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Are you restless or hungry for more in your life? Are you seeking wisdom or looking for inspiration? The gospel gave guidance to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi as they followed the footprints of Jesus some 800 years ago. The witness of their lives and values continue to inspire those of us on a spiritual journey today. Join Sister Michelle L’Allier and her guests for a time of shared reflection and conversation.

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Jan 12, 2022

Join Franciscan Sister Maria Brizuela as she tells of her journey to religious life, celebrates God-with-us in every place and event, and honors the goodness of all of life.


From Sister Maria’s interview:

“When I was young, I used to wonder, when I would see the friars in the parish, why they're always joyful. They weren't just happy, they were joy filled. And again, I told myself, I want some of that. I want to know where that's coming from. I want to experience it. And it became a quest to know more about why, what makes them joy-filled?”


“I also experienced that with retired friars. … And to me, there was something with those Franciscans; it was like, there's a pattern here. I feel the same sense of joyfulness in the wisdom figures in my community.  I've seen them.  I know and I understand it's never easy to lose your independence and rely on someone else to take care of your needs. But we have great sisters who witness joyfully and gracefully to this hard transition.”


“To be joyful and joy filled, for me, is a life's journey. It's a choice that I'm invited to make every single day. I know I'm a work in progress, but that shouldn't be an excuse for me to be complacent. I know I have to continually try to nurture this particular piece of who I am as a Franciscan. And it's hard to build this type of disposition if I'm not rooted in God's love for me.”


“What I find constantly challenges me is the value of conversion. When I think of conversion, what comes to mind is Francis's encounter with a leper. … This is where the story becomes significant in my life today, I realized the leper that God is inviting me to embrace is myself. My false humility and not recognizing the God-given goodness and beauty that I possess prevents me from embracing the leper. It deters me from fully realizing my potential for goodness and for fully becoming who and what God wants me to do. ... I realized until I come to the full and conscious awareness of my own sense of goodness and beauty, I will never be able to enter into a lifegiving relationship with others, celebrating my own sense of God, given goodness and beauty leads also to celebrating the goodness and beauty of other created beings.”


For a full transcript, please include episode number and email:




Saint Pedro Bautista, founder of San Francisco del Monte (Mount St. Francis) in the Philippines: and 

San Pedro in the Philippines, and later martyred in Japan in 1597: See video: 


Saint Francis stories and references:

--Earlier Exhortation 10: “We are mothers when we carry Him in our heart and body through a divine love and a pure and sincere conscience and give birth to Him through a holy activity which must shine as an example before others.” See: 


--True and Perfect Joy: 


--Francis’ Encounter with a Leper: (1 Celano 17): 


--The fire of shared contemplation, rapt into God, “How Saint Clare ate with Saint Francis and his Brother Companions in Saint Mary of the Angels”: 


Third Order Regular: Read this general introduction to what is now known as the Third Order Regular (focus of this podcast episode) and the Secular Franciscan Order (see podcast episode 27); these are two branches of the Third Order in the Franciscan family:


Fraternitas, brotherhood and sisterhood in relationship: Learn about the universality of this kinship in “Christ, Word of God and Exemplar of Humanity by Zachary Hayes, OFM, found on this resource page: For more depth, see also “St. Francis and the Song of Brotherhood and Sisterhood” by Eric Doyle, OFM: Pope Francis speaks to this value in two of his encyclicals; texts and a study guide for Fratelli Tutti is available here: