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.
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First day on the job

Franciscan_study_centre By forcing myself to stay up last night until 10:00 p.m. Canterbury time, I was able to get a good night's sleep and do not feel jet lag very much today. Actually I've felt pretty much awake and alert today in spite of the fact that I got up at 2:00 a.m. Cincinnati time. It'll take a couple of days to regulate my sleep schedule, but being here is worth it.

I didn't get out to take any pictures since I arrived. The weather has been awful. Yesterday, the day I arrived, it was cold and rainy all day. Today we did see the sun in the morning, but it is still cold and there are frost warning for parts of the country tonight. So I have been staying in and preparing classes and re-acquainting myself with the place and people that I know.

Today three Ethiopian Capuchins celebrated a Ethiopian Rite Eucharist for us. They did this last year asChapel_at_centre well. This year, however, they had a better handout so we could follow along. I always enjoy experiencing the other Rites of the Catholic Church. We of the Latin Rite sometimes forget that the Church is much bigger than just us. The Ethiopian liturgy is much more ornate and much longer. There is a good deal of catechesis built into the prayers. There is also much, much more congregational involvement. While I certainly feel more at home with the Latin Rite, it is good to have had the chance to celebrate Mass with my Capuchin Brothers from aother country and another Rite.

If the pictures look familiar, it is because I used them last year. They're repeats. :-)

Chris comments on my return to Canterbury and his upcoming move to the USA

Chris Leigh writes:

Welcome back to Canterbury!

I only wish the weather could have given you a warmer welcome.

I look forward to meeting your postulants Dennis & Richard in Cedar Lake, Indiana when I begin the novitiate there with them in June.

Chris Leigh (postulant, English Province)

(Chris will be joining our Postulants, Dennis Geib and Richard Goodin, and two from Sacred Heart Province in the Novitiate at the end of this month.  This is the first time that I know of that the English  Province has joined in our Interprovincial Novitate Program. Once again there is ample evidence of the fact that the Franciscan Order is truly international at heart.)

I made it!

I have made it to Canterbury with a reasonable case of jet lag. I will post more once I get settled and get some sleep.

All-Province Assembly Completed and I'm back on Line

NecrologyIn my last post, I was describing the afternoon of remembrance that we conducted on Tuesday. With the help of some PowerPointsEucharist and five "stations" throughout the room and with the list of all our  deceased friars sounding softly in the background, we remained in silent prayer for a couple of hours before celebrating the Eucharist.

Poor_clares_and_friars_gather_2 Thursday evening we moved to the campus Chapel where the Poor Fr_fred_leads_jubillee_mass_2 Clares joined us for a observance of those friars who are celebrating jubilees of their Profession of Vows and/or Ordination.

Sr_margaret Our week of prayer and fraternity had three speakers. Monday evening--before I lost an open port to the blog--I uploaded a Dr_clendenen2_2 picture of Fr. Jack Clark Robinson, O.F.M. The other speakers were Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., the President of Saint Bonaventure University (right), and Dr. Avis Clendenen, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Saint Xavier University in Chicago (left). Sr. Margaret addressed the recent trends and developments in Franciscanism as we move into the Post-Modern age and challenged us to live our Franciscan life with a vision to the future while Dr. Clendenen challenged us not to squelch the Spirit in our lives telling us that we do not have the right to extinguish the Spirit in others or in ourselves.

Below are some other pictures of the week.

Bob_and_joe    Robert_and_loren  Mark_on_cart Bro_scott Friars_singing

Sunday evening I fly to England to teach at the Franciscan International Study Centre for a month. You may remember that I began this blog last year when I went to Canterbury to teach ( I will continue when I arrive and get settled once again.

All-Province Assembly: Day Two

Unfortunately, I cannot upload any pictures tonight, but I can give a brief description of a fantastic day. We began the morning with prayer and discussion of Fr. Jack's talk from last night. This generated a good deal of energy and appreciation for what we learned and for the insights we gained into our past. We centered in on the courage and faith our founding friars had as well as the risk that our early missionaries took to get the Good News to God's people.

This afternoon we spent a few hours remembering those friars who have died and paved the way for us with their lives and ministries. We used looping PowerPoints to highlight the biographies of some of the friars. It is a little hard to describe, but there were five "stations" where you could go and watch a video in silence while the names of all of our deceased friars were being mentioned on a continuous soundtrack throughout the room. Each station represented a specific geographic area of the province. For and hour and a half the group was in silent prayer and remembrance. At the end we celebrated the Eucharist. it was very powerful.

This evening we heard Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., the president of St. Bonaventure University address us on where the Franciscan movement is going and how it is developing in the 21st century. Sister challenged us not to look to the past and try to relive a perceived utopian image of the early years of the Order, but to do what Saints Francis and Clare did and live the Gospel call in our lives. The consensus of the group was very exuberant and appreciative of her efforts.

All-Province Assembly: Day One

Group_2The Planning Committee and I arrived yesterday to get set up and to make the final preparations for the All-Province Assembly. We began with a morning Eucharist and breakfast at Denny's and then got to work setting up technological equipment, arranging the room, and preparing for registration. By 4:30 the friars were assembled and the program began. Fr_2 As Chair of the Planning Committee it was my privilege to calla the group together in prayer and to get things started. There are about 150 of us in attendance.

Fr. Jack Clark Robinson, O.F.M. of Our Lady of GuadalupeFr_jack_clark_4  Province was our evening speaker. Fr. Jack did a fantastic job of presenting the history of Franciscanism in the US. He used a creative image of an hour-glass showing the ebb and flow of various cultural movements and periods. Throughout it all, the Friars have been challenged to preach the Gospel in faith.

All-Province Assembly and Canterbury

The Franciscans of Saint John the Baptist Province will gather next week for an All-Province Assembly. This is primarily a fraternal gathering which is held every three years. I believe that I will have access to a wireless internet connection, so I intend to blog both pictures and commentary as the week progresses.

Then, on Sunday May 27, I will fly to London and proceed to Canterbury to teach as I did last year. Actually this blog was begun the day I left for Canterbury and Assisi last May. Once again I intend to blog the trip--although i pretty well saturated the blog with pictures last year. I'm sure the city hasn't drastically changed, but I intend to have some fun blogging once again.

So I'll see you next week at APA and the weeks following in England.

And then there were geese

GeeseDan Helfrich sends a picture of the new goose family. The last report post recorded that he had a goose living across the road from his home. Well, things have happened since then. :-)

We see Petunia, the skunk in our friary backyard, once in a while. She really doesn't pose well for pictures and no one has seen any little skunks. Maybe it's too early in the season. Come to think of it, we haven't seen any new deer either.

So much for the "critter" report. :-)

Zach comments on our renewal of Vows

Zach writes:

Dear Fr. Miller and brothers, Please know that I will pray for you as you renew your commitment to your vocation.

Five Make "Come and See" Weekend

May_2007_groupFive men interested in possibly joining the Franciscan Province of Saint John the Baptist participated in a Come and See weekend at St. Anthony Friary in Cincinnati May 4-6. Pictured at the left are David Pierre of Winchester, TN; David Carpenter of Glen Rose, TX; Ed Adams of League City, TX; Tom Snowden of Park Hills, KY; and Andrew Caruso of Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

Please remember these men in your prayers as they discern their calling. All are interested in living their baptismal commitment in service to others. The question they are wrestling with is whether or not God is calling them to do that as Franciscan Friars. Time and prayer will tell.