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Prior to entering the Discalced Carmelites in 1989 at the age of 43, I worked for 15 years as a Financial Assistance Worker at the Welfare Office in Springfield, MA. I was introduced to the Order through my supervisor who was a Secular Carmelite. When she came back from a retreat in Peterborough, NH, she gave me a brochure describing the retreats for that year. I went to the retreat for Single Catholics. Fr. Paul Fohlin was the director of the retreat house. He graduated two years ahead of me in college and this was the first time that we met in 20 years. After a couple of weekend visits to Peterborough, I decided to apply for entrance. In the meantime, there had been a provincial chapter and the priest who had been the retreat master for the retreat that I made was now the vocation director. I made my postulancy in Washington, DC and my novitiate at Holy Hill. When it was time to enter the seminary, I went to The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. At one point in my studies, Fr Regis Jordan was the prior of the monastery. He would be my superior again when I made my second novitiate at our monastery in Hinton, WV. the summer of 1995. After completion of my seminary studies, I was sent to Holy Hill. It was there that I made my solemn vows and ordained a deacon in 1996. In 19971 was ordained a priest by a classmate of mine who had been ordained a bishop. I should mention that Father Dufault was on educational leave from the Archdiocese of Kingston, Jamaica and was taking courses in Washington DC. Father Dufault's last words to me when I was leaving DC were:"Make sure that you invite me to your ordination." When he came as the Bishop of Montego Bay, I said to him "Little did I realize that when I promised to invite you to my ordination that you were going to have the best seat in the house." After 6 years at Holy Hill in shrine ministry, healing ministry and on occasion Hispanic ministry, the provincial transferred me to Brighton, MA where I was involved among other things with the Secular Carmelites. One of the groups that I was asked to be the spiritual assistant was the Springfield, MA group. While I was still in WI, my former supervisor was called to God. I will miss the Secular Carmelite Communities of Western MA and Southern NH. And I am looking forward to my ministry with the Secular Carmelites of the Midwest. Something tells me that I will meet Secular Carmelites that came to Holy Hill.

Fr. John Grennon, O.C.D.

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