ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Vocation directors from Franciscan communities around the world will converge at St. Anthony Friary from Sept. 6 to 10 for a special mega-conference, “Lesser Brothers on a Vocation Journey of Mercy.”
The OFMs are hosting the conference, which is held once every two years for vocation directors from the Order of Friars Minor as well as the Capuchins, Conventuals, Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. The event provides an opportunity for the directors to support each other in their vocation work and to bring fresh energy to the witness of the Franciscans around the world.
General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, will give the keynote address, “Lesser Brothers on a Vocation Journey of Mercy.”
There will be two additional featured presenters. Br. Moises Gutierrez, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province, will present on “Celebrating Franciscan Diversity in Vocational Ministry: Encouraging Men of Varied Ethnic Backgrounds.” Br. Moises currently serves as director of the intercultural ministry office in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and holds a doctorate in leadership studies with a concentration on global leadership from Gonzaga University, Wash. He is known for his work, lectures and inspired talks on race relations, multicultural assistance and intercultural ministries.
Daniel Horan, OFM, will present a talk titled “Spirituality and the Strategic Use of Various Media Channels to Promote Vocations.” Dan is the author of more than 80 popular and scholarly articles, and frequently gives lectures and retreats across the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition to writing a column for America magazine, Dan has written several books, including, most recently, the award-winning The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Influence on his Life, Thought and Writing. He is completing a PhD in Systematic Theology at Boston College.
“This event will be a good opportunity for all of us, members of the First Order, to grow together in the same mission,” said Fr. Marc Le Goanvec, OFM, provincial liaison to the English-speaking Conference Committee of Vocation Directors that is organizing the meeting. The committee is coordinated by president Basil Valente, OFM, vice president Eric Pilarcik, OFM, and secretary-treasurer Luis Aponte-Merced, OFM. The executive leadership team of this ESC committee was elected at the committee’s meeting that took place from Jan. 24 to 27 in St. Petersburg.
“One of our goals is to animate and encourage friars in vocation ministry while providing resources for friars to effectively accomplish their ministries, especially as we journey with one another in the consecrated life,” Basil said. “It is a pleasure to know, and to be enlivened by, my brothers involved in the ESC, on our journey of faith and love as we continue to invite others to join us on this important Franciscan journey.”
He continued, “The interaction of different thoughts, action plans and ideas fosters our own sense of fraternity and encourages us in our ministry. My invitation to my brothers is that we continue to pray for one another unceasingly, so we, as followers of St. Francis, may be encouraged by our living of the Gospel and be able to invite others into our Franciscan spirit of prayer, devotion, joy and brotherly sharing.”
Details about the mega-conference will be provided in the coming weeks. Those with questions can contact the Franciscan Vocation Ministry of Holy Name Province at email@example.com.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “Vocation Directors Mega-Conference Meets in Marytown” — Sept. 12, 2013, ESCOFM.org
- “Vocation Director Attends Mega-Conference, Distributes Fall Newsletter” — Oct. 12, 2011, HNP Today
- “New Vocation Staff Seeks to Broaden Office’s Reach” — Oct. 20, 2014, HNP Today