Southern Exposure

In my last post I made two major announcements about what life would hold for me over the next year, beginning with two months in Mexico on May 31. I’ve appreciated all of the comments and the congratulations, and thank all of you very much!

But there is another announcement to be shared now. As some of you may have been wondering, and a few of you even asked, why there is a big gap between now and May 31. What exactly will I be doing until then?

How about another road trip?

As some of you may remember, I traveled from San Diego to Washington with a classmate of mine last year, writing about our journey and beginning my filming “experiment” on the road. This year, our trip is less practical as it is fraternal: traveling with two other friars in formation, we plan to visit all of our “southern” ministries over a period of a week, spending some time with the friars and getting to know their life and ministry.

Even though we’ve always had friars living in the south (and, if you ask me, our best places in the province today are in the south) it is sometimes treated as “mission territory” among the friars of the “New York” province because it is not located in Manhattan. As a result, most guys in formation don’t get a chance to see many of our places or get to know the southern church.

Just over 1500 miles in 8 days, this trip will be less about the road and more about being with our brothers.

No longer. Starting from Washington, D.C., we’ll stop in Raleigh/Durham NC, Macon and Athens GA, Clemson, Anderson, and Greenville SC, Stoneville NC, and conclude with a stop in Triangle VA before heading back to DC. In a span of eight days, we’ll get to see six parishes, two universities, and a retreat center, not to mention 23 different friars living in nine different friaries. Unlike last year in which much of our time was on the road and all of the things I shared (videos and blogs) had to do with the sights and tastes of each region of our country, this year we’re hoping to spend most of our time with the friars, sharing more about the Franciscan presence in each area. I don’t plan on making any videos this trip, but will definitely be blogging and posting to the Facebook page. (If you’re interested in seeing pictures, you’re definitely going to want to “like” the Facebook page.)

This was my mom’s reaction when she saw me at church today. Worth it.

As a final note, being that we we’re starting day three of the trip today and will be behind in sharing come the first post, you might be wondering why I didn’t announce this in the last post with the other announcements or get ahead of the story with more pictures or posts. Funny story. We planned this trip two months ago and I told my mom about it. Being that my parents live two hours away from Raleigh/Durham (where we are staying now) and were not planning on adding two hours to our 1500 mile trip, she accepted the fact that we wouldn’t see each other and forgot about it. Since it was Mother’s Day yesterday, however, she later made plans to see my sisters in Raleigh and to attend mass at the parish we’re staying out now, forgetting the fact that I would be here. When my sisters and dad found this out, we decided not to remind her, and since she reads this blog, I decided not to announce it. Her reaction was worth the wait…

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7 Comments on “Southern Exposure

  1. Love your Moms surprise!!! Looking forward to reading the blogs😊

  2. Great surprise for your mom! Hope we get to spend a little time when you come to St A’s. Need to get you on one of the Haiti trips. Safe travels.

  3. I started emailing him during graduation and didn’t get it to send. No point in evening trying to put things up if not working.

  4. A GREAT Mother’s Day post. And a wonderful way to engage your provincial friars in the South. Gives whole new meaning to fraternity brothers! Blessings for a safe and fruitful journey.

  5. Blessings I do enjoy reading about your journey I’m not sure if you’re Catholic or Anglican or Liberal Catholic can you let me know blessings

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