During the ceremony, Patrick Alfonso, Daniel Beckham, Deivis Daza Noya, Javier del Angel de los Santos, Christian Seno, Aaron Van Patten-Steiger, and Andrew Warburton received the Tau cross from postulant director Fr. Ronald Pecci, OFM. They were joined by postulant Abel Garcia, who returned for his second year in the program to continue studying English.
Provincial Vicar Fr. Dominic Monti, OFM, officiated at the service, offering the prayer over the Tau crosses while they were placed about the postulants’ necks.
Provincial Minister Fr. John O’Connor, OFM, and vocation director Fr. Brian Smail, OFM, were also present at the ceremony.
“Having worked with these men in their discernment over this past year, it was particularly gratifying to witness their ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to consider Franciscan life as postulants,” Fr. Brian said. “It was a powerful reminder that men continue to be attracted to a life of service to others.”
This year’s class represents six countries of birth: Colombia, England, El Salvador, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States. “The great diversity that we have shows that being a friar has a broad appeal across various ages and cultural backgrounds,” said Fr. Brian. For more information about the postulants, see “Meet Our Postulants.” (Add link here)
“A Vibrant Fraternal Community”
The eight men are residing at Holy Name College, where the postulant program relocated from Wilmington, Del., last month. With the move, they join eight friars in the post-novitiate, or final, stage of formation, already living at the College. Postulant director Fr. Ron Pecci, OFM, worked with Fr. Tom Conway, OFM, guardian of the College and director of post-novitiate formation, to assure a smooth transition and coordinate schedules and policies for the house.
“With the addition of the postulants, Holy Name College will be a larger community, providing greater peer support for men at all levels of formation, as well as assuring a variety of talents for a richer fraternal life, said Fr. Dominic Monti, secretary for formation and studies for the province.
Holy Name College is also home to an international community of Franciscans, as friars from around the world come for a variety of programs of studies. This past year alone, friars from countries as diverse as Brazil, Korea, Kenya, and Vietnam were in residence.
The Postulant Year
Postulancy “is designed to assist the men in the first stages of their transition from secular to religious life and to further facilitate their human development,” Fr. Ron says.
During the year, the men enter into the rhythm of Franciscan fraternal life with daily prayer, Eucharist, common meals, and recreation. With the move to Holy Name College, the postulants have the added opportunity to live in community with a diverse group of men at various levels of formation.
The men also travel throughout the province to meet the friars and learn about the great variety of ministries which the province supports.
- Fr. Brian says, “This is a year which offers men an amazing opportunity for further discernment. The program is designed to give men a profound experience of Franciscan life which enables them to consider God’s call in the context of fraternal living.”
- Postulants also attend workshops and retreats, and each man engages in a ministry that helps build the skills necessary for a life of service to others.
- The program will conclude next summer with six weeks of courses at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. During this time, the men will study alongside postulants from the provinces that participate in the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis.
- For more information and photos, visit the postulant program’s Facebook page.
- Pictured in the group photo are, from left to right: Andrew Warburton, Daniel Beckham, Abel Garcia, Christian Seno, David Daza Noya, Patrick Alfonso, Aaron Van Patten-Steiger and Javier Del Angel De Los Santos.
- This posting was adapted from an article that originally appeared in the Sept. 11, 2013 issue of HNP Today, the Province’s bi-weekly e-newsletter.