Jesus once said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mt. 9:37-38). And truly, God is hearing our prayers. The pandemic which is ravaging our country and the world during these times have prevented many good things from happening even the public celebration of Masses. However, it was not able to stop the Lord of the harvest from calling laborers into His vineyard. In God’s grace, eight young men from different cities and provinces have responded to His call. These courageous brothers are: Br. Adrian Montero, Br. Martin Tan, Br. Jaymark Agostosa, Br. Timothy Marquez, Br. Vincent Edward Tin-ga, Br. Cyndrick Imperial, Br. Rendelmark Hanapin and Br. Carl Francis Reguindin.

These eight men are God’s great gift to the Capuchin Philippine Province during this time of pandemic. What a blessing! We might be lacking with many things now because of the crisis but the Lord is still generous to send us new brothers to journey with us. It was a great effort on the part of the Vocation Director, Br. Rex Cutamora, OFMCap. to fetch every aspirant except the only one who came from Mindanao. Knowing the dangers of the current situation, this did not stop our good brother to go and bring our aspiring brothers to the intensification program. Thanks to God, all have arrived safely at the Capuchin Retreat Center. Because of the current state of many provinces which are under quarantine, the intensification program which should have been in Bugallon, Pangasinan was done instead in Lipa City.

The Aspirant brothers with Bro. Ian Kenneth Pamintuan, OFMCap. (with scarf) and Bro. Evare Laborte, OFMCap. (uppermost-right) having a shade after doing groundworks.

From July 1 to July 26, 2020, Br. Rex and Br. Ian Kenneth C. Pamintuan, OFMCap. (PN4) accompanied the eight aspirants in the intensification program. During the course, the brother aspirants received inputs from our brothers from St. Lawrence of Brindisi Fraternity.

The talks covered the topics on praying the breviary, basic liturgy of the Mass, Franciscan prayer, Franciscan vocation and charisms, the grace of working and Laudato Si. As a preparation, the aspirants also had the opportunity to practice what will be their life in the seminary in following the daily horarium which was based on the daily schedule of the postulants.

It was an intense experience for the aspirants to enter into the month-long program during this time of pandemic. It is never easy to leave home and your family especially during this period of crisis and enter into a new life setting in the seminary. In God’s grace, they were filled with fortitude and faith to leave and surrender all to the Lord who is always under control. May the Holy Spirit, the true source of inspiration and perfect guide lead them always as they embark on their Capuchin Franciscan journey. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our seraphic father, St. Francis of Assisi strengthen them and console them as they follow the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Article by: Bri. Ian Kenneth Pamintuan, OFMCap.