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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How many Friar/Priests does it take to open a door?

This evening after I returned home from work, our Provincial Minister Fr. Jeff Scheeler, O.F.M. was visiting with Fr. Al with whom I live. The two have know each other for years and had just returned from a walk and were getting ready to go out for dinner. Fr. Jeff stepped into our guest room--a room I had just moved out of a few weeks ago--to change clothes. As he prepared to exit the room I heard him fumbling with the door knob. When I lived in the room I was aware that you had to turn it in a particular way to get it to open, but it always opened easily for me. It would not open for Fr. Jeff.

I got a screw driver and tried to dismantle the door knob, but the workmanship was excellent and the mechanism was buried inside the door. I slipped some tool under the door so Fr. Jeff could remove the hinges, but no go. (The door had been cut off on the bottom once upon a time when the house had been carpeted, so the gap under the door is fairly large.) Fr. Al and I tried pushing, shoving, etc. and Fr.  Jeff pulled and tugged, but the door would not budge.

Finally, in a last ditch effort, Fr. Jeff climbed out the window. Fr. Al had placed a ladder outside the window and the "escape" went without a hitch. None of the neighbors seemed to have witnessed the event and, of course, my camera is at the office.

The guest room is still securely locked, but Frs. Jeff and Al did go out for dinner and celebrate their time together. Sometime the Brothers tease us priests about not being very mechanically inclined--hopefully none of them will read this. :-)

So how many Friar/Priests does it take to open a door? The question is still unanswered. The answer is obviously more than the three of us here tonight. (And thank God I moved into the other room a few weeks ago when Fr. Bill moved to another friary leaving his room available to me.)


David Leary

What a great story. I've followed your blog from Australia for some time, following the progress of the young friars. It's been a great experience and very helpful in my own thinking and discernment. Many thanks Don.

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