Fr. Justin Freeman, O. de M. joined several Mercedarian friars from over the world at a continuing formation week in Rome. Here is an interview with Fr. Justin on his experience:
1) So, Fr Justin you are a Mercedarian Friar. Can you tell us about your apostolate in the Vicariate? How is this fulfilling your 4th vow?
I serve as Catholic chaplain of MetroHealth Medical Center, a large inner-city hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. MetroHealth is the “safety-net” hospital for Cuyahoga County, serving the needs of residents who otherwise lack access to healthcare. Serving as a chaplain in a healthcare setting allows me to live the fourth vow in a very concrete manner. Everyday I “visit” and seek to bring “redemption to those Christians who are in danger of losing their faith” because of their health problems.
2) What was the great experience that you have had over the past few weeks?
From 2 September to 22 September, I participated in the General Government’s Continuing Formation Course. The course was held at the Istituto Maria Santissima Bambina right across St. Peter’s Basilica. The course had 18 friars from about a dozen countries. Four language groups were represented.
3) What sort of programs/experiences did you have during your time in Rome?
I and the other friars explored Rome during our free time. We saw the sights of Rome. After the course was over, an Indian friar and I went to the Order’s famous shrine on the island of Sardinia–Our Lady of Bonaria. We got to witness the universality of the Church by attending a Papal Audience. After the Papal Audience, people from around the world approached us to have their pictures taken with us.