Welcome! May the Lord give you peace
I am pleased that you have chosen my web site to review.
My name is Father Charlie Smiech and I am a Franciscan Friar of St. John the Baptist Province. As an International Retreat Director and Spiritual Advisor, I am honored to serve our religious communities, priests, deacons and the people of God. Preaching the love of God, exploring the Sacred Scripture and being nourished by the sacraments, brings me great joy and I have a burning desire to share these precious gifts with you! After looking at my web site, it is my hope that I may be of service to you! Together may we be faithful to the Gospel and May the Lord grant you peace and countless blessings!
Brief History of St. Francis and the Franciscan Community
He was but one man, and the task seemed impossibly difficult. Nevertheless, Francis renounced his family’s wealth and set out to proclaim the Good News Life Of St. Francis of Jesus Christ. Before long, this itinerant beggar-preacher became widely known for his holiness, his empathy for the poor and his radical self-giving to the Lord. Some were amused but many were inspired by his love of creation. Francis considered himself a small part of a remarkable universe inhabited by animals and elements that were all connected as “brothers” and “sisters.”
He educated others with his actions by embracing lepers, calming a marauding wolf with kindness, traveling to Syria to preach to a Muslim sultan in the midst of the Crusades. Inspired by his example, many put aside their possessions, joining him as penitent preachers of the Gospel. In 1209 they gave birth to the Franciscan brotherhood, the Order of Friars Minor. The growth of his following was unprecedented: By the time Francis died in 1226, thousands of men had cast aside material possessions to become his brother friars, assuming the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The movement he created survived the centuries and lives today in the Friars Minor, in affiliated orders of Franciscan women and men and in the Secular Franciscans. His legacy is an affirmation of the power of faith in action. As Francis believed, we are all instruments of God’s peace. And one person can indeed transform the world.
— Toni Cashnelli, Communications Director