This morning I'm sitting at a desk in Panama City, Florida but my heart is in the Fieldhouse at Franciscan University of Steubenville where right about now almost everyone on campus is gathered for a mass celebrating the feastday of St. Francis of Assisi.
I'm thinking about how I'm about to dive into the day-to-day tasks of youth ministry-- cleaning up from Confirmation class, making an XLT songsheet, filling out purchase orders and finding a vacuum to get the sparkles out of the carpet (don't ask)-- but I'm also thinking about how much joy this gives me. How much joy my Catholic faith gives me. And how much of this I owe to St. Francis and the many who modeled his way of life for me, especially during my time at Franciscan.
The "yes" of St. Francis to the call of God to "Go and rebuild my Church" has been echoing in the Church through the lives of so many priests, religious and laity, and I was able to see it up close for four years through the Friars who said mass, heard our confessions, led us on mission trips and were simply always present on campus. The Sisters-- especially Sister M. Johanna-- who showed us the importance of preaching the gospel with both deeds AND words.
This witness continues to inspire me, every day. St. Francis said "yes". They said "yes".
For this I am profoundly grateful. Grateful and challenged to add my own "yes" to the story.