NEW YORK — Men considering religious life have a variety of informational and experiential vocation events from which to choose this season. Registration for the first — being held the weekend of Feb. 10 just outside the nation’s capital — is requested by Feb. 2.
The Province’s vocation weekends during the next few months offer a greater variety of experiences than in the past, according to vocation director Brian Smail, OFM.
“As prospective candidates have varied schedules and availability, I am making the weekends less structured and we are offering a greater variety of experiences depending on a man’s interest,” Brian said. “These ‘Come and See’ discernment weekends will give men the opportunity to simply visit the friars and their ministries, or to spend a more reflective weekend with quiet time and personal prayer time.”
Both opportunities offer candidates the chance to meet others who are interested in Franciscan life and to join the friars for meals and community prayer, he said.
The Vocation Ministry office’s goal is to “provide as comprehensive an experience as possible for candidates and to generate as wide an appeal as possible,” said Carolyn Croke, Brian’s assistant. “An important component of the weekends continues to be the opportunity to experience Franciscan ministry.”
Brian is available at all vocation events to answer questions and provide assistance that may be needed with the discernment process, Croke said.
Winter and Spring Events
Current listings and details of upcoming vocation events can be found on the “Join Us” page of HNP.org. Since space is limited, all events require advance registration by phone (800-677-7788) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The four events planned in the coming months are:
• Come and See Discernment Weekend in Maryland, Feb. 10 to 12
Registration deadline: Feb. 2
• Come and See Discernment Weekend in Boston, March 2 to 4
Registration deadline: Feb. 22
• Spend a Day with the Friars in Raleigh, N.C., March 17
Registration deadline: March 9
• Come and See Discernment Weekend in New York City, April 20 to 22
Registration deadline: April 13
Brian encourages friars to print the Winter-Spring 2012 event flyer and display it at their ministry sites.
— Jocelyn Thomas
Editor’s note: News about the HNP Vocation Ministry and friars in formation can be found on the Be A Franciscan Facebook page.