Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Easter Greeting from Br. James Seiffert in Vietnam: Chúc Mừng Phục Sinh!


“Chúc Mừng Phục Sinh!” -that is,  “Happy Easter!”  in Vietnamese.  I have been at the novitiate in Dalat Vietnam now for several weeks.  Dalat is about an 8-hour bus ride north central from Saigon.  It is situated in a mountainous area, where the climate is temperate rather than tropical.  It's delightful being here with the cool temperatures and the abundance of a variety of flowering plants and pine forests.

In former days, Dalat was the resort town for the French colonists.  You can still see the French influence by the architecture and the many gardens that can be found in the area.  The novitiate has its share of beautiful gardens with a view of the surrounding mountains as well.   


My days are spent with the community of novices in prayer, work, and some English classes.  I have spent time doing all kinds of work that I have never done before!  I have worked on the farm with planting, feeding rabbits, chickens, and pigs.  The novitiate is  largely supported by its various nurseries, which employ some 60 workers  These are flower nurseries, whereby the flowers are sold to various businesses in the area.  I am always amazed at everything the novices are able to  do-- from building a hermitage by themselves to maintaining the grounds and novitiate buildings. 

This Easter has been especially significant for me in that I renewed my vows at the novitiate here  in Vietnam.  It has caused me to reflect on how I have responded to the Lord's call.  A lot of my response has been to let go of control and to surrender to what God has invited me to.  I am truly thankful for the life-changing and life-giving experiences I have had so far a friar living here.


Br. James Seiffert is a temporary-professed friar with the St. Barbara Province. He currently is on a mission assignment, staying with the friars in Vietnam. Br. James joined the Franciscans in 2012 and made his first profession of vows in 2014. To read about his life journey prior to joining the Friars, go to http://sbvocations.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-faith-journey-of-br-james-seiffert.html

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
1500 34th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email:  vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/SBFranciscans
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Brother Keith Warner's Vocations Story

Bro. Keith Warner, OFM is a member of the St. Barbara Province. He currently works at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA and serves as Director of Education and Action Research at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship (http://www.scu-social-entrepreneurship.org). In this video, he shares his vocations story and how the Franciscan social justice and intellectual tradition have influenced his journey as a Friar.



Peace and all good!

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
1500 34th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email:  vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:    www.twitter.com/SBFranciscans
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Vocations with Br. Michael Perry, OFM

In discernment you'll need to arrange opportunities to spend time with us.  You can join us for evening prayer or our community Mass.  You can eat and laugh with us at dinner.  You can spend a weekend with us.  You can visit our ministry sites with other friars.  You can spend time recreating with us.  We like to have fun!  It will be in the context of sharing your life with the friars that you'll be able to discern your desire to live in fraternity as a Franciscan friar.  For additional resources, on discerning if you are called to live in fraternity, read our blog post:  The Lord Gave Me Brothers.
 
Enjoy this wonderful video with our Minister General, Br. Michael Perry, OFM regarding vocations to religious life.
 

Br. Michael Perry, OFM, our Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, discusses the importance and effectiveness of personal invitation and organically developed discernment communities to help foster vocations to the religious life.


Peace and All Good,
Bro. Scott Slattum, OFM

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
1500 34th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email:  
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Podcast:  www.discernthecall.podomatic.com
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org

Friday, January 15, 2016

May I Ask You a Question?

He was standing by my table with his infant daughter and young son.  He kept looking back at me.  I’ve grown used to this experience, and at first I thought he was just enamored by seeing a religious brother wearing a habit, but as it turns out, he was actually building up the courage to ask me a question.  Do you know where I can get a shower for my children and myself?  He asked.  “Yes,” was my answer.  Do you know how I can find clothing for my son too?  He asked.  “Yes,” was my answer.  Based on his questions I then asked, “May I inquire where you and your children are sleeping?”  “Yes,” was his answer.

This young father and his children were sleeping in his vehicle.  He came to St. Anthony’s to feed his children, and left with hope.  My first goal was to connect him and his family with an overnight emergency shelter.  My second goal was to connect him with St. Anthony’s  Social Work Center where our social workers would connect him with services to support, stabilize, and improve the quality of life for him and his kids.

I was often privileged to be our guests’ first encounter with St. Anthony’s beyond our Dining Room.  I was stationed at our Social Work Center’s Information and Referral Cart, located within the dining room lobby on Mondays.  I listened, answered questions, provided information and connected our guests to services.  When I would see those same guests a few days later at our Social Work Center, my heart would rejoices.  I rejoice not only for the guests, but for the social workers, benefactors and volunteers who make this place possible.  In these moments I send up a prayer of gratitude and blessing for all involved in our sponsored ministry, St. Anthony Foundation.

It's these types of encounter that let me know I'm on the right track as a Franciscan friar.  It will be these types of encounter that will help you discern your calling, too.  Spend some time and review the blog post called, Consider Your Gifts to see if you are being called to love and be loved as a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint Barbara.

Peace and all Good,
Bro. Scott Slattum, OFM


A beautiful reminder of our ministry as Volunteers,
Staff and Friars at St. Anthony Foundation.

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
1500 34th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email:  
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Podcast:  www.discernthecall.podomatic.com
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org