Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life

The year of Consecrated Life continues until February 2, 2016. As we approach the end of this celebration of religious vocation, we want to share with you some of the Vocation and Formation highlights of 2015 – continuing discernment and the discovery of new vocations. We also want to continue to thank you, our friends and benefactors, for your prayers and support throughout this year. (If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to do so, please view our Thanksgiving video.)

2015 began with a retreat for our Franciscan students as they returned from their Christmas break. The retreat focused on Pope Francis’ vision of the Church as a “field hospital” and the possible positions or ministries Franciscans might serve in the Church.

More than 9,000 college students met in Nashville, TN for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students.)
In January, more than 9,000 college students met in Nashville, TN for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students.)

In February, the Friary in San Antonio hosted a Come and See weekend. Also in February, many of the friaries hosted open houses. In the Kentuckiana area, we began to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity and many volunteers from the Catholic Community to build a “Wake Up World” house in the West End of Louisville, in celebration of Consecrated Life.

Our students continued to grow in their understanding of Conventual Franciscan Life. They, as well as the novices and postulants of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Perpetual Adoration, attended a workshop on the Gospels with Friar Jude Winkler, Assistant General for the Order.

In March we received the news that one of our Friars, John Stowe, OFM Conv., was named Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky. On May 5, the Most Reverend John Stowe, OFM Conv. was ordained and installed as Bishop of Lexington.

Vocation Directors Friar John Bamman and Friar Andy Martinez at Abbey Youth Fest in Louisiana.
Vocation Directors Friar John Bamman and Friar Andy Martinez at Abbey Youth Fest in Louisiana.
Friars Tony and Andrew professed First Vows in July.
Friars Tony and Andrew professed First Vows in July.

August 21, Friar Ian Bremar professed his Solemn Vows. Friar Ian expressed gratitude for his vocation while Fr. Jim Kent reminded Friar Ian’s family “they were not losing a son they were gaining a bunch of other brothers and sons...”

A Muslim family of ten from Somalia were grateful to move into the "Wake Up World" house in Louisville.
A Muslim family of ten from Somalia were grateful to move into the "Wake Up World" house in Louisville.

In September, Pope Francis made his long-awaited visit to the United States. He canonized Franciscan Junipero Serra on September 23. A Vocation Discernment weekend was held at Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. The attendees were able to witness the ministry at the Shrine, participating in devotions and prayers with the many pilgrims.

In October, we celebrated the Feast of Our Holy Father Francis. On October 17, Friar Bryan Hajovsky was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend John Stowe, OFM Conv. We had two vocation discernment events – one in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, and one in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

A great turnout for the Vocation Discernment Weekend at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, NM
A great turnout for the Vocation Discernment Weekend at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, NM

November gave us much to be thankful for. In Indianapolis we joined with many other vocation directors and youth from across the country for the National Catholic Youth Conference.

Photos by Friar Tony Martinez
Photos by Friar Tony Martinez

In December we prepared for the Nativity of Christ and celebrated Christmas with great joy. January brought snow and more celebrations. The Most Reverend Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, ordained Friar Nicholas Wolfla to the permanent diaconate.

We have many vocation events planned for 2016. If you know someone who make a great Friar please share this 2016 Vocation Retreats Brochure with them.

Thank you again for your support. Please continue to join us in prayer for our men in formation and for all those discerning religious vocations.