On the 11thof August 2003, the feast of St.
Clare, a newly formed Franciscan Association
was formally opened and blessed by Cardinal
O’Brien. Around 120 members attended Mass
and prayers in the garden at Gillis College.
At this particular liturgy a very young Keith
Jack sang, “You Raise Me Up,” for
the communion meditation. Keith recently reached
the final of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Any
Dream Will Do on BBC. Naturally, all in the
Association were thrilled as the first time
he sang in public was at the opening in Gillis
when he joined our Lay Association.
Since its inception, the group has gone from
strength to strength with a membership of 600
including many housebound who form part of the
prayer section. A dedicated core group directs
the active members who one day hope to find
accommodation to found an experimental community.
Meanwhile retreats, prayer days and social events
help bond all in Franciscanism.