A few days ago, on August 2nd the feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula, my year as a novice at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate officially ended with the first profession of vows. It was an intense year of prayer, community living, and self-reflection, which, despite some challenges, was thoroughly affirming of my vocation as a Friar Minor. Now that the year of novitiate is over, I am free to resume my presence on this blog and I will be using the next few entries to share thoughts and reflections accrued during the past year, as well as what is happening now while I transition back to my home province and continue to discern during my post-novitiate formation.
For me, the novitiate year was a transformative experience. Though the year included some difficult moments and tensions, it was, on the whole, a truly positive and grace-filled experience. It was in those moments of challenge, of personal difficulties and conflicts, that I most clearly saw God’s hand at work in my life and in the community.
The culmination of the novitiate year in the first profession of vows then seemed like a natural progression: one of deeper and deeper commitment to living out the Gospel and a reaffirmation of one’s desire to stand with a ragtag, but lovable, band of brothers. The profession of vows was an emotional moment. It not only made real, in a way, my suitability as a Friar Minor, but also manifested in that small chapel the essence of Franciscan fraternity. I was moved by the presence and support of so many brothers, in particular Fr. Ron and Fr. Stephen, who had been pillars of support and kindness during my novitiate.
I look forward to sharing my experiences in the next few weeks!