May the Lord give you peace! Today is ‘Mission Sunday’ and for that reason I’m reminded of an extract from a Report to our last General Chapter in 2009 given by our present Minister General Br. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, ofm. “To be missionaries in the world is a response to the special form of life desired by Francis, for himself and his brothers. His vocation, like ours, is not cloistered, nor monastic. His life and mission, like our life and mission, must be carried out in the world, inter gentes. Our special platforms for speaking of the God of life, and for proclaiming the liberating character of the Gospel are, today as yesterday, the squares and the roadways, the places where men and women meet, hungry and thirsty for the Gospel, in need of it, though often without knowing it. Our mission is to go where they live and work, suffer and rejoice, these men and women to whom we have been sent, to whom we owe ourselves by our vocation. We cannot simply wait to welcome those who come to us, though this is important; we cannot close ourselves within our sacristies or our friaries. We must move out into the spacious cloister of the world and there, like so many of our missionaries and evangelizers of the past, proclaim the Gospel with great creativity.” 25. page 28
I haven’t been blogging for some weeks as I was at The Franciscan Mega-Conference for Franciscan Vocation Directors at the Capuchin Retreat, Washington MI (near Detroit), USA. There I met many of my brother vocation directors from some of the main male orders of Franciscans, the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals, the Third Order Regulars and the Friars of the Atonement. It was a great gathering with some excellent input from Franciscan Lawyers and Franciscan Scholars. We also had an opportunity to visit the Father Solanus Casey shrine in downtown Detroit. (For those of you who don’t know me that’s me with the identity badge around my neck!!!!!!!) I’m accompanied by left to right Alvin Te OFM, Toronto, Canada, Brian Smail OFM, New York, USA, Dan Lackie OFM, California, USA, and John O’Hara SA, Garrison, New York, USA
After the Conference I took my holidays with my sister and her family in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been there many times as I studied at St. Michael’s University, University of Toronto and so it was wonderful to have some time off the roads of Ireland to relax by Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. They have a small holiday home in Port Elgin just a couple of minutes walk from Lake Huron so I spent five days just ‘Being’ wandering around the lake shore. It gave me quality time to pray and reflect.
Since returning on October 15th I’ve been fairly busy. I went to Killarney to meet a Kerry man interested in the Friars and it was a great opportunity to meet the new postulancts, three from Ireland and one from England. They entered the postulancy programme (first year of Franciscan training) in early September and thank God they have settled down well. I came to Dublin on Thursday and since then have been meeting people and attending meetings. Tomorrow I hope to meet a lady directee for Spiritual Direction and then we have a couple of days meetings starting tomorrow evening here in the Franciscan Friary Merchants Quay. On Wednesday afternoon I hope to drive to Cork where I hope to meet up with a Cork man interested in our order and I also hope to attend the Munster Branch meeting of Vocations Ireland at the Franciscan Friary, Cork.
Keep me in your prayers as I wander around the highways, roadways, and byways of Ireland (my missionary route). If you are interested in finding out more about the Franciscans I’m always available and probably the best way to contact me is at my e.mail address:
May the Lord give you peace as you continue to discern your vocation.