30 years as a claretian missionary

i thank God for my call– especially today, august 24th, as i celebrate 30 years of the vowed life as a claretian missionary. those sacred words that i spoke at the san gabriel mission continue to help define and order my life. i ask the Lord’s pardon for all the times that i have not lived up to these vows and our constitution– when i have not been the person that God desires. in many ways, i am still learning what poverty, chastity and obedience are. i am thankful for God’s mercy and i pray that the Spirit will lead and guide me– i want to respond as best as i can to the Lord’s continued call.

it has been two years since moving back to seattle to help care for my mother. i usually celebrate mass at a parish on the weekends. the words at mass have an extra special resonance to my ears these days. they are especially beautiful in spanish. i have a greater appreciation for all the sacraments– especially the eucharist– now more than ever in my life.

but in this current chapter of life what has kept me on track is my claretian identity. being in constant contact with my claretian brothers has been affirming to me– sometimes to the point of tears. our assembly this year was on zoom and it was a true blessings to see so many of my brothers on my tablet! i miss my claretian community and ministry; i look forward to the day of my return. until then, i am primarily my mother’s son…

i wish a warm congrats to my novice mates who also took their first vows 30 years ago: tony diaz and paul keller. i know we had planned to do something special this summer in celebration, but covid has ruined that too (like so many other things)! and congrats to my brother steve niskanen who at the same ceremony promised his perpetual vows before God. God willing, we all will grow old and continue to serve together!

st anthony, pray for us… sweet heart of mary, be our my salvation


  1. lannyjlarson says:

    First, congratulations on the first 30 years! Second, thank you for your dedication and example of humility and the need to be constantly open to learning about our faith, ourselves and the relationship between the two.


    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks lanny! you’re words are very kind. but if i may quote pope francis, “i’m just a man trying to do the best i can” Godspeed


  2. Gary says:

    Congratulations Art! It goes fast, doesn’t it? Thanks for filling in at St Louise while I was away!


    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks gary! just call me anytime you need a sub


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