The postulants pose for a picture. From left are, Martin Tran, Jeremy Mayeaux, Ivan Arevalo, Tyler Harris, John Kashmer and Ricky Madere. Photo by Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM
Visiting with the postulants is one of the more enjoyable aspects of my job as secretary of formation. I recently flew out to see them in Silver Spring. I started off with a glitch: my alarm clock failed to go off. Luckily, I woke at 3:55 a.m., and rushed to get dressed, packed and to the airport. I was in the security line by 4:35. My socks didn’t match, but I kept my shoes on.
We have six postulants from all over the country: Ivan Arevalo, Tyler Harris, John Kashmer, Ricky Madere, Jeremy Mayeaux and Martin Tran. They have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. They took a big risk leaving their former lives with family, friends and colleagues to join us as brothers. I enjoyed meeting them, praying with them, socializing with them and, in general, getting a feel for what life is like for them at Holy Name College. Our newest brothers are full of life and eager to join us on our journey to follow Jesus after the pattern of Francis.
In meeting with the team, I discovered that they are doing well. Gino Correa is the new director, following John Gutierrez (who is now in Oakland, Calif.). Walter Liss is the guardian and the techno-geek. Rommel Perez is the pastoral man. Tom Carroll, who just finished the job as vice principal of Padua High School, is learning the ropes and making his transition to formation ministry. They are working well with one another and with the postulants, even though they all have multiple jobs. Ed Demyanovich, though not officially on the team, gives the postulants his practical advice.
I pursued one of the goals that the friars at St. Clement are considering for their Fraternal Life Plan: having a virtual visit with the postulants. Most of the St. Clement community has never been to Holy Name College, so this would be a way of visiting there virtually. The postulants are eager to have this virtual interchange with their senior brothers, as well. I tried to learn the subtleties of being a computer wizard in a few days, but my mind just doesn’t work that way. Hopefully, the postulants, or one of the guys from Br. Juniper, will be able to help me make the technology work.
During my few days there, I sat in on classes with Jim Sabak, a friar liturgist from Raleigh, who was exploring Advent and Christmas with the postulants. While the postulants were involved with ministry, I sat in on a meeting of formation directors of several men’s communities in the Washington area. Kathy Gallagher reflected on maintaining proper boundaries for formation directors and facilitated a discussion on that topic. Very interesting!
On my visit, I was not only able to meet our newest brothers, I was able to touch base with the friars I had met there on my previous visits. Pray for our men in formation and their directors. They are our future! And, the future looks good!
(Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM, is the Secretary for Initial Formation & Studies)