(l-r) Fr. Gabriel Bakkar, Vocation Director; Br. Pius Gagne; Mark Ames (California); Rusty Montgomery (Nebraska); Simeon Lewis (Vermont); Eric Pesce (Pennsylvania); Eric Chloupek (Nebraska); Adam Boyden (Ohio); Andrew Pasternack (Ohio); Anthony Redfield (Delaware); Brendan Laracy (Massachusetts); Br. Aloysius Mazzone; Fr. Luke Fletcher, Postulant Director
From the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal website:
Grace and peace to you!
On September 8th, the Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, the friars and sisters gathered to receive and welcome our nine new postulant brothers. Earlier in the day, the sisters gathered to do the same for their six new sister candidates, who will become postulants in February. Thanks be to God for his grace and mercy at work in the lives of our new brothers and sisters! Thanks be to God for this abundant harvest of vocations for the Church. Thanks be to God for their simple “yes” because it was through one particular “yes” that the Creator of the universe took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
The men and women who join us each year are for us a real sign of God’s provision, mercy, and grace. This day is for us an opportunity to grow in a humble awareness of God’s blessings. The Lord increases our numbers, he multiplies our works, he gives us his joy, he anoints us with his Holy Spirit, he disciplines us as his sons and daughters, and he leaves us with his peace and joy even during the most difficult struggles – often with our own sinfulness.
Please pray that we learn more and more each day that it is only through God’s grace and mercy that he chooses to bless us as he does. Whatever good we do is not ours but is his alone. The Lord clearly has no problem using weak and rusty tools to carry out his work, because he certainly knows our faults, failures, and sinfulness. Let all the glory be his…please pray that we do not take any for ourselves!
Please pray for our nine new brothers who will now begin the six-month formation period prior to becoming friar novices, and the first stage of their lifelong formation period prior to becoming friar saints.
May Jesus and Mary reign in our hearts!
Br. Aloysius Marie Mazzone, CFR
St. Joseph Friary