Presently, we have eleven men in various stages of active discernment for our Province. Please pray for them as they continue to listen to God’s voice in their hearts. They are good men who want to follow Jesus, according to His will.
In order to foster vocations, our friars are planning to institute a “vocation corner” in the bulletins of our parishes, schools and other ministries. Our friars plan to fill those “corners” with personal vocation stories. Fittingly, we begin this series with the Vocation Story of our own Vocation Director, Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.:
Vocation Story ~ Friar Russell
As a High School student growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I felt the desire to serve God and God’s people. I wanted to help others to grow and live better. This was prior to the existence of the internet, so as I prayed and considered the possibility of becoming a priest, I began to cut out ads from our Diocesan Catholic Newspaper and send them to different Religious Orders to obtain information about them. That was “surfing” in the 70s.
I received quite a bit of mail and upon receiving the information from the Franciscan Friars Conventual, I was moved by their simplicity of life and the number of young men who were joining them. I decided to visit the seminary in Massachusetts and the Novitiate in Maryland. The joy, youth and excitement of the friars— young and old — attracted me.
As I discerned, I thought, “Let me give it a try for a year!”
That was 40 years ago. God continued to touch my heart with His love and allowed me to receive the gift of a Franciscan vocation. Now, I have the blessed joy to accompany young men who are discerning, as I was back then. Living the life of the vows, fraternity and Sacrament allows me to fulfill that initial desire to serve God and His people.