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Franciscan spirituality

Young adults look to emulate St. Francis' bond with nature

On a recent Saturday, members of the local Franciscan Earth Corps stocked shelves and cleaned storage rooms at a food pantry. In early March, the group will screen “Triple Divide,” a documentary about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Later this spring, they'll put up bluebird boxes at a retreat center.

And once a month, they'll gather to talk about Franciscan spirituality.

Preview: Understanding Franciscan identity key to US friars' restructuring

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For the first time in their centuries-long history, the leaders of the seven separate provinces of the major group of Franciscan friars in United States met together in Milwaukee in December 2012.

Joined by the international head of the order founded by the 13th-century St. Francis of Assisi, the leaders had made the historic summit to answer a decidedly uncomfortable question faced by religious orders across the globe: What to do in an era of steeply declining numbers?

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