The colors are still present in mid November in the North GA mountains where we returned for the third or fourth time to lead a retreat for the Secular Franciscan fraternities of Blairsville GA
and Franklin NC
The lively and beautiful day began with Mass with Father Liem and Deacon John Paul and the Feast of St. Leo. Deacon John Paul spoke on the Franciscan view of real vs. "dishonest wealth" from the gospel. Fr. Liem took several moments at the end of mass to lead us in a silent reflection on the process of emptying the self. (the picture to the right is of another celebration). Cricket began the retreat asking the group to reflect on each word of the theme, and the result was an engaged and lively 'round table' discussion and fellowship. More on this theme will be developed and published later.
The room was as full as the hearts of fellowship and Circket's theme and activities on fraternity made it so no one wanted to leave when we had finished in late afternoon! The group sang the Franciscan canticle as a great choir, and the joy of fraternity was clearly present throughout. We look forward to our next trip there, very soon!