Tit Bits from the Vocations Director

Dear Friends,

May the Lord give you peace.   Being Pastoral Care of Vocations Animator or as the ministry is more commonly known ‘Vocations Director’ involves a lot of travel.   Though my main ministry is Vocations Director I do some Spiritual Director ministry and I’m also on the Board of Management of a Community School.   Last week for example involved a drive from Dublin to Galway on Tuesday to meet a man from Co Down who is discerning his vocation with me.   On Wednesday I had a BOM meeting in the Dublin area and on Thursday I travelled to Wexford for the ACCS Conference (Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools).   That was a very interesting gathering with the main speakers being Dr. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Paul Colton Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and Professor Ciaran Sugrue, School of Education, University College, Dublin.   Mr Ruairi Quinn T.D, Minister of Education and Skills addressed the assembly too.   On Friday I had telephone calls from two men interested in the Franciscan Way of Life.   I get many calls and e.mails from men interested in the Franciscans but it’s most unusual to get two on the one day and incidentally within less than an hour of each other.   One man was from Co Tipperary and the other man was from Cork so hopefully I’ll get to meet them within the next couple of weeks.   On Saturday I attended a wedding in Skerries and after the meal I danced all night!!!   That was fun meeting old friends and just relaxing.   On Sunday afternoon I got back to my community in Galway and as always got a great welcome home.   It’s on receiving  those great welcomes that one knows that one is part of a great community of brothers.   After all the driving I was a bit tired but I soon relaxed as another Friar and I walked from our Friary in the city centre to the end of the Prom in Salthill and back.  

On each Monday we have a special community day beginning with Morning Prayer, followed by a community meeting and then at 10.30 the local community join with us in the Abbey chapel as we celebrate the Eucharist together.   We come together again in the evening for a deeper sharing and for Lection Divina, a Scripture sharing and reflection.   This is followed by dinner at 19.00 hrs.   On a Monday too we have some extra time for prayer and reflection and of course all of this sets us up for the week and helps us to maintain our focus on what is central in our lives, living the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, in imitation of our founder, Francis of Assisi.

On Wednesday I’m off again please God this time to our Friary in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.   Last week when away I stayed in two of our friaries in the Dublin area, Killiney and Gormanston and of course when I stay in any Friary it’s just home from home and I join with the friars for prayer, recreation and meals.   On Thursday I hope to be present at the ‘Vocations Ireland’ stand at a Career Day in a hotel in Ballybofey for Senior Students from many of the Co Donegal second level schools.   This day is organised by Career Teachers in Co Donegal.  

On Friday morning I set off for our Friary in Ennis, Co Clare where I’m hosting a week-end for four men who are presently discerning with me.   The ‘Experience Our Life’ week-end gives men and opportunity of meeting our novices and postulant and joining with them and the rest of the community in experiencing our life for a couple of days.

This is an interesting and challenging ministry, meeting men who are reflecting deeply on how best to live their Christian Vocation.   I ask you to remember me in prayer as I travel the highways and byways of Ireland and please remember in a very special way all those in Franciscan formation and all who are discerning their Franciscan Vocation at this time.   If you want to know more about the ‘Franciscan Way of Life’ please contact me at:   brpatofm@hotmail.com.

God bless you.

Fraternally,

Pat

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