OFM Vocation Directors 2019 Conference
From 4-9 September 2019, the English Speaking Conference of OFM Vocation Directors gathered in Mundelein, Illinois, at the Joseph and Mary Retreat House. The conference included a diverse group of Friars from provinces around the world, including the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Lithuania and Malta.
Amongst the Friars present was our UK delegate, Brother Donal Walsh OFM (front row, 3rd from left).
The purpose of the ESC Vocation Directors’ gathering was to encourage, support and enliven each other in our global vocation work and, at the same time, work to bring about renewal and fresh impetus to the witness of the Friars Minor around the world.
In addition to the work at hand, the Friars were given keynote presentations from Brother Dan Horan, OFM and Sister Debbie Borneman, both of the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.
During an afternoon break from the full meeting schedule, the Friars enjoyed an architectural boat tour of Chicago and an Italian dinner, thanks to the hosts: Sacred Heart Province.
The conference concluded with a community Mass celebrated by Erasmo Romero, OFM (Our Lady of Guadalupe Province) and Sebastian Sandoval, OFM (St. Barbara Province) who gave the homily.
Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province, Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province, Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province, Guadalupe Franciscan Province, Franciscan Custody of Britain, Franciscan Friars Province of Saint Barbara, Franciscans Province of Ireland, Franciscan Province of Lithuania, the new Franciscan Province E+W of Canada and the Franciscan Province of Malta.
This was followed by a combined Conference of the four families of Friars - Conventuals, Capuchins, Third Order Regular and Friars Minor - at the Techny Retreat Center, Illinois, to consider in particular the assessment and selection of candidates for Religious Life.