Vocation Office Welcomes Men to Retreats

Maria Hayes Around the Province

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Do you know someone who might make a good friar? The HNP Vocation Office is holding three autumn events — the first in early October — for men to meet the Franciscans and explore their own call to serve God.

A college retreat, an Asian-American retreat and a “Come and See” Vocation Weekend have been scheduled at locations throughout the Province — including Albany, N.Y., New York City and Boston. There will also be an opportunity to experience the Transitus with the friars in New York City.

“It’s important to offer opportunities to see the friars in a variety of ministerial and prayerful experiences, and share stories of our Province to prospective candidates,” said Basil Valente, OFM, vocation director. “It’s essential that our prospects see us as we are, immersed in our ministries, doing God’s work with our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

The vocation office invites visitors to meet Basil and other friars as well as other men discerning a call to Franciscan life after the Transitus at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. Interested persons should contact Basil and register by Oct. 2.

The Men’s Vocation Retreat at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., on Oct. 8 will focus on outreach to young men discerning God’s call while immersed in higher education. That retreat will be guided by Daniel Dwyer, OFM, and Sean O’Brien, OFM, both regional vocation directors ministering at Siena College.

The Asian-American retreat, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, will be held Oct. 25 and will be guided by Julian Jagudilla, OFM, also a regional vocation director. “This evening retreat is another great opportunity to explore God’s call in one’s life, particularly among the busyness of New York City living,” said Basil.

The fall’s first weekend retreat, a Come and See Weekend taking place from Dec. 5 to 7 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, welcomes interested men to visit the friar community to get an “immersion style” taste of Franciscan life. Visitors will share meals and conversations, pray and celebrate the Eucharist with the friars, and learn about the ministries of the friars and their lay brothers and sisters, all working and ministering at St. Anthony Shine. This retreat will be guided by Gene Pistacchio, OFM, Boston’s regional vocation director.

Because space is limited at vocation events, participants must register ahead of time. For further information or to register, contact the Franciscan Vocation Ministry at 800-677-7788 or vocation@hnp.org. Details about vocation events appear in the Join Us section of the Province’s website.

“The vocation office and the Hispanic Ministry Committee recently hosted HNP’s second Spanish Vocation Retreat for 17 men at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md.,” said Basil. “The successful retreat offered many opportunities for these men to pray, dialogue, explore the Franciscan life and enjoy intense sharings with one another and with many friars from Holy Name Province.” Gonzalo Torres-Acosta, OFM, HNP’s assistant vocation director, “offered an insightful, lapidary and witty sketch of the origins of the Franciscan family,” according to an article on the retreat, penned by Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM.

The vocation office will be unveiling a new “bulletin advertising campaign” to promote vocations throughout the Province. The campaign will contain attractive, short and focused ads in both English and Spanish. Samples are included in this newsletter story.

“They’re designed to be placed in our HNP bulletins throughout our Province, each week, as another way of extending our invitation to men to consider the Franciscan way of life,” said Basil. “All guardians and pastors will receive PDF copies of the bulletin advertising campaign, making it simple to include a vocational advertisement in our weekly bulletins in our parishes or on our campuses.”

The office recently announced a job opening in New York City. The vocation director is searching for an administrative assistant to help with clerical and promotional duties. More information is provided in a Sept. 10 HNP Today story.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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