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An Eye Opening Retreat

Written by Zachary Navarrette

During my time discerning to take the first step to becoming a Friar, I attended many Come and See retreats. Come and See retreats give young men discerning religious life a glimpse into the life of the friars. At the come and see weekend retreatants get to pray, eat, and sit in on brief presentations on various topics regarding Saint Francis, and the Franciscan spirituality. Out of all the retreats I went to, one in particular stuck out to me.

The retreat was the weekend of October 19th thru the 21st. I was one of four young men at the Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park New Mexico. This retreat was like many others we prayed the psalms of the divine office together, had some good food, and got to listen to presentations on Saint Francis and the Franciscan way of life. We were also able to listen to some of the friars talk about what led them to religious life.

It was at this retreat that I was able to read my uncles necrology for the first time. At the end of dinner each day the friars read the names of each of the friars who have passed away on the anniversary of their death. Each Friar who has died has a brief biography written of their life. The care the friars take with this gesture was very touching to me. No one in the order is forgotten.

I highly recommend anyone who is interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a Franciscan to contact a vocation director and discuss coming on a come and see retreat. The retreats that I went on were very eye opening to me about the Franciscans and even about myself. My advice to anyone discerning religious life is to always trust God and to keep in mind that the Lord will always put you where you are needed by him, it is just a matter of discerning his will in your life. You will never know if religious life is in God's plans for you if you never come and see!

Zach is a postulant from New Mexico and is currently studying in Chicago. If you are interested in attending a Come and See retreat, click HERE for more information on dates and locations, or contact a vocation director.

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