Visit to Novitiate
Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon of this week I participated in a meeting of the Initial Formation Council of our province. The meeting was held at San Damiano Friary in Cedar Lake, IN which is our interprovincial novitiate. Pictured at the left are our novices, Michael Newsome, O.F.M. (far left) and Thomas Olsen, O.F.M. (near left). This was the first chance I had to visit with them in person since they entered the novitiate last June. Both are doing well and progressing in their formation as Franciscans. (You can read more and view pictures of the novitiate on their web site which is located at: www.ofmnovitiate.org). I forgot to take my camera for the event, but Michael took quite a few pictures and, if he remembers to email them to me, I will post them in the future.
The Initial Formation Council is made up of all of our friars involved with the formation of new men, plus three at large members. So I am there as vocation director, Frs. Carl Langenderfer and Frank Geers as the two postulant directors, Fr. Dennet Jung as the novitiate team member from our Saint John the Baptist Province, and Fr. John Stein as the SJB member of the post-novitiate team (which is located in Chicago). Fr. Jeff Scheeler chairs the meeting since he oversees all of initial formation in the province (and is also our vicar-provincial minister). The three at large members are Frs. Mark Soehner, Luis Aponte-Merced, and David Kobak. Fr. Mark is a pastor in Detroit, and Frs. Luis and David are associate pastors in Peoria, IL and Southfield, MI respectively. The purpose of the council is to oversee policy for all stages of formation and to make sure that all of the pieces are fitting together for the good of the men being formed as new friars. It also gives us a chance to be with and support one another as co-workers in our provincial task as formators.
I leave tomorrow for a week-long visit with prospectives in Georgia and Florida.