Like an ice cream cone in the sunshine the days of summer continue to melt, one after the other. It’s already the beginning of August and time teeters in the remaining liminal space of the season before we enter into the coolness of autumn.
This week the FSPA community is celebrating two historical threshold crossings: 138 years of perpetual adoration and the 800th anniversary of the Feast of Pardon. Both events are guideposts and require faithfulness, perseverance, humility, conversion and the willingness to take the next step through the doorways of life.
Sister Gertrude Daugherty rings in 138 years of FSPA perpetual adoration
Rejoicing in the 138th anniversary of FSPA perpetual adoration we are reminded of the very breath that sustains our congregation. Adoration is a holy exchange of the breathing of prayer and movement outward in ministry. Each year we renew the promise of perpetual adoration as we follow the legacy begun by Mother Antonia Herb.
Eight hundred years ago in Assisi, Italy, long before our congregation came into existence, St. Francis procured from the pope pardon of sins for all who passed over the threshold of the church of Portiuncula. As pilgrimages were difficult and very expensive at that time such absolution extended to all Franciscan churches throughout the world, inviting focus of one’s heart not limited to those who could afford to take a journey. As a Franciscan congregation we invite that forgiveness through the doors of Mary of the Angels Chapel on August 2, the Feast of Portiuncula, every year.
A Portiuncula procession into Mary of the Angels Chapel
And so this past Sunday, reflecting in the silence of our hearts, we processed to the chapel doorway in St. Rose Convent. The heavy, gilded doors swung open and with joy and song we stepped through them. We reveled in the deepening of our relationship with God and our commitment to this Franciscan way of life.
Celebrating the Feast of the Pardon, FSPA process into Mary of the Angels Chapel
Are you aware of thresholds—those symbolic of love and acceptance and forgiveness—in your life? Are you ready, in discernment, to cross them? How will you celebrate the deepening of your relationship with God in these moments?