Province Welcomes Five as Postulants

Rebecca Doel In the Headlines

WILMINGTON, Del. — The friars of St. Paul Friary gathered in the chapel on Aug. 25 to welcome five new men to the community as postulants.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, and Christopher Coccia, OFM, traveled from New York to join the Wilmington friars for evening prayer and dinner. Postulant director Ronald Pecci, OFM, led the simple prayer service, which included Franciscan readings proclaimed by the new candidates.

During the service, Dennis Bennett, Casey Cole, Sergio Ferrisi, Edgardo Jara Araya and Ramon Razon received the traditional blessed Tau crosses from Dominic, who also offered his own words of welcome during his reflection. Dominic said each postulant had come “with gifts and talents that would be of great service in community and ministry.” He also thanked them for their openness to exploring Franciscan life during the coming year and their willingness to further discern God’s call in the context of community living.

Following evening prayer, the friars and postulants gathered for a festive dinner and conversation. “Each postulant expressed his enthusiasm for the year ahead as they begin these first steps in their Franciscan journey,” Brian said.

Casey, who has created a blog, Breaking in the Habit, said: “One of the great things about the formation process is that no one has to do it alone. As I move on from place to place, going from postulancy to novitiate to post-novitiate, the group of guys that entered at the same time as I did will do the same. There is a sense of comfort in this sort of community, and some friars describe the relationship they have with their classmates as an intimate bond. I feel very blessed to have a group of guys such as this, and believe that they will all have a profound effect on my faith journey.”

About the Postulants
Dennis, born and raised in Rhode Island, received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rhode Island College in Providence in 2008. After completing his master’s in chemistry from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 2010, he returned to Rhode Island College as an adjunct professor in the Department of Physical Sciences. He first met the friars through the Church of St. Mary on Broadway in Providence.

Born in North Wales, Pa., Casey graduated from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., earlier this year with a degree in theology. While a student, he was active in campus ministry and came to know the friars through a student spirituality group led by Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of nearby St. Anthony of Padua Church. Casey spent the summer of 2010 volunteering at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia.

A native New Yorker, Sergio earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Carolina in 2002. He also holds a master’s degree in philosophy from USC Columbia and completed a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan earlier this year. Sergio learned about the Province through and came to know the friars during the past year through ministry at Holy Name of Jesus Church on the Upper West Side.

Originally from the Philippines, Ramon graduated from the University of Manila with a degree in development in 2001, and completed a master’s degree in teaching of English from Columbia University in Manhattan in 2007. He came to know the friars through his spiritual director, Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan.

A native of Costa Rica, Edgardo graduated from Costa Rica Catholic University with a degree in theology and humanities in 2004. He worked in a bank and as a high school teacher before entering religious life in 2010. Originally a postulant with Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, Edgardo came to know the friars of Holy Name Province while attending an interprovincial workshop.

— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

Editor’s note: More information about the 2011 postulants and other HNP student friars can be found in the Join Us section of