Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara spent the week giving thanks because it's at the heart of what it means to be Franciscan and a Catholic Christian.  We see all of life as "Gift". We are thankful for this gift and in turn share it with others out of gratitude.  To give thanks is at the heart of our Catholic faith.  Which is why the Church calls us a Eucharistic People because Eucharist is Greek for thanksgiving.  We are called to be a people of thanksgiving.  

Share and read the blog post, "Freely you have received, freely give" to reflect on the message of thanksgiving and how it relates to our common vocation to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.

Freely you have received, Freely give.

Peace and All Good,
Bro. Scott Slattum, OFM



Contact Information:

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email:  
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Faith Journey of Eddie Fronske, OFM

Fr. Eddie Fronske, OFM shares his faith story with the Franciscan Renewal Center (The Casa).  He was honored with their Peace Award.  The following is his acceptance speech given on September 21, 2014.

The Beginning
 
I am grateful and humbled to be receiving this peace award from the Casa today.  My Franciscan journey began here in 1954, when I made a men's retreat.  I'd never even heard of Franciscans before.  One morning I had served Mass for a friar, and when asking my dad who those guys were-Franciscans, and what they did, he signed me up for a men's retreat here at the Casa.  And at the end of the retreat, I was signed up for the seminary in Santa Barbara.

My parents, each of my eight brothers and sisters, and Isabel - whom I nicknamed 'Bika', who worked for the family during my childhood, have had - and still have - a wonderful influence on my friar journey, as have the friar community.  In 1967 I was ordained in my home parish of Nativity, in Flagstaff.  I told my family I was going to pray for snow so people would remember - 83 inches!  My little sister, Beth, met me at the train station with:  "You overdid it!

Work with Cesar Chavez

My first assignment was Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Delano, California.  Bishop Manning asked the friars to take over because of the escalating tension there.  So, I went from the theology classroom to Delano - no year of intership for me!  The Farmworker Union under Cesar Chavez's wonderful leardership, had its hands full with the strike.  Cesar had a gift of leadership and a passion for justice like I'd never seen.  You would never know he only had an 8th grade education.  His commitment to nonviolence equaled his passion for justice.  His deep faith, which I got to witness on many occasions, truly inspired me.  His love for our Lady of Guadalupe was like none I'd ever seen.

But what most challenged and inspired me was his passion for justice.  I remember when a couple of ruffians from another union - who gave the farmworkers a hard time - got into a fight with each other and were arrested, roughed up in jail and given a heavy fine.  Cesar heard of it, and sent two of his lawyers to take their case.  The fine was lessened and each of the men giving an apology.  This was hard for the young union members to handle, and even threatened the union's unity.  But Cesar did not budge.  I believe one or two of those men became Cesar's bodyguards.  Cesar's faith and courage, the farmworkers' loyalty in the midst of so much violence and injustice, had a profound effect on me!

Work with Undocumented Immigrants 

Though I'd asked to go to the Apache nation, my next assignment was Las Vegas, to live in the Black ghetto and minister to the Hispanic parish of St. Christopher.  On arrival, I was asked to take a vacated parish out in Overton, sixty miles north of Las Vegas.  Here I ministered to St. John's parish, half Anglo, half Hispanic.  Invitations to baptize from an area north of Overton, introduced me to a community of undocumented Catholic families, and I began having Mass in a little motel, room 6, which we called the cathedral of Cristo Rey.  Soon I was ministering to undocumented families in the wider area.  How I cam to love them!  On one occasion there was a raid, during which  the immigration officers flagrantly broke the law.  I was enraged!  We met that night in one of the homes that had been affected.  As I sat there, I was thinking: Let's just get one of them and show them that they can't hurt people like that.  Imagine!  I had said nothing as I sat simmering, but the mother, whose house it was, looked directly at me and said:  "Father, as long as you hate immigration people, you're no good to us.  You have to help us fight their injustice, but you have to love them, or you can't help us."

Work with the Apache American Indians

You see what great teachers I had!  They prepared me for the ministry I am in, and have been for the last thirty-one years, pastor of one, and then three White Mountain Apache parishes.  And what great teachers they have been!  I can vividly remember sitting in the hospital emergency room with a mother whose daughter had been shot through both legs at a dance.  Her mother said to me when I came and sat next to her:  "Father, I'm trying to forgive the man who shot my daughter, but I am having a hard time!" Talk about teachers!

With Pope John Paul II's visit in the 1980s, I heard him apologize to the Native Americans for our misunderstanding and persecution of their religious beliefs and traditions.  He asked for forgiveness and told them to go back to their own spirituality, which was given by God and sacred, and bring those tradition to Christianity so both could be enriched. What an incredible blessing that was!  And my bishop, Pelotte, our first Native American bishop, encouraged me to combine the two spiritualties as much as I could.  Again, what a blessing!  How it has enriched our liturgies!  And I've been invited to participate in their ceremonies, and been so enriched by them!  As the Pope and Bishop encouraged, we use parts of their spirituality in our Eucharistic celebrations; they use our rituals - blessings, Eucharistic, prayers - as part of their ceremonies.

In the 31 years I have been with the White Mountain Apaches, I've seen so much injustice and prejudice, so much oppression, from within and without.  I have seen their woundedness, divisions and addictions.  I see them struggle to keep alive their sacred traditions and ceremonies.  

And I have been so blessed by a number of parishes,  including here at the Casa, and St. Thomas More in Glendale.  You help Anna - who has ministered with me for over 11 years - and me, to reach out to those in great need, and great need there is!  Because we have won the trust of so many in the community, we are in a position to reach out.  We do so with the help and support you give us.  For example, the food cards you have sent, are so important, and enable us to be there in a quite, sometimes critical way to help ease some of their burdens.  We have won the trust of so many, Catholic and non-Catholic.  But without your most generous support, we would be helpless to reach out to them. 

And they have been such an inspiration in so many ways.  One of our parishioners, Deedee, came upon a scene where an inexperienced driver from the Valley had slid off the road in the snow and hit a tree.  Deedee was the first on the scene.  She stopped, saw that the mother - the driver - was dead, and that her son was in bad shape in the back seat.  Her prayer of what to do was answered by the Lord asking what she would want someone to do if that were her and her son in the back seat.  So, she crawled in the back seat, held the boy and began to sing to him in Apache.  They boy later told the doctor who was stitching him up that an angel had come along, crawled into the seat with him and sang to him, but he didn't know what she was singing.  Years later, as her own son was dying, after two lung transplants, I was there as she held him in her arms and sang to him:  "This little love of mine, I'm going to let him shine..."  She is now in our music ministry. 

Reverse Mission

I have been so blessed to have been with the White Mountain Apaches for these 31 years!  The Apaches in our three parishes have embraced me - and now Anna - so well; have been such wonderful teachers.  An now we have begun bringing in outside groups for an immersion experience that has dramatically influenced the lives of those who come!  This now includes friars in our formation programs.  I call it "reverse mission":  "those who used to receive the missionaries, are now the missionaries, and the role of the missionary - me - is to build a bridge of trust so others can come and experience the richness of their lives and spirituality."  Reverse mission is truly one of my passions!

I am deeply touched by this award!  It came as a complete surprise, and it will encourage me to continue to work in the midst of such overwhelming odds.  My love and respect for my teachers, mentors, friars, and friends along the way, makes me most grateful to our provident and loving God, who writes so well with crooked lines.  Thank you for this most amazing gift!

Jesus, Francis, Cesar Chavez, Fr. Alan McCoy, my undocumented brothers and sisters, my fellow friars, the White Mountain Apaches, my family and many friends, have reminded me that each of us is called to struggle for peace and justice in our very hurting world.  Each of us is gifted.  Each of us is a part of a faith community; we can, and are called to witness, pray, and continue to work for peace and justice.  Jesus encourages us:  "With Me you can do all things."  So, as my father St. Francis told us:  "Preach always, and if necessary, use words."

Thank You!
 
Contact Information:

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email: 
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org




Monday, November 17, 2014

Peace and All Good

The Meeting of St. Francis and the Sultan
Once there was a war and two armies came together in battle. They fought from the time the sun came up in the east till it set in the west. When the day was at a close, only two warriors remained, surrounded by their dead comrades covered in the blood and gore of war.

They stood facing each other, so exhausted from death that they could barely move. Finally one said, “Let us rest until dawn and then finish this fight and only one will go home.” The other warrior agreed.

And so they took off their dented helmets and unstrapped their shields and sheathed their swords. They lay down among their fallen comrades only a few feet apart from each other. But they were so weary that they could not sleep. It was the weariness that comes with too much killing. Finally one turned to the other and spoke.

“I have a son at home in my village and he plays with a wooden sword. Someday he wants to grow up and be like me.”

The other man listened and finally replied, “I have a daughter at home and when I look into her eyes I see the youth of my wife.”

The two men started to tell each other stories. Stories of their families, their villages, their neighbors, the old stories that they learned at their grandparents’ knees when they were young. All night long they told stories till the sun started to creep to life in the east.

Slowly they stood and put on their helmets. They buckled on their shields and drew their swords. They looked deep into each others’ eyes and slowly sheathed their swords and walked away, each to his own home.

This story is called, "The Two Warriors" by Dan Keding and highlights a fundamental understanding of promoting peace for Franciscan.  Peace comes through relationships of mutuality based on justice (Read: Promoting Justice) . As Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara we are dedicated to promoting peace.  What is the scriptural understanding of peace?

The Hebrew word for "peace," shalom, is a blessing of God that provides wholeness, balance, completeness, health and happiness (Lev 26:6). Peace also means the absence of hostilities and war (Josh 10:1-4; Rev 6:4).  This is the salvation that Franciscan friars ask and desire for all people:  "May the Lord give your peace."  This would become Francis' greeting and his desire for all, "Peace and All Good."

If you are interested in our way of life you'll need to test your abilities and clarify your desires to serve the poor and marginalized by promoting peace.  You'll need to start by searching out opportunities to promote peace and learn about non-violent engagement.  To learn more about nonviolence visit Pace e Bene a peace ministry founded by Louie Vitale, OFM a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint Barbara.

As you volunteer or work in this field you'll again need to become aware of the movements of consolation and desolation before, during, and after engaging in the works of peace. As you reflect on your experience you'll ask:  Did I experience desolation?  Did I feel weary, dry and dissatisfied?  Did I feel consolation?  Did I feel cheerful and satisfied?  Was I able to engage in these activities with a joyful and generous heart?  These two movements well help reveal the movement of the Holy Spirit in your discernment process.  Read the blog post "Consolation and Desolation" for more information on using this discernment tool.

Next, take your experiences and engage in theological reflection.  Theological reflection is an essential ingredient in the process of spiritual discernment.  It holds the possibility of discerning God's presence and/or direction.  It's the process of standing before your experience 'open' to what may or may not be revealed through the lens of faith.  Read the blog post "Theological Reflection" for more information on using this discernment tool.

Next, share you experiences with your spiritual director and/or vocation director.  This person will listen to your story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine.  They will also help you discern between your voice, the world (family, culture, and society) and God's voice within your experiences and theological reflection.  Read the blog post "Spiritual Direction" for more information on using this discernment tool.

Lastly, remember to be nourished by the Word and the Eucharist at Mass in order to be sent forth in mission to love and serve the Lord.  Read the blog post "Freely You Have Received, Freely Give" for more information on why Mass is important for discernment.

At this stage in the journey you are trying to put on the "habit" of serving the poor and marginalized by living in and promoting peace and non-violent engagement.  You're trying to see if you have the abilities and the desire to work for peace as a religious brother or priest.  This work is not easy, but it's the love of God that sustains and nourishes us in this work.

Peace and all good,
Bro. Scott Slattum, OFM
 
Listen to this Radio Pod Cast:  St. Francis and the Sultan
 
In 1219, St. Francis went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan. This radio podcast explores some aspects of this encounter and how the meeting of St. Francis and the Sultan can serve as a model of peace and brotherhood. 
 
Personal Reflection:
 
To begin the discernment process you'll need to reflect upon your abilities, talents, and experiences.  Then you'll ask, "Can these gifts be used in the mission of the Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara to promote peace for the poor and marginalized?"  How have you or will you promote peace in your community?

Contact Information:

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email: 
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Faith Story of Br. Phillip Polk, OFM

In the distance I can hear the sound of church bells echoing throughout town.  This was our sign to start the short walk down the street to St. Charles for Sunday Mass.  At times I can still hear my Grandfather's voice, "Come on, let's get going."  It was a short walk that would have a lasting and profound effect on my life. 

On our Sunday morning walks to gather with the Apache Catholic community, my grandfather would always ask me one question:  "How are you doing?"  He said it with real concern, and not as a way to make small talk.  I would share my struggles and some of the joys I was experiencing in my young chaotic life.  He would share his stories of hardships he experienced growing up in a similar situation.  No matter what, he would always remind me how much he loved me, and I always knew it, not by his words, but by his concern and care.

This short journey I shared with my grandfather shaped me into the person I am today.  It was on this journey that I experienced the meaning of God and what God's love is really about.  Now I wish to journey with others, as my grandfather journeyed with me, so that they too might have an encounter with the love of God.  

I recently graduated from Holy Names University with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies and I'm currently studying at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif. as part of my formation and education in preparation for the priesthood.

Br. Phillip grew up on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona.  He is the first American Indian to take solemn vows with the Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara.  The friars have ministered on the San Carlos' reservation for over 100 years.  This past August he made solemn vows.


Br. Phillip Polk, OFM and three other bothers make solemn vows.

Contact Information:

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Faith Journey of James Seiffert, OFM

Childhood Journey

Br. James' childhood was spent in New York in the ethnic and religiously diverse Bronx with his German Irish family.  He attended primary school with the Carmelite Fathers. However, it would be Sr. Michelle, a Sister of Mercy, who would awaken him to a faith expressed through joy.  Sr. Michelle snuck her third grade class into a local performance of "Up with People."  Their joy filled songs and celebration of life made a deep impression on James.
 
 
Years later when James' family moved to the suburbs of Long Island he began to attend CCD.  It would be music that enkindled his desire to serve others.   His Confirmation class sang Christmas carols at the local nursing home.  James saw the impact this had on the residents.  This would be the start of his desire to serve others, especially the sick and elderly.

James' high school years were spent in Georgia.   His father moved the family there for work.  He describes the relocation as moving to another country.  As a Catholic he became a minority in the South.  However, it would be there that his faith would grow.  Baptist friends asked him if he was born again.  He said, "That question started the conversation about what I believed."

Adult Journey
After high school James' family moved to Florida where he attended community college.  It would be here that he would be introduced to the charismatic movement of the 70's and 80's.  After reading an article in the local Catholic newspaper he attended a talk by a  Catholic nun.  Little did he know this nun happened to be Mother Angelica from EWTN.  Her talk was a light hearted presentation on the twelve apostles and was filled with music and prayer.  After the presentation Mother Angelica prayed over James and he experienced the joy and love of the Holy Spirit.  The Charismatic movement helped shaped his outlook and desire to pray for others, especially the sick.
After a stint as a physical therapist assistant he found himself working for United Airlines after he got the travel bug visiting his extended family in Germany.  His time in Germany was also a transformative moment.  As part of his travels he visited Lourdes for the Eucharist Congress and discovered the universal Church, her beautiful liturgies, and her care and compassion for the sick.

AIDs Ministry
After several years with United Airlines he was transferred to San Francisco. He attended Holy Redeemer Parish located in the Castro neighborhood.  His time at the parish coincided with the AIDs crises of the 80's.  He volunteered with the parish's AIDs Support Ministry caring for men dying of AIDs. 
James told the story of one client, Thomas a former school teacher, who was living in San Francisco.  At first James cleaned his home, cooked for him, and ran errands, but what Tom really desired was to talk.  They would talk for hours about philosophy, spirituality and God.  It would be in these conversations that James was first asked about becoming a religious brother or priest.  Through his airline benefits he accompanied several AIDs patients to Lourdes where they found peace and healing in the final days of their live.

Hospital Ministry
Later in the 90's James started attending St. Dominic Parish, a culturally diverse Dominican parish.  He served in the parish's sick and homebound ministry at the local hospital.  It would be his gentle care and presence at the hospital that got him noticed by the patients and the nursing staff.  He was often mistaken for the full-time chaplain.  He soon realized this could become a future career after his retirement.  He attended SFU and earned a degree in Philosophy and Religion to pursue his goal of becoming a hospital chaplain.
Due to an office closure at United Airlines James was transferred to Hawaii.  It would be here he would encounter his first Franciscan, Sr. Candida.  She recruited him to serve as a volunteer chaplain in the spiritual service department at their sponsored hospital.  He fell in love with Franciscan spirituality and its approach towards life.  When United Airlines offered him early retirement he took it, knowing it would free him up to attend graduate school, to pursue his retirement career as a hospital chaplain.  Sr. Candida told James, if he choose to return to Hawaii, she would have a chaplain job waiting for him.
Discovering a Franciscan Call

James returned to San Francisco and began looking at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.  He was especially looking at the Franciscan School of Theology.  However, he was also interested in the Franciscan Covenant Program run by the Province of Saint Barbara.  James became familiar with the program after meeting its directors at the LA Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, California.   He was attracted to the idea of living with the friars and experiencing their prayer and fraternal life.
James asked God for guidance while walking the streets of San Francisco.  His answer came in the form of a parked car's license plate.  It read "FRE 2 SRV" (Free to Serve).  He applied for the Covenant program and was assigned to Old Mission San Luis Rey.  He became their volunteer coordinator and museum manager.  
On James first day he hosted a group of military chaplains.  After spending the day with them they asked if he planned on becoming a Franciscan.  This was not an option; he was already over the age for applying.  He simply laughed it off.  Yet, he was confronted with this question not only from visitors, but from the staff, volunteers and parishioners at San Luis Rey.  His answer was always the same," I'm passed the age limit."
The Franciscan friars at Mission San Luis Rey began discussing amongst themselves too if James had a calling to religious life.  They couldn't help but experience his joy filled spirit he had towards life and the gentle presence he had towards others.  The friars decided to approach James with an invitation to consider discerning a vocation to religious life as a Franciscan friar.  The age limit was waived for him by the friars.
Answering the Call

After careful discernment James entered the friars' Postulancy program in the Fall of 2012 and made his first vows in the Summer of 2014.  Br. James now resides at St. Elizabeth Friary in Oakland, California.  He works as a chaplain with the homeless for "The Gubbio Project" and is researching graduate programs to pursue hospital chaplaincy.
When you meet Br. James you can't help but experience his exuberant joy and his love for the goodness of life; a seed first planted on the day Sr. Michelle broke the rules for him and his classmates, and took them to see "Up with People".  Little did he know forty years later the rules again would be broken for him, this time to allow him to become a real troubadour, a troubadour for Christ, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint Barbara. 
Br. James Seiffert, OFM with his novice classmates.
Contact Information:
Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email: 
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org


Monday, November 3, 2014

Promoting Justice

One summer in the village, the people gathered for a picnic. As they shared food and conversation, someone noticed a baby in the river, struggling and crying. The baby was going to drown!  Someone rushed to save the baby. Then, they noticed another screaming baby in the river, and they pulled that baby out. Soon, more babies were seen drowning in the river, and the townspeople were pulling them out as fast as they could. It took great effort, and they began to organize their activities in order to save the babies as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the babies, two of the townspeople started to run away along the shore of the river. “Where are you going?” shouted one of the rescuers. “We need you here to help us save these babies!” “We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in!”

This is a parable you might be familiar with, but illustrates parts of the mission of the Province of Saint Barbara.  As Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara we are dedicated to serving the poor by providing food, clothing, housing, and social services.  These activities are traditionally called the corporal works of mercy by the Church. It is our way to share the mercy and love of God and for us to experience the mercy and love of God through the poor and marginalized.  The peace prayer ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi beautifully illustrates this; it is in giving that we receive.   

This week we reflected on the second part of this parable, the two men running upstream to stop whoever is throwing the babies in the river.  As Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara we are dedicated to promoting justice.  What is justice? 

Justice is a central theme that is pervasive throughout the Bible.  Justice calls for the fair and equitable distribution of life's necessities.  The scriptural idea of justice is based in the truth that all human beings have dignity, worth and are children of God.  Therefore, God created human beings to live in a society of justice, in which everyone would receive everything necessary for life (Gen 1:29). 

The Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara work to address the structural causes in our society that prevent others from receiving what is necessary for life.  The prophets also declared that God defended the poor, the oppressed and those who had experienced injustice (Am 5:11-12).  This is our call as Franciscans too, to be defenders of the poor and marginalized.  However, we don't simply stop there, Jesus also proclaimed that the wealthy were obligated to see the poor and take care of them (Lk 16:19-31).  Franciscans work among the wealthy too; we help them see the marginalized and provide opportunities for them to share their time, talent and treasures in benefit of the poor.

We are all called to promote justice, but as Franciscan it is a central part of our life.  If you are interested in our way of life you'll need to test your abilities and clarify your desires to serve the poor and marginalized by promoting justice.  Start by searching out opportunities to promote justice.

As you volunteer or work in this field you'll again need to become aware of the movements of consolation and desolation before, during, and after engaging in each political action, march, rally, organizing event, etc...  As you reflect on your experience you'll ask:  Did I experience desolation?  Did I feel weary, dry and dissatisfied?  Did I feel consolation?  Did I feel cheerful and satisfied?  Was I able to engage in these activities with a joyful and generous heart?  These two movements well help reveal the movement of the Holy Spirit in your discernment process.  Read the blog post "Consolation and Desolation" for more information on using this discernment tool.

Next, take your experiences and engage in theological reflection.  Theological reflection is an essential ingredient in the process of spiritual discernment.  It holds the possibility of discerning God's presence and/or direction.  It's the process of standing before your experience 'open' to what may or may not be revealed through the lens of faith.  Read the blog post "Theological Reflection" for more information on using this discernment tool.

Next, share you experiences with your spiritual director and/or vocation director.  This person will listen to your story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine.  They will also help you discern between your voice, the world (family, culture, and society) and God's voice within your experiences and theological reflection.  Read the blog post "Spiritual Direction" for more information on using this discernment tool.

Lastly, remember to be nourished by the Word and the Eucharist at Mass in order to be sent forth in mission to love and serve the Lord.  Read the blog post "Freely You Have Received, Freely Give" for more information on why Mass is important for discernment.

At this stage in the journey you are trying to put on the "habit" of serving the poor and marginalized by promoting justice.  You're trying to see if you have the abilities and the desire to work towards justice as a possible religious brother or priest.  Through this process you will ultimately ask, "Am I called to love and be loved as a religious brother or priest through caring for the poor and marginalized by promoting justice?"

This work is not easy, but it's the love of God that sustains and nourishes us in this work.

Peace and all good,
Bro. Scott Slattum, OFM


Catholic disciples on mission are called to put Two Feet of Love in Action! This foundational tool describes two distinct, but complementary, ways we can put the Gospel in action in response to God's love: social justice (addressing systemic, root causes of problems that affect many people) and charitable works (short-term, emergency assistance for individuals).  Download the Program.

Personal Reflection:

To begin the discernment process you'll need to reflect upon your abilities, talents, and experiences.  Then you'll ask, "Can these gifts be used in the mission of the Franciscan friars of the Province of Saint Barbara to promote justice for the poor and marginalized?"  How have you or will you promote justice in your community?

Contact Information:

Franciscan Friars
Office of Vocations
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone:  (408) 903-3422
Email: 
vocations@sbofm.org
Facebook:  www.facebooks.com/SBFranciscans.Vocations
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/OFMvocation
Website:  www.sbfranciscans.org