Men discerning a Franciscan vocation will have four opportunities in the coming months to get to know Holy Name friars serving at ministries in Boston and New York.
“Each year, we get a very good response from men who are interested in vocation events in Boston and New York,” said vocation director Brian Smail, OFM. “I think part of the reason is the great diversity of ministries at both these sites. With the larger communities in Boston and New York, there is an opportunity for our guests to meet a bigger cross-section of friars.”
He added: “And, of course, given that part of the vocation weekends involves leisure time, our candidates enjoy exploring both cities.”
The fall schedule includes three different discernment events — including a new “Spend a Day with the Friars” on Dec. 3.
This daylong event at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston will include prayer, introduction to ministries, Mass and dinner with the friar community. In addition, the Franciscan Vocation Ministry is again offering men a unique way to commemorate the feast of St. Francis with “Dinner & Transitus.” This Monday evening event on Oct. 3 invites men interested in friar life to join the friars for a meal followed by the inspiring Transitus service, which recalls the last hours of the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
“Some men either don’t have an entire weekend to devote to a vocation event, or might not feel ready to do so,” Brian said. “These shorter events allow an opportunity for guests to meet the friars and learn about our way of life without committing to an entire weekend of discernment.” Brian said he believes it is important to offer a variety of options to fit the needs and interests of all inquirers.
The fall schedule also includes two “Come and See” weekends — one in each city. “These continue to be our most popular vocation events,” Brian said. “They are designed to offer a quality experience of our Franciscan life and ministry, while affording quiet time for reflection and leisure.”
The weekends — Sept. 16 to 18 in Boston and Oct. 14 to 16 in New York — give men a chance to participate in hands-on ministries. Guests of the Boston weekend help visitors to the Shrine’s Franciscan Food Center, and New York participants serve clients of the St. Francis Breadline.
Come and See weekends, and all vocation events, Brian pointed out, offer an opportunity for guests to meet others who are discerning a call to Franciscan life.
Additional information and deadlines for registration are available on the fall event flyer. Space is limited.
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.