The St. Francis of Assisi Secular Franciscan Fraternity (Cornwall) welcomed Fr. Keith Kennific to its regular monthly meeting on February 9 at St. Francis of Assisi Church hall in Cornwall. The meeting was attended by 24 members of the fraternity,
Tom Wilkinson (Minister) introduced Fr. Keith who led the ongoing formation section of the meeting. His theme was Liturgical Prayer and its relation to Article 8 of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.
Fr. Keith explained the origins and benefits of liturgy and what distinguishes liturgical prayer from devotional prayer. Some of his points and quotes include:
- The original meaning of the word ‘liturgy’ (from the Greek) is that it is work undertaken as a public service, something intended for the common good.
- Liturgy is the official public prayer of the Church. It is ritualistic prayer and not limited to the sacraments. The profession of religious vows, for example, is a form of liturgy.
- Liturgical prayer is community-based while devotional prayer (e.g. rosary, novenas, etc.) is individual-based.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of the ritualistic nature of liturgy: going through the motions is important when we don’t feel like doing something or being someone.
- Liturgy is the centre of religious life and the Eucharist is the centre of liturgy.
- “Sometimes, people are ready for God, but not ready for the Church.”
- With regard to the Eucharist: “Receive what you already are, and become what you receive.” (St. Augustine)
Fr. Keith was relaxed and inspiring as he engaged the fraternity in a dialogue on the topic. At the conclusion of the session, Mary Hagen, a member of the ongoing formation team, thanked Fr. Keith on behalf of the fraternity..
Michael Cassidy, Secretary
St. Francis of Assisi Secular Franciscan Fraternity (Cornwall)