This is my first attempt to use a blog and see how I like it. So I guess it would make sense to make this blog post more of an introduction post and see where things go from there… I discerned that I wanted to start up a blog because of its expressive nature. I have heard time and time again in my Carmelite formation and spiritual direction that putting down my thoughts in a journal is very good and allows me to express the concerns that go on in our crazy, sometimes hectically busy lives….I hope that this blog becomes that for me but obviously on a much more public level. I think blogs can be a beautiful testament of our lives, in both the good and challenging times, the blog gives us a foundation of reference in which to reflect on and see where we have gone on this journey of life and how we got there.
I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Franklin specifically) born and raised. I have a wonderful family with 4 brothers (I am the second oldest). My dad is retired and happy while taking care of our four cats. My mother passed into eternal life in June 2009, I continue to love her and pray for her daily. The loves in my life are prayer, ministry, and travel. I graduated from Pius XI High in 2001 and started a long 9 years journey that would become my journey of seeking the answer to the question, ‘What do I want to with the rest of my life?’. Sometimes I wish it didn’t take me 9 years to figure it out, but I do not regret anything on the journey and feel blessed by having lived it. I started out out of high school in 2001 passionately pursuing commercial aviation in hopes of becoming an airline pilot and now I am a Carmelite pre-novice of the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province (O.Carm.). What this means in simple language is I am at the first stage of a several stage process to become a vowed member of the Carmelite religious order (one of many Roman Catholic Religious Orders). In a way the process is very similar to the journey to marriage. The pre-novitiate stage, like dating, allows me to get to know the order and the order gets to know me. If it is discerned that there is a mutual compatibility of fulfillment, continuing to the next stage begins the novitiate, very similar to a marriage engagement. Novitiate is basically a 1 year “engagement” retreat for further discernment and finally preparations to accept and profess vows, giving myself to the order completely at the end of that year. Profession of vows is the Carmelite’s way of comparatively, living a married life to the catholic church faith community. After profession of vows, the next stage is continued formation with a focus on preparing for professional ministry, this can be done in various ways. In terms of professional ministry, many of us, though not all, study at Washington Theological Union preparing for ministry as a roman catholic priest.
Like any life vocation, Carmelite religious life, is a journey, its a family journey that has its times of joy, laughter, excitement and its times of challenge, conflict and even struggle. Part of my goal for this blog is to share those times as I continue on this journey of faith and formation. I do not yet know what will become of this blog, and that is all part of the fun.
Until next time…
Peace in Christ……Ryan