Franciscan friar professes solemn vows to reflect love of brothers, Christ

Br. Scott Slattum, OFM, kneels in front of the altar during his Mass of profession of solemn vows Sept. 16 at St. Mary’s Basilica. (Courtesy of Peter Jordan Photography)

By Margaret Naczek
The Catholic Sun

It was in fraternal love that Br. Scott Slattum found his calling in the Order of Friars Minor. The director of faith formation at St. Mary’s Basilica professed his solemn vows at the historic Franciscan parish Sept. 16 amidst his family, friends and Franciscan brothers.

“I really feel like I’ve been loved into this life,” Br. Scott said. “So many people have loved me and cared for me — my family, my parents and the friars …. How could I not turn it around and share with others what’s been freely shared with me?”

Br. Scott comes from a Franciscan family — Br. Jeff Macnab is both his Franciscan brother and his uncle — as well as the current director of Franciscan novices for the St. Barbara Province which includes Arizona. Before the profession, Br. Jeff said his nephew was likely feeling nervous and overwhelmed with the ceremony holding the same importance and meaning as a wedding would.

Br. Scott Slattum, OFM, stands with his family following his solemn profession of vows Sept. 16. Br. Jeff Macnab, his uncle, is current director of Franciscan novices for the St. Barbara Province. (Courtesy of Peter Jordan Photography)

“Being his uncle, it’s even more special. To have a family member in the other family means a lot,” Br. Jeff said.

Br. Scott’s parents and other family members were also present at the ceremony. His mother and father walked him down the aisle as the many brothers in attendance processed in. His godmother and aunt, Nancy Macnab said the whole ceremony was an emotional one for the family who has been with Br. Scott throughout his journey with the Franciscan friars. Br. Scott was equally moved.

“I have fallen in love with Christ,” Br. Scott said during the ceremony. “And I have fallen in love with my brothers.”

The Franciscan friars have maintained a longstanding relationship with St. Mary’s Basilica and with the Diocese of Phoenix. They’ve been at St. Mary’s for over a century remaining faithful to the brotherhood’s overarching mission of connecting with people.

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“The friars have always had a unique ability to journey with the people,” the Very Rev. David Gaa, OFM, Br. Scott’s provincial minister, said.

They do that through the confidence that letting go of power and control can be a virtuous thing. It’s something that’s almost impossible to understand in modern society and very difficult to do, Fr. Gaa said in his homily, yet he urged Br. Scott and his fellow brothers to strive for that goal, knowing that they would in the process fail along the way.

“We give ourselves to Jesus as completely as we can,” he said.

Br. Scott says his pastoral work at the Basilica allows him to carry his duties as a Franciscan friar with immense love of fellowship with people.

“I think it’s a privileged place for a friar to be, just to be able to walk with people and share their faith journey, as clearly, they’ve shared my faith journey too,” Br. Scott said.

Br. Scott Slattum, OFM, poses with his fellow Franciscan brothers following his solemn profession of vows Sept. 16 at St. Mary’s Basilica. (Courtesy of Peter Jordan Photography)