National Vocation Awareness Week and Beyond

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


This year, National Vocation Awareness Week takes place from November 6 to 12. Sponsored and supported by United States bishops, the week will foster prayers, conversations and reflections on vocations in churches and homes across the country.

God calls each one of us to a vocation. Some of us get married; others stay single; while still others become priests or religious. The Franciscan Conventual vocation directors across the United States help men who are inspired by St. Francis of Assisi discern their vocation with the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. These five men whose names are Friars Russell, John, Hans, Andy, and Paul look forward to addressing vocation discernment during National Vocation Awareness Week. In their ministry, however, helping people understand their vocations is something they do on a daily basis.

Friars Russell, John, Hans, Andy and Paul also organize and lead Come and See Retreats. These are usually weekend opportunities for discerning men to spend time with Franciscans in a friary. Retreatants pray, learn about Franciscan life, and talk with friars. At the end they have spiritual experiences and a better sense in which direction God wants them to move.

If you are excited by the idea of being a Franciscan, then a Come and See Retreat will help you move along in your discernment. Our vocation directors have retreats coming up in Ohio, New Mexico and Maryland. Others will be added to the schedule in the near future. To learn more, please visit this webpage.

(Source of image: St. Francis Novitiate.)

Franciscan Eagerly Anticipates His Ordination

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Friar Mario Serrano is a Franciscan Conventual from Dexter, New Mexico. He recently moved to Terre Haute, Indiana where he works as the University Minister at St. Joseph University Parish. His previous ministry was that of Director of Ministry at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.

On November 4, 2016, Friar Mario will embrace his vocation in a more complete way when he will be ordained to the priesthood at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in El Paso. Friar Mario eagerly anticipates this occasion and looks forward to serving his community as a friar and a priest. His Franciscan brothers, family and friends are excited for the ordination too.

(Source of image with story:

Franciscans Are Family

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Franciscan Friar Conventual Arturo Felix hails from Victorville, California where he grew with a large and very loving family. In the video below, he reminisces about worshiping at Mass with his grandmother, mother, cousins and other relatives and then gathering in his grandmother’s house for a festive meal.



Today, Friar Arturo’s Franciscan brothers are an extension of his family. They worship with Arturo and listen to his concerns in life. They support him in his vocation and ministries, comfort him when he faces challenges and celebrate his achievements.  Arturo feels right at home with them. He also knows that wherever in the world Franciscans reside he will feel at home there too.


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Find Out About the Early Years of Franciscan Life

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Friar Paul Gawlowski writes the Franciscan Discernment blog to help men in their vocation discernment to the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. Friar Paul is the vocation director for St. Joseph of Cupertino Province in the western United States. He has an office in Castro Valley, California.

Friar Paul’s recent “Initial Formation Series” in his blog will be particularly useful to men discerning their vocation. These often wonder what Franciscan life is like in the early years of their journey with the Order. Friar Paul’s “Initial Formation Series” with its entries on the postulancy, the novitiate and post-novitiate life will give them a clear picture of the steps they will be taking to become Franciscan friars.

Those of you who are not quite at the stage to enter the novitiate, but are wondering about St. Francis and the Franciscans are welcome to get in touch with our vocation directors from across the country. They are available through our convenient Talk to a Friar form.

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Renowned Preacher Visits Pilgrims and Franciscans in Carey, Ohio

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On August 6, 2016, the Franciscan Friars Conventual at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio welcomed faithful and curious people to the Annual Novena to Our Lady of Consolation. Taking place each evening until August 14, the novena helped folks prepare for August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Thousands of men, women and children come to Our Lady of Consolation on pilgrimages for the Feast of the Assumption. will have more on this incredible spiritual event in the near future. 


(Click on the above image for Father James Sichko's video)

Reverend James W Sichko visited Our Lady of Consolation for the Annual Novena to Our Lady and preached to the gathered faithful. A preacher and an evangelist originally from Orange, Texas, Father James inspired the pilgrims around him to greater faith. He also shot a number of videos during his time at the novena. We include one above to give you a sense of what a spiritually exciting time one can have while visiting Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio.

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