Provincial Council Approves Two for Solemn Profession

Rebecca Doel Friar News

NEW YORK — The Provincial Council met in April for their third meeting of this administration to discuss a variety of topics including formation, directorates and committees and a possible new ministry position.

The April 27 to 28 gathering began with liturgy, presided by William Beaudin, OFM.

Much of Wednesday’s discussion focused on “Healthy Celibate Living: Challenge and Opportunity,” a discussion led by F. Edward Coughlin, OFM. 

“This is an important piece of what the Council is doing now — spending the first part of the meeting on sharing our ideas on key elements of Franciscan life,” said Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, “so as to better vision our future and also to get to know one another better.”

Formation and Studies
The Council unanimously approved two student friars for solemn profession of vows. Stephen DeWitt, OFM, currently serving at St. Anne’s Parish in Lima, Peru, and Daniel Horan, OFM, who spent his internship year teaching at Siena College, will profess their vows on Aug. 27 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Midtown Manhattan.

In addition, Council members discussed the basic agreement for the interprovincial novitiate approved by the North American sub-conference of the Order’s English-speaking Conference. Provinces participating in this collaborative venture based at St. Francis Friary in Burlington, Wis., are Assumption, Holy Name, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart, St. John the Baptist and Christ the King, as well as the Holy Land Custody.

Last week, Dominic along with Scott Brookbank, OFM, Robert Menard, OFM, and Khoa Nguyen, OFM, participated in an interprovincial discernment retreat in Indiana to form the 2012 novitiate team. Nominations resulting from the retreat are being approved by the provincial ministers of each province, according to Dominic.

English-speaking Conference
Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, informed the Council of other topics discussed at the April 11 to 15 ESC meeting, held in Santa Fe, N.M. In addition to the interprovincial novitiate, the provincials conferred about justice, peace and integrity of creation, policies for postulants, mentoring newly professed friars, this summer’sWorld Youth Day, proposals for the general administration of the Order and a gathering of friars solemnly professed less than five years.

At the spring ESC meeting, the provincial ministers participated in a day of ongoing formation at which the facilitator, Fr. Robert Duggan, of the Archdiocese of Washington, discussed the impact of family systems on leadership

Ministries, Finances and Committees
The Province’s financial situation was also a focus of the meeting. The councilors approved both benevolence contributions and grants — the Province’s funding of projects and initiatives submitted by other entities requesting assistance — for the year ending in 2012. “We unfortunately had to reduce the amount of such contributions and grants this year due to a very tight financial situation in the Province,” Dominic said. “Like all non-profits and government entities, we simply do not have the funds.”

Bishop Michael Burbidge invited Holy Name Province to consider two new ministry positions in the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C. — chaplaincies at the Duke University Medical Center and at North Carolina State University. John has been talking with friars who might be interested in applying for the positions.

The Council is contacting chairs and members of Province directorates and committees to confirm willingness to serve. Formal letters of appointment for the 2011 to 2014 terms will be mailed when the process is completed.

A detailed summary of last month’s meeting was emailed to all friars on May 10. The next meeting of the Council will be May 31 to June 1 at the Provincial Office in New York.

The photo above shows: (front row) Dominic Monti; John O’Connor, Joseph Nangle, OFM, (back row) Lawrence Hayes, OFM, Edward Coughlin, William Beaudin, Brian Belanger, OFM, Michael Harlan, OFM, and Thomas Conway, OFM.

— Compiled by Rebecca Doel