In a little more than a week — in eight days to be precise — the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor will joyfully celebrate the presbyteral ordination of two of its brothers, myself and Steve DeWitt, OFM. In preparation for the reception of the sacrament of orders, the ordinandi as we’re called (those candidates for ordination) are taking a few days of retreat so as to pray, rest and reflect in preparation. My classmate and I are each taking some time in something like a hermitage experience. He’s staying at a guesthouse on the property of a monastery and I’m at the friars’ lake cabin in the Adirondack Mountains. Those who might recall my earliest posts to this blog will remember how much I love being “upstate” in New York, close to the land where I grew up just south of the Adirondack National Park. For me there is no place more beautiful, restful, prayerful and inspiring than the forest, lakes and mountains of this world. As I prepare spiritually, physically and emotionally for this ministerial and sacramental change in my life and the life of the church, please keep me in prayer. Peace and all good!