Holy Name Roman Catholic Church

Listening to God's Whisper . . .





First of all, let me tell you a little about the places I have lived. I was born in Buffalo New York. At the Age of two, my family moved to a town in New Jersey. By the end of my freshman year in high school, we moved back to Buffalo. At the end of my junior year in college, I moved down to Tampa Florida. I think that all this moving around had an impact on my discerning a religious vocation to the Franciscans.

I became an Altar Boy in third grade after helping out during the Mass for my sister’s wedding. I found serving at Mass a really neat experience. I then moved into lectoring when I was in junior high. I really enjoyed proclaiming the Scriptures at Mass. From time to time, folks would ask me if I felt called to a vocation in the Church. I never said yes because I wanted to explore some of what life had to offer. I wanted to date, have a career, and maybe own a house. I really wanted to be a “regular” teenager and a “normal” young adult. So, when people asked me about a vocation, I put it off.

I worked several different jobs while going to college. Several were career jobs in business. However, none of these business opportunities brought me real fulfillment. I began looking for a profession that had more purpose to it. I changed my major in college to Criminology and started working on a career in law enforcement. I thought that this would feed my hunger for being of service to others. Unfortunately, I still found this job choice lacking for what I felt called to do.

I finally looked inside myself to determine what I felt would bring me true happiness. The old questions about a vocation in the Church resurfaced. Eventually, I would refine this vocational question in light of my gypsy ways. Franciscans are classified as a Mendicant Order as contrasted to a Monastic Order. This means that Friars are not tied down to possessions or places in their ministry of serving God’s people. After a great deal of prayer, work, and disappointments, I found a home with the Franciscan TORs. And although I joined the community with a little bit of grey in my beard, I do not see the time I spent finding my vocation as a waste. It has given me a wide variety of experiences that has helped me to connect with folks who are seeking to find God in their own lives (not unlike my own journey seeking the Lord).

I have been blessed to receive the gift of a vocation to the Franciscans and to the priesthood. If I could be of help with anyone trying to discern God’s call in their own life, please do not hesitate to contact me at Saint Francis University, or send me an email at THarris@francis.edu.

Peace and All Good to All of You!


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