Saint Francis and Saint Clare left a legacy for the entire Church which continues to be expressed, renewed and lived out in our day. As Franciscans, we are inspired daily by the creativity, depth and uniqueness of the charism to which we are called to carry forth in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare.
Core elements of Franciscan spirituality that are specially treasured by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist include:
Rebuilding the Church
Like Saint Francis in his early work, we labor – living stone by living stone, individual by individual, program by program – to rebuild the Body of Christ, the Church, with profound regard for the unique identity and constellation of each person.
The small church of Mary of the Angels in Assisi was known as the “Portiuncula,” the “Little Portion.” This place became the lowly headquarters of St. Francis and his Brothers during his lifetime. From this small place, his influence went out to the world. When he was dying, he told his Brothers, “Never abandon this place.” So, too, the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist serve the world through the “little portion” that is ours – our giftedness, our limitations, our particular charism. By being true to our own little portion, our part in the whole, we can influence the world.
Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament
Saint Francis’ devotion to Christ in his Eucharistic Body was profound and pervaded his entire being. He took great care to honor the Eucharistic Presence. As Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, we continue Saint Francis’ legacy of love for the Eucharist.
Reverence for Creation
Francis sang, danced and joyfully proclaimed the praises of God as he experienced the beauty of creation. He called elements of creation “brother” and “sister,” recognizing that all things were created by God, as was he. In this light, the Franciscan Sisters also respect created matter, those elements of the earth which are part of our everyday lives and which can lead us to recognize God as the Source of all being.
Saint Francis called forth Saint Clare to found a women’s order in complement to the Brothers. In our mission, we foster a spirit of complementarity among priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful.
A hallmark of Franciscan spirituality, poverty was an essential element of Francis’ way of life and prayer. As his followers, we share everything in common, and strive to have only what is needed to carry on our mission. Living the spirit of poverty, that is, being totally open to God is a challenge we try to live.