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

St. 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. 


Maurice Richárd
Assistant Novice Director  
Friar Maurice Richard, OFM Conv.

Our Lady of the Angels Province

Friar Maurice was born in the East Coast of Canada, of Acadian heritage. He first met the friars in the Montreal area and later joined the order in 1979. Since joining the Conventual Franciscans he has served as a parish priest, vocations director, and is now Associate Director of Novices in Arroyo Grande, California. Friar Maurice enjoys art and architecture, and uses his free time to go kayaking and swimming; activities which he finds extremely prayerful.

Alex Cymerman
 Friar in Residence 
Friar Alex B. Cymerman, OFM Conv.

Our Lady of the Angels Province

Born in Buffalo, NY, Fr. Alex served for twenty-five years in the education and formation ministries of the St. Anthony of Padua Province. For the last twenty-five years he served in Franciscan parishes in New Jersey and Western Massachusetts. He thanks the Lord for the privilege of celebrating over 50 years of priesthood in the prayerful confines of this Novitiate community.