Jonathon Andrews is now a full-time candidate for the Capuchin Franciscans Photo by Evan Boudreau

Back to the Capuchin Franciscans, in a roundabout way

By 
  • April 20, 2012

TORONTO - To minister or not to minister is no longer the question for Jonathan Andrews, who earlier this year quit his job to become a full-time candidate for the Capuchin Franciscans.

“When I was going to do the nine-to-five it felt very repetitive. I’ve worked in warehouses, factories and offices; I’ve done the full spectrum,” said Andrews, who now nourishes the less fortunate at St. Francis Table in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood.

“I felt that there was no higher purpose. I had no spiritual thing.”

So Andrews re-embarked on a journey of vocation which began in high school.

Feeling a calling towards God as a maturing youth, Andrews began visiting friaries seeking one to call home.

While on this journey Andrews found himself near the elevator on the main floor of St. Philip Neri parish waiting to meet with yet another friar. What appeared before him as the metal doored groaned open left a permanent impression on the now 24-year-old man.

“I saw a man in a habit with this great big smile on his face,” said Andrews. “I was just blown back because I’ve never seen that. Everybody was always in office attire.”

Instantaneously Andrews thought this was where he’d stay; he thought wrong.

Without a high school diploma, one of the only requirements to join the brotherhood, the aspiring religious returned to more secular surroundings which grabbed a hold of him.

“It turned out I didn’t meet the requirements and when I went out to get the requirements, my high school diploma, I started having a blast,” he said.

Within two years his direction had shifted from brotherhood to potential-parenthood as God began sharing Andrews’ attention with a girl.

“After about two years I got an e-mail from him saying that he had found this great girl and he was madly in love and so forth. He was done high school and was then going on to university or college and so I just sent an e-mail back encouraging him,” said Capuchin Father Louis Mousseau, the man in the habit.

“I thought, ‘Well that’s great, I probably won’t hear from him again.’ ”

This is not unique or uncommon; but what happens next is.

“Last January all of a sudden he appeared at my door and he said ‘I’ve lived certain things in life. I’ve been to university, I’ve worked a full-time job and I’m still looking at life and I think I would like to see what it would be like to live as a Capuchin Friar,’ ” said Mousseau, recalling his reunion with Andrews on Jan. 6 — the same day the young man quit his job.

There is still uncertainty in Andrews’ future for he’s yet to decide on a life of brotherhood or as a priest. What he does know is that he is finally happy, fulfilled and now fully dedicated to missionary work.

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