Postulants' Trip to Provincial Ministries Begins
If you come across two old men and two young guys in a black Ford Minivan somewhere in Missouri or Louisiana during the next two weeks, you may have happened upon the Postulants and their directors on the annual trip to the Provincial Ministries in the South. The group left fairly early this morning and headed to Ava, MO to visit the Interprovincial House of Prayer this evening and tomorrow. Our Brothers Mark Ligett and Josef Anderlohr along with two friars from Sacred Heart Province are at the House of Prayer, a fairly new endeavor which appears to be doing very well.
Tuesday it's off to Shreveport, LA to visit Fr. Andre McGrath and Bro. Giovanni Reid and their ministries, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish and the Christian Service Program. Thursday the group will visit Fr. Page Polk in Houston, TX. Fr. Page is the head of the Catholic Chaplains Corp at the Houston Medical Center Hospitals. Then it's on to Galveston, TX to St. Patrick Friary and Parish and the University of Texas Medical Branch Newman Center and Frs. John Bok, John Paul Flajole, and Dennis Bosse.
Saturday the team moves on to Lafayette, LA to St. Paul the Apostle Friary and Parish where Frs. Robert Seay and Bill Ollendick, and Bro. Juniper Crouch minister. Sunday they will travel to Holy Rosary in Houma, LA after experiencing a Gospel Mass in Lafayette. Both Frs. Frank and Carl spent a good number of years at Holy Rosary in Houma, a parish we just recently returned to the diocese.
Tuesday and Wednesday the trip wraps up in New Orleans, LA where Fr. Bart Pax has been struggling to rebuild a parish community at St. Mary of the Angels after the hurricane damaged the property as well as the lives of the parishioners. Thursday and Friday are travel days to return to Cincinnati.
Before you think that this adventure is all work and no play, the itinerary that is hanging on our friary bulletin board mentions things like swimming in the Gulf at Galveston, a possible swamp tour (with alligators and snakes) in Houma, a tour of the Benedictine Monastery in Ave (the House of Prayer is located on the monastery property), and God-only-knows-what in New Orleans (it's not the Postulants we worry about, but the "old guys." :-)).
Seriously, this annual trip has proven to be a very significant part of the Postulant Program. It not only sets up a context in which the directors and Postulants get to know one another, it also introduces the new members of the province to the rich Franciscan ministries in the South as well as to a number of Friars.
(The folks in the picture of the foursome are: Fr. Frank Geers, O.F.M., Associate Postulant Director; Richard Goodin, a Postulant; Fr. Carl Langenderfer, O.F.M., Director of Postulants (in the goofy hat); and Dennis Geib, a Postulant. If Dennis can transmit photos back to me during the trip we may have some pictorial updates during the two week adventure.)