Reflections

Introducing The Franciscan School of Theology, San Diego, California

The Franciscan School of Theology (FST) is committed to embodying Franciscan theology in a religiously and culturally diverse world. FST offers an intercultural Christian community in which to prepare men and women for professional ministry, for careers in theological education, and for living a life dedicated to solidarity with those on the margins of society and the Church in the knowledge of Christian faith.

FST offers Master of Theological Studies, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts degree programs, along with continuing education and personal enrichment via lectures online and in-person. At its current location at the University of San Diego campus, FST continues to bring the questions of contemporary culture, society, and Church into dialog with the ever-ancient and ever-new Word of the Gospel.

The Art of Quilting

This month features the quilting of Linda Causee, Marketing Manager at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California. With almost 30 years’ experience, she has created countless quilts and over 50 published quilting books. For Linda, quilting is a way to reflect part of someone’s story through fabric and patterns. See below for photos of beloved quilts and Linda’s reflections on her art.

 

 

I find joy in quilting because… it allows me to be creative! It’s fun finding beautiful fabric and creating new designs. If a quilt is for a particular person, I think about them as I sew. This quilt was made for Fr. Peter Kirwin when he moved from the Mission. We knew he likes spicy foods so we made sure to use chili pepper fabric.

 

 

Making a quilt for someone… makes me feel good and I look forward to seeing them use it! For special occasion quilts, the fabrics represent the person’s favorite colors, somewhere they’ve been or an important event in their life. This quilt for my son and his wife uses photos and colors from their wedding.

 

 

When starting a quilt, I hope… it turns out the way I envision it. You don’t know until you sew the individual fabric blocks together and the quilt design comes alive – sometimes in pleasantly surprising ways. Creating this themed quilt was a joy because I bought the fabric while traveling in Japan and used sashiko stitching, a traditional Japanese sewing technique.

Introducing the Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, Arizona

In 1951, the Casa de Paz y Bien began as a Catholic retreat center in Scottsdale. Now, as the Franciscan Renewal Center (still affectionately called the Casa) they offer opportunities for spiritual growth, healing and transformation that moves lives into the service of others. The Casa was founded by and is today an active religious community of the Order of Friars Minor, part of the worldwide Franciscan family, following the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi.

Activities at the Casa include daily and Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Church, private retreats, conference space for non-profit groups, individual therapy/counseling, support groups, adult education, family faith formation, as well as volunteer ministries that assist the poor and vulnerable, empower individuals to improve their circumstances, care for the environment, and build community fellowship.

 

The Art of Studio Art

This month features the art of Eusebio Cortez, a student at the Franciscan School of Theology in San Diego, California. A graphic designer by profession, Eusebio’s passion is studio art, especially watercolor, illustrations, and pen and ink sketches. Eusebio explains, “I think art is a gift and so I want to create – not to keep for myself or to gain attention but to put it out in the world for others.” Below are photos of Eusebio’s work along with his reflections on what he describes as the perfect color palette.

“I find the most inspiration in color. Color palettes of nature are perfect…God created them! Whether I’m doing a watercolor or a graphic design logo I always like to start with the colors. Even before an initial sketch, I think a lot about the colors and what will be vibrant and go well together.”

 

“For a still life, I most enjoy natural objects like plants, flowers, and fruit. I can look out a window or take a walk and see inspiration all around me. Especially in California, there are so many local plants and animals.”

 

 

 

 

“Studio art is my hobby, passion, and vocation. It’s what brings everything together and is the way of expressing spirituality, beauty, and whatever captures my imagination. Like a form of meditation, studio art is therapeutic and relaxing. I can really submerge into the creation process.”

 

 

 

“Learning about Dorothy Day I was inspired by her dedication to service. This still life drawing for her granddaughter, Kate Hennessey, was a way to give something of myself.”

The Art of Painting with Your Daughters

Charlie Brown, Executive Director at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ, tells us, “Art has always helped me connect with how significant my life is to Christ and in the beauty of God’s creation. Today my daughters and I painted, which we do when together. Art was a component of our healing through divorce and the loss of family and friends in death. It also celebrates our life and the value of life in Jesus.”

Introducing Casa Franciscana Mission, Guaymas, Mexico

Supported by Casa Franciscana Outreach, Scottsdale, AZ

The Casa Franciscana Mission in Guaymas (CFMG), Sonora, Mexico dates back to 1968, when the Mexican Obregon Diocese asked the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara, CA, USA to provide pastoral care to the English-speaking community in San Carlos, Mexico. The friars agreed to minister this care to the San Carlos community under the condition that they could also serve the poor in the neighboring city of Guaymas, Mexico. Today, CFMG addresses the needs of vulnerable populations in Guaymas with services including a free dining room, shelter for migrants, youth center, healthcare clinic and collaboration with Shriners’ International Hospital. CFMG also provides “External Ministry” to marginalized areas of Guaymas with a focus on visiting elders that are ill and homebound, farmworkers in the Guaymas valley agricultural fields, and migrants in Empalme, to whom they offer shelter and visit at the railroad every day.

