On March 25, 2023, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the friars of the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception and Bl. Bonaventure of Potenza in the Philippines gathered at the recently erected St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Binangonan, Province of Rizal. They came to observe the new guardian take his oath of office and make his profession of faith, as well as to witness various ministries conferred upon three friars.

This was a historical moment for the Custody since more than twenty years had passed since a new friary was canonically erected. Moreover, for the first time, a religious brother was nominated as the Guardian. The new friary was canonically erected on August 11, 2022. Before Mass began, Friar Christopher BAPTISTA read out the Decree of Canonical Erection for the St. Francis of Assisi Friary and recited an excerpt from the Decree of Postulation for the new guardian, which had been sent by the General Curia. Mass was then celebrated with the Provincial Custos, Friar Emmanuel GIVA, presiding.
During the Mass, Friar Bonaventure BAJAR made his profession of faith and took his oath of office as the new Guardian of the St. Francis of Assisi Friary. Likewise, the ministry of lector was conferred upon Friar Maximilian BUMACOD and the ministry of acolyte upon Friars Paul Vicente CERVANTES and Miguel SUMAGAYSAY.
At the end of the Mass, Friars Valerian CASTILLO and Christopher BAPTISTA, both members of the new community, received their letters of obedience. After the Mass, a copy of the Constitutions was distributed to all of the friars.

Friar Daniel M. SUGATAN, OFM Conv.
Photos courtesy of San Francisco ng Assisi Parish