One part of being a Friar…

… is begging for subsistence to survive. 🙂  In that vein, I’m going to ask each of you readers to go to this donation page after praying on it, and donate as you can to the fund of your choice!

We now have two Postulates going through the final stages of discernment, and looking to join up as Novitiates soon!  It is time to find a building and turn it into our first Friary House, but we need your help to do so!

Please do consider giving as you can!

You can mail us a check or use PayPal (will be a confirmed account within a week, just set it up today, but it is legit!), and we are a 501c3 corporation!  You will be able to use this donation as a tax deduction!  At least here in the United States!  (Not sure about overseas!?)

In Christ!

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New Beginnings

While in Maryland, before moving to Florida, I looked over all the religions and faith systems that I had looked at before.  Nothing felt right.  The closest to right was the ways I was currently following, that of the Native Americans.

A good job came up that took me down to Florida, and I pretty much dropped the quest if favor of work, but in the course of work, I ran into a lady that captured my attention because of her faith.  She lived on the west side of Florida, and I lived on the east side of Florida.  We talked long and often about her beliefs.  We spent hours on the phone, often late into the night, talking about Catholicism.  This drew me even closer to the idea of looking deeper into the Catholic Church.

I dropped my younger brother a line, but never heard back from him.

I went to 5 or 6 Catholic Churches in the Fort Lauderdale area, and pretty much got a cold shoulder as the RCIA (Right of Christian Initiation for Adults) program had just started a couple of months earlier, and no one was wanting to accept new Candidates.  It almost chased me away.

I finally made an appointment with Father Francis at St. Henry Catholic Church for after Mass one week day, and went to Mass to listen to him before we talked.  After Mass was over, he vanished and I never saw him the rest of that morning.  I hung around for about 30 minutes, and the Receptionist saw me sitting in the Church when she came to lock it up and asked if she could help me.  I informed her I was there to meet the Priest for an appointment, and she informed me that he had not put it in the calendar, and had been called away for a very sick person, could she schedule me for the next day?

I said yes, but in my mind I thought, “Hmmm, bet that he just forgot and is back in his office.”  (I later found out he had in fact been called to the Hospital.)  We schedule me to meet with him the next day after Mass.

So the next day I went to Mass again, and after the Mass, we went into his office and talked.  During that meeting he informed me that his Church was a smaller Church with an older community, and that they did not do RCIA there, that I should go talk to the Priest at St. Elizabeth’s in Pompano Beach (just up the road).  I told him that I had, but that their classes were already in session by a few months (it was only a couple months from Easter) and they felt it was too late to join.  We ended on that note.

I went home kinda discouraged about Catholicism and figured my search was still on…  And I prayed to God asking where I should be.

A few days later I received a call from Father Francis, and missed it, so he left a message:  “Dr. Bell, If you have not found a Church that will accept you as a Candidate, please come by the offices here, and we will talk again.”  I called back and left a message asking when I should stop by, late that evening after I listened to the message.  About 10 minutes later I received a call back from him and he said come in the next day after Mass.

I went into Mass the next day, and then we meet in his office again.  We talked a bit about general topics then he asked how my search for RCIA was going. I told him not so well.  He then told me that he would teach me what I needed to know but that he felt I needed to be with other Adults learning as well, so he would insure that I would be accepted into the next years RCIA class, and then he picked up a book and handed it to me.  He got up and told me to follow him, in which he lead me to an office across from his.

He said, “Read this, tell me what you think when you are done.  No questions till you have finished it.  This is your office, come as you want to use it.”

I ended up using that office 5 and 6 days a week for over a year, reading books he recommended and books I found on my own dealing with the Philosophy, Theology, and the Doctrine of the Catholic Church.  We had MANY GREAT conversations about God, faith, and the Catholic Church.

I purchased my first Rosary a few weeks later and began saying the Rosary daily.  A few months after that, I purchased the 4th volume of the Liturgy of the Hours (a 4 volume set that changes based on the time of the year, and we were currently on the 4th volume) and started doing the Liturgy of the Hours seven times a day.

One day I decided to find a case for my Rosary as it kept breaking in my pockets and getting tangled up in things, and I found a Catholic store that carried them locally.

I walked in and looked around.  I ended up talking in length with the proprietor who was a Brother in an Order who’s habit was EXACTLY like my dreams years earlier!  (Yes, I bought a case and some other items that day!)

To be continued…

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    Yep, more changes in my life! I am in the first stages of moving fully into the life of a Diocesan Hermit.  By that I mean, I am living the Rule of life, but must live it for six month to two years under Private Vows at which time, if…
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My Spiritual Beginnings – Part One

I was born into a Methodist family, and raised in the Methodist Church.   For many years I went to Sunday School most weekends, and many summers were partially spent in week long Bible Study Day Camps.  (We went home each day, but came back the next day.)  It was, and is, a good foundation in the Christian faith, but didn’t feel right as I came into my teenage years.  I still went to Church with the parents, but inside I wasn’t sure I was in the right place.  Even in high school I started looking at other faith systems through the library and friends at school that went to other Christian centric Churches and participated in other faith systems.

During this time, from my 15th Birthday (that night actually) until the night before my 18th Birthday I dreamed, EVERY NIGHT, of being clothed in a white robe with a brown hooded thing over it, and a blue belt holding it all together.  Hanging on the rope was a beaded item with a crucifix (I called it a cross in my dreams not knowing the difference), and around the neck was another, oddly (to me) shaped crucifix as well.  I can remember in this dream trying to change the “habit” as I now know it from what it was to an all back or all brown habit, with a white rope, as that was what I had seen in the movies of the time, with Friar Tuck, and others.  It never worked though, I kept coming back to that habit…

This is what I saw myself dressed as!

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    Over the next several posts I will be posting on Catholic Apologetics topics. What is Apologetics?  It is the giving of a reasoned explanation of ones faith, the the Churches interpretation of the Bible and tradition.  So, to that affect, I will be talking on specific topics and why the…
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