004“The candidates shall prepare themselves interiorly for the future renunciation of goods and dispose themselves for the service of their neighbor, especially of the poor.” These words from the Constitutions of the Capuchin Friars Minor state the primary focus of the first year of discernment with the Capuchin Franciscans, also called postulancy. This year, seven men from different parts of the United States are in the process of completing their postulancy year by learning to work among the poor and marginalized in a variety of settings. All seven serve at The Marian House in downtown Colorado Springs, an outreach center to the poor under the administration of Catholic Charities. The postulants work at the front desk directing the poor and homeless to appropriate social services and giving them shoes and clothing. The men also serve in the kitchen, preparing meals, busing tables, and providing a sense of dignity to those who are so often bereft of it. Additionally, the men serve in Marian House's “Heart Walk,” journeying through the streets and seeking out those in need. “The intention is to build community with the homeless,” said postulant Jude Quinto. “It's not about proselytizing, it's about being there and listening.” In this capacity, they hand out bottled water and snacks and invite people to come to Marian house and get help. In addition to their work at Marian House, the postulants visit weekly Mount St. Francis Nursing Center and Laurel Manor, both of which provide care for the elderly and infirm. They eat meals with the the residents, engage them in conversations, and even hold Bible classes for those who are interested. Occasionally, they bring Holy Communion to the Catholic residents and pray with them when requested. It is a ministry to bring a warm smile and a generous heart to people who too often suffer loneliness and isolation. The Capuchin postulants are also involved in catechesis. They teach weekly classes at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Colorado Springs, preparing young people for their First Communion and Confirmation. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish is a predominantly Hispanic parish and one of the poorest in the city. The postulants find the work difficult but rewarding. As St. Francis embraced the leper, recognizing in him a suffering brother, so the seven young men in their first year of Capuchin formation seek to embrace the poor and the marginalized, recognizing in them their brothers and sisters in Christ. Please keep these men in their prayers as they continue to discern their call to the Capuchin Franciscan way of life. View the excerpt from the video featuring the Capuchin postulants here.... [embed]https://youtu.be/BnuFUk5-ytU[/embed]