Postulants at Holy Name College
At a visit to our postulancy program at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., I realized how different our current program is from what most of us experienced in the past, even the recent past. For one thing, the postulancy program is located in a very busy parish setting. St. Camillus Parish serves multiple cultures in various languages (English, Spanish, French, Swahili, Vietnamese and some regional dialects). The friars serving the parish live in a rectory next door.
Holy Name College is a large, fairly modern building where the postulants live with the formation team and a number of friars who serve in other local ministries. Ed Demyanovich maintains the building and handles major building repairs with the guardian, Walter Liss.
The fact that the program has members from all six provinces makes for a rich exchange among the postulants. John Gutierrez is the director, with other team members Charles Miller, Rommel Perez and Walter Liss. Each team member has additional ministry responsibilities: John and Walter are on their provincial councils; Charles is a spiritual director; and Rommel assists in Hispanic ministry.
During the week the program includes three days of ministry at local non-profits, with postulants working in direct service with the poor. The other two days are devoted to classes. One day’s classes are devoted to human development with a psychologist. She provides input for a portion of the class and then has a group session with the postulants alone that is highly interactive. On Fridays the team provides input on Francis, spirituality and theological issues. All of the classes take place within an adult learning model.
The whole program includes the usual friary context of community prayer, meals, recreation, chapters and days of recollection. During their limited free time, the postulants are free to explore the many rich cultural opportunities around the Washington, D.C., area.
We, the Province of St. John the Baptist, currently have four postulants in the program: Timothy Amburgey; William Compton; Phillip McCarter; and Brian Menezes.