Fr. Jos Tharakan’s Story
Almost 30 years after I began dreaming about an ecumenical community that practices the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi, it came to reality. It was exciting and providential. Everything that happened in those days at the House Of Blessings was as if already planned by the Lord. The truth is, as we found out, it had been planned by the Lord. In July of 2016, the Lord brought together six others to join me to form the Community of Saint Francis.
I had recently returned from a month-long trip to Italy. While I was there, I had spent 7 days at the tomb of St. Francis praying and seeking guidance as what I needed to do to make the Community of St. Francis real. As I was reflecting on these at the tomb of St. Francis it came to me as a flash what the community would look like and what the rules the community should live by. As I sought the Lord’s guidance in putting the rules together I was given seven rules that speak the essence of the life of St. Francis.
- Life of Openness to the Holy Spirit
- Life of Simplicity
- Life of Prayer and Scripture reading
- Life of Radical Welcome
- Life of Poverty of the Spirit
- Life of Unconditional forgiveness
- Life of Care of Nature
These lines appeared in my eyes as if on a screen and I said to myself, “This is simple, beautiful and powerful. Anyone from anywhere can practice this.” With great joy I shared my experience with my friend Fr. Francis who had accompanied me to Assisi. He believed in my inspiration and my thoughts.
After returning to the States, I called for a gathering of like-minded people to explore the life of Franciscan Spirituality. The Lord sent 6 people to join me and make our number 7 in total. These are:
- Jeff Algur
- Kaye Staggs
- Angie Meeks
- KaDee McCormic
- Ricki Duffee
- Catherine Crews
- Jos Tharakan
As if it were already planned before we knew it, we came together in our own personalities, but in one heart and mind. We prayed, talked and shared our lives with one another and dreamed our journey together. Each one was inspired to write a prayer, seven in all. Thus were born the Prayers for the Day in the life of the Community of St. Francis. Seven Prayers for seven days of the week for 365 days of life each year.
The Community of Saint Francis had been born. Seven members took profession to live the seven rules of life everyday as much as possible in the context of their own life situations. No compulsions, comparisons, compromises. Each one to be lead by the Holy Spirit according to what he or she is capable of and can live by without the burden of guilt.
Thus we became a community of those who believe in the goodness of one another, who came together to live what God has called each of us to do, in the ecumenical spirituality of Saint Francis.