Protestants discovering St. Francis
February 28th, 2012
On Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m. something new will happen at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in North Beach: Catholics and Protestants will gather together for an hour of music, prayer, Scripture reading and faith sharing.
According to Capuchin Father Gregory Coiro, shrine rector, it began last year when a group of students from Santa Barbara’s Westmont College visited the historic church on Vallejo Street at Columbus Avenue. “I told them that to understand St. Francis, you had to start with the premise that he was nuts, crazy about Jesus,” Father Coiro said.
That resonated with Barry Brown, a former pastor in the Church of the Nazarene, who was with the group. He contacted other evangelical Christians and met several times with Father Coiro to plan a way for anyone who is “crazy about Jesus” to come together at the shrine.
“Over the doors of the church are two bible passages,” Father Coiro said. “The first says, ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism,’ and the other says, ‘One flock and one shepherd.’ We’re going to check our theological differences at the door and celebrate those things that unite us, especially our faith in the Lord Jesus, and learning to see him through the eyes of Francis.”
From March 2, 2012 issue of Catholic San Francisco.