Our student friars share takeaways from their cultural experiences abroad
The first month was a challenge, but at the same time, I was learning how to feel at home away from home. The friars of Spain are humble and very hospitable. The friary, connected to a parish, allowed me to interact with the parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and help with liturgies. I have even had the honor of teaching the Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid how to eat a cheeseburger, but that is a story for another time. The experience of living not only in Madrid but living in a community of good friars on this side of the world has opened my mind, heart, and appreciation of the greater Franciscan order.
Along with myself, there are friars from India and Romania, also learning
German. The Fraternity has been, for me, the most significant gifts that I
have received since joining the order. It is a word that since going to my first Come & See Retreat and going
through formation I’ve heard repeatedly. We do not all share the same nationality, but we are all brothers. We might not all speak German
yet, but we share a way of life that knows no borders. All of us, whether far from home or close, have, like Francis, tried to follow what the Most
High, Himself revealed to us…for me, it has led me to Germany.
SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR
While being abroad in San Salvador, there are many things that I have learned. The experience that has had the most significant impact on me is going out to marginalized indigenous areas for mission. As people shared their narratives, and as I read Scripture to the people, Scripture becomes so alive to me. The way their stories relate with what I read in Scripture and the way these people in their own life live out Scripture is something that energizes and evangelizes me in such a beautiful way.