Holy Name College to Host Black Catholic Vocation Retreat

Maria Hayes Friar News

african-ancestry-retreat_2017SILVER SPRING, Md. — Young men of African descent are invited to attend a vocation retreat in February 2017 at Holy Name College.

The friary, situated on the campus of Holy Name Province’s multicultural St. Camillus Parish, will host this year’s black Catholic vocation retreat, an opportunity for men to learn about Franciscan life and to hear the experiences of African-American friars. The retreat will take place from Feb. 10 to 12 at Holy Name College and is being organized by the HNP African Ancestry Committee.

David Hyman, OFM, committee chair, said the format of the 2017 retreat will follow the successful retreat that the friars in Wilmington, Del., hosted last year.

“The retreat will include a series of talks, prayer experiences and sharing, intended to awaken the stirrings in the men’s hearts to serve in the Catholic Church and, more specifically, in the Franciscan Order,” David said.

The retreat will begin Friday evening with dinner, activities that will enable attendees to get to know each other, and prayer. Saturday’s schedule begins with a talk given by a layperson, holding up the presence of people of color in the Church.

“African descent engagement in the Catholic Church has been continuous and mighty,” said David. “We’ll be sharing with the men ways that they can continue that story.”

The next talks will be given by friars of color, who will share their experiences of ministry in Holy Name Province. In the afternoon, Christopher Posch, OFM, pastor of St. Camillus, will give a talk concerning the ministries at St. Camillus, with a chance for attendees to participate in one of them.


The courtyard at Holy Name College.

Later in the afternoon, participants will be given the chance to share their experiences during the retreat thus far. After sharing a meal, vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, will speak on how to discern a call to be a Franciscan.

Holy Name College is the Province’s formation residence, located six miles outside Washington, D.C. It houses the postulancy program and is also home to several simply- and solemnly-professed friars.

The retreat will conclude on Sunday with Mass at St. Camillus Church.

Friars are encouraged to invite men of African descent ages 18 to 45 to register. An informational flyer about the event can be forwarded and displayed.

To RSVP, interested participants are asked to contact committee member Kirk Gaddy, of the nearby St. Francis international School, at 443-285-1663 or kgaddy@sfismd.org by Feb. 1. Please include “Vocation Retreat” in the subject line of the email.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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