First Profession ceremony for friars Raphael Ozoude and Matt Ryan. Photo L-R: Br. Tim Lamb, Fr. Mark Soehner, Matt and Raphael, and Fr. Carl Langenderfer. Photo by Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Ten men professed their first vows as Franciscan Friars at Old Mission Santa Barbara on July 2.

The vows ceremony was attended by a number of friars, including Capuchin and Conventual Franciscan friars and novices who journeyed from their nearby novitiates to witness the ceremony, along with members of the parish church at the Mission.
Friars from four U.S. provinces professed their vows to live St. Francis of Assisi’s Rule of the Order of Friars Minor. Those friars were:

Br. Matt Ryan, OFM

Br. Matt Ryan, OFM

Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Provincial Minister Fr. James Gannon, OFM, received the vows of Br. Andrew Aldrich, OFM, 28, from Mishawaka, Ind. Friars Kevin Schroeder, OFM, and Gregory Plata, OFM, witnessed his vows. Assumption Province is based in Franklin, Wis.

For Holy Name Province, based in New York City, Provincial Vicar Fr. Larry Hayes, OFM, accepted the vows of:
• Br. Ian Grant, OFM, 35, from North Brunswick, N.J.
• Br. John Neufffer, OFM, 35, of Durham, N.C.
• Br. Richard Phillip, OFM, 42, from Camden, N.J.
• Br. Carlos Portillo, OFM, 34, of San Vicente, El Salvador.
• Br. Steven Young, OFM, 31, from Canton, Mass.
Friars Walter Liss, OFM, the national OFM postulant director, and Hugh Macsherry, OFM, witnessed their vows.

Provincial Minister Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province, of Cincinnati, Ohio, heard the vows of:
• Br. Matthew Ryan, OFM, 48, of Covington, Ky.
• Br. Raphael Ozoude, OFM, 24, from Lagos, Nigeria.
Friars Timothy Lamb, OFM, and Carl Langenderfer, OFM, witnessed the vows.

Finally, Fr. David Gaa, OFM, provincial minister of St. Barbara Province, based in Oakland, Calif., accepted the vows of:
• Br. Andrew Dinegar, OFM, 53, from New York City.
• Br. Salvador Mejia, OFM, 49, of Acambaro, Mexico.
Friars Arturo Noyes, OFM, and Larry Gosselin, OFM, were the witnesses.

Br. Raphael Ozoude, OFM

Br. Raphael Ozoude, OFM

After each student friar made his vows, he was presented a new cord for his habit. Instead of the simple cord with no knots worn by the novices, the newly-professed friar was dressed with a cord that had the three knots representing the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The 10 men then signed the official register of their respective province. Also, signing were the provincial minister and the witnesses from the province.

After all 10 had made their profession of vows, the new brothers received the congratulations of the provincial ministers, the novitiate formation team, and then from all the assembled friars, including the Conventual and Capuchin novices who had shared many novitiate experiences with the newly-professed.

Following the vows ceremony, a lively reception was held in the novitiate dining room for everyone attending.

The newly-professed friars will now journey to spend time in their home provinces before starting studies in the fall either at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago or at the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego.

More photos on our Flickr page.

(This story first appeared on Jim McIntosh, a friar of Holy Name Province, is the webmaster.)

Group of friars in church

The assembled OFM, Capuchin, and Conventual Franciscan friars who came together for the first vows of the OFM novices in Old Mission Santa Barbara. Photo by Fr. Frank Jasper

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