Sister Veronica Schueler, FSE

MERIDEN, CT (03-24-2018) – The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, the Franciscan Brothers of the Eucharist and Franciscan Apprentices welcomed Mr. John Bee and Mr. Mickey Wells into the “Franciscan Family” as they made their life commitment to Apprenticeship at the Community Mass on Saturday, March 24. Franciscan Apprenticeship is a program of lay association. Apprentices are dedicated to Franciscan spirituality and are spiritually centered in their lay vocations by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist.

The day before Palm Sunday is traditionally celebrated by the Franciscan Sisters as “Commitment Saturday” in honor of Christ “setting his face” toward Jerusalem as he was committed to carrying out His Father’s will, even as it meant suffering and death. Appropriately, the Apprentices present at the Mass renewed their commitments in response to the new Apprentices’ life commitments.

Mother Miriam Seiferman, Mother General, responded to the lay men’s commitments by offering each an Apprentice name and patron saint. John Bee received the name “Louis” in commemoration of St. Louis Martin, the father of St. Therese of Lisieux, who, with his wife, was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015 as a model of holiness and a witness to marriage and family life. The canonization of the Martins was the first time a married couple was canonized together in the same ceremony. John Louis’ wife, Christine Mariam Bee, is also a Franciscan Apprentice. Together, they help other couples understand the Church’s teachings on marriage and family, and are active members of their parish.

Mother Miriam expressed that “Francis” would be the name chosen for Mickey Wells in likeness to St. Francis of Assisi. Mickey Francis’ reverent love of the earth and creation, and his professional expertise in working with nature contribute to his being an ardent follower of St. Francis. Mickey Francis and his wife, Teresa Clare, also an Apprentice, share the Franciscan spirit of dedication to “little portions” in their life together. Their farmland is named “Little Portion Acres.” St. Francis founded the Franciscan Order at the Portiuncula (Little Portion) and instructed his Brothers “never to abandon this place.”