Monday, 5 May 2014

A Day in the Life of a Capuchin Friar....Br Martin Bennett OFM Cap

 Next Sunday, 11th May, is a day dedicated to prayer for and promotion of vocations to Priesthood and Religious life. Recently, Br Martin was asked to describe a typical day for a magazine produced to support Vocations Sunday. If you feel God is calling you to serve Him as a Capuchin Friar, please contact us. We can help you in your journey of discernment and discovery.                 


A typical day for me usually begins with a short, yet fervent, prayer - ‘Dear Lord, just five more minutes’ – prompted by the sound of my alarm at 6.15am. I join the rest of the Friars, and members of the public who join us, for meditation at 6.30am, followed by Mass and Morning Prayer at 7am.

I am in my 6th year with the Capuchin Franciscans and currently studying Theology & Philosophy in All Hallows College, Drumcondra. I live in community, or Fraternity as we call it, with 7 other Friars in Raheny. Fraternity, meaning Brotherhood, is at the core of our lives as Friars. We strive to live this out with each other, and with those we minister too, through our lives of prayer and service to the poor.

No day is the same here. As a student, during term, a lot of my time is taken up with lectures, reading and essays. Apart from this, there is always something to be done around the Friary, from grocery shopping to solving various computer problems, being the youngest, it is assumed that I am the computer expert!!

Our Friaries are open, warm and welcoming places for all who visit. Raheny, in particular, is a place of prayer and stillness for the many people who come here each day.

Our chapel is open from 6am each morning until 9pm at night, with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day. Our prayer is open to the public and, as well as in the morning, we are joined by local people for meditation, rosary and evening prayer from 5pm – 6pm each day and, in turn, they form part of our extended Fraternity.

As part of our service to the poor, under the leadership of Brother Kevin Crowley, we run the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People in Bow Street, serving over 700 meals each day and 1600 food parcels each Wednesday to those most in need. This is a very tangible expression of our Fraternity and follows closely in the footsteps of our founder, Saint Francis of Assisi. The Centre has been running for over 40 years and now provides, in addition to food, a Doctor, Nurse, Dentist and Chiropodist.

Since joining I have had the opportunity to live in Oxford and Zambia, working in varied apostolates with young people, drug addicts, psychiatric patients and the homeless.

I am part of our Provincial Vocations Team, which promotes our way of life, and have worked to develop our on-line presence through our Vocations Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Our life is a life of Fraternity, prayer and service, lived in the midst of the world, offering a ‘welcome’ to all we encounter.

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