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 Colin King, O.F.M. reflects on Saint Anthony

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Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua
These past few weeks have been very busy with the end of school, renewal of   vows, All Province Assembly, a formandi weekend in Natural Bridge, Ky., moving out of the friary in Chicago and trying to start my year out in the province. But enough about that for now; I will be posting on all of it soon enough.

 

As many of you know, June 13th was the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Prior to entering the Order I was unaware of St. Anthony, except for being told he could help find something that was lost. For anyone who might not know, St. Anthony was born on Aug. 15, 1195, in Lisbon, Portugal, to a wealthy family. St. Anthony initially joined the Canons Regular (priests living in community under the Augustinian Rule) at the Abbey of St. Vincent. It was at this Abbey that he was first inspired by the Franciscan simple and evangelical way of life. When St. Anthony saw the first Franciscan martyrs being carried back to Assisi from Morocco, he asked for and received permission to leave the Canons Regular and join this new Franciscan way of life. As a Franciscan, St. Anthony was known for his powerful preaching and vast knowledge of Sacred Scripture. He was also able to teach sacred theology to the brothers without extinguishing the Spirit of prayer and devotion. St. Anthony became ill and died in 1231 in Padua at the age of 36. He was canonized less than a year after his death by Pope Gregory IX, a gesture that gave significant credibility to the young Franciscan Order. 

 

After my year of Postulancy, I had a chance to travel to Italy with my family. While there we were able to do a day trip to Padua on June 13th and experience the Feast of St. Anthony. Mass was literally standing room only, and the air felt muggy from all of us standing shoulder to shoulder. As I stood and looked around I saw people from everywhere and every different stage of life: pilgrims on their knees; young couples with young children; professionals who had the day off from work; elderly couples with their children and grandchildren gathered around them. There was a procession after Mass with all of the medieval sights and sounds.  I was deeply touched by how interwoven the festival was for all the people at the Basilica. Since this experience, and as a friar on the ordination path, I have found inspiration in St. Anthony‚Äôs preaching of the Gospels and authentic way of life, which I hope to have someday.

 

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