NEW YORK — Perfectly timed with the start of a new season last week, the Franciscan Vocation Ministry distributed hard copies of its spring Be A Franciscan newsletter to ministry sites around the Province and men discerning life as a friar.
The newsletter, also available on BeAFranciscan.org, was emailed earlier in the month to Holy Name friars and men who have expressed interest to the Province in Franciscan life.
For the first issue of 2012, the Vocation Office has begun including quick response codes within the printed edition. These QR codes allow smartphone users to easily access websites like online event registration, related articles on the Be A Franciscan blog, and the ministry’s Facebook page.
Topics featured in the spring 2012 issue include:
• The Province’s annual formation intersession in Marriotsville, Md.
• Dating God: Live and Love in the way of St. Francis, the first book by Daniel Horan, OFM
• A day in the life of Fred Dilger, OFM, who serves at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia
• “My Vocation Story” by Edgardo Zea Laura, OFM
• Formation milestones of John Aherne, OFM, and Jeffrey Upshaw, OFM
Experiencing Friar Life
Information about an upcoming Come and See Discernment Weekend was also included in the current issue. Registration for this year’s final spring vocation event closes April 13.
The Come and See Discernment Weekend is scheduled for April 20 to 22 in New York City. Guests will stay at St. Francis Friary on 31st Street and experience first-hand several of the Province’s ministries, including the 81-year- old St. Francis Breadline and St. Francis Friends of the Poor residences. The weekend also includes community prayer and meals as well as time to reflect on God’s calling.
Interested men can register online, or by contacting the Vocation Office by phone (1-800-677-7788) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Spreading the Word
In addition to promoting vocations in print and online, vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, has been spreading the word in person, through visits to several college campuses.
In late January, Brian paid visits to the University of Georgia’s Catholic Center, as well as Clemson and Furman universities. Holy Name friars are involved in Catholic campus ministry at each of the colleges. He also traveled to Siena College, one of the Province-sponsored institutions in New York. He will visit the other — St. Bonaventure University — during the weekend of April 28.
“I always enjoy visiting Siena College, St. Bonaventure University, and the other campuses where we have a friar presence,” Brian said. “When I speak during Masses, I invite the students to consider a vocation to religious life as they ponder their future.”
He noted: “Service to others is very important to students, which explains the attraction of projects such as Habitat For Humanity and other volunteer programs. These are opportunities for them to make a real difference in the world, so I invite them to take the next step and think about a life dedicated to service. I specifically invite the men on campus to consider life as a Franciscan friar with Holy Name Province, explaining the many opportunities for ministry that we offer. I make sure that they know ‘the Church needs you!’”
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.