The Aston Companions in Faith group has 14 members and meets in Assisi House which makes it easy for sisters in both Assisi House and Our Lady of Angels Convent to become part of the group. Our group meets about six times each year for an afternoon of sharing. We usually begin with a light lunch provided by various members of the group.
After lunch we gather around the table for faith sharing—appropriately named because it is, indeed, a time marked by both deep faith and heartfelt sharing. Currently we are using the materials on God’s Extravagant Love: Reclaiming the Franciscan Theological Tradition. The three units of the study guide—Primacy of Christ, Creation and the Humility of God, and Dignity of the Human Person—offer views of life that each of us not only carries from our gathering, but can also integrate into the day-to-day routine our life.
Our members are actively involved in congregational activities and gatherings—special liturgies, Gathering Day, afternoons of prayer, retreats, and Charism Day. Several members have served terms on the Companions Advisory Board and three members are currently members of the congregation’s area chapters.
Our members also take seriously the call to serve others. That call takes many forms—volunteering at and making soup for Anna’s Place in Chester, cooking at various retreat centers, serving on committees, or volunteering at the Franciscan Spiritual Center. One of our members lives in a retirement community where she serves in various groups and committees such as Catholic Council, Interfaith Group, and Outreach. When others in the retirement community expressed interest in the congregation, she organized a bus trip to the motherhouse in Aston. Most recently she published a collection of original poetry garnered from her prayer journal.
Our companion group reflects many backgrounds and many kinds of service—each reflecting the gifts and love of the giver! Each, however, reflects the admonition of St. Francis: “Preach always and when necessary use words” and the reminder of Mother Francis Bachmann: “As long as God does not stop giving to us, we will not stop giving to the poor.”