News from the Novitiate

Our Franciscan Friars Conventual Novitiate for the Provinces of North America is located in Arroyo Grande, CA, at the St. Francis of Assisi Friary, of the St. Joseph of Cupertino Province. Three of the new novices are from the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, two are from St. Bonaventure Province, and two are from our province (Our Lady of the Angels Province). This new class of novices arrived in July 2022 and began their “year and a day” with a retreat led by their Assistant Novice Director, Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province). Since 2017, the Director of the Novitiate ~ Br. Joe Wood, OFM Conv. (St. Bonaventure Province) has led the formation of the novices, and this year Friar Marek has been assigned to join him. Next month, another one of our province friars will arrive in Arroyo Grande to serve as the “wisdom friar” for the novices. Friar Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, OFM Conv. we be a friar in residence, sharing almost 50 years of experience as a Solemnly Professed friar. On August 2, 2022, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels (our province’s patronal feast day), Friar Marek will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his Solemn Vow Profession. He kindly shared these photos of the 1st month with the Novices.

NOTE: The Novitiate’s website and Facebook page are in the midst of updates.
Check back later for more information on this stage of formation for our friars
and to follow along with the progress of the Novitiate Class of 2022-2023.
For more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual visit:
Contact the Vocation Directors of our Province at

Friar Marek leads the Novices in Adoration

Blessing of the new garden

Working together to plant the new gardens

Novitiate’s Chapel

Br. Joseph Wood, OFM Conv. (Novice Director – left front) and Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. (Assistant Novice Director – right front). Our Province’s two Novices – friar Connor Ouly, OFM Conv. (next to Br. Joe) and friar Marvin Paul Fernandez, OFM Conv. (next to Fr. Marek)

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