ON Sunday, July 19, Australian Capuchin novices Br Christopher Maher and Br Matthew Timonera began their 12-month novitiate in San Ynez, California.
They arrived at St Lawrence Friary with 21 other young men after completing a two month pre-novitiate in St Louis, Missouri.
The novitiate year began with a solemn celebration of Evening Prayer in which the 23 young men had the special experience of being invested with the brown Capuchin Franciscan habit. They are now considered as brothers.
These young men come from a number of Capuchin provinces throughout the US, as well as Canada, Guam, and Australia.
Brs Christopher and Matthew joined the Capuchin Friars in Australia last year having felt called to follow Christ after the inspirational example of St Francis of Assisi.
They completed a nine-month postulancy program in the Capuchin community in Dutton Park, Brisbane.
This was a period in which they lived with the friars and became accustomed to the Capuchin way of life, joining in the rhythm of community prayer, fraternity, ministry and study.
They studied the teachings of the Catholic faith, were introduced to Capuchin Franciscan spirituality and had opportunities to serve through a number of ministries to the poor and homeless, to those with disabilities, to asylum seekers, university campus ministry and in a parish setting.
They both decided to continue their discernment and have now gone to this next stage in the USA.
They will then return to Australia in mid-2016 to profess their Temporary Vows and continue their formation here.
For those interested in finding out more about the Capuchin Franciscan way of life, the friars are holding a Vocation Discernment Weekend at Marian Valley from August 28-30.
Contact Fr Thomas for more detailson 0432 362 052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cjeck out their Facebook: capuchinfriarsaustralia and their website: https://capuchinfriars.org.au