Meet Our Novice

Friar Jason Anthony De Martini, OFM Conv. is currently the only Novice from our Province, living and learning at our Order’s North American Novitiate, in Arroyo Grande, CA. The St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate is led by three of our own province friars.
Fr. Giles Zakowicz, OFM Conv. serves as Director. Fr. Maurice Richard, OFM Conv. serves as Assistant Director. Fr. Alexander Cymerman is a priest in residence and author of the Novitiate’s Blog, “Fr. Alex’s Corner.”

Friar Jason is from New York City and writes in his online bio on the Novitiate website, “I find myself now in picturesque Arroyo Grande, California watering cacti and counting how fast a hummingbird can flap its wings (turns out it’s around 80 times per second). More important than the hummingbird, more important than the cacti, more important than the grapevines I prune and even more important than the compost heap I dote on is why I’m here. I’ve traveled more than 2,900 miles from home donned a Franciscan habit and occasionally gardening galoshes because above all else I desire to grown in my relationship with God. With all my heart I wish to further my conversation and grow closer to Christ in all that I think, say and do. So please say some prayers for me during this novitiate year – Lord knows I’ll need em.
Oh and go Knicks!”

The time a friar in formation spends at the Novitiate includes many activities in line with the goals of this stage of formation, including:

  • Communal Prayer – Daily Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, Common Meditation, Common Catholic Devotions, Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as recitation of the Rosary and the Franciscan Crown during the week.
  • Private Prayer – Spiritual Reading, Solitude, Days of Recollection, Spiritual Direction, Personal Devotions and Meditation.
  • In-House Classes – Franciscan History, Franciscan Spirituality, Rule and Constitutions of the Order, Liturgical ~ Devotional ~ Contemplative Prayer, History of Consecrated Life, and the Gospel Counsels.
  • Other Activities Include – Manual Labor which promotes the growth of the community, Outside Apostolates (Hospice and Ministry of Presence), Workshops & Seminars on a variety of topics (Scripture, History of Provinces, Mariology, etc.), Fraternity, Recreation, and participation in the life of the local diocese.

In North America, Our Lady of the Angels Province currently also has five friars in formation in the Order’s North American Postulancy (beginning stage), in Chicago, IL, and nine friars in formation in the Post-Novitiate (ending stages), in parishes, schools and studies, with one in Post-Novitiate studies in Rome. We also have several men who are highly interested candidates for formation for the upcoming year. Please keep all of these men, those who instruct and guide them, as well as those who are still discerning God’s Call, in your continued prayers. Be sure to forward on our contact information to any man you know who is in the discernment process. Enjoy this video by our Vocation Director, Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv., for a better idea on when it is a good time to contact a Vocation Director.