By Matt Ryan and Joshua Tagoylo
SILVER SPRING, Maryland — On Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, 16 postulants entered the postulancy program for the Order of Friars Minor in the US, at Holy Name College here.
Andrew Aldrich, 26, is from Mishawaka, Indiana.
Matt Lorch, 40, is from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Loren Moreno, 33, is from New York City.
Matt Ryan, 46, is from Covington, Kentucky.
Andrew Dinegar, 51, is from New York City.
Rafael Ozoude, 22, is from Lagos, Nigeria.
John Neuffer, 33, is from Durham, North Carolina.
Josh Tagoylo, 24, is from Hayward, California.
Ian Grant, 33, is from North Brunswick, New Jersey.
Daniel Mayer, 24, is from Houma, Louisiana.
Richard Phillip, 40, is from Camden, New Jersey.
Nhan Ton, 40, is from Saigon, Vietnam.
Chase Lopez, 27, is from Storm Lake, Iowa.
Salvador Mejia, 47, is from Acambaro, Mexico.
Carlos Portillo, 32, is from San Vicente, El Salvador.
Steven Young, 29, is from Canton, Massachusetts.
As you can see, we have men from a diverse group of ages and heritages. God is good! After orientation, we took part in an in-house compass retreat, where we shared with each other and reflected on the directions our lives are taking.
Our first weekend, we joined the friars at the church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City to witness the Aug. 26 solemn vows of Friars Casey Cole OFM, and Ramoncito Razon OFM. The solemn profession of our brothers before the Franciscan community, including our MinisterGeneral, was a poignant way to mark so many fresh beginnings.
On Aug. 31, Friar Mark Soehner OFM, the provincial minister of St. John the Baptist Province, was the celebrant for a welcome Mass at Holy Name College, officially marking the beginning of the United States’s first interprovincial OFM postulancy program. Members of the formation team presented each postulant with a Tau cross that was handmade by one of the novices, Friar Luis Rosado.
The secretaries of formation – Friars Martin Ibarra OFM (St. Barbara Province), Carl Langenderfer OFM (St. John the Baptist), Ralph Parthie OFM (Sacred Heart), and Kim Studwell OFM, (Assumption BVM) – as well as friars from Holy Name College and St. Camillus Parish – all joined in the Eucharist and ceremony. They were followed by a festive social and dinner. The postulants look forward to a fruitful year of discernment and service.
— Matt Ryan and Joshua Tagoylo are members of the 2017-18 postulant class.