Franciscan

The simple life

In honor of the inaugural Religious Brothers Day May 1, friars answered what it means to be a Franciscan brother.

Br. Kevin Duckson, OFM
(Kevin works with Secular Franciscans and is Mr. Fix-It at St. Clement Friary in Cincinnati.)

A year out of high school when I first entered the Order, I visited St. Leonard College and got to see how friars lived. I saw them living a simple life of prayer, in community and fraternity. I saw how Brothers Felix Blake, Francis Williams, Marian Battaglia and Louie Lamping were about fraternal service to their community. They went about their business doing tailoring and cooking and taking care of the farm and the grounds.

I became a brother because I enjoyed the variety of jobs, the outside stuff, the simple life of working with my hands. The term "fraternal ministry" covers a lot of things. It means working within the community and the friary. At St. Francis Center I did all kinds of maintenance and I took care of the senior friars. At St. Mary’s in Bloomington I enjoyed my ministry of service as a sub-cook, doing maintenance of the grounds, the cemetery, electricity, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and again taking care of senior friars. I loved their stories about times of the past in missions, their joys and sorrows and dreams of the future.

Being somewhat retired, I especially enjoy having time for prayer for our friars and for vocations. Reflecting on my 50 years as a Franciscan brother, I continue to pray and trust in the Lord.

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