Fr. Robert Barbato always wanted to be a teacher when he was younger. When he attended St. Francis High School, he noticed that the Capuchins who taught there were friendly and joyful. Inspired by their example, and drawn to the Capuchin life of contemplation, he joined the Order in 1977 and hasn’t looked back since.
He has served the Province in parochial ministry and chaplaincy as well as formation work. In 2004, however, he returned to school to work on a doctorate in spirituality. “I hope to bring the riches of our Catholic and Franciscan spiritual tradition to the world in a way that will be helpful to people in their everyday life,” he says. Presently he is Vicar Provincial, on the NAPCC formation team of San Lorenzo Novitiate in Santa Ynez and pastor of Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang, CA.