The Mount Calvary St. Lawrence Seminary community gathered recently to celebrate The Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi, a traditional Franciscan custom dating from the 17th century.
The Transitus commemorates the events surrounding Francis of Assisi’s inspiring transition from this life to the next. The ceremony begins with Capuchins and Capuchin Postulants processing into the dark chapel holding candles. They are joined by the community of students and staff in prayer, song, and reading of the Scripture. Stories of St. Francis’ life are shared to commemorate his life work.

Similar to how St. Francis shared bread amongst his brothers, the capuchins go around sharing loafs of bread with the St. Lawrence community. A banquet follows where students, faculty, staff, and Capuchin friars share a meal and celebrate the life and example of Francis.

This celebration holds a special place in the Seminary’s heart, as it embraces its Franciscan roots of celebrating the inspirational life and example of Francis. It was his example that led two Swiss diocesan priests, Fr. Francis Hass and Fr. Bonaventure Frey, to arrive in Mount Calvary on Oct. 15, 1856. They had come from Switzerland for the purpose of establishing the Capuchin Order in the U.S.. Though many changes have happened in its 156-year history, one thing remains the same—the mission and values “inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of St. Francis of Assisi.”

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