Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 4, 2007
Franciscan's simple vows bode well for the order's future
Young friars attract similar-aged applicants
By BILL GLEN
"A younger community life attracts them (young friars) to the order,"
- Bro. Gerry Clyne
At Clement House, the men intentionally do things together like taking meals or doing fun activities. They work and pray together.
Clyne says he has travelled Western Canada from Winnipeg west, just as he did before. Yet, something is bringing the young men into the community.
At the celebration, Father Robert Mokry, Franciscan provincial, said, "For Billy, Dwayne and Pierre, today is a new beginning - one of many new starts in their lives and one of the many new responses to the Spirit which has led them, so far, to grace and witness to Christ. God willing, it will bring them to a time when they will be able to make a commitment in freedom and full understanding to live the vowed Franciscan life forever."
Ducharme told the WCR that the day was a long time coming. "I have been able to look inward and think about what this all really means. It's a process.
"There is a sense of comfort with myself and in my identity as a Franciscan. There is a sense of excitement about future ministry. I'm really relishing being a friar right now."
Fernandez enjoys being part of the order's rich tradition of selfless service.
"It's great to be part of the 800-year tradition of the Franciscans, to walk in the footsteps of everyone before me," he said. "I think we show the world a Church that is compassionate, caring and available. With this new beginning as a friar, I am very much looking forward to working in the local Church."
Isenor described his journey as a Franciscan as "incredible" and that taking the first vows was exciting.
"Through our lives, we hope it translates to the world how it can live. I think Francis was about relationships and he saw the Gospel in his relationship with Jesus, in seeing the world is one gift. The world is meant to be in one relationship."
Isenor's journey is done in step with his fellow Franciscans.
"We don't do it alone. This step today is a step of committing ourselves to our brothers in this life.
"It's through the hard times where this life really calls you out of yourself."
Ducharme says he feels a call to the priesthood, but to the Franciscan life in general. At times when things become dark for him, he summons his love for his brothers to keep going.
"It is something that has grown over many years and I have slowly grown very comfortable with it. Today marks another step in a life-long journey. This is something I want to do.
"For those of us in formation, we are quite a tight-knit bunch. From the start, there has been a sense that we are in this together."
Originally from Coquitlam B.C., Pierre Ducharme, 30, is the ninth of 11 children.
Following high school, he worked and travelled. At 22, Ducharme began studies at Corpus Christi College in Vancouver, and completed a bachelor of arts from UBC in 2004.
He moved to Edmonton to study theology and met the Franciscans of Western Canada. Ducharme was invited to dinner and the Franciscans slowly convinced him that religious life was the vocation suited for him.
After two years of theological studies on his own, Ducharme entered the Franciscan postulancy program in Edmonton.
Born in Bombay, India, Dwayne Fernandez, 38, has worked in Atlanta and Wilmington, Del. helping people suffering with HIV/AIDS. He has also worked as a chaplain at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.
"I am hoping to work with people who have cancer and AIDS. That is a possibility. I would like to work with the Indian Catholic communities in Edmonton and Calgary to bring spirituality that is typical to their needs and requirements."
Fernandez definitely sees the priesthood in his future, perhaps three or four years down the road. He would also like to teach at Newman Theological College.
Billy Isenor was born in Penticton, B.C. For most of his adult life, Isenor worked as a chef in many esteemed restaurants and conference centres, including a stint at the Shaw Conference Centre as a demi chef de partie.
Isenor, 30, entered the seminary for the Nelson Diocese three years ago, but did not feel a call to ordained diocesan ministry. He felt more of a desire to live the Gospel life in fraternity with the Franciscans.
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