ESTES PARK, Colo. – The five Holy Name friars preparing to profess solemn vows this month recently completed a 30-day Solemn Vow Retreat at St. Malo Catholic Retreat, Conference and Spiritual Center in the Rocky Mountains here.
The annual retreat is usually for provinces within the English-speaking Conference (ESC), according to Francis Di Spigno, OFM, who coordinated this year’s gathering. This year, the Custody of the Holy Land was also included.
Holy Name friars Kyle Haden, OFM, Linh Hoang, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, and Harry Monaco, OFM, joined with brothers from other Franciscan provinces, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart, Assumption, St John the Baptist and Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.
Those also on retreat were Jason Welle, OFM, Assumption; Fadi Azar, OFM, and Harout Samouian, OFM, Holy Land Custody; Abel Olivas, OFM, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Thin Van Tran, OFM, Sacred Heart; Andrew Stettler, OFM, St. John the Baptist. Fadi participated in the Province’s formation program at Holy Name College for the past two years, according to Francis.
A Prayerful and Supportive Setting
The June 27 to July 27 retreat is meant to support friars in a prayerful and reflective setting before they make profession of solemn vows, according to Francis, the Province’s director of post-novitiate formation. The retreat allows the men to examine their lives, as well as their desires to serve Jesus in the spirit of St. Francis. Since 1994, the ESC has sponsored the intra-provincial retreat.
“Some of the simply-professed friars may have met during their formation years,” said Francis. “This experience allows the friars to deepen past relationships as well as begin new relationships with friars of the different provinces within the conference. It personally allows the friars to experience fraternal life beyond their own provincial reality.”
Reflecting on Brothers and on Creation
Hugh called the profession retreat a “wonderful experience.”
“Profession was not so much a question while I was on this retreat, but what my relationship with God and the brothers is, has been, and will be. It presented a great focus for my prayer and general experience,” he said. “I appreciated getting to know some of the other friars who will make their professions for the other provinces. We even met some Dominican novices who were preparing for their first professions.”
“Colorado offered plenty of opportunity to reflect on creation, a very appropriate source of reflection for a Franciscan,” Hugh added.
Among the friars who preached at the retreat were William Beaudin, OFM, who spoke about Francis’ writing and prayers, and Thomas Hartle, OFM.
Eleven friars participated in the gathering at St. Malo Center, a nonprofit religious facility near Rocky Mountain National Park.
The friars are scheduled to profess their solemn vows Aug. 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan.