From Friday February 16, to Sunday March 17, 2024, Friar Oscar David GAÓN MARTÍNEZ of the Provincial Delegation in Ecuador and Friars Leoncio Obed PIC ASUNCIÓN and Ronaldo Francisco CRUZ GONZÁLEZ of the Custody of Mary, Mother of Mercy in Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) undertook their second novitiate experience in Honduras. It was a time of grace to prepare them for professing their solemn vows in our Order of Friars Minor Conventual.

The Custodial Formation Commission of Central America, the formation teams of the friars’ home Jurisdictions and the communities at the San José de Cupertino Friary in Tegucigalpa and the Santa Ana Friary in Campamento, Honduras, welcomed, guided and encouraged the post novices during their four- week formation program, which included prayer, reflection, study and pastoral service.
One of the most notable experiences was the care and familial fraternity the post novices received from the friar communities in Honduras. In this environment of trust and companionship, the post novices were able to carefully reexamine and share their personal vocation stories. In addition, their second novitiate experience left a lasting impression on the faithful in our parishes, and on other members of our Franciscan family and their pastoral programs with youth and migrants. The second novitiate experience also had an impact on the local educational, cultural and environmental apostolates and on the local lay ecclesial movements. This helped the post novices realize the breadth and beauty of their Conventual Franciscan vocation. As a salvific experience, their vocation brings meaning and fullness of life to the friars, to the Church, to the wider human community and to our common home.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the post novices went on two pilgrimages. The first was to the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Suyapa in Tegucigalpa. The basilica evoked the mystery of the Incarnation and the Marian golden thread that runs through our Order. The second was to the Parish Church of San Jerónimo de Gualaco in Olancho, Honduras, where the remains of our confrere, Friar Casimir CYPHER, repose. Friar Casimir attained the fullest realization of his consecration and Conventual Franciscan ministry through martyrdom. His martyrdom was an expression of his radical Franciscan minority and his pastoral charity toward the people of God.

Friar Ronaldo Francisco CRUZ GONZÁLEZ