A standard component of formation in religious life is an “apostolate:” a chance to gain ministerial experience and serve others outside of one’s religious house.
As postulants (men in initial formation) with the Conventual Franciscans, we conducted our apostolate this year at St. Joseph Home for the Elderly. Each Wednesday, we participated in an often-spirited session of faith-sharing with the Residents, who expounded upon the week’s Mass readings with insight and vigor.
Afterwards, we attended Mass and ate lunch with the Residents. In the afternoon, we assisted the Residents in a variety of activities, from rosary-making to Bunco, Wii Bowling, to pumpkin-painting.
Last fall, much to amusement of all present, we even took part in a series of skits, songs and dance routines – though one would be hard-pressed to label as “dance” what is perhaps more accurately described as a set of distinctly uncoordinated movements akin to flailing around on the stage!
As we reflect back on our time spent at the St. Joseph home, all three of us are filled with thankfulness to the Residents for allowing us to enter into their lives and to the Sisters for allowing us to serve there. It has been such a blessing to be able to learn from the Residents, who continually share their time and wisdom with generosity.
We are also inspired by the staff, who work hard to make the Home a place of compassionate care and human flourishing.
Finally, as aspiring religious, we are edified by the prayerfulness and selfless dedication of the Sisters, who pour themselves out for Christ’s most venerable children in a manner that we can only hope emulate.
To all the Residents, Sisters, and staff: thank you. As we progress forward in formation, we carry you in our hearts and prayers with fondness and gratitude.
Yours always in Christ,
Dale, Luke, and Chris (aka “The Three Tenors”)