Living for others
BY MATT RYAN
Thank you to all the friars for their prayers, letters, and support. It’s been a powerful postulancy experience and I’m looking forward to seeing you at Chapter. It’s hard to believe that novitiate begins in just a few weeks in Santa Barbara.
I had two wonderful ministry assignments this year: one with the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) and the other with the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C. You can be proud of the work FAN does as they faithfully live their mission of caring for creation. FAN allowed me to advocate, march, and protest on behalf of climate justice, immigrants, and against gun violence. We attended both the March for Life and the March for Our Lives, rallies against torture and racism, and we promoted interfaith dialogue with the distribution of the film, The Sultan and the Saint.
I also worked at the Holy Land Monastery as a docent and outreach volunteer. I was blessed to have gotten to know guardian Fr. Larry Dunham, as well as Fr. Greg Friedman and Fr. Charlie Smiech. As a bonus, Br. Ed Demyanovich became a resident of Holy Name College (home of the interprovincial postulancy) in March. So many SJB brothers in the D.C. area!
In December my fellow postulant Raphael Ozoude and I visited Detroit. We stayed at St. Moses the Black Friary with Fr. Alex Kratz, Fr. Maynard Tetreault, and Br. Louis Zant. We shared meals and participated in ministries with the friars from St. John XXIII, Transfiguration and Duns Scotus. On June 4, Raphael and I and Fr. Richard Goodin will go to Jamaica with Roger Bacon students on their mission trip. When I return, I will attend the annual meeting of the Kentucky Bar Association in Lexington and spend time with my family, including a vacation to Lake Cumberland.
I am blessed to be with you at this time and am grateful to walk with the poor and reach out to the marginalized. I am blessed to live with so many men who seek to live in community and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ– to live lives for others with brothers.
Peace and all good!
(Matt, 46, was a Public Defender in Kentucky before entering the postulancy program.)