Saturday, May 30, 2009

Profession of First Vows

Br. Jeffrey Wilson, T.O.R., took his first vows for our community on Saturday, May 30th. He was accompanied byBr. David Sheehan, T.O.R., who took vows from the Sacred Heart Province. In attendance were Br. Jeffrey's Father, Ken, and many friars and friends from around the area. The celebration was very well done and both Jeff and David are wonderful additions to both communities. May God bring to completion the great work he has begun in them!

Investiture Ceremony

On Friday, May 30th, 2009, Christopher Szarke and Matthew Hillman from our community were joyously received into the Novitiate. For those not familiar with this year, it is the first "official" year of membership in the community. It is a fairly intense period of prayer, discernment, spiritual direction and learning about the Franciscan heritage as well as the vowed life. Both of them bring many life experiences to the community and lively personalities which will no doubt make for a wonderful novitiate year. The friars of St. Bridget's in Minneapolis enjoyed spending the previous year with Christopher and Matthew and will miss the both of them. May God shower down upon them many blessings! Pat, TOR

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blessing of Community Garden

On Thursday, 5/28, Fr. Christopher Panagoplos, TOR, led a blessing service for the community garden and community supported garden at St. Bernardine's Monastery. Our Provincial, Fr. Anthony, Fr. Eugene, and our Development Director, Tim Beresnyak were also on hand to represent the community. The service and blessing was well-received and the persons in attendance kept going on and on about the blessing that our property has been for so many in the area. It is quite apparent that our community is making quite a positive impact on the local community through these gardens. Attached to this update are some pictures of the volunteers working the community supported garden. The volunteers pictured and a number of others have done a tremendous job of planning the garden and planting it. We have a couple more plantings to do and than comes the fun part: watering and weeding! However, with so many volunteers and so much enthusiasm, the work promises to be made easier and even delightful. If you have a chance, come out and visit us this summer! Peace and good! Pat, TOR

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Walk in the Park

Peace and good! We've had some really beautiful days here in Minnesota as of late. Part of what is so great about living in Minnesota are the many parks, trails, and nature preserves. The city of Minneapolis is truly a green city with a great deal of natural habitat set aside for outdoor recreation. I've posted some photos of a nearby nature preserve - it's one of my favorite places to escape for a bit of R&R and to contemplate God's beauty as revealed in and through the natural world. Enjoy! Fr. Pat, TOR

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Community Supported Garden Springing Forward!!

Peace and good!

Sorry it's been a little while since the last entry....I've been playing "catch up" here in the office and resonding to a number of NEW vocation inquiries! There are two in particular that seem rather promising so please say a prayer of thanksgiving for those young men who are responding to the stirrings of the Spirit in their life. You may be interested to know that our Care for Creation initiative (which has been labeled "C4C") is off and running! We currently have a roster of 75 persons who attended the March 31st and May 2nd meetings or who have come on board by contacting us directly. Out of this 75, we have around 38 gardeners! This is a good deal more than what we originally hoped for (24). There has certainly been a tremendous response to our initial foray into the organic gardening and care for creation field. I say "initial foray" very deliberately because we are still in the "pilot project" phase of this proposal. Basically, we are beginning to develop community, leadership, and programming around the model of a community supported garden. For the next two summers, we will work with volunteers from the local community to raise organic produce, to build community, and, above all, to communicate practical and spiritual values concerning the need to care for creation in an age of ecological crises. Only after we have developed the support within our community and in the larger community, we have a team of friar(s) and others (likely Secular Franciscans) who will shepherd the project according to Franciscan values, we have an advisory board well established with the "know how" to manage the garden, will we take the next step of looking for a farmer and moving from Community Supported Gardening to a Community Supported Agriculture model. It's important to know that it will take a little time to work all of this out but the initial response on the part of the larger community has surpassed our expectations! Please keep this initiative in prayer. Attached to this email are some pics of some of the volunteers with more to come this summer! If you get a chance to see what we are up to this summer and live close by, please come on out! Blessings, Fr. Pat, TOR

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal (Vocation Office Update)

Recently a vocation prospect named David Brickman (pictured) visited our friars in PA and WV. David had an excellent visit and wanted me to relay his thanks to all the friars who received him with such graciousness and hospitality. Please keep David in your prayers. Regarding the "goings on" in the vocation office, I am currently processing the applications of Corey Smoot and Bob Haw. They are making application for postulancy in the fall. Additionally, we have invited three persons to join our aspirancy program (two others are interested and may be invited depending on how their initial visits go in May and September). The names of those who are interested are Gerry, Daniel, Pierre, Octavio, and Jason. Please keep them in prayer as well. Hope "springs" eternal! (pun intended). Thanks to all the friars once again in PA and WV for making such a good impression on David! Blessings, Fr. Pat

April Showers....

Hi Everyone!

It's been a little while since the last blog entry.....sorry 'bout that! I just got into town about four days ago after over a month of being gone and am playing a bit of catch up! Here are some flowers that recently sprung alongside our parish in Altoona, PA (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel). It's really quite beautiful in central PA right now! (though I hear they haven't been getting much sun). Pat, TOR