Fr. Tom Orians, SA, Missionary of Mercy, Concelebrates Mass with Pope Francis In Rome

April 25, 2018
At the invitation of Pope Francis, Fr. Tom Orians, SA, traveled to Rome in April to concelebrate Mass with the Holy Father, along with other Missionaries of Mercy from around the world. In addition to concelebrating Mass, the Missionaries of Mercy, whose original appointment was during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, were invited to meet with Pope Francis for a few days in April for prayer, reflection and teaching on the important role they are filling for the Church. Fr. Tom shared, “The Holy Father informed us ‘that the Christian path is an arduous one, with stones upon which to stumble and banana peels on which to slip.’ I will always remember what great mercy and love we are challenged to share in our journeys as Missionaries of Mercy. He told us, ‘the message that we bear in Christ’s name is that of making peace with God… God needs people to bring the message of his pardon and mercy to the world.’ I was awestruck by his words because they so reminded me of the charism of the community – “At-One-Ment.”” The Missionaries of Mercy have been extended special permission to absolve sins that would normally be reserved for the Holy See. Through the appointment and guidance of these missionaries, Pope Francis shows that forgiveness is truly the heart of Jesus Christ and His Church. The mercy extended through Fr. Tom and his fellow missionaries reminds us that God is always merciful, slow to anger and rich in love. “As a Missionary of Mercy I am able to make Christ’s prayer ‘that all maybe one’ felt in a very real manner through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Pope’s words were so refreshing and inspiring when he reminded us of our need to be like the father in the story of prodigal son. ‘Confessors need to look in the eyes of the penitent, listen to them, and throw open wide their arms to welcome them, so that they can experience the love of the Father.’” At Graymoor, Fr. Tom ministers to the many men and women who attend the retreats and special events at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center. He has learned to see each person individually and how to show each person, unconditional love. His trip is a good reminder for all of us to practice the mercy and love of God through the actions of our daily lives. Jesus, we trust in you!

Young People Discern God’s Plan For Their Lives

April 10, 2018

What is God’s plan for my life? Eight young men and women were seeking answers to this question at the Young Adult Weekend Retreat which took place March 23-25, 2018 at Graymoor. “Many young adults in their 20s and 30s are trying to figure out what God wants them to do with their lives. This retreat helps participants to sort through all of the competing ‘voices’ from our over-stimulated world seeking their attention and hear God’s voice above all else,” according to Paul Krenzelok, Director of Discernment Ministry for Young Adults. Talks by Fr. Bernie, Palka, SA, Sr. Lucinda Patterson, SA and Paul Krenzelok offered practical steps for how to spend time in discernment. The weekend was also rich in prayer with Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and beautiful prayer experiences led by Br. Joe O’Gara, SA, and Br. Paolo Nicosia, SA.   

In the words of participants, here are a few takeaways from the weekend:

• “I will take away the understanding that discernment takes time and that is okay. Taking it day by day and letting God lead the way can be so helpful and powerful!”

• “I am grateful to the Lord for freeing me from the fear of making the wrong decision; we really can’t make a “wrong” decision if we are sincerely striving to follow God’s will.” 

• “Discernment is not something we are called to do occasionally but something we are called to make part of our daily prayer—it must become second nature.”

• “I have a much better grasp of what discernment means and how to work with it in order to let it guide me to where I need to go.”

Our next discernment weekends take place later this year.  Our next Come and Discern Vocation Retreat for young men considering a religious vocation with the Friars occurs October 18-21, 2018. Our next Young Adult Weekend Retreat is December 7-9, 2018.

Minister General Fr. Brian Terry, SA, Travels to the Border Wall

February 27, 2018
On Friday, February 23, 2018, Minister General Fr. Brian Terry, SA, joined other Catholic leaders from the religious conferences of the U.S. (Conference of Superiors of Men and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious), Mexico, Caribbean and Latin American Confederation of Religious, and Canada crossed borders to meet and journeyed to the border wall at Sasabe, AZ.
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