I am back home from our Provincial Chapter after a long but exciting week. As Executive Secretary for the Chapter, I had lots to do and all went very well because I had a fantastic bunch of Friars and Postulants working with me. Kudos to the staff.
Wednesday evening we were forced to vacate to the basement due to tornado warnings. While there, the electricity failed and remained out until Thursday afternoon. I awoke Thursday morning to find that not only were the lights out, the water was off as well. No Showers, no brushing of teeth, almost no coffee but the kitchen crew managed to bring some in. We limped through Thursday morning with no sound system or audiovisuals and by lunch the Provincial Minister and I decided to truncate the schedule and get everyone out by Thursday evening. We secured a bus and all was planned--then the lights came back on!!! We went ahead with the truncated schedule because too much had been changed already. We managed to pass legislation and elect a new Provincial Council in record time.
I and about 25 other Friars remained until this morning to mop up the details and make sure air travelers, etc. were taken care of. I believe the Chapter was a great success and everything we planned to do was accomplished--just with a different schedule. The Benedictines of St. Meinrad Archabbey and the lay staff were FANTASTIC in their hospitality and care for us.
I hope to have some pictures posted early next week.
Brother Michael Charron, O.F.M. comments on the admission of Clay and William to the Postulancy Program:
welcome guys! look forward to seeing you again!
At a meeting in Cincinnati, the Admissions Board of Saint John the Baptist Province approved two more men for the 2011 Postulancy Class. They are:
William Estrellanes (28) was born and reared in the Philippines. He is the youngest in his family and came to this country during his college years. He has studied at the College of Marin in California where he earned an AA in Psychology and at the University of California, Davis where he earned a BA in Psychology, and Communications & Education. He has also done graduate studies at the National University in San Diego, CA. Presently he is doing volunteer work at the Franciscan Welcoming House in Saint Cloud, MN.
Clay Zapalac (22) comes to us from Richmond, TX. He graduated from B. F. Terry High School in 2007 and has studied at both Wharton County Junior College and the University of Houston. He has one younger sister and two older brothers. He is active in his home parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Richmond, TX where he volunteers and participates in various liturgical ministries. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus.
William and Clay join six other young men previously approved for the Postulancy Class of 2011. (see http://vocationvibes.franciscan.org/2011/03/index.html and http://vocationvibes.franciscan.org/2011/01/index.html)
Twice a year the Vocation Directors from Region VI (Ohio and Michigan) get together for a 24 hour meeting. We gather at 1:00 p.m. usually on a Tuesday and end at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Our time together consists of some informational input, a small business meeting, prayer, and socializing. I always find them refreshing and informative. It is good to just spend some relaxed time with fellow Vocation Directors.
This time we met May 3-4 at the Adrian Dominicans Motherhouse in Adrian, MI. We had wonderful accommodations in their remodelled novitiate which is now a conference center. There were 16 of us (three men and 13 women--the usual ratio) which was a slightly smaller group than usual. On Tuesday evening we watched a DVD of Gary Riebe-Estrella's talk on revisioning the realities of Religious Life. This led to a very good discussion among us which lasted fairly late--late enough we didn't want to stay up and watch a movie. Wednesday morning we celebrated the Eucharist in which we remembered two of our members who will be leaving the vocation ministry and welcome four new members.
Our next gathering is scheduled for November; place to be determined. I look forward to helping organize that meeting too since I am the co-chair of our group.