Over the weekend of December 17-18, I participated in the inauguration of the Custody of Northern Mexico in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The General Minister, of course, presided at the ceremony, and Br Carlos Novoa, General Definitor for the Spanish-speaking jurisdictions of the Order, was also on hand. The ceremony was held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 17, in the chapel of P. Pio Friary in Monterrey, which serves as the post novitiate house of the jurisdiction, and will now become the headquarters of the new Custody, as well. Brs. Mauro and Carlos read the decree of establishment, and declared that David Beaumont will serve as the first Custos, assisted by first councilor Maximino Gonzalez and second councilor Bill Trauba.
This year, the Capuchins of the Western America Province celebrated the 25th year of their presence in northern Mexico. In 1998, the mission began accepting candidates to the Order and has since seen steady growth so there are now about twenty local vocations among the professed brothers of the Custody. Along with the four friars of the Western American Province ministering in the Custody, there are two friars from Goa, India, and three from Brazil. At various times in the past, friars from the Provinces of Mid-America and New Jersey have also collaborated in the mission.
On Sunday, Br Daniel Jimenez de Santiago professed perpetual vows into the hands of the General Minister during the 11:00 Eucharist. Both Daniel and I had the same novice director, Bill "Memo" Kraus, although a few years separate his novitiate and mine. In fact, I am the oldest surviving novice of Bill Kraus in the Order.