July 1, 2019: Today, our new postulants begin their year of postulancy. Two of them, Michael and Edgar will be experiencing it in our St. Bonaventure Friary – Postulancy, in Chicago, Illinois; home to postulants from all four Franciscan Friars Conventual Provinces of North America. Our third postulant – Jonathan, begins his postulancy with our province at our St. Bonaventure Friary, in Silver Spring, Maryland (House of Post Novitiate Studies); home to our student friars who have already been through the postulant and novice stages of formation. As Jonathan had been a professed member of our Order a few years ago (in Mexico), we felt this community of friars would best fit his year of postulancy with us, while also affording Jonathan the opportunity to study English at the LADO International Institute.
Hello my name is Michael Boes. I’m 39 years old, from Scotch Plains, NJ. I currently work as a teacher’s assistant for Autistic teenagers. I’ve worked with Special Needs children for four years, which has increased in me a desire to serve the vulnerable. My contact with the Conventual Franciscan community started through communication with a Friar in the community on social media, which was followed by the chance to meet more friars through a retreat. My very first draw and attraction to this community is the authenticity and deep love for one another in community, along with an authentic love for Christ, I experienced in the friars. The Lord has drawn me to completely give my life over to a life of prayer, community, and service in the Church and I’m excited to begin this journey.
Hi, I’m Jonathan Garcia Zenteno from Mexico. I’m 34 years old; graduated from the Franciscan University of Mexico, with a degree in Philosophy. Previously, I was with the Conventual Franciscan family in the province of Mexico. Later I started working as a teacher in a religious monastery in Chiapas. I also was a documentary researcher for the XI District of the State of Chiapas and the Director of Logistics in a Civil Association. I seek to serve God from his church and particularly from the Franciscan family; I count on your prayers on this journey of self-surrender to God. Peace and good.
My name is Edgar Varela and I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. I am 34 years old. I previously discerned with the Carmelites and first met the Conventuals during my studies at Loyola University in Chicago, IL, and at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Afterwards, I had the desire to further pursue my discernment in a religious and fraternal setting. I reached out to this province since I was impressed and touched with the fraternity I saw in the Conventuals I met at school and while enjoying each other’s company in their friaries. In my free time, I enjoy going on a hike, listening to music, playing volleyball, and occasionally experimenting in the kitchen cooking and baking. Paz y bien.
Thank you for your prayers this year for vocations. Please keep them going!
This is an exciting month for Vocations and our province. Our postulants will be formally received by our Minister Provincial this week. This month, Christopher Fernandez, this past year’s postulant, moved to our Order’s Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, California. He will be Invested into our habit on July 17, 2019. Our last year’s Novices, friar Antonio Moualeu, OFM Conv., friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv. and friar Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv. will Profess their Simple Vows (First / Temporary) during our Province Jubiliarian Mass celebration at our Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, Maryland, on July 22, 2019. In August, friar Antonio and friar Raad will move to the San Damiano Friary, in San Antonio, Texas (House of Post Novitiate Studies) and friar Joseph will move onto Silver Spring.
Simple Vows are first professed after a friar has completed his Novitiate, choosing to live as a Conventual Franciscan for a period of three years. The norm is that Simple Vows will be renewed at least once during his Post-Novitiate years of study, which usually last about four years. Solemn Vows are not professed until the friar in formation has completed a Fraternal Apostolic Experience. Today, we will also joyfully celebrate the Renewal of Simple Vows with two of our student friars: friar Franck Lino Sokpolie, OFM Conv. and friar Timothy Blanchard, OFM Conv.
We ask all of you to keep encouraging men to consider our way of life. Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv, our Province Director of Vocations, is available via email (email@example.com) or phone (718-510-5822).