Asking People to Consider a Religious Vocation

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

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Conventual Franciscan Friar Hans Flondor travels across the United States Midwest as the vocation director for St. Bonaventure Province. He has an office at Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois and always welcomes emails from men interested in pursuing a vocation with his Order as do the other Conventual Franciscan vocation directors from across the United States.

Friar Hans organizes Come and See Retreats at Franciscan friaries in Illinois for men who want to take a closer look at what it is like to live as a Conventual Franciscan. His fellow vocation directors also organize such events. But the role of a vocation director asks of him to actively engage with men who are deeply faithful but perhaps never thought that God is calling them to be friars.

With this in mind, Friar Hans will take part in a number of public faith events in the remaining months of 2015 and in early 2016. These will take him to DeKalb and St. Charles, Illinois as well as to Indianapolis, Indiana and St. Francis, Wisconsin. During these events faithful people will gather to celebrate and grow as Catholics. Some will encounter Friar Hans and perhaps take this first step in realizing their vocation.

(Source of image with story: St. Bonaventure Province.)

St. Junipero Serra Inspires a Friar from Reno

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Friar Jacob Carazo is the Convenual Franciscan rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Basilica in Reno, Nevada. As a Catholic and a Franciscan who hails from California he was greatly moved when Pope Francis canonized Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra. The Spanish-born Friar Junipero traveled north from today’s Mexico into what became the State of California and founded nine missions on his travels. Pope Francis canonized him on September 23 in Washington, D.C. This was the first canonization to happen in the United States.

On September 24 at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, Friar Jacob celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of Friar Junipero. The Mass inspired parishioners and visitors to not just practice but truly live their faith day in and day out.

(Source of image with story: Gwen Linde.)



Inspired by Pope Francis, North Carolina Students Care for Creation on Their University Campus

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At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Friar Michael Lasky and Friar Bill Robinson are respectively the pastor and parochial vicar at the Newman Catholic Student Center Parish. Friar Michael is also the campus minister at the university. He and Friar Bill are Conventual Francisacns and enjoy inspiring the students they serve to embrace their faith and like St. Francis of Assisi live simply, serve others and take care of creation.

Recently, seven students who belong to Newman Parish’s Climate Justice Group traveled to Washington, D.C. to see Pope Francis and to participate in workshops that provided them with techniques on how to turn “Laudato Si”, the Holy Father’s encyclical on our duty to care for the world, into reality on their campus.

Although, humanity faces an enormous challenge in reducing global warming, the acts of individuals do matter. St. Francis knew that when each of us acts locally we begin to inspire others. Then a local effort becomes global. St. Francis, for example, had no intention of founding the Franciscan Order. He started to rebuild San Damiano Church in Assisi and then speak to people in Umbria about God’s love for them. His effort initially was local. Now his Order spans the globe.

(Source of image with story: Friar Michael Lasky.)

The Transitus and Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

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In just a few days we will celebrate the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi (October 3) and his feast day (October 4). The Transitus marks the night Francis left his earthly life to a life in heaven with Our Lord Jesus. He died on October 3, 1226, a small man in his forties who had wanted to live a simple life in service to God. His message attracted many followers across Europe. Today, in the 21st century, the Conventual Franciscan Order spans the globe.

Francis could have led a life of luxury and earthly power. He was born into a wealthy cloth merchant family in Assisi, Italy around 1181 or 82. As a young man he spent his days admiring Troubadours who traveled across Europe and performed their poetic songs to audiences. He also partook in raucous celebrations and planned on becoming a knight. His forays as a warrior against nearby Perugia ended in capture and imprisonment. The time in isolation allowed Francis to reflect on what God really wanted him to do in life.

To learn about how Francis embraced his vocation, please visit his biography webpage on While on this website you will have a chance to learn about the Conventual Franciscan Friars today. The friars are active in ministries in every region of the United States. You will meet them in towns across California, celebrating Masses, building communities, and working for the poor. From New Mexico and Texas all the way to Minnesota, friars teach at universities, run retreat centers, and staff parishes. In the great metropolitan centers like Chicago and New York and along the eastern seaboard of the United States from Florida to Massachusetts, the friars are also present, focusing on the physical and spiritual needs of the vulnerable.

If you feel inspired to talk to a friar about his rewarding life, then please click here.

(Source of image with story:

Franciscans in San Antonio Help a Mom and Her Daughter Settle Into Their New Neighborhood

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A number of Conventual Franciscan Friars and postulants call the San Damiano Friary in San Antonio, Texas home. They are active in their community through various ministries. Many attend Our Lady of the Lake University, a great post-secondary institution not too far from the friary.

When the Franciscans and postulants heard the news that a single mother was moving to their neighborhood so that her sick daughter could pursue her education at Our Lady of the Lake University, they sprang into action and assisted the family with their move. They carried bags of clothing and furniture into the new home, making life easier for the mom and her daughter and welcoming them to the neighborhood.

Now the mom and daughter are settling into their new life, dealing with university courses and other challenges. They know however that even though they are new to their neighborhood, they are not alone. The friars will be there to assist them whenever the need should arise.

(Source of image with story: OLC Province.)