The Art of Photography


For the final edition of our “Sharing Our Artistic Gift” series, this month features the photography of Giovanni Dominguez, staff member at Mission San Luis Rey and Parish in Oceanside, California. For Giovanni, photography is a way to relax, slow down a bit, and appreciate the scenery around him. See below for a few examples of Giovanni’s night photography.




Where do you find inspiration?
Life is inspiring. Taking photos is a way of capturing moments of life to savor them and to share with others. I do natural landscapes, portraits, and event photography and they’re all about catching a moment…no two photos are the same.


Why is photography meaningful to you?
It is a way of relaxing, especially when I photograph landscapes and can spend time outside in nature. It’s also about community, not competition or being the most popular.


What is your hope for someone who sees your photographs?
I hope they get inspired to go outside and appreciate nature too. Anyone can enjoy taking photos. Photography is for everyone!


Thank you to all those who shared their artistic gifts with our Province-wide family. We hope this series has encouraged everyone in their own creative hobbies and perhaps inspired a few new ones as well.

Introducing Serra Retreat, Malibu, California

This is a Catholic retreat and conference center which provides the space, in a beautiful setting, for peace, serenity and reflection. Located between the mountains and the ocean in Malibu, California, the Franciscan Friars continue the ecumenical tradition begun in 1943 for welcoming group and private retreats, as well as workshops. Serra Retreat provides a superb opportunity for church groups, schools, non-profit and profit organizations, to reflect, plan and set new goals. The Friars and staff invite you to “come apart and rest a while” (Mk 6:13) mindful of the saying: If you are too busy to make a retreat; you are too busy.


The Art of Sewing


This month features the sewing of Maria Cabrera, a volunteer at Old Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California. For Maria, sewing is a way to be active within the community and serve others.



How did you start sewing?
I’m originally from Colombia and my mother owned her own sewing school near Bogotá. By age 9, I would sew things to donate. As a teenager in California, I made my own clothes and sewed in the evenings so my parents could attend night school and learn English.

Where do you find inspiration for projects?
Ideas for new projects come from seeing a need and realizing I can help. I find joy in sewing when I see the person wearing what I’ve made because it’s what they need and I can be part of it.

What is your hope for someone who sees what you’ve created?
I hope others will be inspired to sew and encouraged that they can do it too!


Francisco (my husband, not a friar) and I at the Mission’s tailor shop. He is wearing the grey habit (a costume) I created for the 2013 Old Spanish Days, Fiesta parade float.





After researching historical and cultural sources, I created this feather cape for the Mission’s museum in honor of a possible garment made and worn by The Lone Woman, from the book, “Island of the Blue Dolphins.”





As a volunteer assistant in the tailor shop, I sew real full-size habits for friars as well as souvenir bottle covers for the gift shop.



Do you have a creative hobby? Are you a musician, artist, poet, photographer, sculptor, knitter, mural painter, or writer? We want to feature the talents of our Province-wide family. Please reach out to Kathleen Flanagan, Executive Director, Office of Mission Integration and Ministry Support, at to share your art.

Introducing The Franciscan School of Theology, San Diego, California

The Franciscan School of Theology (FST) is committed to embodying Franciscan theology in a religiously and culturally diverse world. FST offers an intercultural Christian community in which to prepare men and women for professional ministry, for careers in theological education, and for living a life dedicated to solidarity with those on the margins of society and the Church in the knowledge of Christian faith.

FST offers Master of Theological Studies, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts degree programs, along with continuing education and personal enrichment via lectures online and in-person. At its current location at the University of San Diego campus, FST continues to bring the questions of contemporary culture, society, and Church into dialog with the ever-ancient and ever-new Word of the Gospel.

The Art of Quilting

This month features the quilting of Linda Causee, Marketing Manager at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California. With almost 30 years’ experience, she has created countless quilts and over 50 published quilting books. For Linda, quilting is a way to reflect part of someone’s story through fabric and patterns. See below for photos of beloved quilts and Linda’s reflections on her art.



I find joy in quilting because… it allows me to be creative! It’s fun finding beautiful fabric and creating new designs. If a quilt is for a particular person, I think about them as I sew. This quilt was made for Fr. Peter Kirwin when he moved from the Mission. We knew he likes spicy foods so we made sure to use chili pepper fabric.



Making a quilt for someone… makes me feel good and I look forward to seeing them use it! For special occasion quilts, the fabrics represent the person’s favorite colors, somewhere they’ve been or an important event in their life. This quilt for my son and his wife uses photos and colors from their wedding.



