WILMINGTON, Del. — Three postulants were received as novices into the Order in the novitiate chapel of St. Paul’s Church here on June 13 in a ceremony often called investiture because the new friars receive their Franciscan habits at this time.
Those received were Mario Gomez, Antonio Cornier and Joseph Macaluso.
Practically the entire friar community at Wilmington and from Holy Cross Church in the Bronx, N.Y., where the Province’s postulant program is based, attended, along with other friars, volunteers and laypersons. Since the Second Vatican Council, the ceremony has been very simple and usually attended only by friars.
Novice director Thomas Gallagher prepared prayers and music for the ceremony, while Dominic Monti, Provincial Vicar, and Secretary of Formation, presided in place of Provincial Minister John O’Connor.
After an opening hymn, all present prayed with the presider for the new novices. Thomas presented Mario, Antonio, and Joseph to be received as novices for the 2007 to 2008 year.
A Franciscan volunteer, Debra Holihan, read from the writings of St. Bonaventure, and Dominic proclaimed a selection from the Gospel and offered his insights. Because June 13 was also the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, Dominic shared a selection from one of St. Anthony’s homilies on following Christ.
Following the readings, the investiture took place. Gerry Paciello put the Franciscan habit on Joseph, Brennan Connelly invested Antonio, and William Herbst placed the habit on Mario. Dominic handed the Rule of St. Francis to each of the novices, and each signed the Book of Reception which records the names of all who have entered into the Holy Name Province.
A final prayer was offered and closing hymn was sung. All were invited to a meal in the garden, prepared by Tom.
The new novices are spending the month at St. Bonaventure University for a program of classes and retreat. The group includes two friars from Christ the King Province in Western Canada: Br. Francis “Frank” Critch and Br. Tyler Piccini who will participate in Holy Name’s novitiate program during the next year.
An article about the year that Antonio and Mario spent as postulants appears in the summer 2007 issue of Insight and Wisdom which is posted on the Province’s Web site.
Shown in the photo above are the novices from Holy Name Province and Christ the King Province, in back row, Frank Critch, Joe Macaluso, and Tyler Piccini, and in front, Antonio Cornier and Mario Gomez.
— Fr. Flavian Walsh is assistant novice director for Holy Name Province.