In two weeks, the postulants of Holy Name Province will leave our home in Wilmington, DE. Packing up everything we own, we will say goodbye to the house we called home, the rooms we called “sacred space,” and the men we called brothers.
In two weeks, we will move into our new home in Burlington, WI. As in every step of our lives as Franciscans, we will adapt to our new surroundings and learn to call a new house “home,” create new sacred spaces, and learn to call new men brothers. We will adopt the routine of the house, and hopefully bring to it something new from our own experiences.
In two weeks, the postulant year will be over. It’s amazing to look back on the last 12 months and see all of the places we’ve been, the things we’ve learned, the ways we’ve grown, the relationships we’ve developed, and the trials we were put through. I summarized quite briefly my take on the year in “Postulancy: A Year of Discernment”, an article written for the Be A Franciscan newsletter. (Please pass on to anyone considering Franciscan life!)
In two weeks, we will be accepted into the novitiate, and begin a year of preparation for taking simple vows. Taken in steps (of which I only know what is written in this article), we will begin to remove ourselves from the world so as to grow in greater knowledge and contemplation of God, His Church, its servant Francis, and the Order he created. Eventually, we will be without credit cards, internet access, and cell phones, so as to be without as many distractions as possible.
And in two weeks, we will never again be just a class of five. Next year we will join 12 men from six other Franciscan provinces in what is called the Interprovincial Novitiate, and in each subsequent year of formation after that we will be with all the men in formation with Holy Name Province at our house of studies. The great thing about your class is that it can really shape you, but after the first year, it doesn’t have to.
These two weeks are going to fly by. I hope I’m ready for what’s on the other side of them.