Thursday, September 17, 2009


As part of my work for my religious community I serve as Vocation Director (which in the secular world is basically a "recruiter"). So, on occasion, this puts me on the road. At present, I am in Ohio and had the opportunity of visiting one of my favorite seminary Professors at Lourdes College and Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis (her home in Sylvania, Ohio).

Sister gave me the grand tour of their 89 acre property. One of the highlights was the Portiuncula Shrine. This is a replica of the original Portiuncula in Umbria where, in 1208, St. Francis had the mystical vision of Christ who told him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair my house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins". Francis mistakingly understood this to mean the material rebuilding of the little ruined church in which he was praying.

This is the original Portiuncula in which the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli has been built around it. It sits about 4 kilometers from Assisi (in the Umbria region of Italy).