Br. Robert Brown, OFH says, "I was born in Scotland but now live happily with my family in England. Recently, I completed over twenty years as a volunteer Mental Health Chaplain (Lay). Though I was born and brought up as a Presbyterian I have been an Anglo-Catholic for forty years. St Francis came into my life thirty years ago and I have followed the poor little man of Assisi ever since. Assisi drew me as a pilgrim several times and I consider it a blessed experience. Professionally I am a Chartered Engineer, however, when I retired I read for a degree in Theology. Ten years ago I considered myself as a Franciscan Contemplative and have converted my garage into a ‘sacred-space’ where I pray, write and spend time in the presence of God. I learned Latin and New Testament Greek but lately, I realised that languages are increasingly difficult for me now. So I spend some time each day, weather permitting, in the garden. Prayer, Study and Work is an integral part of my rule-of-life, which I adhere to on a daily basis. I subscribe to the Liberal Democrats and keep a healthy interest in world politics; for this reason, I follow the activities of Pace e Bene as a non-violent person. I am blessed with many friends who likewise treasure solitude as a means to advance the spiritual life. Saint Francis has for me been a continual source of joy in the Holy Spirit."
Pax. ….. Robert <°))><.
Sr. Susie Smith, OFH says she was, "Born in England, by the age of 6, I had developed a love for the reading the Bible and talking with Jesus, who even then had won my heart. I also loved the countryside and the natural world, and came to learn of St Francis; there were Capuchin Friars nearby….
By 15, I had a SD, and a vocation to be a nun, but parental pressure insisted on University, so I went to Kings College and read Theology… After several years of study, I took time out to travel widely, discovered the Orthodox Church, and Icons which spoke to my soul, finally ending up in London working in broadcasting. Later, I branched out into the business world and became CEO of a London PLC, with the lifestyle to go with it!
It was then that things changed again, just when I was drifting into Buddhism, I met an amazing Priest in the City, who became my SD, who taught about contemplative prayer and to understand myself….
From then on I never looked back, I trained at a London Clinical Institute for 4 years in Psychodynamic Counselling, and worked in that field for several years, moving out to the country for more time for solitude, and iconography. Then I decided to do a “dangerous” thing and fulfil a lifelong ambition to visit Rome and Assisi…..
Alone in San Damiano, I felt God was calling me, and I could no longer distract myself from this call. I walked back up that hill filled with joy, throwing my expensive designer jacket into the olive trees…. So many things happened in Assisi, it could fill a book…. Within 3 months of returning I had found my way to the Franciscan International Study Centre, converted to Catholicism, studied all things Franciscan, and Catholic Theology, and eventually ended up on the staff there. I also met a very special Friar, who had lived the hermit life who suggested it might appeal to me……
I left the UK, having joyfully given up all my possessions bound for a Poor Clare Monastery in Ireland, but alas, after a year or so, found it really did not provide the time for contemplative prayer and solitude that my soul sought. So for the past 12 years I having been living as a Hermit in the wild West of Ireland, hoping that someday there would be a way of connecting with others with a similar calling. OFH has fulfilled that dream of fraternity, compassion and love; for each other, and the world. I am grateful to be part OFH."
Br. Rick Mathis, OFH says, "I was born in a small farming community in south Florida where I attended the local Methodist church and attended the local Baptist run high school. I have had a rather eclectic work life over the years, from a radio announcer to a crime scene investigator to a facilities manager. I began questioning my Protestant faith while still in high school in the 70’s after being introduced to the lives of the saints, especially St. Francis of Assisi and St. John of the Cross (whose name I took upon joining the Catholic Church). I credit them, along with our Holy Mother, with leading me on my faith journey. It was not a quick trek as I was not received into the church until 1995. However, since that time I have attempted to study the faith, especially the writings of the saints. I have also recently moved to the Santa Fe area in New Mexico, yet I am not sure if this is the final landing spot that God has in store for me. Although there have certainly been the ups and downs in my walk with Christ, in the last few years I have been drawn to a lifestyle which includes long segments of solitude,prayer and study, while still allowing for my social justice work. I am still seeking God’s direction in how this will ultimately play out. In the meantime, I continue to pray for guidance."
Br. Robert Wheeler, OFH says he "is a retired licensed minister and a Board Certified Biblical Counselor. He works with alcoholics and drug addicts, the sick, imprisoned, and all those who suffer, as Our Lord places them in his path. If you feel that you need assistance in your walk with Christ, or life issues, please contact Br. Robert at: email@example.com. He will be happy to assist you or refer you to the proper resource.
Robert Wheeler also works with indigenous ministers around the world. We provide prayer, encouragement, native language Bibles......both written and audio, and other items as requested...as the Lord provides for us to do so."
"Once a Spaniard, a devout cleric, happened to enjoy some time seeing and talking with Saint Francis. Among other news about the brothers in Spain, he made the saint happy with this report: "Your brothers in our country stay in a poor hermitage. They have set up the following way of life for themselves"... CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story!