Friday, May 14, 2010

Postulancy complete, now novitiate

What a blessed time this year and four months at St. Bridget's has been for me. A chance for me to settle into community as an aspirant really helped me test myself out, and allowed the friars to get to know me. Then I was officially accepted as a postulant in August and was able to learn more about the Order and the life of a Franciscan while I was still working with developmentally disabled clients at a group home and taking a couple classes at a community college for further education. I was able to hone up on my Spanish skills and write a term paper in English about St. Francis' kiss of the leper and what that means to be accepting of the social outcast in our society. My classes with Br. David, Br. John and Fr. Pat at the friary were times to reflect on Franciscan Spirituality and how I can apply those principles in my life today.
But my time in Minneapolis is quickly drawing to a close. The people I have met and with whom I've worked will always have a special place in my heart as I go out from here to the next phase of my formation: the novitiate. In Loretto, Pennsylvania I will live with 5 novices from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province in a joint novitiate program. We will have just over a year to deeply consider our desire to become Franciscans and what this means to us. I have been told to prepare for classes 4-5 days a week, retreats and hermitages, and lots of time for prayer, communal and private, and a time of intense discernment. I will not be on line much, I will be away from the big city and many of the distractions of life: one very long retreat: a liminal space for study and prayer as I consider taking vows.
Having Br. Jeffrey here after his novitiate year, and having visited my classmates in Loretto a couple of times, has given me some insights into what it will be like. But it is still mysterious to me. I'm taking a lot of note cards and stamps so that I can keep in touch with others while I am without internet access, and I'm taking a lot of books.
Today Fr. Anthony gave me the cord that I will be wearing with my novice habit, a plain black tunic, and he taught me how to tie the knots that represent my vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In a very short time I will be going on the pre-novitiate retreat with my 5 classmates and I'll be adjusting to a new living arrangement and a new lifestyle. I am excited, but a little trepidatious. I have been blessed up to now though with this new family of brothers, and I know that God is taking me on this journey for a reason. I will trust in God to make me the best servant I can be, no matter where I go. Peace and good, Corey


TOR said...

Thanks for the great blog entry, Corey! I look very much forward to seeing you soon and to "officially" having you as a brother! Your brother, Pat