Post Novices 1

Br. Michael A. Ocampo

Praise be to the Lord, who by His great love to humanity calls men to work for His vineyard.

The Post-Novices 1 brothers had a 3 day retreat with Br. Joseph A. Nacua, OFMCap. D.D. Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Ilagan, Isabela. The brothers were; Br. Sylvester Namuno, OFMCap. and Br. Elizah Terua, OFMCap. from Papua New Guinea, Br. Randal Lee Ken Haw, OFMCap. and Br. CornelSteve Dominic, OFMCap. from Sabah, Malaysia, Br. Joshua Stephen G. Casimiro, OFMCap. and Br. Michael A. Ocampo, OFMCap. from the Philippines. The retreat went on from 11th to 13th of May with different themes each day.This was done to prepare the young friars spiritually so that they would embrace their Capuchin lives more profoundly.

The first day of the retreat led the Post-Novices 1 brothers to go back to the resources and Tradition of the Capuchin Order which emphasizes the original spirit of the reform “to revert to the primitive observance of the Franciscan Rule and its spirit”,and that the primary expression of Francis’ profound wisdom and vision was his Testament. The first day of retreat was divided into three parts; the authenticity of the Testament, about the title and the contents of the Testament and its Spiritual theology. The second day focused more on the evangelical counsels and Bishop Joseph Nacua, OFMCap. D.D. gave a deepening of the object of the vows which the young friars were to renew. He began his reflection by consulting the Word of God, giving the paradox of the Cross and enumerating the different crisis points or temptations of a religious. To come up with a solution, Bishop Joseph Nacua, OFMCap. D.D. gave the young friars an antidote; the evangelical vows.

The third day was about the formula of profession of the Capuchin Lesser Brothers. He started the reflection by giving the real meaning of commitment, which is, sticking to what you love. He mentioned that commitment or the evangelical vows does not remove struggles, difficulties and even mistakes because we are heirs to a flawed humanity. He used sources from the writings of St. Augustine, St. Bonaventure and St. Irenaeus. After giving a profound explanation about commitment, he continued with the formula of profession by giving an exegesis in every word, phrases and clauses of the said formula. His basis for the exegesis were coming from the Sacred Scriptures, the writings of St. Francis and some related literatures.

After the three day retreat, the young friars were given an opportunity to check and evaluate their lives as Capuchins by having a review of life with their Post-Novice 1 director Br. Anthony C. Almazan, OFMCap. The brothers shared their learnings and struggles for the past year and have cited some things which they are looking forward to as they continue on their journey.On the 15th of May the brothers renewed their profession presided by Br. Antonio B.  Ala II, OFMCap; Guardian of Padre Pio Fraternity and delegate of the Provincial Minister, Br. Eugenio Juanilo P. Lopez, OFMCap. The Renewal of Profession was done with great joy as the young friars bear their own crosses once more for the love of the Lord and His Holy Church. At the end, the newly renewed friars were reminded through the Words from the book of Sirach, “My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing. Set your heart and be steadfast and do not be impetuous in times of calamity.” Because consecration is not about consolation, it is about service. Amen.