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Solemn Vows I went down to New York City yesterday for the solemn profession of two friars: Steve DeWitt and Dan Horan. Solemn profession is the last step in the six-year formation process of a new Franciscan friar. It at this time at the friars vow to live the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, with the threat of an oncoming hurricane, there were not many in attendance beyond a good number of friars and Stephen’s and Dan’s families. Many friars look forward to celebrations like this in order to see friars who are working in other parts of the province.

It is nice to see young men willing to dedicate the rest of their lives to the the Franciscan fraternity and through it to the people of God. It seems that less and less people today are willing to make a permanent commitment to anything, and — with the scandals which have impacted the church so deeply over the last decade — not many are willing to make a commitment to that church.

In his homily, the Provincial Minister John O’Connor spoke about the Franciscan charism and how needed it is in today’s world. In the midst of a country now torn by people not willing to talk to each other, much less compromise with each other, and in a world torn by religious violence, the Franciscan message of respect for each person and a commitment to see each person as a loved child of God is more important than ever.

It is a pity that more could not make it because of the hurricane, but for those who were it was an inspiring ceremony.

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