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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Picture of Michael Charron

Michael_charronMichael stopped by after work this evening and I rectified my goof and got a picture of him.

As I posted a few days ago, Michael was accepted last Saturday for the Postulancy Program of our province. He will begin with us July 1, 2008

Picture from workshop in Chicago

2008_groupWhile I haven't got a picture of our new Postulant-to-be, Michael Charron, yet (hopefully I will have one tomorrow) I did get this group shot of the Male Spirituality and Sexuality workshop ready for publication. (See the post on the workshop below.)

The guys actually look like they were enjoying themselves!!!!

They truly were a good bunch to work with and I appreciate the opportunity I had to spend time with them.

Michael Charron approved for Postulancy

Saturday, January 26, the Admissions Board of Saint John the Baptist Province approved the application of Michael Charron to join the Postulancy Program on July 1, 2008. Michael is a native of Cincinnati and is presently an employee of Fifth/Third Bank. He is 32 years of age and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Paralegal Certificate from the University of Cincinnati.

Michael is very active in the parish that is connected with our provincial headquarters in the inner city of Cincinnati. He has a reputation at the parish of always being willing to help. He is attracted to the Franciscans because our work with the poor and our focus on relationships.

We welcome Michael as our newest Postulant-to-be.

(I apologize for not having a picture of Michael to attach to this post. I will try to rectify that situation within a couple of days.)

January Newsletter from the Vocation Office

Here is the latest news of a busy Postulancy Program for Saint John the Baptist Province.

Download january_2008_newsletter.pdf

Retreat at Gethsemane

Geth_sign_2The week prior to our trip to Chicago for the Male Spirituality Monestery_distantand Sexuality workshop, the Postulants and their two directors, Frs. Carl Langenderfer, O.F.M. and Frank Geers, O.F.M., made a five day retreat at Gethsemane Abbey in Kentucky. This is an annual event; part of the Postulancy Program.

Merton_graveThomas Merton, the well-known spiritual write of a  few decades ago, was a member of the Gethsemane community and is buried there on the abbey grounds.

Monestery_hallWhile I did not accompany the group on this retreat, their Gardencomments lead me to believe that the austerity and quiet of the monastery and grounds lend themsleves well to contemplation and prayer. Our guys returned enthused about their experience yet happy to come home to our Franciscan lifestyle.

Dan Helfrich took the pictures featured in this post.

"Male Spirituality and Sexuality Workshop

ClassroomUno_game_two Again this year I am offering a workshop in Male Spirituality and Sexuality to our postulants along with the postulants from three other Franciscan provinces and from one province each from the Conventuals and Capuchins. There are sixteen postulants in all and four Postulant Directors attending. The upper left picture is a shot in our classroom and on the right we see Fr. Carl Langenderfer, O.F.M., Director of Postulants for our province, playing UNO with some of the postulants.

Dan_martin_and_michaelJust before watching and discussing a movie this evening, Dan Helfrich, one of our postulants, found a moment to do a little reading. The week has been very busy beginning Tuesday evening and running morning, afternoon, and evening the past two days. We will finish up Friday by lunch.

"Come and See" Weekend

Nathan_ribarNathan Ribar from Monroeville, PA (left) and Andrew Wood ofAndrew_wood Columbus, OH (right) joined our community this weekend of a Come and See. Nathan had a bit of a traumatic trip here traveling by bus. It seems a suspicious package was discovered and the bus was pulled over in Cambridge, OH for over four hours. Andrew was good enough to wait change his plans and meet Nathan at the bus depot to get him here for the weekend. They arrived late, but all went well once they arrived.

It was good having these two men with us. The Postulants had just returned Friday from their retreat at Gethsemane in KY. (I am waiting for some photos from that event to post on this blog.) They were happy to welcome others who are discerning a vocation with us.

An Asian Connection

Fr. Dan Kroger spent many years in the Philippines working first as a mission priest and then as a teacher. He is presently back in the States serving as the CEO of Saint Anthony Messenger Press, one of our evangelization ministries. His former student Miss liu Ran writes:

Dear Fr.Don,
I'm Miss liu Ran, a Chinese from Mainland China, when I was doing a internet ture, suddenly,your beautiful blog was appeared on my screen. how wonderful messager and humor person you are! I like your blog. do you know Fr.Dan.Kroger's email? I was his student in De La Salle University in Manila. I lost communication with him for almost a year. like to say my best regards to him. Happy Birthday and Happy New year!!!
thank you for your blog.

Retreat at Gethsemane

Our five Postulants and their Directors will be leaving tomorrow morning (Monday, January 7) for a five day retreat at Gethsemane Monastery in southeastern Indiana. I would ask that you pray for the Spirit's guidance as they enter into this contemplative week. They are all excited about this opportunity to experience a quiet solitude; may the Lord bless them with peace and joy.

Dan's Parents comment

Postulant Dan Helfrich's parents joined us for Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning and again on New Years. They came to pick up their son for his week-long break and visit home. They comment:

This was a Christmas I will never forget. We had the opportunity to be at St. Anthony's for Christmas and New Years while we shuttled our very own Postulant, Daniel, home to IL and back. Brother Gene's decorations were so beautiful...Christmas everywhere!  We are blessed to have a son on his journey to be part of this wonderful community. Happy New Year!
Love & Peace,
Bev & Gary Helfrich