By Victoria Martinez

The San Lorenzo Foundation will hold its annual gala, “An Evening with the Capuchin Novices,” at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.

The event will celebrate the 10 new novices who moved in July for their second year of Capuchin training at San Lorenzo Seminary, where they will spend the year in community and personal prayer about the vocational choice they have made.

“Our whole purpose and goal is to develop and deepen a Capuchin identity,” said Father Bill Hugo, one of three directors of novices.

San Lorenzo Seminary has a long and rich history in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Capuchin Franciscan Seminary was established in 1963 after the Hourihan family donated 28 acres and initial funding to the Capuchin Franciscans. The Hourihan family continued to lend its support to the seminary and the Catholic community in the valley until the last member in their family line, Kathleen, died in 2006. The seminary now owns more than 400 acres due to the generosity of the family.

In the 1980s, the seminary became a retreat and prayer center for groups such as AA, Al-Anon, high schools, and religious groups. It continued as a retreat center open to the public until April 2011, when the seminary became a novitiate for the North America and Pacific Capuchin Conference.

The staff and novices at San Lorenzo have great support from the San Lorenzo Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1984 to coordinate the volunteer and fundraising needs of the seminary.

“Our responsibility is to support the seminary,” said Wayne Natale, a board member and this year’s gala chairman.

All proceeds from the gala will go toward capital improvement projects at the seminary. This year, the foundation is hoping to raise $50,000 with an allocation of $35,000 to go toward heating and air conditioning projects in the chapel.

The event, which will take place on the stunning San Lorenzo Seminary property in the eastern Santa Ynez Valley, will feature an open bar, wine tasting from Lucas and Lewellen, Bradley Family Winery and Dascomb Cellars, and wine from the first bottling of wine from the vineyard on the seminary’s campus. The novices will be at the event helping with entertainment and desserts.

To learn more about the San Lorenzo Foundation, or to purchase tickets for the annual gala, visit Tickets are $100 per person or $125 per person to also sponsor a friar.

San Lorenzo Seminary also welcomes members of the community to celebrate daily Mass in its main chapel. For more information about the seminary and its services, visit