by Fr. Dominic Monti, OFM
Most of the men in initial formation for Franciscan life and ministry in Holy Name Province gathered Jan. 6 to 9 for the annual intersession program at the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville, Md.
The purpose of the program, dating back more than two decades, is to present material not ordinarily available to the men in the academic courses that are part of their degree programs or in the other workshops presented during the year. The program also affords an opportunity for men at the different levels of formation to get to know one another better in a more relaxed atmosphere away from the normal demands of their usual routines and to take some time for private prayer and reflection. It is organized by the formation directors.
The simply professed friars from Silver Spring, Md., and the postulants (in their first year of formation) from St. Paul Church in Wilmington, Del., attended the gathering, as did their formation directors, Fr. Thomas Conway, OFM, and Br. Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, from Silver Spring, Fr. Ronald Pecci, OFM, and Br. William Herbst, OFM, from Wilmington, along with myself as secretary of formation. This year, the novices were unable to travel to the intersession and there are no simply professed friars out on a pastoral internship year in the Province, so there was a smaller group than usual.
On Sunday evening, Provincial Minister Fr. John O’Connor, OFM, joined us for dinner and spent time afterwards with the students discussing current developments in the Province. On Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras, pictured above with the students, a member of the faculty of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University, gave presentations on the life and writings of St. Clare. We all were deeply impressed, not simply by his knowledge of the subject matter, but his passion in relating this 13th century woman to current issues in our Franciscan life.
The formation students led daily morning and evening prayer, and Fr. Tom, Fr. Ron, and I presided at the Eucharists. Each day concluded with evening recreation and movies. The gathering, which began Sunday afternoon, concluded on Wednesday morning.
Fr. Dominic Monti, OFM, is vicar provincial of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province and serves as secretary of formation and studies. He met the Franciscans as a student at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, N.Y., and has taught Franciscan history at the Franciscan Institute there.
Photo by Fr. Ron Pecci, OFM.