In Texas a Franciscan Professes His Solemn Vows

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

 

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On August 21, 2015 at the Oblate School of Theology’s Immaculate Conception Chapel in San Antonio, Texas, Conventual Franciscan Friar Ian Bremar professed his Solemn Vows into the hands of his Minister Provincial, Friar James Kent. By doing so he embraced Franciscan life for the rest of his days.

In the above video of the profession, we see the happiness in Ian’s eyes as well as the gratefulness he feels for being able to follow his vocation from God. The video also underlines the deep sense of family that friars feel for each other. They will always take care of and support Ian as well as his parents and relatives.

Friar Ian has written a reflection on his Profession of Solemn Vows. We include it below so that it may inspire all of you to open your hearts to God and follow your own vocations:

When I returned from the solemn vow pilgrimage many people thanked and congratulated me on my up-coming profession. I could not help but think, however, that I had done very little for which to be thanked or congratulated. As I recall Bro. Tim Unser, a wise figure among the friars, say, "Everything is gift; at the end of a lifetime or at the end of the day, all we can say is Thank you." Each experience that has led me to the profession of solemn vows and every person that has been a part of my life has been a gift from God. I am, therefore, most grateful, because as Mary proclaims in her Magnificat, "the Lord has done great things for me, and Holy is his Name."

I have been blessed with many opportunities to learn, to serve, and to grow in the faith, especially in my years of initial formation. The friars have shaped my life in countless ways, challenging me to love, teaching me lessons of humility and concern for justice, and bringing much joy into my life. I am grateful to be welcomed as a brother among them.

I know that I owe much to my friends, the parish community of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in my hometown, and, of course to my family. They have all been a great support to me as I discerned God's call and walk with me even now as the journey continues. My siblings, Jessica, Zachary, and Angela, have especially shaped my life in their own unique ways. They were my first school of brotherhood. And I cannot thank my parents, Doug and Linda, enough for their ardent and uncompromising love, their example of commitment and faith, and for supporting me no matter what. It was a joy to celebrate with all of these men and women the gift of solemn profession, and as the opening hymn proclaimed that day, "Yo nada quiero; ya soy feliz." 

(Source of image with story: OLC Province.)

 

 

 

Friar Prays for All Unborn Children

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

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Friar Tom Czeck – the Conventual Franciscan pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley, California – drove south to Hayward recently and along with a group of about 60 concerned individuals gathered outside of the local Planned Parenthood center to say the rosary in hope that very soon the center’s provision of abortions will end.

Planned Parenthood has over 800 locations across the United States. It formed in the first half of the 20th century and sadly currently performs several hundred thousand abortions per year. Friar Tom, his fellow Conventual Franciscans and Catholics in America want all unborn children to be born and live up to their fullest potential. They will continue to protest Roe v. Wade, the US law that legalizes abortions, in a peaceful way.

One way the friars protest every year is by participating or supporting the March for Life in Washington, D.C and the Walk for Life in San Francisco, California. Both events take place in January, around the time when in 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of abortion.

(Source of image with story: https://www.facebook.com/FranciscansOfCA?fref=ts.)

Minister Provincial Receives the St. Maximilian Kolbe Award in Marytown, Illinois

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On August 14, 2015, the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Friar James McCurry received the Maximilian Kolbe Award at Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois.

The day began with Mass at noon, which Friar James celebrated along with Friars Jobe Abbass and John Grigus. He received the St. Maximilian Kolbe Award later that day in a ceremony attended by fellow Conventual Franciscans and friends. Friar John Grigus and Friar Anthony Kelly spoke during the presentation of the award.

Friar James McCurry is the Minister Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province, a Conventual Franciscan jurisdiction that covers the eastern United States, Canada, the British Isles and a number of other countries. Born in Ludlow, Massachusetts, Friar James went to graduate school at Boston College and is an internationally noted scholar on St. Maximilian Kolbe and in Mariology. He has written a number of books on St. Maximilian and other topics and is a frequent lecturer.

(Source of image with story: Marytown.)

 

Williamsburg Food Festival Offers Delicious Food and Spiritual Nourishment

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

 

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Friar Nick Spano is one of several Conventual Franciscans at the San Damiano Mission in Brooklyn, New York. The ministry opened earlier this year and issued an open invitation to the local community to drop by for Mass, prayer, quiet reflection or conversations with friars about spirituality and other topics.

The San Damiano Mission also hosts various events that bring community members together, allowing them to pause for a while and re-connect or perhaps even connect for this first time. One such event was the recent Williamsburg Food Festival, which took place on August 23, 2015.

The Mission and various other organizations worked together to make the food festival happen. At the end it presented to visitors a wide array of excellent dishes and gave them another opportunity to ponder their spiritual lives.

(Source of image with story: wikipedia.org.)

 

Friar Damien Zimmerman Served the Spanish-speaking People of the United States Southwest

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In today’s video, Friar John Bamman – the Conventual Franciscan vocation director for Our Lady of Consolation Province – continues the Giants of the Order series with a story of the life of Friar Damien Zimmerman.

 

Friar Damien arrived at Mount St. Francis, Indiana as a 12 year old boy in 1929 to attend school. Curious about all of God’s creation and academically gifted, he studied amongst other subjects Greek and Latin so that he could better understand the Holy Scripture.

Baptized Ralph, he took on the religious name Damien because he was inspired by the missionary work on St. Damien of Molokai who served and cared for men and women suffering from Hansen’s Disease. God however had a different plan for Friar Damien. He sent him to the United States Southwest where for years to come Damien served the Spanish-speaking peoples of that region. He also quickly fell in love with the beauty of the Spanish language and the cultures of the Latin world. His many efforts in the United States Southwest included amongst others helping to found Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Lovington, New Mexico in 1967.

Today, the Conventual Franciscan Friars continue to be very active in the United States Southwest, serving in parishes and other ministries in Mesilla Park and Tortugas, New Mexico and El Paso and San Antonio, Texas.

(Source of image with story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5onO7Mjo4s.)