For Miguel Briseño, entering the Conventual Franciscan Friars was as natural a slipping on a pair of favorite shoes. The fit was just right. He grew up in Artesia, N.M. in a family bigger than many religious community households. He and his five brothers, one sister and parents lived two blocks away from the parish that played a dominant role in their lives. The Conventual Franciscans staffed the parish, so even before he became an altar server, Miguel got to know the friars.
He graduated from high school in Artesia and vocational school at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell campus and returned to Artesia to work as a tractor mechanic. Upon graduating from the vocational school, Miguel got involved in directing a youth choir for the parish. One friar in particular, Fr. Antonio Moreno, impressed him and got him thinking about his own calling in life. “He was very excited about what he was doing. The way he preached, the way he interacted with people affected me.” Miguel realized that he was drawn to church activities.
“I decided religious life was maybe something to look at,” he says. “So I talked to a vocation director, Bro. Timothy Unser, and went on a vocation retreat.” Brother Timothy encouraged Miguel to try Franciscan life. “I knew I needed to look at this life more in depth and the only way I was going to be able to do that was to join.”
Although he had fleeting doubts and questions, Miguel says his becoming a member of the Conventual Franciscans was a natural progression from joining to “see what would happen” until he made his final vows on August 2, 1987.
Also joining the staff at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish is Rev. John Curran, OFM, Conv. Vicar.