This year, the Conventual Franciscans welcomed eight men who will be spending the next year with them as postulants.The postulancy is a program that gives men who are discerning a vocation with the frairs a chance to live in a friary and learn about Franciscan life as well as the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. Below you will find the biographies of the postulants. They were compiled by Brother Joseph Wood and Friar Paul Schloemer:
Aaron Clark, 41, is from Los Altos, CA. He has been working in the technology industry in sales and customer service for 10+ years, and has been a business owner. Five years ago he came back to the Church feeling called to help and serve others as a Franciscan. The past two years he has been on the spiritual care team at a hospital, a tutor for ESL, and active in serving the poor.
Ted Cramer, 33, born in San Luis Obispo, CA, has made Laramie, Wyoming his home for the past 13 years. After completing degrees in engineering and math, he decided to stay in Laramie to manage construction for the local Habitat for Humanity. Jobs changed, but his dedication to St. Paul's Newman Center, the local church, grew ever stronger through coordinating student/resident dinners, facility remodeling and upkeep, and just helping whenever needed. Ted has been feeling the pull to religious life for many years and believes living with a community of Conventuals is the best way to continue his discernment.
Roberson Lubin, 28, was born and raised in Les Cayes, Haiti. He also lived in the Dominican Republic for 4 years where he taught High School French, as well as teaching Creole to the elderly. He has a Diploma in Cross-Culture or Interculturality. He enjoyed volunteering at Our Lady of the Rosary Medical Center and Parish for 3 years. He first met the Friars at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at Hermosa Beach in California and immediately felt the Franciscan calling. He likes languages and culture as well as listening to music, sports and reading. Roberson is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and he is improving his English.
Christopher Garcia, 22, was born in Dana Point, CA. He graduated from Saint Mary’s College of CA in May 2014 with a BA in Theology and Religious Studies with minors in History and Philosophy. He came across the Conventuals when the vocation director started offering Mass at his college in the spring of his Junior year. Chris is an avid reader, a sports enthusiast, and photographer; he enjoys going to the movies, and hanging out with friends in his free time.
Tim Blanchard, 19, was born in Latham, NY and has worked in numerous kitchens both for employment and voluntarily. Working in a banquet house that had a partnership with the regional food bank in NY he was able to work and be part of providing over 500,000 meals for the poor. Tim has also volunteered at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Latham for 11 years where he met the MI youth group and eventually became a youth retreat leader working with the Conventuals at Marytown, Libertyville, IL. Here he experienced the friars’ passion for life and love of God. After years of discernment he decided to enter the community right after high school and is excited to see what crazy adventure Our Lady has planned for him!
Franck Lino Sokpolie
Franck Lino Sokpolie, 19, was born in Lome, Togo and immigrated with his family to the United States in 2006. A freshmen in college, he has been studying, philosophy, political science and foreign languages. Franck’s vocational discernment has been a long journey. After visiting many Orders, Franck felt called to the Conventuals as he experienced their ministries, spirituality and community lifestyle. When not studying or reading, Franck is usually out for a run. He also enjoys rock climbing and peaceful mornings. He is very intrigued by the life of the Saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Jaime Zaragoza is a twenty-six year old young man from El Paso, Texas. He comes from a very faithful family (his father was recently ordained as a deacon,) and has grown closer and closer to his Church in recent years. Jaime played college football for a year at Sul Ross State U., but then left school to work as a cook at a country club and also as a volunteer cook for a homeless shelter. Jaime first met the friars at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in El Paso.
(Source of images: OFM Conv.)