Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 13, 2006
Franciscans joyfully attract more vocations
Young men are being drawn to the Franciscan path
By BILL GLEN
"As a friar, there are many ways to serve the world in a larger sense."
- Armand Mercier
"Now there is a movement with peers so it made it easier to see myself in community because there is friendship and camaraderie."
St. Francis' spirit of poverty and the mission work of the friars are what attracted Gurnick to the order. With Mercier, he performed mission work in a Peru orphanage, helping to build a chapel.
"I help out at the Bissell Centre and with the St. Vincent de Paul Society (in St. Alphonsus Parish) delivering furniture to the poor. I go to St. Michael's Extended Care and visit with the residents," Gurnick said.
Isenor fell away from the Church for a few years. He began reading about St. Francis and the order's development of community life and fraternity - and about extending the fraternity into ministry helping the poor.
Manthey is a friend of Isenor's father, who influenced Isenor by his willingness to contribute to the order.
Isenor felt called to find out more about religious life as a diocesan priest. But he chose the Franciscans.
"Discerning is an ongoing process. I'm aspiring to teach theology at a graduate level. Whether I'm a priest is another question. But I'm leaving the option open.
"It's one step at a time."
The men share morning and evening prayers and a Saturday night dinner with guests, but throughout the day they have their own studies and ministries. All are students at Newman.
On occasion, they play floor hockey, music, hike or cook together.
Mercier was a businessman for several years when he developed a desire to serve God and the Church. He entered seminary life for a year. Community life appealed to him.
Living in a home with 13 other men produces daily challenges. Mercier finds it all a learning process.
"There are peers and mentors here. We have people we look up to," Mercier said.
"We learn to live a Christian life and a life of ministry. As a friar, there are many ways to serve the world in a larger sense."
Ducharme said, "There are plenty of ministries in Edmonton, so the house is quite busy. It's hard not to be excited."
A lively and diverse spirit enlightens the house, Clyne said.
"It has been an amazing transition."
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