In the last entry of this blog series, I mentioned my last official meeting with Brother Timothy. In preparation for my admission board, he conducted one last interview: my behavioral analysis. In reality, it was just an opportunity for him to clarify my responses to many of the questions that had already come up. During that meeting, he also advised me on the date, time, and place where my future would be decided.
In the two weeks between my meeting with Timothy and my admission board, I was forced to come to terms with patience and letting go of those things I can’t control. During that time, there were so many thoughts racing through my head. I pondered every possible negative and positive scenario. There were times I dreams of all the possibilities, and there were moments where I considered the worst case.
Either way, I had nothing left to do but wait.
When the time finally came, I arrived at St. Anthony’s Shrine a little bit early. I was invited to have lunch with the brothers at the Friary, even though I was far too nervous to enjoy the meal. Still, it was nice to enjoy the fellowship that always seems happen when the brothers assemble. It was very reassuring.
A little while later, when the time had come for my admission board, I found myself in a small conference room. It was a little unsettling, since it was in a similar room that my coworkers and I lost our jobs. Unlike that earlier meeting, this time it was a warm, welcoming, and reassuring experience.
As a preface to the process, the friar who was in charge of the meeting informed me exactly how the process would proceed, step by step. He informed me that they would first meet with Brother Timothy. He would explain to them why he was recommending me for the order and they would have an opportunity to ask him questions. Once that was complete, they would meet with me, asking me any questions they needed to in order to clarify my candidacy. Following our meetings, they would conduct their private deliberations and then share their results, in the presence of Timothy and myself.
As the process proceeded, I was struck by just how gentle and painless it really was. I was expecting it to be as awkward and uncomfortable as corporate interviews that i’ve been involved it; but that wasn’t the case. Every questions was asked with compassion, levity, and understanding. It became clear that they weren’t particularly interested where I had come from. They were focused on where I am currently in my life; and, when they were done with their deliberations, they didn’t keep my waiting. They immediately called me back in and let me know that I was accepted into the formation program.
To say that I was thrilled would have been an understatement. I was destined to be a friar!
Now that the admission process has come to a conclusion, I have the next two and a half months to get my affairs in order. In early August, I will be leaving for Washington DC to begin my postulancy. It’s going to be a process filled with excitement, sadness, and expectation. It’s going to be a time that I will be leaving my old life behind and preparing myself to embark on a shinny new adventure.
I can’t wait!