November “Come and See”

At the end of the November 5-11, 2017 National Vocation Awareness Week, our province will be holding another “Come and See” Weekend. In preparation for this event, our Province Vocation Director sent out a letter to all of our friars. Here are a few exerpts from that November 6th letter:

Dear Brothers,
May the Lord grant you His Peace!
As we begin this period of the “Franciscan Advent,” I take a moment to write to you to thank you once again for your prayers and good works which so many of you are involved in to foster interest in our way of life.  I am quite moved by the generosity of the friars who are so willing to assist with the upcoming Come and See weekend.  It will take place at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, from November 10-12, 2017.  I would like to ask all of you to please, perhaps as part of your Franciscan Fast, to include the success of this weekend in your prayers and penances.
What does “success” of this weekend mean? As I see it, it is that the participants will be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit (as St. Francis would call it, the “holy operation of the Spirit”) as they witness our Evangelical and Fraternal life.  In all, there will be 10 men participating. One of them, Luke – a senior at Duke University where several of our friars of the St. Anthony of Padua Friary serve in ministry through the Duke Catholic Center, has already been accepted for Postulancy for July 2018. He is excited about joining our life and has volunteered to drive two other Duke students, Gregg and Dylan to attend this experience. I ask you to pray for the three of them, as well as for Paul, Timothy, Jonathan, Matthew, Carlos, Chris and Robert. Our friars of the SS. Francis & Clare Friary, serving at the Catholic University of America have been most helpful in fostering vocations (two participants are connected there), as well as one participant from our current pastoral ministry in Winston-Salem, NC (served by our friars of the Our Lady of the Angels Friary). Another participant is from our former pastoral ministry in Lithia Springs, GA and others from Spirit-directed places not ministered to by our friars. Our friars from the St. Bonaventure Friary in Silver Spring are helping with talks, tasks and hospitality.  Our Ellicott City friars open their home and hearts to us—from both friaries on the property (Portiuncula Friary of the Provincial House & St. Joseph Cupertino Frary of the Shrine of St. Anthony)! The preparation and execution of this weekend are truly a concerted effort.
May God continue to move the hearts of the 10 participants named above, and of many others so that the mission of sharing Peace and All Good might continue in the Our Lady of Angels Province. God bless you all with a fruitful Franciscan Advent, after which we will welcome with joy, the Babe of Bethlehem.

“Pax et Bonum” – Peace and All Good
The traditional Franciscan welcome and goodbye, favored by St. Francis of Assisi as he often began & ended his sermons and letters this way.