Eucharist Enlightens Discernment

Our Lady of the Angels Province Friars: Vocation Director – Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv., soon to be OLA Province Novice – Antonio Moualeu, br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv. & Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv.

For the past several years, Our province Vocation Director, Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv. (far left above), with the support of our friars serving in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, has been on hand at the Eucharistic Congress, advancing awareness of our Order for those attendees who are in Vocation discernment. Three years ago, Antonio Moualeu (2nd from left above) first encountered our friars at this same Eucharistic Congress, at a time when he was discerning a call to the priesthood. According to Antonio, “Through spiritual direction and a friend from the Georgia Tech Catholic Center, I ended up going to the Our Lady of the Angels Province Come and See retreat in Maryland that same year. There, I found out for the first time about Franciscan spirituality; a pivotal moment that started giving meaning to prior events in my life. Through meeting with friars in Jonesboro, GA and around the United States, I found myself constantly drawn to their way of life, their fellowship and ministry. I am so thankful and excited about the opportunity to be an instrument of God’s will, and to spread the Gospel.”
Antonio brought his vocation journey with our friars back to where it all began as he joined Friar Russell at this year’s Eucharistic Congress. Having Antonio speak to passersby about his time as a Postulant, as well as having br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv. (Post-Novitiate stage of formation) join in sharing his experiences alongside seasoned friars like Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv. and Fr. Gabriel Scasino, OFM Conv. (pastor & parochial vicar at our pastoral ministry of St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Jonesboro, GA) provided a comprehensive vocation promotion opportunity for our province.

For eight centuries the Church has celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ), honoring the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Significantly, this is often a very public celebration including outdoor Eucharistic Adoration and Processions. {“Wherever in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop it can be done, a procession through the streets is to be held, especially on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, as a public witness of veneration of the Blessed Eucharist. It is for the diocesan Bishop to establish such regulations about processions as will provide participation in them and for their being carried out in a dignified manner.” (Can. 944 §1,2)}
For over 20 years, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, with a Eucharistic Congress held during the same weekend. This Eucharistic Congress was established to gather the faithful as a community (now numbering around 30,000), giving praise and honor to the source and summit of our Catholic faith, the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity tangibly present in the form of bread and wine. The Congress also has always had a focus on prayer for vocations.

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