Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
 
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A Day with Saint CLare

Santa_chiara_basilica_and_monastery Yesterday I mentioned that I was at "home" in Assisi. This truly is the home of every Franciscan and Poor Clare. Here are our roots as an Order and as the greater Franciscan movement. I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to be here and to pray at the various places. Today I spent the day at places associated with Saint Clare. I visited her Basilica and prayed both at her tomb and before the very crucifix that Francis and Clare prayed before at San Damiano. It is now hanging in the Basilica. I remembered each member of our province along with the Poor Clares and all those who are in contact with the Vocation Office. Clare took good care of the early friars and sisters;  I prayed that she do the same for all of us.


San_damianoIn the afternoon I walked down to San Damiano. When I say "down," I mean down. San_damiano_church It is a steep walk from Assisi down into the valley where San Damiano is. Of course, the climb back up is a real killer--especially since I made the mistake of going in the heat of the afternoon. (I'll learn.) San Damiano is without a doubt one of my favorite places in Assisi. It has connections for both the Friars and the Clares since it was there that Francis heard the crucifix speak to him and it was there that Clare lived out her religious life. It is such a warm and meaningful place.


I will pray for all of you at the tomb of Saint Francis tomorrow. Pictures are not allowed in either the Basilica of Saint Clare or of Saint Franicis, so I can only get shots of the exteriors. That is not true, however, of San Damiano. So, the pictures above are of Santa Chiara Basilica (upper left) and of San Damiano outside and inside (below).

Comments

Richard T. Goodin Jr.

Fr. Don,
I am fresh off the boat from Europe. We were both in London the same day this week. When you were at Gatwick i was probably riding around town on a double decker coach seeing the sights. You are correct about the steep hills of Assisi. I was there last Thrusday (june 8th) and i walked my tail off seeing the sights. I as well felt that since of "home" even though my Franciscan journey has yet to begin offically. The tomb of St. Francis was my favorite spot. I got home safely and look forward to seeing you in Cincy soon!

Elizabeth D

I have imagined myself so many times in the San Damiano chapel, kneeling beside Francis and praying together; I was just websurfing through and I found the picture really moving and comforting today. I will probably never get to go there but if I do I think it would feel so much like home to me. Francis' life is amazing for all the light it still sheds. I came back to Catholicism earlier this year and he (and the continuing existence of his Order) was really part of what gave me faith that there was good in the Church and it was worth facing my fears.

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