It's been a while, but here is a new Newsletter from the Franciscan Vocation Office. Just click below. It is in pdf format.
Since I last posted to this Blog, I have witnessed two weddings of former students; one whom I knew while at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM and the other at Walsh University in North Canton, OH. The weddings were back-to-back this past weekend with one on Friday afternoon in Bluffton, OH and the other Saturday afternoon in Miamisburg, OH.
Occasions like these afford me a chance to catch up on old friendships and to find out what is happening in the lives of men and women who were a part of my life in the past. The "Walsh" wedding was particularly good for this since many of the grooms fellow soccer players attended and I had a chance to see what these former students are doing and where they are living. Reconnecting with old friends is a grace that happens far too seldom, but when it does it is very enjoyable and fruitful.
Saturday, while I was away, the postulants and their two directors left for a two-week tour visiting friars, ministries, and sites around the province. Since I wasn't home when they began their journey, I was not able to get any photos. (So I added this group picture of the postulants taken by Fr. Jim Bok, O.F.M. at our 4th of July picnic.) I am hoping that as the group travels they will be emailing pictures back to me that I can post. Let's remember them in our prayers as they travel and learn about the province.
Bev Helfrich comments:
Fr. Carl, what a beautiful picture of you with your mother. I share with her the blessing of having a son on an amazing journey.
Love and Peace, Bev
I arrived in Houston last Wednesday and began visiting prospectives in the greater Houston area--four in all. Friday evening and Saturday I participated in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocesan Youth Conference. Yesterday, Sunday, I drove to the San Antonio area to visit a young man and today I move on to Austin where I will have three visits and then I'll fly home on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, I left my camera at home, :-( But that wasn't the only "disaster." I had sent some presentation materials ahead by UPS expecting them to be in Houston when I arrived. They weren't; nor did they arrive in time for the opening of the conference on Friday evening. While at the conference, roaming around visiting since I had no display nor any handouts, I found out that a big two-trailer UPS truck caught fire in Houston this week. My packages did arrive late Friday evening, but some of the material was water damaged. Hay, ya gotta be flexible. :-) I still had a great time at the conference.
The Youth Conference was inspiring. Over 1000 teenagers and young adults gathered for a weekend of prayer and talks with lots of music and singing and fun. I was present for the Saturday morning Eucharist and found it to be a very beautiful experience. Seeing that many young people singing and praising God along with their chaperons, parents, and youth ministers was a sight to behold.
Having a good number of men to visit in this part of the state is also inspiring. God is working among our young people and the present generation seems open and willing to listen to his call.
I just returned from morning Mass with the young man I visited yesterday. I am a little tired from the traveling, but very happy with the outcome of the trip.
Dan's Aunt Becky comments:
Congratulations and heartfelt prayers to Dan, Roger, Tim, Josh and Clifford. I am so happy to see this new "Team St. Francis" of young, brave, and spiritual men embarking on their new life journey. I wish them great joy and send lots of hugs and prayers (love you Dan) - Aunt Becky
Provincial Minister, Fr. Fred Link, O.F.M., and Provincial Vicar, Fr. Jeff Scheeler, O.F.M., joined the St. Anthony Friary community this evening for Evening Prayer during which Fr. Fred formally received our five new brothers as Postulants. The symbol of reception is a Tau Cross, a form of the crucifix beloved of Saint Francis and a symbol of the Fourth Lateran Council.
Fr. Carl Langenderfer, the Director of the Postulancy Program, also addressed the new Postulants reminding them that their goal this year is to grow as disciples of Jesus into mature men, recognizing both their strengths and their weaknesses. He promised that the rest of the community would be there to support them and all of the friars verbally pledged their support. They then received the new group with a sign of peace. Fr. Fred spoke of the joy of the Province, the Order, and of our Minister General at the generosity of these new men willing to dedicate their lives to the Lord. (The General Minister is presently meeting with young friars in the Holy Land.)
Please remember Dan, Roger, Tim, Josh, and Clifford in your prayers as they take on the task of formation in the Order of Friars Minor.
Ben comments on picnic:
Sounds like fun, Happy 4th of July Fr. Don
It's true, we have five new Postulants!
Dan Helfrich, Roger Lopez, Tim Tran, Josh van Cleef, and Clifford Hennings arrived over the weekend to begin their year of Postulancy at Saint Anthony Friary in Cincinnati, OH. Our Provincial Minister will officially welcome them in the context of a prayer service on Friday afternoon. Hopefully I'll get some good shots of that and be able to post them next weekend.
Wednesday of this week, Saint Anthony Friary will host a city-wide friar picnic. Again, hopefully there will be photos to share.