This week I am participating in a Mega Conference of Franciscan Vocation Directors in Tampa, FL. It is called a "Mega Conference" because it includes the directors from the English Speaking Conferences of the Franciscans, the Conventual Franciscans, the Capuchin Franciscans, the Third Order Regular, and the Society of Atonement--all Franciscans of one sort or another. We meet every other year to share the benefit from some input, but mostly to share with each other. It is great to spend a week with fellow Vocation Directors, to share our hopes and dreams for our provinces, and to compare notes on what "works" in our ministries. There are twenty-five of us here including fellow Franciscans from England and Ireland.
Fr. Dominic Monti, O.F.M. from Holy Name Province in New York is our speaker. Dominic is an historian and gifted speaker. He challenged us this morning by making a distinction between imitating Jesus and following Him. The latter is by far the more difficult because it means internalizing the Spirit of Jesus and then letting the Spirit lead--something near and dear to the hearts of Saints Francis and Clare.
On a lighter note, my camera's batteries and the backups have failed so I'm seeking new batteries. In the meantime, I am sitting in the lobby of the Franciscan Center where we are meeting huddled with three other friars as we all attempt to use our wireless computers. The signal is very weak in most parts of the building, so here we sit together each operating our offices from afar. I guess that's how present-day friars operate. :-)
Once I get new batteries I'll post some pictures and further notes.