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 Richard on a Mission Appeal


Mission Appeal: When faced with a difficult problem, I often think, "Well, what do I do now?" During a recent mission appeal (where a missionary goes to a parish for the Sunday Masses to share the story of what is happening in the broad missionary activity of the Catholic Church) I posed that question to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Lexington, Ky. I had been asked to do this mission appeal (and another one the first weekend of August in Danville, Ky.) by the mission office of our St. John the Baptist Province.  


"What is this parish to do? St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, this question that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky...Nor is it across the sea...No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts. Today I appeal to your generosity. I appeal to what is already in your hearts. God is the source of all good things already in our hearts and on our lips. God is the source of generosity. And I, Br. Richard, Franciscan friar, missionary and beggar, appeal to your generosity. Help us friars help the needy of this world.  We need your help. We need your generosity to continue the mission."


Now, mind you, before this closing salvo I told a very textured story about my time living and working in Negril, Jamaica.  This resulted in small hoards of people after Mass asking me follow up questions about what I had shared with them.  Thus, mission appeals are not just about "begging for money" and one after-Mass experience bears that out:

"Br. Richard, how can I help the missionary effort in Jamaica?  I am an infectious disease doctor.  [I had spoken about the friars’ work with folks that are HIV+]  My practice is concerned especially with HIV/AIDS.  I would like to help you.  Here is my card!"


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