The founders of YAFraM are all Franciscan Friars who have committed to living a life in the way style of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis of Assisi was born in 1182 into a wealthy family in Assisi, Italy. During his younger years, he lived life excessively, buying expensive items and partying often. He was a natural leader and many of his peers followed him in his wild ways. St. Francis longed for glory and prestige. When Assisi declared war against Perugia, he was given the opportunity to fight and to hopefully gain fame. He was captured, however, and remained a prisoner-of-war for a year.
Living with economic uncertainty, bombarded by bits and bytes of information, pressured by peers and the expectations of others – young adults today face challenges undreamt of by previous generations. Adding to the stress is the inability to get away, either because of work demands, or simply the fear of being out of step with everyone else. There is no place to be quiet, no room to reflect, no time to process all that is happening. It is no wonder that matters of faith have fallen to the bottom of the priority list for many Millennials. The invitation of Jesus to his disciples has never been more necessary or welcome. YAFraM, Young Adult Franciscan Ministry, extends that invitation to young adults, no matter what particular faith tradition they belong to or where they are in their journey of faith. This ministry offers a chance to consider how faith, particularly the Christian Faith following in the path of St. Francis of Assisi, can help make sense of an often-confusing world.
The Friars believe that this begins with the development of interpersonal relationships. In a world of Facebook chat, texting, and tweeting, this interpersonal communication can be very impactful. By building a true relationship with young adults, the Friars are able to understand what challenges this age group faces and can offer fresh perspectives on life. They open up a world of opportunities by inviting young adults to come to retreats, to serve the poor, or to participate in the Sacrament of Mass. In this way, the friars are building a community of faith one person at a time and revitalizing a generation that yearns for peace in this fast-paced world.