Friars from five provinces celebrated Epiphany at Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois: St. Bonaventure, the host province, Our Lady of Consolation, St. Joseph Cupertino, St. Francis of Assisi (Kenya, Africa), and St. Anthony & Bl. Strepar (Krakow, Poland).
Everyone enjoyed the food (what friar doesn’t) and celebrated mindfully in lifting a glass or two of spirits to the occasion. There were stories shared, memories recalled, and a welcoming enthusiasm to those we hadn’t seen in a long while.
Epiphany Extractions are a big part of the celebration. At Marytown, our postulants draw the name of a saint for each friar. (Our Postulancy is based in Chicago.) That saint becomes the friar’s patron for the year. Along with the name, a short spiritual exhortation is included as a focus for spiritual refinement.
As the extractions were chosen and matched up with each friar’s name pulled from the baskets, we all looked forward to hearing if the postulant would be able to say the names correctly or not. It is a task of initiation, to which everyone yells out the correct pronunciation or just laughs because they know how hard the name is to pronounce. I am always intrigued by the ooo’s and aaaa’s that come forth from the friars when the famous saints are chosen, or when the admonition that is randomly selected, then read, seems to fit so well for that particular friar.
As always, it was a fun gathering inspiring gracious humor and a true depiction of our fraternity.
-friar Hans Flondor OFM Conv.