Formation Update: Postulants Visit Midwest for Study and Fraternity

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

WILMINGTON, Del. — Last month, Holy Name postulants and their director traveled to the Midwest for a workshop and a visit with the staff who will supervise the Province’s student friars when they participate in the next phase of their formation, the novitiate.

The postulants, who currently live at St. Paul Friary in Wilmington, attended a workshop offered by Fr. Don Miller, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province titled “Human Sexuality and Male Spirituality.” Fr. Don is SJB’s vocation director and has taught moral theology, according to Ronald Pecci, OFM, HNP’s postulant director.

The workshop, held at a retreat house outside Chicago, was open to all OFM postulants who will attend the common novitiate in Wisconsin in August, said Ronald. Postulants and directors from five provinces — Holy Name, Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. John the Baptist Provinces — participated.

Workshop for Postulants 
“The only person missing from the group, who will be in the common novitiate, was the postulant from Christ the King Province in Western Canada,” said Ronald.

“The content of the workshop was excellent: sacredness of our sexuality viewed and experienced through a healthy spirituality ‘incarnated’ in our human reality and daily experiences as men. Not to be afraid of who and how we are, but to embrace of all it as good because it has been created by God and given to us as gifts,” said Pedro Corces, one of the Province’s three postulants. The other two postulants are John Aherne and Jeffrey Upshaw.

“The other big reason we went was to have the postulants meet their novitiate classmates. That part of the week went very well. They enjoyed being with each other,” said Ron, who provided photos taken at the retreat center.

“It was a great opportunity to get to know other postulants from a number of different OFM Provinces, and their formators, too,” said Pedro. “There was a great variety of ages, life, Church experiences, nationalities, and ideologies. It is a great blessing and also a great challenge at the same time.”

Introduction to Collaborative Novitiate 
“Since we were out in the Midwest and only about an hour from Cedar Lake, Ind., I made arrangements for our postulants to visit the current novitiate to meet the staff that will supervise them next summer and to visitGeorge Camacho, OFM.” George is the first Holy Name student friar to participate in the interprovincial novitiate program, which next year is moving to Burlington, Wisc.

postulant-r“I was very much impressed by the openness of the friars and their sincere hospitality,” Pedro said. “They seem to be the type of persons who are always inviting you to be and to remain transparent, without fear of rejection, and at the same time, willing to challenge you when and if necessary, but always honoring and respecting the other person. I felt very comfortable and at home with them. We also had the chance to meet and to share some time with the present novices, especially our HNP novice, George.”

“They are a great bunch of guys who, together, are able and willing to create a beautiful community of brothers,” Pedro said.

In March, the postulants will participate in the Province’s annual formation gathering, where student friars in all levels of education gather for lectures, discussion, prayer and meals.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for the Province.

Editor’s note: An essay by George Camacho will appear in the spring 2011 issue of Be A Franciscan, the newsletter of the HNP Franciscan Vocation Ministry.