"if you're too busy to pray, you're too damn busy."

800th Anniversary of St Clare's CoOnsecrationThus begins our 7:30 am lecture on faith. "faith is a risk," claims Fr. Andre. He deftly weaves together the historical, the intellectual, the personal, the spiritual to reveal what that means. It is a day of solitude and silence. We will take a vacation from ourselves, empty ourselves out. Let God contemplate us for awhile. No wonder Clare chose the mirror as a symbol.

The days begin to run together. So many grand or humble churches, so many twisting tunnels over terra cotta or marble, so many meals beginning and ending in fraternitas. It does not mean they are forgettable. Rather, we are, I am, so full up it will be many months before I can digest it all.

I bought a little Tau Cross and wore up at the fort. The crazy wind whipped mine away.

We visited the leprosariums in the Umbrian Valley where Francis first served the lepers in this former swampland. The city and church of assisi had a formal ritual for casting them out, prohibiting them from ever returning or from entering a church, nay, even from any human interaction.

To be Franciscan is to start here: with the lowliest- the despised, the reviled, the abject other. At the tiny stone chapel here, we are presented with a Tau cross by Fr. Andre and Jean Francois.

Assisi is "perfetto": so beautiful because of its imperfections: flaking frescoes, broken tiles, cracked gutters, chipped stone, gnarled trunks. No Botox or breast implants here. It is what it is. ~ Holly Baumgartner

Ciocolati and Cafe St Francis' parents
Above Assisi Windy Afternoon

Today we went to the Carceri for Eucharist and to see the ancient abbey and the caves where Francis and the brothers slept. We then kept a day of solitude. Well we tried to anyway. It was harder for some of us to be alone with ourselves than others. You might be surprised to find out for whom the solitude was not a problem. And I will admit my solitude included a bit of gelato. We spent a good amount of time in joint reflection about Francis and Franciscan theology (!?!). This was not something I thought would enjoy or even understand however Fr. Andre has a real gift for making this knowable. It turned out to be a real gift. Tomorrow morning we leave for Rome with a stop in Greccio. Assisi has been beautiful and peaceful. Rome Will not be peaceful but it will be amazing. Be well. We will be home soon.  ~ Mallie Kozy

Printing Press
The owner of our casa, Don Aldo, a priest, used this printing press to create identity papers for Jews during the Holocaust.