Friars who would like to connect with other friars across the United States need look no further than USFranciscans.org.
In the past few months, Jim McIntosh, OFM, national social media director for the USFranciscans, and the U.S. Digital Media Committee, have made several updates to the website that make it even easier for friars from different provinces to collaborate online.
For example, the Friars Only section of USFranciscans.org now features a free “Classified Ads” section with four categories:
- “Help Wanted,” where friars can see information about ministries looking for new friars
- “Positions Sought,” where friars looking for work can post their résumés and other information about themselves
- “Giveaways,” where friars can share Franciscan items that they wish to part with
- “For Sale,” where friars can share Franciscan items that are available for a fee
The “Friars Only” section also features information about the Restructuring and Revitalization Process of the U.S. provinces, a national calendar featuring Franciscan events taking place throughout the United States, and forums where friars can exchange ideas and communicate with their brothers located throughout the country. Friars who wish to access the “Friars Only” section can do so by signing up on the site.
Meanwhile, all U.S. friars are reminded that they can access professional Google products at no charge, thanks to a Google grant that was awarded to the US Franciscans. These tools can be used for a variety of purposes, including communicating via text chats, voice calls, or HD video calls with built-in screen sharing. Friars can also hold video conference calls that include up to 25 participants, saving money and time on travel, but still providing all of the benefits of a face-to-face meeting.
Any U.S. friar can request an account by going to USFranciscans.org and clicking the “Friars Only” link in the upper-right corner. If he does not have an account, he must first sign up and confirm his current email address. He can then log in and request a @usfranciscans.org email account under the “Resources” menu option at the top of the page.
In addition to resources only for friars, USFranciscans.org has expanded its content to include more information for laypeople and for men who are discerning their call to religious life. The recently added information includes:
- Friar blogs – The homepage of USFranciscans features nine blogs written by Franciscan friars from around the United States, including John Anglin, OFM, Casey Cole, OFM, George Corrigan, OFM, Daniel Horan, OFM, Kevin Mackin, OFM, and Christian Seno, OFM. Friars who have blogs and would like their blog featured on USFranciscans.org should contact Jim.
- Books written by friars – Nine books that have been recently written by friars are also featured on the homepage, including books by John, Dan, Kevin and Kyle Haden, OFM. Friars who would like to have their book featured on USFranciscans.org should contact Jim.
- Frequently asked questions – For website visitors who are not already familiar with the Franciscans, the website features a list of common queries regarding Franciscan life and ministry.
USFranciscans.org also offers news from the U.S. OFM provinces and the English-speaking Conference, as well as the General Curia in Rome. Each week, the website features #FriarFriday reflections about a variety of topics each week.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “‘Friar’ App Fosters Virtual Franciscan Prayer Group” – Dec. 9, 2015, HNP Today
- “ESC Communicators Focus on Sharing Franciscan Message” – Aug. 5, 2015, HNP Today
- “Franciscans Launch Plan for Revitalization” – March 4, 2015, HNP Today