Br. William Compton, OFM

As he reflected on the occasion of professing first vows, William Compton said, “I was very excited and experienced a lot of emotions.”

Originally from Tampa, Fla., William became acquainted with the Franciscans through his pastor, Rock Travnikar, OFM, during the SJB friar’s assignment at St. Lawrence Parish. “I was very involved at church as a server and cantor, along with volunteering for a lot of community service,” William explained. “I was very impressed by the Franciscans’ character and the way they tend to people, making connections with those who are broken or having some difficulty. They help people feel good about themselves and help them know they are loved.”

Wanting to share in those connections and be of service to others, William applied and was accepted into the interprovincial postulency program for 2019-20. It was a time of “getting my feet wet, praying and eating with my brothers, learning more about myself and experiencing community and fraternity,” he said.

In the novitiate, he noted, “We dove deeper into our prayer lives, our relationship with God and our deepening desire to become Franciscans, to be brothers in the Lord.”

His family and friends in Florida watched the vows ceremony as it was live streamed from Old Mission Santa Barbara in early July. “The whole thing was very emotional,” William said. “When Fr. David (Gaa, SB) gave the homily directed at us, he shared his memories and the meaning of the vows. That was very meaningful. Then, as I proclaimed my vows out loud to those present and watching at home, I thought, ‘wow, this is really happening.’”

“I was moved to tears, happy ones, during the ceremony,” William said. “Now I’m even more excited and ready to move on to new things.”

After taking some time off to visit with family and friends in Florida, William was headed to Kansas City for “Gather and Discern: Your Role in Our New Province,” for friars age 65 and under. He’ll soon start orientation with Brothers Walking Together, the interprovincial post-novitiate program of the US-6 provinces. He and his classmates are then bound for Jamaica, joining the friars currently serving there.

“I’ve never been outside of the United States, so am looking forward to meeting the Jamaican people, learning from them and experiencing their culture,” William said. “I also see it as a chance to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses in ministry and grow closer to God and my brother friars.”

Read Fr. Frank Jasper’s account of the profession ceremony at: Novices profess first vows.

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Fr. Frank Jasper, right, receives the vows of William Compton.