Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Best wishes to all who have graduated and are preparing to graduate in the weeks ahead.  Graduations are a time of commencement – new beginnings.  From the four year old graduates from preschool who are preparing for the most important year of schooling where they will learn everything they need to know to be successful for the rest of their life in Kindergarten!  To college graduates who are stepping out into society (or to further schooling to specialize) to put into practice a lifetime of learning.  Congratulations!  May you listen to the voice of God in your life, continually deepen your faith as a member of the Body of Christ, and respond to God’s call – your unique vocation — in your life.  The Friars of Holy Name Province extend an invitation to join us in putting the gospel of love into work as a Franciscan.  How much time do you have?

 A commitment of one year (usually recent college graduates)

The Franciscan Volunteer Ministry is a group of lay men and women, living in community who dedicate themselves to ministry in the Church in collaboration with the Franciscans of Holy Name Province.  Based on the Gospel message to express love in action, it provides an environment that fosters service to the marginalized, personal and interpersonal development, spiritual growth, and an active prayer life.  As a living witness to Gospel values and Franciscan ideals, the volunteer is committed to a simple lifestyle that promotes solidarity with the poor and builds a Christian Community with one another.  This experience with the aid of the Holy Spirit will nurture the volunteer to grow in Christ to become a leader in the Church.  For more info: www.franciscanvolunteerministry.org.

 A commitment of several years

Franciscan Mission Service provides Catholic lay women and men the opportunity to serve for a minimum of 2 years with poor and oppressed communities around the world.  We train, commission, and support missioners to serve others in a way that is respectful and honoring of cultural, religious, and personal differences.  For more info: www.franciscanmissionservice.org.

 A commitment of a life time

The Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province are men who choose to live a simple lifestyle in community. Ours is a life of prayer and service to the church and the world, modeled on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. We take vows to live in obedience, without property and in chastity according to the rule of St. Francis.  We are all brothers, some are ordained.  We serve a diversity of ministries: preachers, teachers, parish ministry, caring for the sick and aged, working for peace and justice, and ecology.  You will find us along the eastern seaboard, from New England to Florida and as far west as Buffalo, N.Y. We also serve in Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Japan and Taiwan.  For more info:  www.beafranciscan.org.

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany seek to live the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We witness to God’s love in the Franciscan tradition by living as sisters to all creation and by joyfully serving others, especially those who are poor or marginalized.  For more info:

www.alleganyfranciscans.org.

In the peace of Christ,

 Fr. Mark