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Friar Douglas McMillan, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony ~ September, 2019
Hello! My name is Douglas James McMillan and I am a 72 year-old (February 8, 1947) Conventual Franciscan Religious Brother in the Our Lady of Angels Province (USA). Currently, I am retired and live at St. Joseph Cupertino Friary in Ellicott City, MD. The friary is part of the Shrine of St. Anthony there. I am a native of New York City where both of my parents were born. I had one younger brother, +David, who passed away in 2004. I have three nieces and two great nieces and three great nephews.
I found out about the Conventual Franciscan Friars by way of an ad in the former Catholic News of the New York Archdiocese. I then met with +Fr. Juniper Alwell at our friary Staten Island which also served as a Minor Seminary for the Province at that time. Shortly after my discharge from the US Army, I connected with +Brother Dennis Mooney the new vocation director and the rest is history!
I was discharged from the US Army in September, 1968 and entered the Religious Brothers Formation program in “Padua House” on the grounds of the Major Seminary : St. Anthony-on-Hudson, Rensselaer, NY on November 16, 1968. After one year of postulancy, I entered the novitiate at Our Lady Queen of Peace Friary, Middleburgh, NY and professed my first religious vows on August 16, 1970. My Solemn profession of vows was on May 31, 1975 at St. Martin Church, Pittsburgh, PA. Brothers Thomas Purcell and Jim Moore are classmates of mine.
I thoroughly enjoyed my studies too. I have a BA in Language Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a MTh from Xavier University of Lousiana. Each one of my assignments has its own favorable memories. For example, Canevin High School was my first assignment and I loved the fact that it was a friary and ministry full of young friars and students. I then moved to Syracuse, NY and taught at Assumption Academy and Bishop Grimes High School. Those 25 years were wonderful, and I developed many meaningful relationships. I then moved to Baltimore where I taught at Archbishop Curley High School and then later at St. Frances Academy, the oldest African-American Catholic High School in the country, founded in 1829 by Servant of God Mother Lange. My classroom there was right down the hall from the room where she died.
I have two favorite spiritual devotions. I enjoy saying the Divine Office because I find something new in the psalms each time I recite it in choir or privately. The other is the Rosary because of the calming effect it has on me.
I would also like to share with our student friars: “Remember why you entered the Order and do not become discouraged when you run into rough patches…be rooted in prayer.”