June 30, 2005
Ending of Postulancy

Our novitiate seemed so far away and yet here we are! Almost two years have passed since that day when we entered into the Rabat friary to start our postulancy. Today the 30th of June, we end our postulancy and two months from now we will start our novitiate.

These years have been quite intensive, having to strike a balance between work and community life. Yet it was worth every second of it. These years of formation helped us mature, both humanely and spiritually. The life of prayer together with all those formative lessons, serve as the foundations on which we have to build our life. As a matter of fact we both feel that we have undergone a huge change, not only of lifestyle but also of character. Living as a Franciscan, in a community has its challenges, but it is nonetheless rewarding. Being always there for your brothers, living in the Franciscan spirit is what really gives self-fulfillment. That is the key; being the servant and not the master, serving others, doing what Christ did in the last supper.

During these early formative years we where also offered two great experiences. We where given the opportunity to visit the two most beloved places in the hearth of any Franciscan. Last year we went on a trip to Assisi to meet the communities over there so as a preparation for our novitiate; to acclimatize ourselves with the way of life over there. It is incredible how much spiritual treasures one acquires particularly when praying in the chapel of the Porziuncola.

This year, on Easter day, we left for the Holy Land. It was another unique experience which has enlightened us immensely. Having visited the places where Jesus Christ our Lord grew and lived, the gospels start to take on a new meaning. Being there you feel as if you are back in time living the experience of discipleship more closely.

These two highlights have also enabled us to meet new people make new friends, and also to start perceiving the order in a new light. These two places are two hubs of Franciscan activity. In such cosmopolitan communities you start realizing how international our Order really is.

These two years offered many challenges but with the grace of God we all met up with them. At times it got a bit hectic, being involved in all that work both personal and communal. These past few weeks have been particularly so due to all the transitions that the provincial chapter brought with it. Both of us had to contend with our jobs as well. Joseph had his final exams while Walter was handing over at work. We also had a change of formator, together with other changes in the community. This has brought lots of work, particularly now that we need to pack everything up and prepare for our holidays and more importantly our novitiate, which will do at Saint Damian in Assisi.

We are looking forward for the 2nd of September when we will get the Franciscan Habit; until then we will prepare ourselves in prayer. It is very encouraging to look on, to what is promising to be a year of formation and recollection in prayer, following Christ as Saint Francis’ sons.