Dear St. Francis Family,
Les Miserables is a French historical novel written by Victor Hugo. It was first published in 1862 and it shared the lives and struggles of several characters including an ex-convict, Jean Valjean. True to the novel, the recent performances of Les Miserables here at St. Francis High School, express these challenges and gratefully, the ultimate and renewing experience of redemption.
Redemption is a theme that seems rather fitting in the liturgical season of Lent. During our forty-day journey, we often look for ways to become closer to God. We look for ways that will make us better, stronger and more faith-filled people. We pray more. We give up sweets and other temptations. We try to be more “God-like” – all with the goal of being renewed and receiving some “redemption”. Redemption calls to mind an action of saving one from sin, error or evil. Redemption, then, mirrors spiritual cleansing in that it projects thoughtful and determined action that encourage us to turn away from evil and turn toward what we know is good and loving. Redemption calls us to turn toward God, our Heavenly Father.
Last month, I ended my letter to you by wishing you all a “Happy Lent”. It’s a different way of thinking about one’s forty-day journey than a solemn Lent filled with themes of doing without. By seeking redemption, we are truly looking to become more “God-like”. We are looking to live the words of the Gospel and St. Francis. We are looking to put our Franciscan virtues in action. By doing these things and actively engaging in our journey, we will experience redemption, just like Jean Valjean did in Les Miserables. That ought to be a primary focus then, of our Lenten journey – we ought to keep the end result in sight. After forty days of conscious and dedicated commitment, we will be redeemed!
I would like to congratulate our director, Mr. Eulalia, our Visual and Performing Arts Department and our student cast and crew of Les Miserables – your tremendous efforts are to be commended. With sold-out performances and standing ovations, your work was just magnificent. Bravo!
Let me end once again by wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Lent. Redemption will be ours to share Easter Sunday.
Yours in Jesus and Francis,
Fr. Tony Marti
OFM Cap. President