At the picturesque St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate, in Arroyo Grande, CA (in the St. Joseph of Cupertino Province), the friar Novices celebrated Palm Sunday alongside their friar formators, including Br. Joseph Wood, OFM Conv. (St. Bonaventure Province – Director of the Novitiate – far left), and Fr. Julian Zambanini, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province – Friar in Residence) who served as celebrant for the Liturgy. Friar Julian was assisted by friar Jonathan García Zenteno, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province Novice – left center) and friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province Novice – Cross Bearer – far right). Also pictured here is friar Anthony Ruffolo, OFM Conv. (St. Bonaventure Province Novice). The Novitiate is home to all Novices of the four North American Provinces, including Our Lady of Consolation Province.
Holy Thursday Mass in the Novitiate Chapel, celebrated by Fr. Maurice “Moe” Richard, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province – Assistant Director of the Novitiate) and concelebrated by Friar Julian.
On Good Friday, Friar Moe was assisted by friar Jonathan and friar Edgar
Although the Novices are spending a year and a day in the prayerful confines of this Novitiate community, their formators make sure they have moments of joyful fraternal celebration breaks from their studies of Franciscan History, Franciscan Spirituality, Rule and Constitutions of the Order, Liturgical – Devotional – Contemplative Prayer, History of Consecrated Life, and the Gospel Counsels. The Communal Prayer life in fraternity nourishes the Novices souls, and they are happy to also share in traditional celebrations that nourish their bodies, like an Easter Feast which even included a Baranek Wielkanocny (Paschal Butter Lamb), displayed by friar Edgar.
The Our Lady of the Angels Province friars pictured here, who are not in the prior photos above are: friar Michael Boes, OFM Conv. – Novice – bottom 3rd from left & friar Bram De Backer, OFM Conv. – Novice – bottom 3rd from right. Several friars of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province are also pictured here: Friar Jacob Carazo, OFM Conv. – Vicar Provincial , Friar Jerry Payne, OFM Conv. – Novitiate Formation Team, Friar John Farao, OFM Conv. – Prison Chaplain, and the other Novice – friar Wayne Mulei, OFM Conv. (top right)]
A message from the friars of the Novitiate:
“Happy Easter from all of us here at St. Francis of Assisi Novitiate. May the Risen Lord bless you and keep you. Alleluia!”