The Wheaton Franciscan Wisdom statement invites us to embrace our flourishing future with hearts and doors open to the Spirit. In alignment with this sentiment, our Invitational Church Circle has chosen “Journey Together: Called to BE Love” as our focus for 2024.
This focus is aimed at supporting the integration of three significant initiatives that the Wheaton Franciscan community will be involved in: the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Transforming Grace: The Work of Transformative Justice; Synodality: Toward October 2024; and the Franciscan Centenary Year of the Stigmata. In addition, we will incorporate this theme into our liturgical seasons, prayer services, and ongoing Laudato Si’ initiatives.
Live Lent As Love
Join us on a synodal journey to Live Lent as Love. This Lenten season, pause, reflect, and return to God with your entire being. Living Lent as Love embraces grounding ourselves in Gospel values and opening ourselves up to the needs of those around us. Visit our website for weekly Words of Wisdom, prayers, and actions.
Resources to support spiritual and personal development are available on this page. As such, we encourage individuals, small faith-sharing groups, and families to use or adapt the materials to meet their needs. Furthermore, background information on the three “external” initiatives that influenced our 2024 community focus can be found below.
LCWR Transforming Grace: The Work of Transformative Justice
LCWR is launching an initiative to explore the 2024 US national election campaign through the lens of transformative justice. LCWR members can participate in this effort to determine their role during this time.
The work of transformative justice involves thoughtful conversations, compassionate listening, and contemplation to make decisions and take action that benefits the Earth and all people. Moreover, the initiative follows the liturgical calendar and provides a weekly and monthly reflection guides. These guides include a short video, a reading, discussion questions, and a prayer. The tools are designed for use in groups, and each session lasts 60-75 minutes. View the reflection guides at https://www.lcwr.org/transforming-grace.
Synodality: Toward October 2024
The Synod meeting in October 2024 is asking for input from local Churches and faith communities to explore the 2023 Synod Synthesis Report further. The question guiding these contributions is: “How can we be a Church in mission together?”
This new discussion aims to identify ways and tools that can be used in different situations to enhance the unique contribution of each baptized person and Church in the mission of sharing the Gospel with the world. It is an invitation to consider specific ways of being involved while also respecting the balance between unity and diversity that characterizes a synodal Church that works together.
Franciscan Centenary – Celebrating the Gift of the Stigmata (1224-2024)
In 2024, Franciscans worldwide will celebrate the centenary of the gift of the stigmata. As members of the Franciscan family, we are called to reintroduce the dimension of prayerful and contemplative silence in our daily lives. Silence enables us to listen to God, others, and ourselves more deeply.
We remember and celebrate Saint Francis, who was touched by the Crucified One. He inspires us to step out of our comfort zones and reach out to others, “touching Christ’s suffering flesh in others” (Gaudete et Exsultate 37). Also, we allow ourselves to be challenged by the painful and distressing situations of our brothers and sisters around the world, and moved to prayer and action for peace with justice.