UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
St Francis of Sales
- January 24, 2013
Francis was born into an aristocratic Catholic family in Savoy, a region between France and Switzerland in the 16th century, when the religious differences in Europe had hardened into mutual suspicion and hatred. Francis, though trained in law, gave up a distinguished career and opted to become a priest, much against the wishes of his parents. He was determined to win back to the old faith the Calvinist believers of his region, and over several years with his cousin Louis, also a priest, had the joy of bringing back to the Church thousands of Calvinists. What impressed his peers was the simplicity and friendliness of his style, and the power of his preaching and his writing. Therefore, though just 32 years old, Francis was made bishop of Geneva.
His life as bishop was noted for his pastoral zeal: he preached wherever he went, heard confessions of the ordinary folk, reformed religious communities, instructed the young and old, and held annual meetings for his clergy. Side by side, he carried on a voluminous correspondence, finding time to write those masterpieces of the spiritual life which are treasured even today: An Introduction to the Devout Life, for ordinary people; and a Treatise on the Love of God and Spiritual Conferences, meant for the sisters of the Visitation Order, which he founded in 1610 with St Jane Frances de Chantal. His spirituality has influenced several groups in the Church even today, notably the Salesians.
Francis of Sales was canonized within fifty years of his death in 1622. Subsequently he was declared ‘doctor of the Church’, and ‘patron of Catholic writers’. We can do no better than recall two of his sayings on the art of preaching: “In order to speak well, we need only to love well.” And, “The more you say, the less people will remember.”