Life at the Postulancy House
What happens at Saint Anthony Friary in Cincinnati--the Postulancy House--an any given day? Well, things can vary considerably, but generally we follow a fairly similar routine on weekdays and another on weekends. A "typical" weekday begins with Morning Prayer at 7:00 a.m. followed by Eucharist at 7:30 a.m. Anywhere from 20 to 35 people from the area join us for Eucharist. Breakfast is on one's own, so some eat early before prayer, some after. But by 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. the day's work has begun.
The day's work is very different for each friar. The postulants and their directors have classes in the morning and afternoon. These are not "academic" classes as one might take in college, but instructions on Franciscan Spirituality, the Documents of Vatican II, liturgical music, how to pray the Office of the Hours, etc. The rest of the priests and brothers in the house scatter to their "jobs". One is a hospital chaplain, others are the Associate Provincial Archivist, the Vocation Director, Director of the Mission Office, the Provincial Treasurer, the Provincial Secretary, etc. Another takes care of the phone and door and is guest master, while yet another is retired.
By 5:15 p.m. all have returned home for Evening Prayer and supper follows at 5:30 p.m. The evenings are time for personal prayer, reading, projects, etc. with some common recreation usually just before going to bed. One evening a month we have a house meeting (called a House Chapter) and once a month we have a Day of Recollection. Also once a month we celebrate birthdays and name's days.
Weekends are less scheduled with Eucharist at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. The Sunday Eucharist consists usually of 120 to 150 people including the friars that are home. Some of the priests help out at local parishes, etc. Meals on the weekends are on one's own, but sometimes someone gets ambitious and cooks something special for the group. There are always plenty of left overs and things to prepare in the refrigerator.
On holidays we usually gather either here or at one of the other friaries in town. On the 4th of July, St. Anthony Friary hosts a city-wide friar party which this year was affected slightly by a couple of down pours. I heard that from others since I was in Colorado in the Rocky Mountain State Park. (See the earlier post on our conference at St. Malo Conference Center.) Our two new postulants posed for a picture at the picnic. (They don't look like the rains affected them too badly.)