Providence and new Presentation ventures in the Americas
To see in a new way, to find new hope, and be called anew to mission… Responding to this challenge of the Presentation Brothers’ Chapter has generated new life in our Province of Our Lady of the Americas, encouraging us to be open to the blessings of Divine Providence.
Happenings in Canada
In April, Brothers Denis Claivaz and Francis Schafer moved to a new residence located west of downtown Toronto, a fully-furnished house owned by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. Having a Franciscan Priest in residence will be a welcome bonus. Brother Andrew Saul will be joining them to take up his studies in Toronto. The new community looks forward to serving as the Provincial Administration, welcoming candidates, and being a house of welcome to all who wish to visit. We will continue to keep close ties with our Brothers on Cummer Avenue, and will also keep in close contact with our Brother in an Assisted Living Facility in the Toronto area.
Happenings in the United States
The sad closure of our community in Kissimmee, Florida, after 22 years of service, due to financial struggles of the parish, led to the emergence of a new venture in San Antonio, Texas. In August 2011 three of the Brothers (James, Raphael Marion, and Sebo) moved there and were warmly welcomed by the Presentation Sisters who run a project serving disadvantaged people, including immigrants and the undocumented. In addition to the possibility of assisting here, another option for ministry is the Haven for Hope, a large project catering for homeless people; many different churches and groups contribute to this center, and the spiritual dimension is an integral part of their mission. Other ministry options will be explored as the community gets settled. San Antonio is a place of many opportunities with a rich and vibrant Catholic Community, offering the support of many religious communities and educational venues for continuing studies. The Presentation Sisters have been a great support and resource as the Brothers begin their presence there.
Happenings in the Caribbean
In March thirteen high school students from six schools in the Greater Toronto area visited St Lucia for a Service Trip experience. The Brothers were involved in this collaborative event, both in helping to prepare the students for their journey to St Lucia and in welcoming them when they got there.
During Easter Week, two young men from Guyana who had expressed interest in the Presentation way of life visited the Brothers in Grenada for a ‘Come and See’ experience in which the Brothers assisted them in their discernment process. The visit consisted of a mixture of spirituality, sightseeing, and swimming. A few days spent on the island of Petite St Vincent provided a place of quiet reflection, a time away from television, radio, and noise – the ideal setting for generative conversations! The sessions touched upon the life and ministry of the Brothers and what it means to be a Brother in today’s world. These two men promised to help us look for vocations in Guyana. They are thinking and praying hard about their next step. May God sow the seeds of a vocation in their hearts and may they put us in touch with other young men who are searching for God.
Other happenings in Vocation Promotion
Another expression of new life is the establishment of a new Vocation Team – Brothers Denis Claivaz (Canada), Robert Fanovich (West Indies), and Raphael Mario Toodle (USA) – who have recently met for team-building and planning.
In short, this is proving a time of great excitement and anticipation for the blessings that are to come.
Presentation Brother Francis Schafer
Provincial: Our Lady of the Americas Province
Adapted and published June 2012
The Presentation Brothers website is www.presentationbrothers.org