3 friars

Friars Domingo Martinez, William Compton, and Matthew Tran made their first profession of vows in the historic Old Mission Santa Barbara on July 2, 2022. Photos by Frank Jasper, OFM

After battling storms and tornadoes in the Midwest, I was delighted to fly into Santa Barbara with blue skies, 70° F temperature and low humidity. It was perfect weather for our brothers making their first profession.


The program from the profession ceremony.

William Compton, Domingo Martinez and Matthew Tran (both of Holy Name Province) made their first profession of vows in the historic Old Mission Santa Barbara on July 2. They were excited to profess their vows and move on to their next venture as Franciscans. After their vacations and the Kansas City gathering, all three are moving on to Jamaica for the year of Brothers Walking Together.

David Gaa, OFM (SB), was the celebrant and preacher for the ceremony. He spoke directly to the young friars about the joys and challenges of being a friar. Larry Hayes, OFM (HN), and I received the vows of the newly professed, while a small congregation supported them, with family and friends attending remotely. Capuchins and Conventuals who regularly gather together for classes supported them, as well. They form a good Franciscan community together with their formators.

Erick Lopez, OFM (HN), novice director, had a huge smile on his face as his first class of novices made profession. Freddy Rodriguez, OFM (SB), Gene Pistacchio, OFM (HN), and Luis Aponte-Merced were also proud of the young men making profession. They are also looking forward to a break before gearing up for a new class of novices.

Following the ceremony, we had a wonderful meal prepared by the young friars who were visiting. They are great cooks and provided a number of excellent meals, many of them Mexican.

The day after the ceremony, Kevin Schroeder, OFM (ABVM), took Octavio Duran, OFM (HN), and me to some of his favorite spots around Santa Barbara. We wanted to watch hang gliders, but the winds were not cooperating. Then, he took us to the beach—my favorite spot. Kevin will never want to take photographers on a hike again because we wandered all over the place looking for just the right angle and taking pictures of things that might seem insignificant.

Overall, it was a great experience being with our newly professed and the friars there. I’m proud of our young friars and felt privileged to represent our province at this significant event.

Read, An emotional experience, William Compton’s account of his first profession.

white and pink church in the desert

Old Mission Santa Barbara.