Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time at our Novitiate: August 29 - September 4, 2009

September 8, 2009

Peace and Good,

I spent this last week at our novitiate in Mishawaka, Indiana, giving a series of talks to the novices on a Franciscan approach to the Gospels and the Psalms. Novitiate is a year of discernment as to whether God is calling one to the Franciscan life. When I entered many years ago, it was the first contact with the friars. Now, there is a period of postulancy (a trial period) before one even enters novitiate. If one feels at the end of the year that one is called and that is affirmed by the novitiate staff, then one takes one's vows for a one year period. This is renewed each year until one is ready to take the vows for the rest of one's life.

There is now one common novitiate for all of the Conventual Franciscans in the country. This year there are 8 novices. They are all talented men and I was quite impressed at their zeal and sincerity. I started the week with a one hour talk on how the early Franciscans would interpret scripture (Saints Francis, Clare, and Anthony), and then I spoke about how a modern Franciscan would look at the four Gospels. The last couple of days we looked a bit at the psalms, given that we pray them each day in our breviary.

I got to see the campus of Notre Dame. It is very impressive with new buildings and facilities going up all over the place.

I finished two abridged books. The first was the CD's called The Few. It is about the first American volunteers for the British Air Force during World War II. It was OK, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it.

The second was in more or less the same category of being OK, not much more than that. It was The Body of David Hayes by Ridley Pearson. It is a detective novel with a number of interesting turns, but for some reason it just did not come together for me.

Whenever I listen to books like this, I alternate with a course from the Teaching Company. Right now I am listening to the Philisophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. It is a long course (18 CD's), so I'll be with it for a couple more weeks.

This week I am home in Ellicott City, catching up on some writing projects.

God bless and

fr. Jude


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