Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Lord from the Franciscan Friars of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation!

Many getaways take place during the summer months when our children are on school break. Some take a tour of memorable places. Others go on a pilgrimage. What is the difference between going on a tour and going on a pilgrimage?

On tours, we see majestic views of mountains, rivers, spectacular architectural buildings, palaces, cathedrals, etc. Going on a pilgrimage is a spiritual journey, being open to having an encounter with the place of interest or the person of history we want to encounter and know the person.

The articles in this newsletter introduce us to the nature and spirit of pilgrimages. Friar Randy Kin welcomes men and women on a pilgrimage to the Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation and speaks of the significance of pilgrimage in people’s lives. Friar Mario Serrano shares the experience of encountering another culture as a “brotherhood” with the friars and people of Zambia. The article, “Francis and Encountering Others”, reflects on the moment of St. Francis’s first encounter with the lepers to the end of the days of his life marked by all the encounters in which he experienced God’s mercy and compassion.

We friars will continue to remember you, our dear friends and companions, in our daily prayers and devotions.

May God bless you and fill you with the Peace of our Lord!

Sincerely in Christ, St. Francis, and St. Anthony

Fr. John Elmer OFM Conv.
Spiritual Director