Our Franciscan Mission

After ten days of reflecting and slaving over a hot computer, I am pleased to present a video about our mission to Nicaragua.

There are two things you might notice right away. The first is that the video does not follow the chronological order of the trip. In fact, it doesn’t even show every aspect of the trip. There is only one clip of us praying and no clips of us reflecting, two things we did together every day of the trip. There’s also very little about our meals or relaxing time, and believe it or not, no description of the organization that ran the whole trip or the great work they’re doing (you can check it out here if you’re interested). These are not oversights. Part of it was simply a decision to put the camera down at times in order to fully participate (prayer) or a respect of others’ vulnerability and privacy (reflections), but part of it was simply a conscious decision to show something more than the just “my trip.” I wanted to show mission. What is it about this trip that is true for other trips? What is it about this experience that represents the experience of Franciscans on a larger scale? This I found much more interesting than cataloguing every detail and event.

The other thing might be a bit more surprising. Outside of the opening introduction, you will not hear me speak in this video. Unlike all of the other videos that were entirely directly by my voice and reflection, this one is directly entirely by my fellow Franciscan friars on mission. Did I all of the sudden get camera shy? Not exactly. What I realized part of the way through the trip was that this was not my trip to give some wise, all-encompassing reflection, it was our trip. Each friar brought with him different expectations and added to the life of the mission in a different way. Sure I have reflections to share (as I’ve shared two posts on it already) but there was something about the Franciscan nature of this mission that couldn’t be shared by one person, and there was even a thought that it couldn’t be shared by me. I decided to document my brothers’ experience, to let them tell our story.

As usual, if you are reading this via email, you can click here to watch the video.

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3 Comments on “Our Franciscan Mission

  1. Great job. I think you sold yourself short in your previous comments on this mission. Clearly, you seemed to be having fun and your work on documenting the experience was excellent. Your brother travelers must be very happy with your results. Hope you are enjoying your vacation.

  2. Terrific documentary! Such a gift for visual storytelling. I came upon this video (and your blog) in my internet search for Fr. Mike Johnson. He’s a friend who we have not seen in a long while, and it is good to see him again in this work. Please tell him we said hi! All the best to you in your vocation and blogs and vlogs. Great work.

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