BOSTON — The friar communities of St. Anthony Shrine and St. Anthony Residence, along with friars from various other houses, gathered here Aug. 16 to officially welcome postulants George Camacho, Alexander “AJ” LaPoint and Brian Taberski in the rite of candidacy. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, presided at the prayer service.
After Richard Flaherty, OFM, read from the Gospel of John, the music ministry — Gene Pistacchio, OFM, Daniel Horan, OFM, Gary Maciag, OFM, Barry Langley, OFM, and Hugh Macsherry, OFM — sang “I Have Loved You.” Gregory Day, OFM, read from the Testament of Saint Francis.
Following the reading, Brian Smail, OFM, spoke of his privilege as Provincial vocation director to have journeyed with each of the postulants to this special day. He encouraged the men always to remember the Gospel challenge to love one another.
Rite of Candidacy
In the rite of candidacy that followed, Brian presented the three postulants by saying, “Fr. Dominic, I present the following men to you for postulancy in Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor. After prayer and discernment, I confidently recommend them for your acceptance.”
Dominic welcomed them in the name of the Province and invited them to state their intention.
The three men recited, “As believers in Jesus Christ, we wish to deepen our dedication to our Franciscan vocation and to do this freely in the presence of the community gathered here. We commit ourselves to prayer, fraternity, ministry and study, in order to know the life of the friars and the Province and to discern our vocation. We do this while trusting in the grace of God and the intercession of saints Francis and Clare.”
Dominic accepted their intention and blessed their tau crosses. David Convertino, OFM, guardian of St. Anthony Shrine, with the Province’s two postulant program leaders — John Maganzini, OFM, and John Hogan, OFM — presented the tau crosses to the postulants. John Maganzini and John Hogan, director and assistant director of postulants, signed the official entrance book.
Following the presentation of the crosses, the friars greeted the postulants with a sign of peace while the music ministry sang, “My God and My All.” Hugh led the Litany of Thanksgiving. After the final prayer, the friars sang the “Blessing of Saint Francis” to the postulants.
The evening continued with a festive preprandium and dinner at the shrine.
From Aug. 11 to 13, Brian, George and AJ were on retreat to prepare for the rite of candidacy.
Directed by John Maganzini, John Hogan and David, the retreat’s theme was the Province’s mission statement with the daily themes fraternity, mission and prayer. Each day, the schedule included morning prayer and a talk on the day’s theme, followed by time for reflection. The afternoons consisted of faith sharing and Mass.
AJ said, “As we prepare to become officially affiliated with Holy Name Province, we stand at the river’s edge much like the Israelites. We have walked with the Lord to this point and now it is time to truly embark upon the task of crossing the river. Like the Israelites, we trust God will reveal that path to us, thus, why we are all here to attempt to determine how best to get to the other side.”
The three-day retreat ended with dinner together at a nearby restaurant. The postulants expressed their gratitude for the time as they prepared to be officially received as postulants in Holy Name Province. They all agreed that the retreat helped their discernment process.
Editor’s note: More information about the three postulants will be available in future issues of this newsletter.