Formation Update: Novitiate News from Wisconsin

Scott Brookbank, OFM Friar News

BURLINGTON, Wis. — It has been a busy and fruitful three months for the novitiate community. After a week of orientation, the community had a two-week workshop on community building presented by Br. Tim Lamb, OFM. The workshop included several days of reviewing the community’s Myers Briggs profiles.

In September, the novices learned how to chant and to sing sacred music from Fr. Chuck Faso, OFM, during a weeklong workshop. Br. Moises Rivas, OFM, gave a one-day workshop on living in an intercultural community, a workshop topic requested by the novices.

The next month, the novices planned and hosted the Transitus celebration at Lady Queen of Peace Friary (pictured above), the retirement home for the Assumption Province, which is located on the grounds of the Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington. The Secular Franciscans joined us for this wonderful celebration.

Also in October, we attended our first Inter-Novitiate Community workshop, “Family of Origins presentation by Sr. Beatrice M. Eichten, OSF. It was held at Siena retreat house located in Racine, Wis. The novitiate community joined other novices from different religious novitiate communities for this two-day workshop. There were more than 90 people including novitiate directors.

The novitiate team led an in-house guided retreat for the novices, which used the Order of Friars Minor: The Journey Towards the “Center,” The “Place of the Heart”: Remarks to Help Rediscover the Interior Life and the Place of Silence in the Franciscan Life, as the topic and to help facilitate small group discussions.

During a “normal week,” the novices attend classes on religious life, spirituality, liturgy, and The Franciscan Sources, taught by one of the team members. The novices meet twice a month with an assigned mentor to discuss their progress. They have also started spiritual direction, which is done on a monthly basis.

— Fr. Scott has been a member of the ESC Interprovincial Novitiate leadership team since last year.