to give an answer which was to involve our entire life. The choice was ours and we decided to say "Yes!" - "Yes Lord, here I am!" - a never ending continuous answer which has to be kept in mind at all times. God's choice does not mean that we are better than others. Jesus called us because He wants us near Him and because we were ready to listen to him. He called us with our own personalities, with our own limits and histories... and he does not want us to change but to let Him take our lives in his hand and mould them according to his own will. We remain the same persons but with a novelty; the conviction that He will take care of us, because He said so, because He loves us. This call, though specifically made to an individual, is also made in a way that many are drawn together by something that is common to all. St. Francis expressed it in this way: "The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this, namely, to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without property, and in chastity." Therefore for us, the word of God becomes alive through this way of life. Though said in these terms religious life seems easy. We still bear our own humanity with us and therefore need to be reminded constantly that we need the Lord's help and strength. This is brought about through prayer. We have our own times of prayer and this gives us the strength for what we need to continue to work in the Lord's harvest. Added to this God called some of us to serve the Church through Priesthood. In this way, this love of God for us can be experienced through the administration of the Sacraments - a sign of God's presence amongst His people.
Please, pray for us so that we can continue to keep the Lord as our guide and to work so that at the end of our lives we can honourably say like our father St. Francis: "I did my part! Pray to the Lord that he may teach you yours."
"May God Bless you and keep you. May God smile on you, and be merciful to you. May God turn his regard towards you and give you peace. May God bless you, whoever you may be!"
ST. PATRICK'S RC CHURCH - Waterloo [London]
The London Parish Run by the General Delegation of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Conventual
Background photo: The Chapel of the Friary.