Fr. Lester Knoll, OFM Cap., has authored this reflection on the story of Alverno, a place for solitude in our Capuchin Province of St. Augustine. Located in Salisbury, PA, it offers the environment to encounter the Lord in its silence, its beauty and its natural surroundings.
. . . written by our brother novice, David Domanski, OFM Cap.
for the March issue of the novitiate's Caperone
I sit under the shade of an olive tree at San Lorenzo looking out on a meadow mixed with patterns of yellow and lime colored grasses. The lack of rain has the deep greens of the past month transitioning back into the familiar golden landscape we encountered on our arrival here last July .
As the sun bakes the grasses I sense a sweet aroma brought over by the warm afternoon breeze. I hear a honeybee curiously buzzing around my foot looking for pollen anywhere it can find it. Many of the spring wildflowers have held on through the drying weather, but some are beginning to fade and lose the fullness of their color filled bloom.
So it is here in this ever transitioning and thriving ecosystem we get to encounter this year as novices.
Our brother, Francisco Lopez, OFM Cap., was recently featured in John Carroll University’s magazine. Francisco is an alum of the Cleveland university which he attended while a student in the Capuchin Formation Program of Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe, OH.
The article focused on four alumni who have pursued a vocation to Religious Life. Francisco traces his call to Capuchin life to a card he received from a friend. It was from the Seraphic Mass Association and included a prayer to St. Anthony. Francisco looked at the back of the card and heard about Capuchins for the first time. The rest is history:
One of eight children, Br. Lopez, who was born in the Dominican Republic, spent 14 years there before coming to the U.S. to live in Massachusetts. That’s where his grandmother first came years previously and where he went to high school.
“I’ve always wanted to go to a Jesuit school,” Lopez says. “My father sent me to a private school in the Dominican Republic, but it wasn’t a Catholic school.”
During the week of February 22, Mick Joyce, OFM Cap., and seven seminarians from Borromeo Seminary, and our Capuchin Formation Program there, were in Honduras for an annual mission-immersion experience. They were there to support the work of Sister María Rosa Leggol, OSF, a Honduran Franciscan Sister and to assist medical and dental professionals from Cleveland who go to mountain villages to care for the sick.
In the 1960’s Sr. Maria Rosa organized a group of homes to care for abandoned and deprived children.The project became Sociedad Amigos de los Niños. The orphans of Sociedad Amigos de los Niños en Nuevo Paraiso, engaged the men in games of soccer, in pushing the kids on swings, and in giving piggy-back rides, often beginning with the simple greeting, “Hey, Amigo.”