Walking with Hope

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    Friar Photos

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    Friar Sightings Map

  • Joshua Van Cleef
    Joshua Van Cleef
    “This pilgrimage is about the abundance of life offered in simplicity, in relationships, and in trusting in God.”

  • Richard Goodin
    Richard Goodin
    "Pilgrimage as a lifestyle is resurfacing within the Order; it is a penitential and radical way of completely relying upon the grace of God."

  • Clifford Hennings
    Clifford Hennings
    "I desire to hold nothing within my breast other than the love which I have been blessed by the Lord to receive, so that I have nothing to give but Christ’s perfect charity."

  • Roger Lopez
    Roger Lopez
    “When all the basic necessities of life are stripped away, one begins to see oneself, others and God in a different perspective, either positive or negative.”

  • Ed Shea, OFM
    Ed Shea, OFM
    "As a friar for over 25 years, I have always dreamed about doing something like this. I thank God for these young friars and their passion – it’s contagious!"

  • Mark Soehner, OFM
    Mark Soehner, OFM
    “It seemed important [for me] as a formation director to accompany the deep desire of our younger friars to live out our charism in this way. For me personally, it will be a way to walk with Christ.”

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For some time I have been thinking and praying about my vocation. On Thursday July 23, the Lord gave me direction, encouragment, and hope in my vocation search. At about 3:30 pm I went to St. Leo's to pray Vespers and to pray about my vocation. When I opened the door and stepped into the Church vestibule, there were the 4 brothers taking a respite from their day of walking and also getting ready to pray Vespers! As Divine Providence allowed, two Campus Ministers from George Mason arrived at St. Leo's a few minutes after I did. They had a request of the friars: to speak about vocation discernment at their Thursday night gathering at 7 pm that evening. I was amazed and thrilled to see how these events were unfolding. I ended up spending the evening with the George Mason students and these 4 dedicated, passionate brothers; the time was spent praying, talking, and listening to the brothers tell their vocation stories. I thank God for the brothers and their vocations and for the special opportunity that He gave me!

Several weeks ago, Anna and Mark, two coordinators for the Catholic Campus Ministry at George Mason University, heard about this traveling group of Franciscans. They intended to arrange a visit for them to come and talk at TNG (Thursday Night Gatherings). They weren't going to be able to come.


Anna ran into them at St. Leo's and they said they'd love to come! They had a change in plans since we last spoke! So, we hosted the 4 Franciscan brothers last night. We shared a wonderful supper at Noodles and Co., filled with beautiful conversation. We then returned to St. Bellarmine Chapel to watch an episode of “God or the Girl” and to speak about vocations. As young people starting on the pilgrimage of life, we were not too different from these young men of God seeking their destination. They are a living example of unfaltering trust for the Lord and the love of God shone brightly upon all the young faces in that room. Their testimonies gave us food for our souls, with hopes of finding our vocations.

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