This past week, we spent a few days at a retreat/workshop at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Garrison, NY.  Graymoor is a former seminary run by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, a group of friars whose primary apostolate is ecumenicism.  Originally founded in 1895 as part of the Episcopal Church, the Friars and Sisters of the Atonement sought union with Rome and were accepted as members of the Roman Rite in 1909.

The days we spent at Graymoor were part of the Inter-Franciscan Formation Program, which brought together members from various branches of the Franciscan family in different stages of formation.  There were approximately 17 communities represented at the workshop, comprised of OFMs, Capuchins, Conventuals, Third Order Regulars, Poor Clares, and other orders.

Though we were truly blessed to meet so many wonderful people, my time at Graymoor challenged my established notions of what it means to be a Franciscan.  The sheer number of Franciscan religious in attendance meant that there were many different views on spirituality, faith, piety, and how to live out the Franciscan charism.  Ultimately though, the workshop reaffirmed my vocation for a life modeled after St. Francis of Assisi, and made me thankful for finding my own place in such a rich and diverse tradition.

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