by Friar John Bamman, OFM Conv.- Vocation Director
September 19th to 21st five men attended the Vocation Retreat at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. That same weekend at the Shrine, there was a retreat of 40 women who rallied in the Pilgrim House, a wedding on Saturday afternoon, Latino Days on Sunday afternoon complete with Aztec dancers, and a big crowd to hear an "explanation of the mass" led by Friar John Stowe. The weekend was bustling with activities and all the men got a realistic look into the life of a friar.
More than all the activities, the visiting men were impressed by the Friars' hospitality. Friars Angelo Catania and Phil Schneider put the guys at ease when at meal times and between sessions. Friar Mike Austin ran the guys to and from the airport. Friar Paul Faroh told his vocation story. Friars Terence Tobin and Andy Martinez told of their experiences in the mission lands of Africa and Central America.
Friar Randy Kin gave us a first class tour of the upper and lower basilica. Friar John Stowe shared with the guys about our Franciscan formation program of pre-novitiate, novitiate, and post-novitiate. Friar Bryan Hoban told us many stories from Africa and of his vocation and call to the brotherhood. Friar Brian Hajovsky gave us the insider's view of what it was like to recently profess solemn vows (a month ago - click here to see more about this.)
One of the men on the retreat wrote, "I enjoyed the rhythm to the weekend with the good talks, free time between talks, and the different places of prayer (in the upper basilica and the old shrine church.)" Volunteers from the parish dropped off dinner Saturday night, morning donuts, and home cooked sweets especially some famous Ann Yost cookies. Tom and Dolly Weaver prepared some hot appetizers for our Saturday night recreation and fraternal time together. Thank you to all the friars and parishioners of Carey.
The next Vocation Retreat will be at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico from October 24 to 26. Click here for the Vocation Retreat Brochure.