LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Two friars, Stephen DeWitt and Daniel Horan, made their first, or simple, profession of vows on June 7 before Provincial Minister John O’Connor and a church filled with family, friars and friends here.
The profession was part of a Mass celebrated at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Siena College during the Province’s Chapter of Mats. Assisting at the Mass were Thomas Gallagher, the Province’s novitiate director, and Flavian Walsh, associate novice director.
In his welcome remarks, John said that “this is an ecumenical service. Both Steve and Dan are graduates of St. Bonaventure University and we are here today at Siena College.”
The congregation comprised relatives of the two young men, approximately 185 friars, and members of the Province’s Franciscan Volunteer ministry who had become acquainted with Daniel and Stephen during the last year, and other assorted supporters. The mood was festive and respectful throughout the service on a bright sunny spring day.
Music at the Mass was provided by Kevin McGoff, William Beaudin, and Richard Trezza, as well as other talented participants.
“The celebration of Steve’s and Dan’s profession of first vows was simple and exceedingly beautiful,” said Flavian. “The joy was obvious. The large number of friars was impressive, and the friars and people sang with gusto. Family and friends all participated in the joy of the two friars and the Province.
“As I sat behind Dan and Steve, I recalled my own profession of first vows with my 50 novitiate classmates in 1951,” he added. “I prayed that Dan and Steve find the joy and happiness that I have experienced for 56 years.”
Shown in the photo, from left to right are Stephen, Flavian, John, Thomas, and Dan.