Order of Friars Minor in Great Britain

Chapter of Mats Mexico - Group photos (1)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Antony with some of the M

Missionary Outreach

  In the afternoon of the Wednesday we were separated into three groups to visit various missions that the Friars of Mexico were involved in. One group went to a house of prayer where they spent the afternoon praying for the people and the troubles of this world; the second group went to a day centre for the elderly and sick where they put on a play about Saint Francis. I was part of the third group who travelled to the Postulancy house in the small town of Saint Augustine. We were greeted by around thirty five Postulants; a wonderful and encouraging sight to see. Whilst there may not be as many vocations as there used to be in parts of Europe, in other parts of the world the Order is thriving. The Postulants welcomed us with a few songs, followed by a prayer service in their Chapel. Afterwards we were divided into small groups of about three or four to take Holy Communion to some of the sick of the Parish. This was an opportunity to meet the locals, the real people of Mexico in their homes, away from the touristic areas. It was on these visits that I learnt that the town of Saint Augustine was ravaged by gang violence and drug cartels, a big problem all over Mexico. And yet despite these struggles, and without wishing to generalise, I still gained the impression that the Mexican people really are a warm and friendly people, a nation of people so ready to smile at you when you smiled at them.
Video of the Postulants singing "Fratello Sole Sorella Luna" (Brother Sun Sister Moon) click here:

Chapter of Mats Mexico - Visit to Postulancy House
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Visit to Postulancy House
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Visit to Postulancy House
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Visit to Postulancy House and Mission (4)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Friary at
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Friary at
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Friary at
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Friary at
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Friary at
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Postulanc
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Postulanc
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Postulanc
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Celebrations in Postulanc

Blessed Sacrament Procession

  The next day, the Thursday, was the great feast of the Body and Blood of Christ and so after celebrating Mass we walked in procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the grounds of the retreat centre. The rest of the morning was taken up with the final sessions in which the discussions and experiences of the Chapter were summarised.

Chapter of Mats Mexico - Blessed Sacrament Procession (1)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Blessed Sacrament Procession (2)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Blessed Sacrament Procession (3)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Blessed Sacrament Process
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Blessed Sacramant Process

An Afternoon by the Lake

  In the afternoon we went on a leisure visit by coach to the town of Chapala on the shore of Lake Chapala, the largest freshwater lake in Mexico, situated at 1,524 metres above sea level. Some of us took a small boat trip across to La Isla de Los Alacranes, the Island of the Scorpions, so named not because of its residents, I never saw one scorpion, but because the island itself is apparently shaped as a scorpion. That evening we watched a musical on the life of Saint Clare, a gentle reminder to us that this year we celebrate the 8th Centenary of when Saint Clare became the first woman to join the Franciscan movement.

Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (1)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (2)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (3)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (6)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (8)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (5)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (7)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (4)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (11)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (12)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (13)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (10)
Chapter Of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala wildlife
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (9)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (15)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (14)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (16)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (18)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (17)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (19)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (20)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (22)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (21)
Chapter of Mats Mexico - Lake Chapala (23)