Giles Zakowicz
Director of Novices 
Friar Joseph Wood, OFM Conv.

Saint Bonaventure Province

Brother Joseph Wood grew up in Miami, Florida where a vocation began to grow during his high school years. At graduation, he entered the seminary for the Archdiocese of Miami until he felt “a call within a call” to transfer to religious life. He joined the Conventual Franciscans in 1982, the 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Francis, a providential coincidence in that Br. Joseph developed a great love for all things “Franciscan,” eventually receiving a degree in Franciscan Studies. Br. Joseph has served the community in a variety of capacities through the years, as a high school teacher, seminary formator, administrator, and archivist. 

 

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Assistant Novice Director  
Friar Marek Stybor, OFM Conv.

Our Lady of the Angels Province

Fr. Marek was born in Poland. He first met the friars as a teenager. Inspired by their love for God and their missionary zeal, he joined the Order in 1991. Fr. Marek’s call to be missionary led him to leave Poland for Kenya in 1995 where he continued his priestly studies. He was ordained in 1999. Fr. Marek served the Order in Kenya and Tanzania as Vocation Director, Retreat Director, Postulant Director, and Parish Priest. In 2004, Fr. Marek continued his missionary vocation in North America where he has been involved in parish ministry and youth ministry. He especially treasures his experience of working as a campus minister at Catholic University in Washington D.C. His degree in Franciscan Spirituality, along with his broad ministerial experience, is a great help in his new position accompanying young novices.

 Friar in Residence 
Friar Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, OFM Conv.

Our Lady of the Angels Province

Fr. Raphael was born in Buffalo, New York. He grew up near the motherhouse of, then, Saint Anthony (SA) Province in Buffalo, Corpus Christi Church. During his years attending a Conventual Franciscan High School, he had the opportunity to visit Saint Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby, MA. He, then, entered the novitiate at Saint Joseph of Cupertino Novitiate, Ellicott City, MD and was invested in the habit of Saint Francis in 1969 and professed Simple Vow on August 15, 1970. He professed Solemn Vow  in August 15, 1973 and was ordained to the Priesthood on May 5, 1979. Since his ordination, he has been involved in the parochial ministry assigned to a number of parishes in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. On August 15, 2022, he was appointed as the new "wisdom-figure" of the novices and welcomes the opportunity to be part of the Saint Francis of Assisi Novitiate and Friary here in Arroyo Grande, CA.