A very different sign of new life was the group of about 45 candidates who attended the first day of the Candidates Retreat on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. This was truly a diverse group, united by their desire to follow the Gospel in the spirit of St. Francis. Remember that it is our responsibility to encourage our brothers and sisters in formation, and in turn to be renewed by their enthusiasm for a way of life that is truly new and exciting. We meet again on May 1 for the second half of the retreat; again, please keep the candidates, especially our own Nick and Gingie, and the retreat leaders in your prayers.
My family crisis last year was made easier by all your prayers which sustained us, and the many little things that demonstrated Godís presence in our trials. As Secular Franciscans, we need to continually cultivate that awareness of the Lordís active presence in our lives, both in good times and bad. See Aliceís article elsewhere in the newsletter for more about the theme for our April meeting. May you always know that the risen Lord is truly with you!