September 29-30, 2018
Sep 28, 2018
One of the goals we set for ourselves as a parish is to promote priestly and religious vocations. One small step toward that goal will take place today, Sunday, September 30, from 4 pm -8 pm at the friary. The friars are inviting any Catholic single young man, 18-35, to join us for conversation, prayer, and dinner. There is no commitment or obligation in attending, and I promise there will be no pressure! It is for any young man who might be interested in or considering a vocation, or just plain curious about what our life is like. It is a modest opportunity to meet some friars and hear about our experiences of living in fraternity and serving in ministry. Most of the friars from the Detroit area will be present and a few have agreed to “prime the pump” by sharing briefly about their life’s journey and their decision to become a Franciscan Friar. We’ll try to answer any questions about how one joins the Franciscans, what our province is like, where we serve and what we do, etc. Even if you did not sign up earlier, you are still welcome. If anyone is interested, please let me know so I can make sure there is enough food and seats at the table!
But what if you are not a young man, 18-35? -- and that is many (most!) of us! I would urge you to encourage someone whom you think would make a good friar or priest. Or a sister, too! Maybe even a member of your family! Studies have shown that one of the most effective means of encouraging vocations is letting the person know that you think they would make a good friar, priest, or sister. Tell them what gifts you see in them. The first response, might be, “Who, me? Are you kidding? I have already made plans for my life.” But such an encouragement or invitation might plant a seed and can begin an internal process of reflection that might someday bear fruit. Clearly this way of life is not for everyone, but it is meaningful and wonderful way to spend one’s life and energy.
When I was serving as Provincial Minister for 9 years, 44 friars passed away. During that same time period, 8 friars joined us by making solemn profession. (There were more who were in our program for a while, but they rightly discerned that this was not the life for them.) We had to cut back some of our ministries because 8 people could not do what 44 did. It is true that in these days we are getting fewer in number, but we remain vital and enthusiastic about living and sharing the Gospel, and we do hope some young men will hear the Lord’s call to think about joining us as a possibility. The Lord might use you to issue you the invitation.