Peace and All Good!
As we live these days of Lundi and Mardi Gras before Ash Wednesday, I would imagine that many of us are thinking of how we will spend this Lent which is soon to be upon us. I am making my final preparations for Ash Wednesday, the day I will be leaving for Italy to lead the pilgrimage for the Co-workers in our Conventual Franciscan ministries. I and Sr. Anne Bremmer, OSF are really excited to walk this journey with them, the fourth that our Province is sponsoring. I promise to hold each of you and your intentions in prayer, especially before the tombs of St. Francis, St. Clare and St. Peter.
One intention that I am holding within me as I make this pilgrimage is to ask God to touch the hearts of men in our ministries and beyond, that they may hear a call to share our Conventual Franciscan life. Presently, we have three (and possibly a fourth individual) who wish to join us in the Postulancy in July 2018. Inviting others to get to know us and our vocation to follow Jesus in the way of Francis is the best publicity for vocation promotion.
We know that conversion is one of the hallmarks of our Spirituality. St. Francis and the first “penitents of Assisi” were all about that, as we, their sons, are as well. Perhaps on Ash Wednesday, when so many more people enter our churches, we have the opportunity to invite people, generally and specifically, to a life of conversion as friars (and Franciscan Sisters too!). I will try to do so here in Brooklyn, and then during the pilgrimage with our fellow co-workers. It would be great if more of our Catholic young men would consider being like us, descendants of the first “penitents of Assisi.” Oh, that our Seraphic Father and St. Clare intercede for us so that more “co-workers” who are Conventual Friars may come into the vineyard of our Province and preach the Good News of Jesus, Incarnate, Crucified and Risen for us.
Thank you for all of your past, present and future efforts in the vocation ministry of our Province. I pray that each of you enjoy the feasting of these days of Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras … and may your Lent be even more fruitful!
Friar Russell Governale, OFM Conv.
Director of Vocations for Our Lady of the Angels Province