Dear Reader: Thanking Our Friars

I interviewed Casey Cole, OFM, two years ago about his vocation journey to the Franciscans, which he eloquently wrote about in his book Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God. I wasn’t completely immune to the various aspects of religious life, as I was taught by priests and nuns throughout my education. But I was especially curious about the sacrifices Casey had to make in order to join the order.

His response startled me. “There’s too much emphasis on what we sacrifice to enter religious life,” he said. “For me, the vows are incredibly freeing. They set clear boundaries in my life so that I can live and love without abandon within those boundaries.”

Point taken.

For lay Catholics, perhaps we focus too readily on what our religious give up over what they gain. Three articles in this issue focus on those incredible gains. From Father Ruskin Piedra’s renowned work with immigrants, to Sister Rita Clare Yoches’ transition from professional football player to nun, to the cross-country pilgrimage of the Sisters of Loretto, this issue celebrates the freedoms that religious women and men experience in their vocations.

This issue is a humble homage to those who chose a different path of God and to God. You are our guides along that path.

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