CEDAR LAKE, Ind. — Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, received first vows from George Camacho, OFM, at a June 11 ceremony held at Our Lady of Lourdes Friary. George was one of nine novices from the interprovincial Franciscan novitiate professing their temporary vows this year.
“The simple profession ceremony was the culmination of a life-giving and challenging year of discernment,” George said. “It was an emotional day. I felt nostalgic for the end of our novitiate community.” George was the first friar from Holy Name Province to spend a year in the interprovincial novitiate.
Dominic, who represented Holy Name Province along with Thomas Conway, OFM, director of post-novitiate formation, described the celebration as “very enjoyable.”
“It was certainly a celebration of nine new brothers committing themselves to our Franciscan way of life following a good novitiate experience. It was also a celebration of the common vocation all of us North American Franciscans share,” he said.
George said, “My novice brothers and I had the support and encouragement of numerous friars from six provinces, as well as several members of other religious congregations.”
Friars from Sacred Heart, Assumption and St. John the Baptist provinces — which have houses within several hours’ drive of Cedar Lake — attended the ceremony. In addition, Conventual friars from the novitiate house in Mishawaka, Ind., came to support the OFM novices who share some joint programming during the novitiate year.
In preparation for the June 11 ceremony, George and his classmates — Br. Colin King, OFM, and Br. Adam Calder, OFM (of St. John the Baptist), Br. Guillermo Morales, OFM, and Br. Marc Sheckells, OFM (Sacred Heart), Br. Jose Luis Peralta-Andrade, OFM, and Br. Anthony DuPont, OFM (Our Lady of Guadalupe), and Br. Gabriel Viveiros, OFM, and Br. Benjamin Ripley, OFM (Christ the King) — participated in a first vows retreat at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville, Calif., operated by St. Barbara Province.
The May 13 to 20 retreat was conducted by Fr. Garrett Galvin, OFM, and facilitated by Ronald Pecci, OFM, who served as novitiate director for the Province and is now director of postulants.
The interprovincial novitiate — currently based at San Damiano Friary, on the same grounds as Our Lady of Lourdes — has been conducted for the past 18 years by three Midwestern provinces: Assumption, Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist. This past year, the United States provinces of Holy Name and Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Canadian province Christ the King also sent their novices to Cedar Lake. In the fall, the novitiate will move to Burlington Wis., and will expand to include Immaculate Conception Province.
“As the General Minister (Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM) continually reminds us,” Dominic said, “collaboration is the way we will live out our Franciscan lives in the years ahead.”
This fall, George, a native of New York City, will begin philosophy studies at The Catholilc University of America and Washington Theological Union while living at Holy Name College, Silver Spring, Md.
“I leave Cedar Lake feeling motivated to continue exploring Franciscan life and discerning my vocation,” George said. “The future remains in God’s hands.”
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
Editor’s note: An essay by George about his novitiate year appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of Be A Franciscan newsletter. It also appears on the Franciscan Vocation Ministry blog of the same name.