Reflections - Friars in Novitiate
Their Vocation Journey Continues...
Augusto DeMoura, O.F.M., Cap.
During postulancy, I grew closer to and came to really appreciate the great witness of John the Baptist. Much like the nine months he spent in Isabel’s womb, postulancy serves as a great time for human development and deepening of the Catholic faith. It is an expectation that a postulant, like John in the womb, will leap for joy on an encounter with Jesus. For me, the Lord granted me many moments where I leapt for joy. I leapt for joy upon encountering Him in the ministry to the poor, in the classroom, in the chapel as I tried to discover His will in prayer, and undoubtedly in the fraternal love of the brothers.
After nine months a baby was born and named: John. As novitiate quickly approaches, I too will be name with an official title of Brother and a few initials after my name: O.F.M. Cap. This “naming” of brother brings with it great responsibility and expectations; expectations of being able to recognize everyone as children of the same Father, and to be able to point to that Creator who cares for us all. John knew that his naming also brought great expectations on him. Realizing this, John put on penitential garments and went out to the desert. There he grew closer to the Lord in prayer and discernment of his own call.
As I will soon be invested in the Capuchin Habit, and flee to the novitiate “desert” of disconnecting from the world along with its preoccupations and anxieties, I hope to follow John’s example. There I hope to grown closer to the Lord Jesus, and in this close relationship I wish to discern well my vocation. My hope and prayer for this year of novitiate is that upon leaving the “desert” and professing vows, I will be able to, as John did, point to Christ and shout to everyone: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him” who has loved us: the source of all Good things.
Paul Fesefeldt, O.F.M., Cap.
My postulancy year was one of deeper immersion into Capuchin life. Through daily prayer and liturgy with the friars I was able to grow deeper in my journey. The experience of living together, shared meals and recreation helped me to become more certain of my Capuchin vocation. My ministry experience also confirmed my call as I walked with my minore brothers and sisters in their need for food and supportive housing. To spend time with them felt like home to me and being there as a Capuchin felt right. Likewise, the classwork I did helped me to understand more fully Francis’ life and Franciscan lifestyle and charisma. I felt as if Francis was walking with me on my journey as I became more fully involved in the Capuchin life. Finally, my visits to other friaries and meeting more of the Saint Mary’s Province brothers made me feel more and more that I am at home.
As I now finish the Inter-Provincal Postulancy summer program and have interacted and bonded with my brothers in the larger Capuchin fraternity I am truly blessed to be part of this world-wide family. I am excited to begin my novitiate year and to continue my growing and deepening life with the friars.