2012 Team in Place for New Novitiate

Toni Cashnelli Friar News

Scott Brookbank, OFM, was chosen last month to serve as part of the new leadership team for the interprovincial novitiate of seven provinces —Assumption BVM, Christ the King, Holy Name, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist — of the Order of Friars Minor. The article below appeared in the May 19 issue of SJB News Notesthe newsletter of St. John the Baptist Province, based in Ohio. Scott is second from left in the photo.

New setting, new team, new venture.

With the May 13 announcement of proposed team members for the new North American Interprovincial Novitiate, the last major piece of an ambitious plan fell into place. Pending approval by the leadership of the sponsoring provinces, a novitiate team of four will replace the current team in the summer of 2012.

Dominic Monti, OFM, chair of the English-speaking Conference’s Secretaries of Formation, wrote to the sponsoring provinces following three days of discernment at Fatima Retreat House in Indianapolis, Ind.: “We are proposing that Fr. Ralph Parthie, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province, the current director of novices, continue in that role in 2012, and that the other members of the team be Scott Brookbank, OFM, of Holy Name, Fr. Henry Beck, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province, and Fr. Dennis Schafer, OFM, of Sacred Heart. The secretaries had agreed previously that the process should arrive at a team whose talents would combine in the best way, even if two friars happened to be from the same province.”

This August, the current team from Cedar Lake, Ind., will join the first group of novices at the new novitiate, St. Francis Friary in Burlington, Wis.

“We all think it is a good move to identify a new team at this point, as they will have a chance to form as a group and meet with the present team in Burlington before actually taking over. This will assure a good transition. The new team is committed to serving for three years (2012-2015), but suggests that we think of staggering the team membership so that not all of them would leave at the same time.”

The new team plans to invite several other solemnly professed friars, “especially from those provinces not represented on the new team,” to be part of the community.

— Toni Cashnelli is director of communications for St. John the Baptist Province.