Through these ministries, the staff embodies Catholic social teaching on the dignity of the individual and the Franciscan commitment to the poor and values of prayer, community, joy.

https://www.casafranciscanaoutreach.org

The ARTFUL Life of Brother Pat Groves

Brother Pat Groves O.F.M., is remembered by his brothers as a friar who followed the beat of his own drum. He was an artist, writer and musician known for his calm presence, gentle ways and dedicated service. After twenty-five years of being a friar, Pat decided to leave the friars but continued to live a life of simplicity. Twenty-five years later, Pat rejoined his brothers. He lived in the St Elizabeth friary and later at Old Mission San Luis Rey where he died in 2020. Below is a beautiful piece of music he created called, Lady Clare’s Farewell and a watercolor with an eastern influence. To see more of his art and writings, click on this link. http://www.patgroves.com

 

 

 

               Brother Pat PlayingLady Clare’s Farewell
      Watercolor with an Eastern influence
Introducing San Damiano Retreat Center (SD)

The mission of San Damiano Retreat is to provide a peaceful environment of natural beauty where spiritual renewal and growth may be sought by people of all faiths and backgrounds In the Spirit of St Francis and St Clare, and guided by the Franciscan traditions of joy, hospitality, compassion, peace, and simplicity. They offer contemporary, challenging retreats and programs in response to the changing needs of God’s people. They serve diverse groups including Jewish women, the Hispanic community, the Archdiocese, and many 12-step groups. To learn more, watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-sXev_OPMw

The Art of Drawing

This month we feature the drawings of Farit Alvare. Farit is a security guard at St. Francis Center in Los Angeles. Originally from Peru, Farit says his art reflects his mood. “If I am happy, my art reflects that.” These drawings are submissions for a mural St. Francis Center is planning. Read the interview below to learn more about Farit.

Where did your inspiration for this mural come from?
I wanted to convey everything that St. Francis has given to me and the community. St. Francis center has been a source of love and life to all. It has been a gift from God, and a constant reminder to love thy neighbor.

What are your hopes for someone who comes across this mural?
I want to emit emotions such as joy, tranquility, peace, happiness, and most importantly hospitality.

What positive impact has St. Francis Center made on you?
St. Francis Center has given me the opportunity to carry out two meaningful things that I hold of great significance. The first being able to provide protection and security to our guests and staff. The second is gifting me the ability to help those in need.

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Farit is not the only artist at St Francis Center. David Cho, a local LA Artist and guest of St. Francis Center is also artistically gifted. David has been an artist for 30 years. He works in many mediums including hand-drawing and digital art.

Having guests who share their gifts with us makes it clear that the “giving” goes both ways. We share our gifts of food, showers, spiritual companionship and our guests share their gifts from art and stories to volunteering and companioning others.

We are doubly blessed!

Millennials: Making the Franciscan Movement Relevant

Millennials are changing our culture in profound ways. One is their adoption and promotion of the sharing economy, sometimes described as the circular economy”. Chances are you are already participating in it. If you have used a car sharing app like Uber or a home sharing app like Airbnb, or clothes sharing service like Rent the Runway, you have participated in the sharing economy. If you have given a friend a loan or borrowed your neighbors bundt pan instead of buying your own new one, you are participating in the sharing economy. Professor Godelik, in his (2017). Millennials and the sharing economy project: Lessons from a ‘buy nothing new, share everything month’ project, describes it “as adopting a new mindset in which access to goods and services is seen as more valuable than ownership of them.

That mindset is very Franciscan. I first learned about it from a friar who told me that the tag sewn into his collar was that of another friar who had passed on. “We live by this idea, he said, of sine proprio. It means that we live without possessing. We don’t consider the things we have as “ours”. Rather they are for our use when we need them but meant to be given or shared with others when they need them. Everything is a gift from God, he said, so we share our gifts and receive gifts from others.”

Today, we would describe that as a circular, or sharing, mindset. St. Francis made this point in the rule he wrote back in the 13th century. The first sentence reads, “The rule and life of the lesser brothers is this: To observe the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, living in obedience without anything of our own…”

Franciscan beliefs are not exclusive to Franciscans. Millennials who are, and who are not affiliated with us, are leading a cultural shift that expands our duty to care for creation and promotes a life of “not possessing,” Of course I am generalizing, and not every individual millennial feels this way (and many dislike the term millennial). However, those that do may be in the best position to carry this element of the Franciscan Movement forward.

Sharing rather than buying can have a big impact. For example, consider the impact of wearing clothes longer or donating them to others who will wear them rather than buy something new. Scientific American reports that “Research by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), a sustainability advisory group in England, “shows extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5 to 10 percent reduction in each [item’s] carbon, water and waste footprints,”

Companies have taken this trend seriously. Besides the 100’s of sharing companies that have emerged, like Camp in my Garden and Fivver, established companies are adapting. Just yesterday I received a postcard from REI announcing that they will accept used gear. Their encouragement: “…feel good about participating in the circular economy…”

Bill Short, Franciscan scholar and Dean of our Franciscan School of Theology uses the image of an open hand to describe this Franciscan way of life. When your hand is open it can both give and receive. Millennials seem to intuitively understand that. I am grateful they are spreading the word.

To learn more about the Franciscan Movement explore the lectures and classes offered by our Franciscan School of Theology at www.fst.edu