Our Order’s Postulancy location for the four provinces serving North America is in Chicago, IL, in the St. Bonaventure Friary of the St. Bonaventure Province. The current Director of the Postulancy, Fr. Brad Milunski, OFM Conv., is a friar of our province and the Assistant Director is Fr. Paul Schneider, OFM Conv. of the St. Bonaventure Province. Two of our Postulants of Our Lady of the Angels Province, Mr. Michael Boes and Mr. Edgar Varela live in community in the Chicago Postulancy, along with three more Postulants from other provinces. In addition, our third Postulant, Mr. Jonathan Zenteno, is in studies at The Catholic University of America while living in community in our Post Novitiate (Silver Spring, MD) in the St. Bonaventure Friary of our Province, under the Co-Directors – Fr. Paul Schloemer, OFM Conv. of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation and Fr. Nicholas Rokitka, OFM Conv. of our province.
It is important for each of the Postulants of every North American Province to take time away from the Postulancy, visiting his own individual Province ministries, friaries and friars. Each year, after Christmas break, the friars in formation for our province spend several weeks enjoying the fraternity of visits with our friars and our varied ministries. Our three Postulants have been documenting this year’s partial tour on the Postulancy’s Facebook Page, where they will share photos and verbiage about their visit to the Chicopee, Syracuse, Ottawa and Toronto areas of our Province. Here are a few shots from the first stop of the tour with Michael, Edgar and Jonathan:
Our Postulants spent a few days in the Chicopee/Holyoke, MA & Kensington, CT area. Durein that time, they were given a tour of the Elms College caRe vaN 2.0 (pictured above). Developed by Friar Michael Duffy, OFM Conv., DNP, APRN-BC, as the Capstone of his DNP, the caRe vaN a mobile health care unit serving the area’s homeless and underserved, while allowing clinical experience for pre-licensure students of the Elms College School of Nursing. (For more information or to make a donation to this effort, please email Brother Duffy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Friar Frank Grimaldi, OFM Conv. took our Postulants to Our Lady of the Angels Care Center where the Felician Sisters care for our five of our elderly friars, and to two of our pastoral ministries in the area ~ St. Anthony of Padua Parish, in Chicopee and Our Lady of the Cross Parish, in Holyoke (at left) . Friar Joe Bayne, OFM Conv. even took them to see the Bright Nights Christmas Lights. Friar Vincent Vivian, OFM Conv. welcomed them to our St. Hyacinth Friary (Chicopee), where they met several of our nine senior friars in residence. They enjoyed the Vigil Mass at our pastoral ministry at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, celebrated by Friar Paul Miskiewicz, OFM Conv. The Basilica’s Deacon Joseph Peters invited Michael, Edgar and Jonathan to join one of the “Take and Eat Sandwich Ministry” to help make sandwiches and distribute them to our less fortunate brothers and sisters in Chicopee, MA. Our friars of St. Paul Friary in Kensingtons, CT (serving the St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Kensington & St. John Catholic Church, in Cromwell) invited our friars from the local areas for the Epiphany party where we had a great time of fraternity (below).
After celebrated Mass for Chicopee’s new Mayor, John Vieau (sworn in that day), they mayor’s family & council members, first responders and an array of area faithful, Friar Joe Bayne, OFM Conv. gave our Postulants a ride to Syracuse, NY where began the next part of our tour. They were joyfully received by Friar Edward Falsey, OFM Conv., guardian of our St. Francis Friary (Syracuse, NY), and Friar Richard Riccioli, OFM Conv., pastor of Assumption Parish.
Be sure to follow the rest of their adventures, as they continue to visit our various ministries in Syracuse -NY, Ottawa-ON and Toronto-ON.
Note: Each of the formation stages for our friars are spent in community with other friars from all over North America. The Novitiate is located in California, in the St. Francis of Assisi Friary of the St. Joseph Cupertino Province. The current Formation Team there includes the Director, Br. Joseph Wood, OFM Conv., a member of the St. Bonaventure Province, and the Associate Director, Fr. Maurice Richárd, OFM Conv. Each province also has individual friars serving in ministries, as well as governance over friars of several Delegations and Custodies, in different parts of the world. In North America, each of the four provinces primarily minister to individual local jurisdictions. The friars of our province serve primarily along the East Coast, from Ottawa, Ontario to Boynton Beach, Florida. St. Joseph Cupertino Province primarily serves the Western Coast of the USA. St. Bonaventure Province primarily serves the Midwestern USA. The Province of Our Lady of Consolation primarily serves the rest of the USA.