Trip ends, Feast of Saint Clare, and Solemn Profession
My trek through Texas ended yesterday with a 5:15 a.m. flight from Lubbock, right at the beginning of the tightened airport security. I got to the Lubbock airport about 4:00 a.m. expecting a sleepy little group of people and a quiet flight. When I walked in, the TSA personnel were scurrying around. I also noticed how many there were on duty. Then an airport official called us together and told us to take all liquid--toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, etc.--out of our carry-ons and throw it away. By then the TSA folks were dispersing throughout the airport like a swarm of locusts. When we finally got airborne we relaxed a bit, but at each airport I experienced the same thing. I was told that every TSA agent was on duty. I must say that they are an impressive group when they move into action.
Last evening the Poor Clares invited all of the Friars in the area to celebrate with them the Transitus of Saint Clare. (At left, Sr. Mary Doris, O.S.C., the Abbess, welcomes us all.) The Transitus is a traditional service that the Poor Clares celebrate the evening before the Solemnity of their foundress. It is a commemoration of the passing of Saint Clare from this life to the next--her transitus. We friars celebrate the Transitus of Saint Francis on the evening of October 3rd, the night before the Solemnity of Saint Francis.
The service consisted of a narrative of the life and death of Saint Clare. At one point baskets of bread were shared with all in remembrance of Clare's motherly care for the Sisters with whom she lived. There are a couple of stories concerning her blessing and sharing bread. In the picture at the right, Sr. Judith, O.S.C. passes the basket to the Sisters and Friars (and Postulants) present.
The celebration continued with an ice cream social in the Sisters' Dining and Community rooms. In a true Franciscan tradition, we PRAYED and PLAYED. At the left Brothers Mark, O.F.M. and Scott, O.F.M. chat. Sr. Dianne, O.S.C. is smiling in the foreground. The friar in a white habit in the background is Bro. Patras, O.F.M. who is a Pakistani friar who works with our friars in Jamaica. All of the friars serving in the tropics wear white habits.
Finally, tomorrow is the BIG DAY for Al Mascia, O.F.M. and Christopher Meyer, O.F.M. as they profess their Solemn Vows. Hopefully tomorrow evening or Sunday I will have pictures of this celebration as Saint John the Baptist Province welcomes two new life-long members.