Catholic Outlook

Friars welcome new postulants

Catholic Outlook August 2011 Vocations Feature Conventual Franciscans Friars
In the chapel of St Joseph of Cupertino friary (from left): Fr Benedict M La Volpe, Alfred Soliman, Fr Joseph T Nguyen (Custos), Greg Westenberg, Fr Paschal M Corby (Rector of Postulants) and Fr Adrian John M Robson.

On 13 April 2011, the Conventual Franciscan Friars welcomed two young men into our formation program as postulants. Alfred Soliman and Greg Westenberg both hail from Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville.

They are currently residing at St Joseph of Cupertino friary, Dingley Village, Victoria, before continuing their postulancy and, God willing, their novitiate in Chicago, US.

Alfred Soliman is 33 and was previously employed as a chemical engineer. He migrated from Egypt in 1989, settling in Western Sydney.

The idea of dedicating his life to God and to the service of His Church began in his mid-20s. Yet while the desire to respond was strong, he could not see how he was going to overcome his temporal commitments nor his natural fears. However, after much encouragement from family and friends, he finally said yes to God’s call.

“My journey with the Franciscans has just begun,” Alfred said. “But Jesus through His mother Mary has given me so many graces to get to this point, and I have faith that they will help me see it through.”

Greg Westenberg is 28. Before working in government, he studied modern and ancient languages and psychology.

Greg first sensed the possibility of a calling to religious life in 2007. The idea persisted and became specifically directed towards the Conventual Franciscans through the example of the friars in Kellyville.

“Their combination of devotional reverence in the liturgy, hard work in service to the community, and humanity in everyday relations was, and is, an inspiration to me as I further discern God’s vocation for me,” he said.