The Admissions Board met on January 29, 2011 and approved three men for our Postulancy Class of 2011. This is the first of three meetings of the Board this winter and spring.
First approved is Brandon Elliott, 24, of Elwood, IN. Brandon was born in Circleville, OH but was reared in Indiana. He is a certified EMT and has held a number of jobs while studying at Ivy Tech Community College, Peru State College and Excelsior College. He lives with his parents and has a married sister and brother. He is active in his local parish where he has helped with the Religious Education of children.
Second approved is Matthew O'Hearn, 36, of Cambridge, NY. Matthew isf the youngest of five children having an older brother and three sisters. He earned a BA in Philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary College and has taken classes in Theology from Christ the King Seminary. Having looked first at the Capuchin Franciscans, Matthew sought out the OFMs in 2009. Matthew has worked as a nurse's aide.
The final approval is Jeffrey Schmitz, 40, presently from Silver Spring, MD where he teaches in the Public School System. Jeff was born and reared in Lafayette, IN and has one younger sister. Jeff earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and a MEd from the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked with the Peace Corps in Benin Africa and as an engineer for the State Department. He has traveled extensively and picked up a usable knowledge of French and Spanish along the way.
We joyfully welcome these three men into our Postulancy Program and continue to prepare others to join them as the Class of 2011.
Monday, January 17 through Friday, January 21 I was at The Well in LaGrange Park, IL offering a workshop on Male Spirituality and Sexuality to eighteen Franciscan Postulants and their Directors from five provinces (Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Holy Name, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and our own Saint John the Baptist). (Pictured at the left are: Daniel Bircher, Joseph DiAte, Jara Edgardo, Adam Farkas, Jorge Hernandez, Fr. Michael MacInnis, O.F.M., Fr. Patrick Schafer, O.F.M., Jeffrey T. Upshaw, Fr. Ron Pecci, O.F.M., Christopher Stone, Fr. Carl Langenderfer, O.F.M., William Gibson, Jonathan Beer, Bob Barko, Fr. Donald Miller, O.F.M., Zach Wood, Eric Seguin, Jared Cowell, John Ahearne, Pedro Corces, Joel Schroeder, Fr. Dennis Schafer, O.F.M., Walter Eduardo Vijil Alvarez.)
The content was very well received and the Postulants mixed and got to know each other better. All of them will be classmates in the Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, WI next year. (SJB Postulants Joe DiAte and Adam Farkas are pictured on the right with Eric Seguin at the table on the left.) This is the last large group gathering for the Postulants before entering the novitiate in August.
Tomorrow I will be at St. Gertrude, the local Dominican Parish, joining the Friars there for the end of Vocation Awareness Week. Monday I leave for a week-long workshop in LaGrange Park, IL on Male Spirituality and Sexuality--my annual presentation to the interprovincial group of Postulants. Previously the group was primarily the OFMs from Sacred Heart, Assumption, and our own St. John the Baptist Provinces. This time Our Lady of Guadalupe, Immaculate Conception and Holy Name Provinces are joining. This group of Postulants will be the novices at our new interprovincial novitiate in Burlington, WI next fall.
Then next weekend I return to Walsh University where I taught and served as Campus Minister for eight years. I have not been back on Campus for seven years and have not seen the new chapel which was built sometime after I left. I am looking forward, also, to a Friday night with the Friars in Chicago as I travel to Walsh.
I hope to have pictures of all of this as the week progresses. Please keep all involved in your prayers.
Work this week has been a little hampered by another major snow storm here in Cincinnati. We got three to four inches of snow on Tuesday--enough to pretty well close down much in the city. Today it is still cold, but the streets are back to usable.
Beginning Monday I will have a busy few weeks away from the office. I will conduct a workshop on Male Spirituality and Sexuality for the Franciscan Postulants from five provinces and their Directors next week in LaGrange Park, IL. Then I go on the North Canton to have Sunday Masses at Walsh University. I haven't been back there since I left in 2003. There is a new chapel there that I have never seen. Then home for two days before I go to an overnight meeting in Indianapolis, IN. Saturday the 29th we have an Admissions Board for three prospectives, then others come into town for their psychological testing and the I go to Texas for five days to visit new candidates.
So, will all of this keep me out of trouble? Probably not. :-(
Six men joined the St. Anthony Friary community this weekend for a Come and See weekend. They are (l to r) Ramon Castellon from Santa Ana, CA; Matthew Sturgis from Indianapolis, IN; David Menetrey from Fort Thomas, KY; William Estrellanes from San Diego, CA; Andrew Hennessy from Chesapeake, OH; and Clay Zapalac from Richmond, TX.
The group was joined by three of our Temporary Professed from Chicago, the Vocation Directors, and the entire Saint Anthony community.
Thank you for your prayerful support. God is certainly blessing our province with great prospectives.
Stan comments on the request for prayers for the Come and See weekend:
Prayers coming your way for the guys discerning if SJB is where God wants them, for the temporary professed and for you and the friars! I hope each of the perspectives hears the voice of the Creator "You are my son and I am well pleased!"
Last evening I picked up two of the participants for the Come and See at the airport. Four more are due in today for a total of six this time. Three of our Temporary Professed are due in by supper as well. Setting up for a good weekend and, hopefully, the weather will co-operate.
Say a prayer or two for these guys and for their discernment, please.
Sunday, January 2, I made a New Year's Resolution to post more often--so here I go just three days later. Not too shabby.
The Vocation Office is busy this week preparing for another Come and See weekend; the first of the new year. We are expecting six men and four of our six Temporary Professed friars are joining us from Chicago. So with Bro. Tim and myself there 12 guests in the St. Anthony Friary is Cincinnati. That's fills every guest room they have. Once the weekend is over I will, as usual, post pictures of the attendees.
Next week (January 9-15) is National Vocation Awareness Week. I found a copy in my email of an address that Pope Benedict XVI gave last January concerning the rise of the Mendicant Orders and the influence they have had on the Church. I am sending a copy to all fo the guys in our data base, have sent it out to our province for use this week, and am attaching a copy to this post. I found it very worth while. So happy reading. Download Pope Benedict XVI Address
Happy New Year!!
We're off and running for another year as 2010 becomes history and 2011 becomes our future and adventure. I have had a nice break with some travel to visit family and friends. Tomorrow it is back to the office to prepare for another Come and See next weekend and a week-long workshop on male spirituality and sexuality in two weeks. We are expecting six men for the Come and See weekend. The workshop will involve 23 total (Postulants from five provinces plus their Directors).I haven't been very faithful with this blog the last few months. Maybe a good New Year's resolution would be to revive the blog by posting more often. We'll see how I keep that one. :-)