In this season of preparation for the Coming of the Messiah and the celebration of Christmas, the friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province are all so aware of the need to prepare ourselves for these feasts, as well as to help prepare those of our ministries. I am so aware of this as we pray for vocations and work to encourage others to share our way of life. Oh, how we need to prepare others to enjoy Franciscan life and service in the Church!
In November, our province hosted a “Come and See” weekend for six participants, at our Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, MD. Many of our friars in the area assisted. Our student friars in formation shared their time & talent, and the hospitality of the friars who serve at the Shrine, and on the same Ellicott City Campus – at our Provincial House helped the participants to get a good sense of who we are and how we live. Although several participants expressed a desire for “more time,” we are hopeful that some of them may join our province.
Perhaps during this Advent, our greater community, including those served in our varied ministries, may make an ardent effort to encourage at least one man to consider life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual … maybe even contact our Vocation Office. Perhaps some college students who are home on Christmas break may be open to this invitation.
Thank you for all of your prayers and efforts to encourage our way of life. May the mysteries of Advent warm your hearts and the hearts of those we serve.
Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.