Been busy with many minor activities that kept me from blogging for the latter half of the week. To backtrack, briefly:
Wednesday: Continued with our reflections on the novitiate year. My Tuesday presentation resonated with many of the brothers. I hope to gather the insights I shared, jotted down on a page of a marble notebook, and refine them through a rewrite before posting them here. In the evening, we loosened our cords and let our habits down, so to speak: we had a talent show and karaoke night in our community room! (We thank the karaoke rental in Santa Barbara for giving us poor friars a discount on the equipment.) Our singers and poets delighted their brothers and amused God, no doubt. And "Piano Man" has just become a new favorite in my karaoke repertoire.
Thursday: On the morning of our nation's 237th birthday, about half of the novice brothers went to downtown Solvang, mounted a float (read: truck), provided by the Solvang Rotary Club for the local Independence Day parade, and became a body commercial for vocations to the Capuchin Franciscans. The remainder stayed back at San Lorenzo to prepare our favorite Fourth of July dishes for a potluck that evening at Old Mission Santa Ines. I made two kinds of veggie bean burgers: one batch with red beans and certain mix of spices, and another with white beans and a different spice mix. The food was plentiful at the mission church, and the evening fireworks were splendid. I grow more delighted by fireworks with each passing year: the variety of colors and shapes (and sounds) they make, the choreography (that is, the way the lights dance with the music), the sheer play of it all. I can appreciate Fourth of July fireworks shows in themselves, for the artistry, apart from the patriotic rituals they are meant to serve, and draw my own meaning from them.
Friday: Concluded our novitiate reflections in the morning. Paused from newslettering in the afternoon for half an hour to sit for the filming of an eight-minute video on my novitiate ministry, the federal prison in Lompoc. My novice brother and I summarized our routine on Fridays and Sundays, the process of credentialing for the ministry, and offered brief insights on the presence of God in our visits.
Today: Late morning Mass with members of the community of Secular Franciscans from Santa Barbara, followed by a picnic-style luncheon. It was very good to meet these faith-filled women and men, and the encounter only increased my desire to become acquainted with other Secular Franciscans in the New England area when I return to Boston. And if I can't find any communities locally, perhaps I will need to encourage the creation of new ones. Later in the afternoon, finished the final issue of The Caperone of the 2012-13 novitiate class. You will receive the link for this last number next week.
Now, for some foretracking as the final week of novitiate commences....