June always seems like the end of the year to me. I know this is because I’ve been involved in school calendars for most of my life – as a student, a teacher, and a parent of students. So, according to my brain, the year starts in September and comes to completion in June, with July and August being…bonus months!
This particular June has been a time of completion for something else in my life. After three years of orientation and formation, I came to the happy conclusion this spring that I was ready for a permanent commitment to live my life as a Secular Franciscan - centered on Christ, guided by simplicity, focused on peace, trusting God’s mercy. Bill, my husband, came to his own conclusion that he needs to continue his formation for another year, taking time to study, pray and ponder; being sure in his heart that this is the right decision for him. I applaud his choice, because the decision to make your Permanent Profession to the Order of Secular Franciscans is not one to take lightly. But for me, this was the right time. And so, filled with joy and thanksgiving to God, I made my “Permanent Profession” during a special Mass on a beautiful, sunny June afternoon at St. Luke’s Church, in front of my Secular Franciscan Fraternity.
For students, teachers and parents, June is both an ending and a beginning. It is the end of a school year filled with work and play, challenges and victories. But, at the same time, June is the beginning of summer holidays, leading to the beginning of a new school year, a new class, and a new adventure. Permanent Profession is also both an ending and a beginning. It is the end of a formation period filled with work and play, challenges and victories. But it is the start of a new phase in the life of a Secular Franciscan – the beginning of a lifelong walk on the path of discovery, trying every day to discern how best to live out the call of the Gospel in a secular world. With Christ the Good Shepherd guiding the way, and St. Francis as my inspiration, I’m humbled as I take my first wobbly steps on this path. But I’m excited, too!