What an awesome sight to see twenty-two habits folded up and awaiting a blessing from the novice director, Brother Frank Grinko.
The postulants arrived at San Lorenzo on Friday night after making a trip in vans and cars from Victoria, Kansas, via the Grand Canyon, to Santa Ynez. They spent all day on Saturday unpacking, moving into their rooms, and finding out where things were. San Lorenzo has been through many changes. It was a seminary, a novitiate, a retreat house, and finally, once again, it is a novitiate. Donald discovered a hermitage on the grounds and decided that it would be a great project to remodel it or at least to clean it up. It hasn't been used for years. The swimming pool was a welcome place to cool off in the mildly warm afternoon. By Saturday evening there was a lot of excitement and anticipation in preparation for Sunday.
On entering the chapel on Sunday afternoon, we were struck by the twenty-two habits lined up on the table down the center of the chapel. The ceremony began at 5:00.
Brandon kept his eyes on the habits while Donald focused on singing as loud he could as the ceremony began with the songs and psalms of evening prayer. The ceremony continued through a reading from scripture and then an accompanying reading from Bonaventure's life of St. Francis. Then Fr. Frank preached a marvelous homily and blessed the habits.
Following the blessing of the habits, each province was called and the provincial and/or other representatives of the province clothed their respective novices with the "habit of probation." For historical purposes, I need to say that we in Mid-America had to rely on the Western American Province for habits. Ours, though they were sent on July 12, did not arrive! Brandon and Donald became Capuchin novices with "nothing of their own."
You can barely seek Brandon peeking through the habit, but he was there, with arms up in the air with joy. Donald, on the other hand was cool and calm. And so Mid-America has two new novices. We pray for them as they begin their novitiate year.
After the ceremony, Brothers Donald and Brandon posed with their novice director, Brother Frank Grinko and their provincial, Brother Charles Polifka, with the beautiful California mountains in the background. It was a wonderful ceremony, folowed by a joyful social and a festive supper.
And if you are wondering where all the habits went that you saw in the first picture, well, they all went over the heads of the new 2011 Capuchin novices.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE NOVICES! MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU. MAY HE TURN HIS FACE TO YOU AND HAVE MERCY ON YOU! MAY HE TURN HIS COUNTENANCE TO YOU AND GIVE YOU PEACE!
MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU!