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

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