Friars profess vows, celebrate jubilees
"In whatever way you think you will best please the Lord God and follow in his footsteps and in poverty, take taht way with the Lord God's blessing and my obedience." - St. Francis of Assisi, Letter to Brother Leo
For the first time since 2019, our Province came together in person for a joyful celebration of friars professing their vows to religious life, and to recognize our brothers marking a religious jubilee in 2022.
On July 15 at St. Lawrence Seminary Chapel in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, our brothers McLean Bennett and Jaico George professed their first vows to religious life as Capuchins.
Br. McLean’s roots are in Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon. Before entering religious life, Br. McLean worked as a reporter for newspapers in Wisconsin. As a reporter interviewing people for stories, Br. McLean wanted to go deeper than he ever could as a journalist. “What I really wanted to do was have personal encounters with people whose lives I never would have come in contact with had I not been a Capuchin,” said Br. McLean.
Br. Jaico grew up in Kerala, India and was raised in the Catholic Syro-Malabar Eastern Rite. His family immigrated to the United States when Br. Jaico was 16. “I know this is an ongoing process and I still have a lot of years to go, but I’m grateful that I’m here and part of this community. In a way, I’m not living for my own sake anymore but living for community,” said Br. Jaico.
During the celebration of first vows, we also marked the jubilees of Br. Gary Wegner (40 years), Br. Pat McSherry and Br. John Holly (50 years),
Br. Ralph Fellenz and Br. David Funk (60 years), Br. Albert Sandor and Br. Dan Crosby (65 years) and Br. Otto Bucher, Br. Wilbert Lanser and Br. Francis Dombrowski (70 years).
The following day, Saturday, July 16, Br. Baudry Metangmo and Br. Francisco Javier Rodriguez professed their perpetual vows at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee. Br. Baudry came to the Capuchins after finishing his undergraduate degree. He came to know the Capuchins through the domestic mission among the Crow and Northern Cheyenne people in Montana. “It was the community life that spoke to me the most,” said Br. Baudry, “I remember feeling at home. I said okay, I guess I’m going to follow these guys.”
Br. Javier was born in Manatí, Puerto Rico. Prior to entering religious life, Br. Javier worked as an attorney, most recently with Legal Action of Wisconsin serving formerly incarcerated citizens. Br. Javier came to know the Capuchins as a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Church, the same parish where he professed his solemn vows. “There were two things that stuck out to me about the Capuchins. The first thing that impressed me with the Capuchins was community life. The way the brothers embraced me as a stranger even from the first time they met me,” said Br. Javier. “The second thing was ministry. One of the things I started to do when I first started with the Capuchins was serving with St. Ben’s Community Meal and seeing the friars at work there. That was one thing I felt I was called to even as a lawyer was to serve.”
Congratulations to our newly-professed brothers and jubilarians! We ask for continued prayer for these and for all of our Capuchin friars around the world.