Philip Santiano is discerning a call to become a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement, while living and praying with Friars at Our Lady of the Atonement House of Discernment in Manhattan since October 2018. Below he reflects on what he is grateful for during his time of discernment with the Friars:

As a participant in the House of Discernment, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a disciple in the purest sense. The first disciples of Christ knew Him personally yet required a lifetime-process of conversion and spiritual maturity in order to fully accept His teachings. That is the kind of discipleship I have been blessed with in my time with the Friars of the Atonement: a sublimely humbling invitation to grow as a child of God through regular sacraments, community, prayer, and ministry. It has taken a special grace for me to recognize what a gift it is to partake in the Friars’ daily lifestyle without formally being a member of the Society of the Atonement. As a result, I have had to put many conceits and expectations aside, which has allowed me to open myself completely to the seasoned wisdom and zeal the Friars have for their special role in the Church and in society. I have been instilled with a sense of perpetual wonder in anticipation of God’s plan for me, which I cannot presently understand in full.  But it gives me a holy joy and eagerness to abandon myself to the unlimited potential of divine trust.

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