Not so long ago I was a somewhat studious student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (go ‘skers!). And during my time at UNL I made a number of great acquaintances and also a good handful of really really great friends. Among those friends was Eric.
Eric and I met our freshman year. We both lived in Neihardt (the Honors residence hall…and no, we never played World of Warcraft) and quickly assimilated into a group of Catholic freshmen – some more practicing in their faith than others. Eric and I were the two out of our group that more quickly jumped into being involved at the Catholic Newman Center on campus. If we didn’t run into one another at Neihardt, then we were sure to see one another down at Newman.
All four years we hung out, took class together, led bible studies, went to Newman Center events and meetings, and most importantly, fell more in love with our Lord. I still remember the exact moment when Eric stopped me in the back stair well of Newman and explained to me that he was going to go visit the Capuchin Friars in Denver. He seemed excited and nervous; but mostly ready. Ready to go wherever our Lord was leading him. Well, Eric didn’t end up with the friars in Denver, but he did end up with the friars in New York.
Br. Frantisek Marie made his first profession just this past March with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. This week, Br. Frantisek happens to be visiting Benedictine College for the vocation fair. Thankfully, I received a heads up from his little sister last weekend that the Franciscans might be here this week and I’ve had my eyes peeled for grey habits every moment since then. Ava and I spotted them yesterday afternoon and ran them down on campus. What a great blessing to have the opportunity to hang out and catch up. And not only did we get to visit with Br. Frantisek, but his 3 fellow travelers as well: Br. Angelus (another Nebraska native! and college aquaintance), Br. Xavier, and Fr. Gabriel. Please remember Br. Frantisek (and all discerning the religious life) in your prayers – he still has 3 years of simple vows before having the opportunity to make his final vows with the Franciscans. I know he’d be thankful for them.
ps – perhaps a preview of Ava’s future…