The Provincial Council visits the novitiate. L-R: John Barker, Vince Delorenzo, Vicar Bill Farris, novice Joshua Richter, Provincial Minister Mark Soehner, Page Polk, Bob Bruno, secretary Dan Anderson

A time of going deep into God

The Provincial Council recently visited our novitiate in Santa Barbara, Calif. While we have dealt with many issues of letting go and revitalizing, it would be hard not to see the power of revitalization that comes from these new brothers, our novices, who are eager to become “troubadours of the Lord” as Franciscans.

These nine men each have caught the experience of being loved by God enough to let go of careers, promising loves, a stable home to join us on the road. They want to proclaim God’s Kingdom where the poor are cherished, the environment protected, a new way of freedom that they have learned here to be given away. The pace of things is really slow at the novitiate. They live surrounded by beauty and a pretty steady temperature. They purposefully slow down the Office to almost taste each word. And they have daily shared times of contemplation. There’s little shuffling around during that time, just a going deep into God.

For me, this is very hopeful, but yes, changed. As we let go of deeply treasured brothers and friends, we are also gaining new energy in new brothers. While the memories that we have of our beloved departed stay with us, God will develop a new future that we cannot yet imagine in those coming to our way of life. God’s generosity cannot be matched. God will never be outdone. We take our cue from the Blessed Mother: she surrendered, not passively, but bravely, to the angel’s invitation. And it changed mourning into joy for all ages to come.

two novices

Novices Edgar Alberto (HP) and Joshua Richter (SJB)