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Joyful trio professed as Franciscans in Norwich

Three candidates were solemnly professed as full members of the OFS (Ordo Franciscus Secularis), or the Secular Franciscan Order, of the Norwich "Pax et Bonum' fraternity at a joyful occasion on Saturday May 20, reports Robert Hardie.

Jim Powell, Brigid Rawlinson and Samuel Tassili each received a San Damiano cross, together with a set of the Gospels, a lighted candle and the formal badge of the OFS.

The ceremony was conducted during Mass in St George's Church in Sprowston, Norwich, celebrated by Fr Patrick Lonsdale, National Spiritual Assistant to the OFS, and attended by secular Franciscans belonging to the five fraternities in East Anglia, together with parishioners and friends of those professed.

Fr Patrick's homily was on the Gospel for the Day (John 15:18-21) and dealt with Jesus' words where he is warning those who truly follow Him that they will be rejected by the world because the values that they hold in their rebirth as children of God. The values of love and peace and universal brother (and sister) hood are never acceptable to a society which grounds itself on riches and profit. These values and the strength to persevere can only be achieved when the Son of God dwells deeply within us.

The reflections during the day were based on St Bernadine of Siena, whose feast is May 20, and the love he had for the Holy Name of Jesus through whom everything is possible.

The secular Franciscans in Norwich meet at 4pm on the first Sunday of the month in St George's Church. For further details please contact Debbie Bool 01603 479056 or Rob Hardie 01603 896709. Visitors and enquirers are always most welcome! The aim of the OFS is to live as closely to the Gospel as possible, just as St Francis did.

Pictured above are (from L to R front row) Jim Powell, Brigid Rawlinson and Samuel Tassili with celebrant Fr Patrick Lonsdale.