Two joy-filled disciples enter Capuchin order as postulants

With thanksgiving, the Province is pleased to announce the postulancy of Ashwin Kumar, 18, and Jacob Schultz, 25. Postulancy is the entry point into Capuchin Franciscan religious life. Postulants spend a year living in community at St. Conrad Friary in Milwaukee further discerning the call to life as a professed friar. During this time, they divide their time between ministering to men and women living in poverty, studying, praying and reflecting on their experiences. Upon completion, friars begin a year in novitiate in Santa Inez, California.

Br. Ashwin comes to Capuchins from Dubai, where he was born and raised. Born into the Hindu faith, Br. Ashwin converted to Christianity in 2012. He credits the support of his family for his growth as a disciple, as well as a devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. Br. Ashwin’s aunt, a Carmelite sister, gifted a copy of the 2007 film Francis and Clare, which further cemented his adoption of Franciscan spirituality. “I watched that and got really inspired by that movie,” said Br. Ashwin.

Br. Jacob grew up in Linden, Michigan and is a graduate of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo with a degree in history. Several years ago, Br. Jacob walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, which planted a seed. “I felt during that experience being drawn closer to God,” said Br. Jacob. Later, while continuing to discern a vocation to religious life, Br. Jacob attended a Capuchin Ministry Weekend in Detroit as well as a Discovering Postulancy event.

Both men attended the November 2017 Beatification Mass for Blessed Solanus Casey, and both point to it as a key moment in their journey toward Capuchin religious life.

Since joining the Capuchins, for the first time the men are living with fellow friars and serving in direct ministry with the poor. “Community life is very different from what I’ve been used to,” said Br. Jacob citing the daily cadence of prayer, meditation, ministry and meals. “Overall it’s great to spend time in fraternity with my fellow friars.” On ministry, Br. Ashwin remarked on the connection between

service to the poor and evangelization. “Find the Christ in them, and they’ll find the Christ in you,” said Br. Ashwin.

As Br. Ashwin and Br. Jacob go forward in formation, they are thankful for the many benefactors who make Capuchin ministries possible. “Supporting Capuchin ministries is very key,” said Br. Jacob.

The postulants ask for your prayers, and moreover, they challenge us all to seek ways to foster vocations in our parishes.

Read more articles, especially about the 85th Capuchin General Chapter, in our recent Sandal Prints Newsletter.