Br. Ian Kenneth C. Pamintuan, OFMCap.
The inter-Franciscan celebration of the passing of our Holy Father Francis from this earthly life to the heavenly realms this year was led by the Capuchins of the Philippine Province and was sponsored by St. Francis of Assisi Parish and Lourdes School in Mandaluyong last October 3, 2019. It was well participated by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (SFIC), Franciscan Immaculatine Sisters (SFI), Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) and Franciscan Missionaries of the Infant Jesus (FMIJ). As part of the celebration of the Year of the Youth, a good number of Franciscan youths and students from different Franciscan schools joined also in the celebration. The program started with the registration at 12:30 p.m. at the school grounds of Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. Then all the participants gathered at the Albacina Hall for the first part of the celebration. The opening prayer was led by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. This was followed by the opening remarks of Br. Eugenio Juanilo P. Lopez, OFMCap., Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Philippine Province.
After the roll call, the brothers and sisters present were energized by the animation led by the FMIJ youth group which prepared them to listen attentively to the short talk of Rev. Jose Eduardo Mayo, OFMCap. on the topic “Journeying with the Youth in the Spirit of Fraternal Dialogue.” The sharing ended with another animation prepared this time by the St. Joseph College youth group. As part always of Franciscan celebrations, during the break all came together and joyfully partook of the food brought and contributed by each congregation.
At 4:30 p.m., the faithful gathered at St. Francis of Assisi Parish for the liturgical re-enactment of Transitus. The celebration was presided by Br. Roque Aristotle Padama, OFMcap., Rector of LSM and the role of St. Francis and the brothers of the primitive fraternity were played in character by the students of LSM. The liturgy ended with the resurrected Francis embracing the crucified Christ on the cross and the blessing. Finally, for the last part, the Solemn Mass in honor of St. Francis of Assisi was presided by the newly ordained Capuchin priest, B r. Jeffrey Torres, OFMCap. together with some Capuchin priests as concelebrants. Francis might had left us physically but he is still very much alive in the faces and hearts of those who follow our Lord Jesus Christ completely in lovingly and joyfully living out the Gospel way of life.