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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Brother Roger on teaching

Rogerblog053013

The silver lining of teaching:  I used to teach freshman religion at our Franciscan high school in Cincinnati. One day in the teachers’ lounge there was a posting of the 15 scariest jobs in America. First was a bomb technician, obviously. But in between the eight scariest (firefighter) and the tenth (cemetery worker) was my job – a high school teacher. There is some truth to that listing. Long days, humble pay, crazy schedules, classroom discipline, administrative demands, trying to impart knowledge…need I say more? Oh, and don’t forget the students are teen-agers.


A few weeks ago I was invited to an after school social for current and emeritus faculty and staff. Happening to be in town, I went. It was great reconnecting with my previous co-workers. Adventures and tales were told (a teacher is never short of wild stories). Frustrations and anxieties were shared. Teaching is demanding and laborious. But in the midst of our gathering, one person exclaimed, “We have the best students!” And as if it were a rehearsed production, in unison, all declared, “Absolutely!”


It’s easy to focus on the hardships and negativity of life; high school teaching is no different. But these teachers and staff members saw the silver lining, the light and goodness in the young men and women they ministered to every day. And without hesitation they could proclaim its certainty. For light always dispels the darkness.   

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Fr. Don, O.F.M.

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