Formation: Student Friars Gather in Maryland for Prayer, Talks, Sharing

Dominic Monti, OFM Friar News

MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md. — Most of the men in initial formation for Franciscan life and ministry in Holy Name Province gathered for the annual intersession program last week. This year, it was held at the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center from Jan. 6 to 9.

The purpose of the program, dating back more than two decades, is to present material not ordinarily available to the men in the academic courses that are part of their degree programs or in the other workshops presented during the year. The program also affords an opportunity for men at the different levels of formation to get to know one another better in a more relaxed atmosphere away from the normal demands of their usual routines and to take some time for private prayer and reflection. It is organized by the formation directors.

The simply professed friars from Silver Spring, Md., and the postulants from Wilmington, Del., attended the gathering, as did their formation directors, Thomas Conway, OFM, and Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, from Silver Spring, Ronald Pecci, OFM, and William Herbst, OFM, from Wilmington, along with myself as secretary of formation. This year, the novices were unable to travel to the intersession and there are no simply professed friars out on a pastoral internship year in the Province, so there was a smaller group than usual.

On Sunday evening, Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, joined us for dinner and spent time afterwards with the students discussing current developments in the Province. On Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras, pictured above with the students, a member of the faculty of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University, gave presentations on the life and writings of St. Clare. We all were deeply impressed, not simply by his knowledge of the subject matter, but his passion in relating this 13th century woman to current issues in our Franciscan life.

The formation students led daily morning and evening prayer, and Tom, Ron, and I presided at the Eucharists. Each day concluded with evening recreation and movies. The gathering, which began Sunday afternoon, broke up on Wednesday morning.

— Fr. Dominic, Provincial Vicar, is HNP’s secretary of formation and studies.