Fourteen novices were received into the Order on July 16 in Santa Barbara, Calif., in a simple ceremony that included four provincials, three secretaries of formation and a host of supporting friars, representing all six of the restructuring provinces. There was also a Benedictine monk who is “trying on” the habit for a probationary period and studying with the novices. These men are of ages ranging from 22 to 47, from many different cultures and with a variety of gifts. All seem dedicated to prayer and learning our way of life.

It was a lot of fun to see many of my own classmates who are now in various ministries of the Order. Michael Jennrich is now Assistant Novice Director, Jim Lause, the Secretary of Sacred Heart, Jim Gannon, Provincial for Assumption, Jack Clark Robinson, Provincial for Guadalupe. Jack and I are novitiate classmates, while the rest of us all were from a time at CTU. Tom Nairn, Provincial for Sacred Heart, was our professor for ethics while we were there. Many stories were bandied about of those old times, as well as the new challenges in our current jobs.

I found myself incredibly proud of Matthew Ryan and Raphael Ozoude as the newest members of St. John the Baptist Province. As they signed the “Book of Life”, Carl Langenderfer served as one of their witnesses. Both men relished their time in the postulancy at Silver Spring, Md., this year. Both had stories of their times in the province as they had traveled this summer to Jamaica and for Christmas break to the four friaries in Detroit.

At our Extraordinary Chapter in May, Raphael and Matt enjoyed meeting so many friars that day and renewing acquaintance with others. Their connection to our band of brothers was obvious. They now are able to have OFM after their names and be called “brother”. Two new brothers emblazoned on the roll that holds each of our names.