The Denouement

Since our announcement about Brother Francis’ health, our venerable Superior has had many visitors. Family from Canada and Ohio have joined friends and relations from the New England states coming to say their good-byes. A Benedictine Abbot and a retired Massachusetts State Supreme Court justice have been among the VIPs to see him. We expect the visits of priests, religious, and lay faithful who knew Brother to continue in a steady stream.

Brother is now on oxygen and is in need of more assistance than even a week ago. The brothers have stepped up our time with him, so that he is attended very closely during his waking and sleeping hours. Readers of our web site may have noticed the resulting lag in our publishing schedule. We have kept all our apostolates going during this time, but the web site — and the piling-up emails! — have taken the hardest hit.

We again ask your prayers for Brother Francis and his religious family during this time. As he lays ill, we at the Center are beset with challenges of various sorts. This is not surprising. One would expect that at the denouement of an old spiritual warrior’s combats, Heaven and Hell would both be particularly interested.

Times of trial are also times of grace — and those who help to bring us grace are the saints. Readers may be interested to know of Brother Francis’ particular devotion to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and Saint Teresa of Avila (the patrons for his “American trip” from Lebanon, which ended up lasting almost seventy years!), in addition to his love of Saint Francis Xavier, his patron saint.