Interview with Br Sean Francis Taylor of the Franciscans of San Damiano

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A Journey to the Franciscans of San Damiano

When did you first consider a vocation?

I would have to say I have had a vocation since I was a young boy. Growing up in the 1950’s as many know if you had a parent who was non catholic they had to agree to raise the children catholic. So my sister and I were raised catholic for my mom was Irish Catholic. I attended St. Williams Catholic School from 1958 -1965in East Pittsburgh, Pa. I was taught by the Dominicans from Columbus Ohio. Both my sister and I wanted to attend the local Catholic high school St. Thomas, High School which was in Braddock, Pa and also taught by the Dominicans But my father could not afford the tuition.  So I still planned on entering religious life. I wanted to enter the Dominican Brothers Community, but Our Lord had other plans for me.
My mom became very ill when I was in second grade until she passed in 1971 of cancer. So I had to put my life on hold I started having trouble in high school and finally left school when I failed as a sophomore. My mom became my life visiting her several days a week in the hospital. Before she passed in 1971 I remember her asking me to complete my high school diploma. I thought at that time I would never be able to enter religious life and my dream was lost. Then I became too old for many communities. So I forgot about religious life altogether. 

What is the brief history for your order and your community?

Then two years ago, I still had the dream. I searched and searched for communities but do to my financial and private life I could not enter communities where I would have to live in community. Then finally, Vocations Placement sent me information on the Franciscans of San Damiano, a community of priests, brothers and permanent deacons who live and work the gospel life while following the Third Order Regular Rule of St. Francis of Assisi that we accept men of all ages. So I looked into them and was going to move forward and decided to enter then it happened. I had a stroke and  a heart attack, and the community and I lost touch. Then my brother who is an agnostic called the community founder to tell him I had a stroke and to keep me in their prayers. Both the community and I felt we would never be in touch thank God He saw me through my stroke and I finally entered the Franciscans of San Damiano

I made my first promises on November of 2011 and have been assisting with Vocations for our community. For any man or women that may feel their prayer of entering religious life never give up give it to God in prayer and He will lead you on the right path. A typical day for me is reciting the Daily Office , volunteering at my parish as reader, helping with communion, and religious education.

What drew you to your community?

The reason I chose the Franciscans of San Damiano was for the fact they accepted men of all ages that I could live on my own. The Brothers are a wonderful group of Christian Men.

Many people feel like the rich man in the Gospel, as they are afraid to leave their possessions to follow Christ.  How hard was it to take the vow of poverty and the other vows?

Though we make promises we live on our own and work to continue to life. We live within our means; if a married Brother’s spouse passes away then they take a promise of celibacy.

What is a typical day for a friar like yourself?

A typical day for me is reciting the daily office, I attend mass daily, and do my task that is asked of me by the priest of the parish. I visit the sick in hospitals etc.

Does having a vow of poverty mean you never shop or use technology?

Even though we take a promise of poverty, we still use technology and shop for whatever our needs are.

What is your advice to people considering a vocation to the Franciscans?

First thing I would say is take it to Our Lord in prayer. Look at as many Franciscans communities that you can. With helping with Vocations I have meet a lot of men who have been looking for a community for years, and when they come across the FSD’s we ask them to review our web site to see if we are what they are looking for. Then I ask them to contact me and I can answer their questions and we invite them to convocations to spend time with us. 

Besides St. Francis, do you have any other special patrons?

I would have to say I have a devotion to St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Pio, and St. Claire, St. Anthony. I have a special devotion to these wonderful Saints and I pray to them often.

Respectfully Submitted
Br Sean Francis Taylor FSD
Vocations Director
Franciscans of San Damiano

 Br. Sean is on the right


Barb from Upstate NY,  Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 9:22:00 AM PDT  

I know one of the members of the Franciscans of San Damiano-he's in the group picture!

He and I used to be Third Order Franciscans (Secular) in an Italian parish here in Upstate NY!

And I also recognized the location where these photos were taken: Mount Alvernia Retreat House in Wappingers Falls, NY! I went there in the 1980s when I was in the Third Order Secular (two Congresses, one retreat, and one workshop weekend).

Sadly, I wouldn't even know the present-day members of the host fraternity (Stigmata Fraternity). There were two I did know from my years in the Third Order Secular, but both of them are now deceased (one of them became a Franciscan hermit in his later years-I went to his profession in 1995 in the nearby town of Marlboro, NY)

Barb from Upstate NY (you know who I am, Brother Francis!)

Ev.Auguste,  Monday, October 20, 2014 at 6:40:00 AM PDT  

it is so refreshing to read this.Is it possible to have Br.Sean email or contact.I have contacted them on their listed emails on their website but have not got a reply.


Matthew Monday, October 20, 2014 at 7:46:00 AM PDT  

Please try here: trobb19[at]yahoo[dot.]com

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