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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Keeping a tradition! A few years ago I decided I needed a hobby.  The motivation came from the perceived need to strike a balance in life.  I was saturated with schoolwork.  I love to read but I had had enough of that, too.  I needed a hobby.  And I would soon find out that I was entering a long line of monks and friars who have done the very same thing!


I had heard that making beer is like a combination craft and cooking experience.  So I  asked my guardian for some funds to begin a hobby and off I went to the local home-brew store for everything I needed.  Luckily for me one of the friars I was living with had a beer making history himself.  So I learned a new hobby and shared time with a friar; a win-win.  Franciscan Friars in Germany, so I am told, still make beer in their friaries.  Some even support their friaries by selling commercially.


Photo3That year I made three types of beer.  Five gallons each of an English brown ale, an Indian pale ale, and a bourbon-infused Irish stout.  Each batch of five gallons yields about 50-plus bottles of beer.  So far each and every bottle has turned out wonderfully!


Now I am back at the hobby again after a bit of an absence.  I am happy to report that I have 4 gallons’ worth of Trappist Abbey Ale set aside in a dark closet for “conditioning”.  In about a week I will bottle the beer after adding a little sugar. Then, BAM! Ten days later – hopefully – I’ll have a lovely Belgium-style Trappist Ale, right from my kitchen!


Alex Godbey

You should try brewing mead also! It is really simple, to be honest, and the end result is an excellent honey wine.

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