Men in Formation Meet in Pennsylvania

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

ASTON, Pa. — Holy Name Province’s student friars gathered March 3 to 6 at the Franciscan Spiritual Center here for their annual three-day meeting. This year’s focus was on “Finances for Franciscans.”

Participants listened to presentations about the spiritual and practical aspects of finances. Provincial Treasurer Dennis Wilson, OFM, offered helpful information, according to postulant Michael Reyes. Dennis presented HNP’s financial policies and practical implications in friars’ lives. “It was a good balance,” Michael said. 

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, spoke to the students on March 4. Other friars involved with formation also participated, including Provincial VicarDominic Monti, OFM, who is the Province’s secretary for formation studies; William Herbst, OFM, and Ronald Pecci, OFM, of Wilmington, Del.; David Schlatter, OFM, and Ronald Stark, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., who are associate directors of HNP’s post-novitiate program, John Maganzini, OFM, of Boston, and Thomas Conway, OFM, of Beach Haven, N.J., chair of the Province’s Finance Committee. Tom presented practical tools for managing finances.

The gathering, which included prayers, meals, and four workshops, was a positive one, according to the postulants. The friars in each level of formation prayed together, according to John Maganzini, who has been director of the Province’s postulant program since last summer.

“This year’s session was well received and fulfilled its dual purpose of providing background for the men in formation, as well as an opportunity for them to get to know one another better,” Dominic said. 

He discussed how the Franciscan understanding of the vow of poverty must be placed in a larger context in the decision to be a Minor, or lesser brother. Franciscans, Dominic said, are in solidarity with the lesser ones of society; their poverty vow is for the renunciation of ownership and supporting themselves through their work. 

Postulant Scott Carey said the talks emphasized that friars “divest themselves of material things and invest in the spiritual.”

Postulant Gerald Hopeck said the discussion about sacrifice “helped us become more selfless.”

The theme underscored a “call back to our vowed life,” John Maganzini said. “We talked about living as Minors and about poverty.”

Scott said the workshops described the gradual process of financial change.

Approximately 20 attended the program. Among them was Robert Lentz, OFM, who recently transferred into Holy Name Province. John Maganzini said the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia, who run the center, were wonderful hosts.

After the Friday Mass and brunch, participants traveled home — the postulants to Boston, novice Jeffery Jordan, OFM, to Wilmington, Del., and the simply professed friars to Silver Spring, Md.

The Province should be very proud of the men in formation, according to John Maganzini. “I could sense in these men a genuine desire to do things right.” 

Shown in the photo above are, from left, HNP members Jeffery Jordan, Francis Critch, Antonio Cornier, Robert Lentz, Gerald Hopek, Michael Reyes, Scott Carey, Dwayne Fernandez, and Mario Gomez.

—  Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.