Friday, November 14, 2008

The Wearin' of the Brown!

When Galen Osby, from Howards Grove, WI decided to embark upon the journey of becoming a Franciscan friar, he probably didn't guess the various challenges that lay ahead. He had an unusual postulancy program (the first year when a candidates begins to explore, or "postulate", becoming a friar minor), mostly because he was the only one!

Galen Osby as a postulant to the Franciscan Friars (OFM) of the Assumption BVM Province.

After his varied experiences and ventures -- from Milwaukee, WI to McAllen, TX to Greenwood, MS and then to our senior friar residence of Queen of Peace Friary in Burlington, WI, Galen "took up his cross daily" to follow the Lord Jesus and encountered several surprises along the way.

Last May 2008 Galen applied to and was accepted to be received into the novitiate, when a man entering our brotherhood becomes a novice, or "new man". It is what St. Francis of Assisi calls in our Rule, the "year of probation", or a time of testing. The novice is tested by life in the fraternity to help in the discernment if this is the right life for him; the novice tests the community to ascertain if this is the correct community or way of life for him. That information can be found in a previous blog.

This past 26 September 2008 Galen and his classmates were invested in the "habit of penance", the brown habit of the Franciscan Friars of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM). It consists of a long tunic, a brown habit, or "capuche" and a woolen cord. Novices have no knots in their cords -- that is reserved for their first profession when they make temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Bro. Galen Osby, OFM, novice and newly invested with the habit of penance, the Franciscan habit, at San Damiano Friary, Cedar Lake, IN

The novitiate is located in Cedar Lake, IN, south of Hammond and about one hour or so southeast of Chicago, IL. The Assumption BVM Province hosts the novitiate and shares its leadership and membership with two other provinces, Sacred Heart Province (headquartered in St. Louis, MO) and St. John the Baptist Province (headquartered in Cincinnati, OH).

The team for the novitiate is Fr. John Stein, OFM (SJB Province), Fr. Larry Nickels, OFM (SH Province) and Fr. Camillus Janas, OFM (ABVM Province). Fr. John is the Novice Director, Fr. Larry is assistant and Fr. Camillus is the Guardian (local superior).

You might ask, "Why 26 September?" In the calendar of the Catholic Church of the Roman Rite, 26 September is the memorial of the holy brother and doctor martyrs, SS. Cosmas and Damian. It was at the chapel in honor of St. Damian (in Italian, San Damiano) that Francis of Assisi heard the Lord's call to him, "Francis, go repair my Church, which you see is falling into ruins!" And, the house of the novitiate is called San Damiano Friary. So, it's their friary's patron saint's day!

Fr. Camillus Janas, OFM, Guardian of San Damiano Friary (Novitiate) and Bro. Galen Osby, OFM, newly investied novice

1 comment:

Uncle Gale said...

Dear Galen

My Godson - I have never written that word, but I remember the day when I was given the privledge of becoming your Godfather. It is a special bond we have that will never be broken. That bond we have is very special to me. I remember you as an infant - and now you are a man. Your beliefs are strong. Your courage is great. It is hard to put into words the respect and admiration I feel for you. It is a blessing to me to have you in my life. Please keep us up to date with what you are doing. And more importantly - please keep aunt Sue and I in your prayers. We need you. And we love you very much. Thank-you for this message and for the Christmas greeting.