An International Friary for a Global Order

An International Friary for a Global Order

Friar Tom Merrill recently visited our friary and house of studies in San Antonio, Texas. Student friars from around the world live together there, growing in their commitment to Conventual Franciscan life while completing the studies that will lead to priesthood or other ministries. Originally, the friary could house about 14 students, but is undergoing significant renovation/expansion to more than double the living space.

Fr. Tom wrote about his visit: 

Shortly after spending some holiday time with my sister’s family in Seattle, I decided to stop on the way home in San Antonio to visit a 90-year-old religious sister who years ago inspired me to become a Middle School Teacher.

Of course, a visit to the friary on a Saturday afternoon was in order. Arriving unannounced, I was met at the door by Friar Gary Johnson. He gave me the grand tour of the new buildings, which are well-designed and -built. They will soon be finished.

Then it was time for Vespers. As many young friars entered in their motley shades of grey and brown habits, I was impressed with the diversity I saw in those young faces, as they blended into their places amongst the older friars. I couldn’t help but be very happy – not only in the reverent way we prayed, but that the brotherhood founded by Francis over 800 years ago includes friars of every race, nation, and language. This is a true representation of our works, but also evidence that many young men still hear the call of Francis to live the gospel in service to the church in this day and age – a true sign of hope!

– Friar Tom Merrill OFM Conv.