What Happens When Friars Get Old?

It is a fact of life: we don’t stay “young” forever. If we are blessed enough to live a long life, we will inevitably find ourselves having less energy, unable to do the things we once could, and needing more help. For many of us, this is accompanied by more free time with family and friends, a time that we can rightly call our “golden years.”

But what about for friars who are so defined by our work and have chosen not to build families of our own? What happens to these men who grow old and infirm without a wife, children, or grandchildren by their side?

This was a major question I had in my discernment, one that almost prevented me from entering. Would I be lonely? I wondered.

Visiting one of our retirement houses this week, I was reminded of that old fear and how I overcame it. I was reminded of the great treasure that these men are to our order.

If you or someone you know is considering religious life and is worried about this issue, I pray that my experience may help. I cannot think of a more meaningful thing to do with one’s life, and I know that while I may never have the comfort of a wife and kids, I will always have this life to live and the brothers by my side to live it with me.

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3 Comments on “What Happens When Friars Get Old?

  1. You chose correctly Brother Casey. I wish I had your zeal and courage when I was younger. I never married nor have kids. I don’t regret it either. I regret the things I didn’t do rather than what I did do. You have joy and will continue to have joy, that most of us never will. A lasting joy; not the short-term pleasures we get in a life of drudgery and mistakes.

  2. Brother Casey,

    Nice episode. I’m a lot older than you, married to an Italian woman for 35-plus years, with two good, now grown kids, one man and another woman. Having attended Columbia University Graduate School (under our program’s head, Academy-Award winner, Milos Forman (Amadeus, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), it is nice to see someone who has a decent idea of how to keep a YouTube video moving; too often, you see static head shots, with endless blathering, which tends to ‘dull’ and ‘deaden’ the message–even though that message may be quite intriguing (not a problem for a Baby Boomer like myself), but, certainly, more of an issue for younger folk, who are used to sound bites and endless ‘flash-editing’ presentations…so congrats on a good ‘moving’ show!

    From a theological standpoint, I must say, however, that the current sex abuse scandal in the Church has NOT rocked my faith (I love our Church, and consider these so-called ‘priests,’ in particular the serial abusers and their cover-up Bishops, to be destroyers of our faith; that in many instances–since I have many priest friends–I have heard the endless horror stories of seminary homosexuality indoctrination, and a complete acceptance of that lifestyle.

    I would love to see a show from you addressing this seminary ‘plague,’ and how the Franciscans are actively (if they are) battling it, and addressing this issue with incoming seminarians or those interested in becoming a Friar?

    In short, even though I believe your shows are well made, articulate, and informative (in a very good way), I do believe that I need to see a show from your perspective addressing this proverbial ‘elephant in the room.’

    Pope Francis and that recent Synod on the sex abuse scandal(s) did NOT, in my mind, properly address the core problem besetting the Roman Catholic Church; namely, the homosexual formation of seminarians…and the overriding accepting culture of homosexual culture/lifestyle in seminaries.

    In sum, my faith is untouchable, period. However, too many of my friends, their children, etc., have completely walked away from our great faith due to this never-ending scandal, and the culture of homosexual acceptance (and even practice) in seminaries nationwide (USA).

    If you’ve already addressed this issue in a previous video, do forgive me…I have too many priest friends who endured seminarian abuse of this kind, and therefore, I am, to say the least, wholly skeptical of any Friar or Priest period.

    You want to know your Mission: Address this above core issue, and somehow find a way to turn the tide…for currently, no one, who is remotely intelligent, can ever completely trust a Friar or Priest again…until this tide is turned, not only through media presentations or goofy 8-point memo points, but through addressing this core issur head on, acknowledging its reality, and then using the media, prayer, and good works to turn the ‘falling away’ tide and, hopefully, through our Blessed Mother’s intercession and the workings of the Holy Spirit, souls can be won again–even those souls who are currently running from our glorious Church.

    You wanted a Mission, well there it is; it’s mine…as I am using my media skills, prayer, and good works to do likewise via my new ministry, Soldiers of Christ ™ …I do hope something in this comment helps, Cheers, Stephen ‘Hollywood Bubba(tm) Bainton, found on Linkedin.com …currently in Italy, and travelling Europe with my wife…before proceeding into battle!

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenbainton/

    Enjoy:

    Stephen

    Cheers,

    Stephen L. Bainton
    Chief Listener & Founder
    Soldiers of Christ ™, and;
    Lobsterhead ™

    ###

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