When starting a quilt, I hope… it turns out the way I envision it. You don’t know until you sew the individual fabric blocks together and the quilt design comes alive – sometimes in pleasantly surprising ways. Creating this themed quilt was a joy because I bought the fabric while traveling in Japan and used sashiko stitching, a traditional Japanese sewing technique.

Introducing the Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, Arizona

In 1951, the Casa de Paz y Bien began as a Catholic retreat center in Scottsdale. Now, as the Franciscan Renewal Center (still affectionately called the Casa) they offer opportunities for spiritual growth, healing and transformation that moves lives into the service of others. The Casa was founded by and is today an active religious community of the Order of Friars Minor, part of the worldwide Franciscan family, following the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi.

Activities at the Casa include daily and Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Church, private retreats, conference space for non-profit groups, individual therapy/counseling, support groups, adult education, family faith formation, as well as volunteer ministries that assist the poor and vulnerable, empower individuals to improve their circumstances, care for the environment, and build community fellowship.


The Art of Studio Art

This month features the art of Eusebio Cortez, a student at the Franciscan School of Theology in San Diego, California. A graphic designer by profession, Eusebio’s passion is studio art, especially watercolor, illustrations, and pen and ink sketches. Eusebio explains, “I think art is a gift and so I want to create – not to keep for myself or to gain attention but to put it out in the world for others.” Below are photos of Eusebio’s work along with his reflections on what he describes as the perfect color palette.

“I find the most inspiration in color. Color palettes of nature are perfect…God created them! Whether I’m doing a watercolor or a graphic design logo I always like to start with the colors. Even before an initial sketch, I think a lot about the colors and what will be vibrant and go well together.”


“For a still life, I most enjoy natural objects like plants, flowers, and fruit. I can look out a window or take a walk and see inspiration all around me. Especially in California, there are so many local plants and animals.”





“Studio art is my hobby, passion, and vocation. It’s what brings everything together and is the way of expressing spirituality, beauty, and whatever captures my imagination. Like a form of meditation, studio art is therapeutic and relaxing. I can really submerge into the creation process.”




“Learning about Dorothy Day I was inspired by her dedication to service. This still life drawing for her granddaughter, Kate Hennessey, was a way to give something of myself.”

The Art of Painting with Your Daughters

Charlie Brown, Executive Director at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ, tells us, “Art has always helped me connect with how significant my life is to Christ and in the beauty of God’s creation. Today my daughters and I painted, which we do when together. Art was a component of our healing through divorce and the loss of family and friends in death. It also celebrates our life and the value of life in Jesus.”

Introducing Casa Franciscana Mission, Guaymas, Mexico

Supported by Casa Franciscana Outreach, Scottsdale, AZ

The Casa Franciscana Mission in Guaymas (CFMG), Sonora, Mexico dates back to 1968, when the Mexican Obregon Diocese asked the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara, CA, USA to provide pastoral care to the English-speaking community in San Carlos, Mexico. The friars agreed to minister this care to the San Carlos community under the condition that they could also serve the poor in the neighboring city of Guaymas, Mexico. Today, CFMG addresses the needs of vulnerable populations in Guaymas with services including a free dining room, shelter for migrants, youth center, healthcare clinic and collaboration with Shriners’ International Hospital. CFMG also provides “External Ministry” to marginalized areas of Guaymas with a focus on visiting elders that are ill and homebound, farmworkers in the Guaymas valley agricultural fields, and migrants in Empalme, to whom they offer shelter and visit at the railroad every day.

Through these ministries, the staff embodies Catholic social teaching on the dignity of the individual and the Franciscan commitment to the poor and values of prayer, community, joy.

The ARTFUL Life of Brother Pat Groves

Brother Pat Groves O.F.M., is remembered by his brothers as a friar who followed the beat of his own drum. He was an artist, writer and musician known for his calm presence, gentle ways and dedicated service. After twenty-five years of being a friar, Pat decided to leave the friars but continued to live a life of simplicity. Twenty-five years later, Pat rejoined his brothers. He lived in the St Elizabeth friary and later at Old Mission San Luis Rey where he died in 2020. Below is a beautiful piece of music he created called, Lady Clare’s Farewell and a watercolor with an eastern influence. To see more of his art and writings, click on this link.




               Brother Pat PlayingLady Clare’s Farewell
      Watercolor with an Eastern influence