After twelve years of serving as Vocation Director for the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, I will be moving on to a year of sabbatical. I plan to update my knowledge of moral theology and learn more about making websites. Both are interests of mine. I have a doctoral degree in moral theology and have written a couple of computer programs, so they are not new fields of study for me.
Fr. Luis Aponte-Merced, O.F.M. (left) and Fr. Larry Zurek, O.F.M. (right) will be taking over the ministry of Vocations. Presently they are a pastoral team in Peoria, IL at the parish where I was baptized and celebrated my First Mass. They are excited about their new ministry and look forward to mentoring your men into the Franciscan way of life.
This will be my last post on this site. I admit I have not been the most faithful blogster and hopefully Frs. Luis and Larry will be. There are a lot of social media sites to keep track of today, so we'll see where they go.
Peace and God's blessings.
(The picture in the upper left corner is of Toni Cashnelli, our provincial communication director, and me at an All-Province Assembly in Dayton, OH.)
Fr. Don, O.F.M.
I traveled with my family yesterday (April 6) to St. Louis to visit with the latest member of the family. Benjamin Niel was one month old yesterday. It was great to get to see him, his 31/2 year old sister, and my niece and her husband. All are doing very well. The little guy is kind of laid back and easy going--unless he is hungry. Then he can make a ruckus.
March 27 to 29 Derek Rankins (l) and Caleb Reed (r) joined the Franciscan community at St. Anthony Friary in Cincinnati for a Come and See weekend. Bro. Michael Charron, O.F.M. helped with the weekend and Fr. Luis Aponte-Merced, O.F.M. joined in to learn the ropes as one of the new Vocation Directors for St. John the Baptist Province. He and Fr. Larry Zurek, O.F.M. will take over the ministry in June 2015. Fr. Don Miller, O.F.M. will complete his 12th year as Vocation Director and leave for a sabbatical year at that time. So this was his last Come and See.
Derek (23) is from New Orleans, LA and is in his second last semester at Tulane University studying sociology and African Studies. Caleb (19) is from Loveland Ohio and recently graduated from High School and is looking into colleges for next year.
We are happy to have had them join us for the weekend. Please pray for them and all of our young men in formation.
Benjamin Neil Baumann, my new great-nephew, arrived yesterday weighing in at 7lbs and 20 in. He is the son of my niece, Catherine, and he husband, Matt, who live in St. Louis. Their daughter Maggie, age 3, is adjusting.
Justin Brooks (21) is from Sodus, MI and attends Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI.
Both men participated in a Come and See weekend at St. Anthony Friary in Cincinnati, OH January 30 to February 1.
Besides the community at St. Anthony Friary, Frs. Donald Miller, Luis Aponte-Merced and Larry Zurek along with Bro. Adam Farkas accompanied Brian and Justin in their discernment as to whether the Lord is calling them to the Franciscan way of life.
Please remember them in your prayers as they continue to search out God's will.
Here is the November Issue of the Vocation Office Newsletter.
Josh (24) is from Lexington, KY where he presently subs in the Catholic School system of the Diocese of Lexington. Josh as a BS from Murray State University. He has one younger brother.
Dan (21) is from Park Ridge, IL where he works as a deli clerk at Happy Foods supermarket. Dan also attend Oakton Community College in Des Plaines and Skokie, IL. He has two older brothers.
We woke up this morning to a good dusting of snow; the first of the season. Tonight and into tomorrow morning we could get a couple to a few inches. And the cold continues.
Next weekend, November 21-23 we will have a Come and See weekend. We expect four to participate. Please remember the weekend in your prayers.