Fr. Jeff writes:
You are so quick! You posted the note about Andrew's profession within hours of the event! It was a great expereince for me to receive Andrew's profession in the name of the whole community. God is good. Thanks for your good work on this site.
In the presence of approximately 60 friars and a good number of family and friends gathered at our Provincial Headquarters, Friar Andrew Stettler, O.F.M. made his Profession of Vows for life. This is the final stage in his becoming a full member of the Franciscan Order. Among the friars in attendance were two classmates, Friars Jason Welle of the Assumption Province and Thinh Van Tran of Sacred Heart Province, who made their Solemn Profession of Vows in the recent weeks at their provincial headquarters.
In the blurry photo on the right (I hope to gt some better pictures from one of the friars soon and will post them), Andrew placed his hands into the hands of Provincial Minister Jeffrey Scheeler, O.F.M. promising to live the Rule and Life given to us by Saint Francis of Assisi. Father Jeffrey accepted Andrew's promise and promised him that, if he observes what he has vowed, he will receive Eternal Life.
Welcome Andrew and we promise you our prayerful support.
I'm old enough to remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. I remember Martin Luther King's address given on this date in 1963. I remember the hope that his I have a dream speech invoked in the hearts of all of us. I remember the heady, hopeful days of Kennedy's election and the tragedy of his and his brother's and King's assassinations.
As I watch the Democratic Convention this week I cannot help but think back on those days. There is a similarity with the 1960 Convention when John Kennedy was nominated and the country hoped again in a dream. I feel that once again the country feels that we have a dream of being what God has called us to be.
The fact that Hillary talked on the anniversary of the passing of the amendment to the Constitution that gave women the right to vote and the fact that Barack Obama will speak tonight on the anniversary of King's great speech cannot help but make me proud of how far our country has come--and make me aware of how far we have yet to go.
God has richly blessed this country and is continuing to do so. But we cannot be complacent and act as though somehow we deserve only the best. Freedom isn't free and graces come with responsibilities. I pray for our country and the electoral process into which we are entering. And I have hope in the dream of change and development that spurs us on to be what God is calling us to be.
Just before the Formation meeting, which I attended last month at St. Malo Retreat Center in Estes Park, CO, the Franciscans preparing to make their Solemn Profession of Vows met there for a month-long retreat. If I remember correctly, there were eleven retreatants. One of those Friars was Andrew Stettler, O.F.M. of our province. (Far left in picture. The others are Fr. Mark from our province and a couple of retreatants from another province.) The setting was very conducive for prayer and reflection as you can see in the post below which I did in late July. Andrew returned to his new assignment in Chicago after the retreat and is now preparing for his vow ceremony this coming Saturday, August 30 here in Cincinnati.
Earlier this summer our province celebrated the First Profession of one of our men, Friar Richard Goodin, O.F.M., as he completed his year of novitiate. Shortly after his profession at Cedar Lake, IN, nine new men entered the novitiate, five of them from our Saint John the Baptist Province. Then on July 1 two men entered our Postulancy Program here in Cincinnati.
Friars Andrew and Richard, the novices Friars Dan, Roger, Tim, Joshua, and Clifford, and our postulants Kevin and Michael all want to share our Franciscan dream of living the life of the Gospel according to the Rule given us by Saint Francis of Assisi. These nine men give us hope because they are young and generous and willing to listen to God's call.
Please remember them in your prayers. I will be attending Friar Andrew's Profession on Saturday and I hope to have some pictures and to do a posting shortly thereafter.
It may seem that I have fallen off the face of the earth--but I haven't. Shortly after our gathering at St. Malo in Estes park, CO I left on a vacation trip to my home in Illinois. I spent almost two weeks with my family and with some of the friars in Chicago. I also stopped by to visit with the new novices on my way home. It was a great time--very relaxing and enjoyable. Perhaps the thing I spent the most time at was watching the Olympics; something I truly enjoy.
So I'm back to work this week and spending a couple of days teaching our new postulants a little bit about moral theology as well as answering emails and letters.
I hope the Lord blessed your summer with some relaxing time as he has mine.