Hope this e-letter finds you all well. This year in the European region we’re introducing Come and See weekends. If you’re from North America and have visited St. Joseph’s Friary in New York, this style of visit will be familiar to you. In the European region however, we’ve had a number of visitors over the years to our friary in London, but many of the guys don’t get a chance to meet the others who are discerning with us. Brothers in Europe, you are not discerning alone! There are many other young men who are asking the same questions as you, and wrestling with the same fears and aspirations in discovering God’s will with joy and trust! The Wednesday to Sunday stay will hopefully allow for a more focused stay as you take another good step in the process of discernment.
A Come and See “weekend” will be offered in each of our friaries in England and Ireland.
The first one will be in Bradford at St. Pio Friary November 12th-16th, 2014.
The second will be in Limerick at St. Patrick’s Friary, February 4th-8th, 2015.
The others are planned for May and July in Derry, N. Ireland and in Limerick respectively.
Please call me at St. Pio Friary in Bradford, England if you’d like to come on any of our Come and See Weekends (0044-1274-721-989). I pray that they will be a helpful part of the journey for you in following in Jesus’ footsteps.
You are in our prayers,
Fr. Gabriel Joseph
Vocation Director, Europe.
With Fr. Benedict’s passing, I wanted to recommend to all of you a great book that Fr. Benedict wrote while accompanying a young man discerning and pursuing God’s call.
Father Benedict Groeschel had a great love for vocations. He helped many to discover and/or persevere in the will of God for them. One of them was a priest named Fr. Eugene Hamilton who became a priest in the final moments of his life. Fr. Benedict’s book, A Priest Forever (Our Sunday Visitor Press), tells Fr. Eugene’s story. If you can track it down, it is well worth the read…even if the diocesan priesthood is not your call.
With special permission from St. John Paul II, Eugene was ordained to the priesthood in the final hours of a long battle with terminal cancer. Fr. Eugene was young. Fr. Eugene wanted to do God’s will. With all of his heart (toto corde) St. John Paul II gave his permission that Eugene be ordained a priest, even if only lived out in this life for a very short period. St. John Paul II knew that to do God’s will, even if only lived out briefly in this life was worth more than a thousand lives lived doing one’s own thing. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Eugene Hamilton was ordained a priest 3 hours before he passed from this life into the next, a priest forever.
Be assured of our prayers brothers and of our support as you discern God’s will.
St. Francis, pray for us. St. John Paul II, pray for us.