My dear brothers and sisters,
Peace and all-Goodness
It has been one year since I was elected and installed as your minister general. In recent days, I have felt profound feelings of gratitude and joy for the people whose spiritual care God almighty has entrusted to me. I certainly feel humbled, yet blessed to serve here as your pastor. I have found the Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion to be a wonderful place where God is loved and living and working in some amazing ways. I have also found it to be a place where I have been inspired to deepen my own friendship with Jesus through prayer and worship, as well as in my call to be the best spiritual father possible to you in this particular religious order.
Please continue to join me in our ministry of evangelization. Together we will serve as ambassadors for Christ through Saint Francis of Assisi! You and I are privileged to be called to carry on the very work of Francis, reconciling the world to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. What an honour for us, to join the long line of people going back 2,000 thousand years. Evangelization through our shared vocation will bring forth a renewed fire of the light of Christ wherever we serve. Let us therefore strive together to kindle the fire within us, so to share this beautiful light with others.
Each of you reading this letter has your own sphere of influence. Imagine if every member just affected one other person to consider Jesus in their lives. Now is a time for holy boldness. Christ is not served by our reticence and timidity but by our confidence and faith in Him and the message that saves. Think of people in need of an invitation to return to the Mass or to become Christian, then invite them. These can be members of our own family, co-workers, and classmates at school, or neighbours. We are never too young or too old to witness to the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I also take this opportunity to entrust all of us to the care of the patroness of our Order: The Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham. I have consecrated my time as minister general to Our Lady and am asking that during the next calendar year, you complete Morning and Evening Prayer with the Prayer to Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham found in our Order Service Book. Mary is the star of the new evangelization. Wherever the Church is alive and growing, it is always because our Mother is close by. May she wrap her mantle around us and take us safely to her Son.
I thank you for your prayerful consideration of these words, and I ask God’s abundant blessings upon you and your loved ones.
Your servant in Christ,
+Seraphim Mary, OSF
Ottawa, 15 January 2013