Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
Father Don's Vocation Blog

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Back in Chilworth and on my way home to Cincinnati

Chiesa_nuova2I am back in Chilworth, England after spending a night in Rome and thenPorziuncola waiting at Fiumicino airport for four hours for a delayed trip back to London. Fr. Patrick, the Vocation Director for the British Province, kindly met me at Gatwick Airport in London and drove me back here last evening. I am using the friars' computer so I can relax and take the time to type this post. (I noticed a few typos in the last one which I did hurriedly in Assisi.)

The pictures above are of the interior of Chiesa Nuova which is a little church over the spot where Francis is purported to have been born and reared. I attended Mass there Sunday morning. The picture on the right is of the Porziuncola, the little chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, where Francis really founded the Order and outside of which he died. As you can see, the little chapel, which is one of the chapels that Francis rebuilt, is surrounded by a huge basilica which, to me, seems ironically ornate for a memorial to the simplicity in which Francis and the early friars lived at the Porziuncola. (I took the picture in a hurry "on the sly" so it isn't real clear.)

Dome_of_saint_peterSunday afternoon I took the train from Assisi to Rome and was again met at theCloseup_of_vatican Roma Termini by Fr. Joy Prakash, a friar from India, who proved to be a guardian angel for me on this trip. We took some VERY crowded buses back toward the Curia Generale (headquarters for the Franciscan Order) where I stayed while in Rome and met two other friars for a lovely outdoor dinner. (Brother Jim who is from the Sacred Heart Province in St. Louis, MO and Fr. Finian McGinn, the English speaking Councilor to the General Minister, who is from Santa Barbara Province in California.) When I got back to my room I tried again to get a night shot of Saint Peter's dome right outside my window and this time I succeeded. Yesterday morning I went out the front door of the Curia and took the daytime shot of the back of the basilica. While having breakfast, I met and talked with the General Minister of the Order. He is from Spain and speaks very good English, so we were able to communicate well.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I fly back to Cincinnati. I will offer a reflection on the pilgrimage when I get settled back into my office on Thursday or Friday. I leave you today with a few shots of Assisi: Clares_dormitory_at_san_damianothe dormitory at San Damiano where Saint Clare died, Passagewaya typical passageway Proof_that_i_was_thereconnecting two streets, the Rocca Maggiore as seen from the Piazza of Saint ClareRocca_maggiore_from_santa_chiara, and a "proof" that I was actually at the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli wherein is the Porziuncola. (The picture was taken by Ivan, the young man from Australia whom I befriended last Friday.)

Next post from the USA.


Michael Charron

These are great pictures. Thanks for praying. I'm looking forward to hearing about all this when I see you again.

Take care.

Ben Yockel

Hi Fr. Don,

Just wanted to say Nice Pictures. I hope I can visit those places in the future.


Peter Smith

Loved visiting Assisi. Lifelong dream but someone needs to tell the Franciscans there to lighten up. did not see one of them smile or laugh in public. not the way I read of St. Francis. they do a beautiful job of caring for his memory but he seemed like a pretty funny guy who would have laughed at men yelling "Silencio" all the time. Giving a blessing to a tour group passing by might be a nice habit to get into. Otherwise terrific place.

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