This past weekend Fr. O’Hare took a 5-hour trip to Santo Domingo with 12 high school youth leaders to participate in a Franciscan Retreat. The purpose of the retreat was to provide training for the youth to establish a new initiative for teens in Bánica called “JUFRA.” This is a youth movement based specifically on the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi.
Fr. O’Hare explained: “There is tremendous devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi among the 10,000 people who live in the town of Bánica and the 60 surrounding communities. Every year thousands of people make pilgrimage to the town of Bánica to celebrate his feast day onOctober 4. I chose twelve youth leaders to participate in this retreat so that they could return to the Parish as ‘twelve Franciscan apostles.’ The youth indeed returned home after retreat with new enthusiasm, a stronger faith, and with a sincere desire to imitate St. Francis in helping other youth to experience the love of God.”
The retreat was directed by Fray Pedro, OFM Cap., who is currently a deacon preparing to be ordained to the priesthood in July. He is pictured below with the Bánica youth leaders, Fr. O’Hare, and the Franciscan Provincial of Santo Domingo, Fray Jorge.