Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update - January 2022

Early on in the liturgical year, right after the Christmas season, the gospels begin to focus on the ministry of Jesus. The Gospel stories follow a pattern.  Matthew and Luke both give us Infancy narratives, but Mark and John do not.  Mark begins his gospel with the baptism of Jesus.  But very quickly, all the gospels fall into line.  Right after the baptism of the Lord, Jesus goes into the desert to pray- to prepare himself for his ministry. 
Then it begins.  We see Jesus at the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where he starts selecting his disciples.  Although the particulars of the story differ, depending on which Gospel version you’re reading, they are basically the same.
Jesus first calls two sets of brothers- Peter and Andrew, and James and John- the sons of Zebedee.  He tells them to follow him, and their response is immediate- they drop their nets, leave their boats and fathers, and immediately begin to follow Jesus.  Jesus calls them to be “fishers of men.”
For these disciples- their lives are completely changed.   They do not know where they are going, or what they will be asked to do.  All they know is that they have been called by God- and you can’t refuse God. I think that where this all leads us is to acknowledge the fact that there are no spectators when it comes to Christianity.   Our Christian faith calls us to be active followers of Christ- to follow him, to be fishers of men, to take up our cross, to walk in his footsteps.   
The month of January is also an exciting time for us football fans.  We see the NFL playoffs- follow our favorite teams, and root them on.  For most people, we are spectators.  We cannot influence the outcome of the games.  We cannot go on the field and run for a touchdown or protect the quarterback.  We watch, listen, observe, root on, and perhaps at some points come away rejoicing in our team’s success or desiring to kick in the television screen.
Today in our society there are so many things that reduce us to spectators- whether it is watching television, or listening to music, or perhaps playing video games.  If you take a walk down the street- and this is especially true here in the Greenwich Village/Soho neighborhood, we see so many people walking down the street with earphones, totally oblivious to what is going on around them.  You need to watch out for someone walking into you, and, especially when driving in the neighborhood, someone crossing right in front of you because they are so preoccupied with what is going on with their cellular phones, that they don’t know what’s is happening around them.  In fact, a big problem here in New York City, and I am sure it is happening in many cities, towns, and villages, is people being in accidents because they pay no attention to where they are walking. 
Today, it’s too easy to shut out the cries of those in need with our ears always filled with music and sounds from our earbuds.  It’s easy not to see those who need us when our eyes are always fixed on our phones, televisions, or on computer screens.  For many, unfortunately, their lives are absorbed in social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like.  
As Franciscans and Catholics, we need to constantly ask ourselves some basic questions and examine our role as disciples of the Lord.  Jesus calls us every day to be fishers of men.  How do we respond to that call?
Post-Novitiate Program
Christmas gifts at the Convento
News From the Convento

            Happy and Blessed New Year to you all brothers! Here in Rome, we are embarking upon this new year with hope and determination to continue to discern, learn and grow in our respective vocations and as a fraternity. Even if its just a few paragraphs a month, we've grown to appreciate sharing these moments of life with the Province from our own perspective. So here goes. 

            As much as I would like to fill these lines with all the delicious foods we ate during Christmas time, I am limited to communicate the important moments. The Christmas vacation was a restful and joyful time for us here at the Convento, and of course a much welcomed break from classes. Christmas Eve, we had our annual “secret santa” gift exchange and our guardian made sure we all received something, and not just coal! Then we went up to the General Curia to participate in the celebration of the Midnight Mass with the general minister presiding. The youngest of the house, Br Aldaire, had the honor of processing with the Bambino Gesù during the Gloria. All of the students participated in the Liturgy in some way. Afterwards, the guardian of the curia invited us to share a moment of fraternity which included panetone and a toast. Christmas day, the guardian presided the Mass as we went to visit the sisters at Bosco Merengo. We returned for lunch, prepared by Antonio and Pierre, with lamb as the main course. 

            Between Christmas and New Year's we had several days to relax, rest and enjoy a more laid back schedule. For the feast of St. Stephen, which is a big day here in Italy to take it easy and spend time with loved ones, we once again visited the sisters who prepared a magnificent meal. I would love to go into details but moving on, for New Year's eve we were able to go to the Vatican for solemn vespers, Te Deum and benediction. It was a beautiful moment to recollect ourselves and give thanks for all the blessings we have received this year. Pope Francis gave the reflection and spoke about trusting Jesus who gives purpose and meaning to all the joys and sufferings of our lives. Wonder and awe, the Holy Father was keen on these profound internal attitudes most present at Christmas and how they need to be much more than just sentiments reminiscent of consumerism. After the prayer service, we returned to the Convento to prepare to welcome in the New Year together. Daniela prepared lentils for us which is a traditional dish in Italy to eat on New Year's Eve, signifying good fortune, and then we tried such fortune and luck when we played Tombola! Everyone went home a winner. We toasted to a New Year together and it was a a joyful fraternal moment. 

            It doesn't end there! Vacation continues, as does good eats. On January 4th, we took a day-trip to Bagnoregio which lays claim to the birth of our own Saint Bonaventure, a quaint town which held some breath-taking landscape. In the afternoon, after eating a packed lunch in the “town of the fables”, or Sant'Angelo which had multiple murals of the different famous story tales, we made our way to Viterbo. Some guys liked the crepes, others the hot chocolate & vin brule, others still the porchetta, but personally I enjoyed the shrine of Saint Rose of Viterbo the most (and the porchetta as well). We also saw the “palace of the Popes” which was the temporary home of the roman curia for a brief period. Again the sanctuary of Saint Rose of Viterbo, a third order Franciscan, was quite impressive. All in a day's work, as we traveled back to Rome in the evening. On the 6th, here in Rome, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany which is noted here in Italy for the “Befana” as well, the good witch who brings gifts. We also continued the tradition of the “Santo Prottetore” on this feast. Each person selects a prayer card which has a Franciscan saint or protector for that year to accompany the friar and also there is a brother from the community to pray for during the year as well as a friar who is infirm within the Province. 
            On January 10th, after a nice time off, we went back to school online. Here in Italy, as in the world, the new Covid cases have been many and the Rector of the Antonianum decided to hold lessons online as a precaution until further notice. As a fraternity, we are handling it together and doing our best to appreciate the good in a difficult situation. Some of the brothers have already made appointments to receive their third vaccination dose and we are remaining vigilant as to protect ourselves and also one another. With friars in the Province positive for Covid as well as members of our families, we continue to do our small part and pray that God continue to lead us through and be with us and trust in His plan. Brothers let us continue in solidarity to brave the disadvantages and sufferings at times that come as result of this virus remembering we are not alone. Keep us in your prayers as you guys are in ours! 

Br. Daniel Cavalieri, O.F.M.

St. Christopher Friary, Boston
(Above- Christmas Tree in the Boston Common)

Happy New Year from St. Christopher’s

Dedicated to following the Church of Rome, the friars celebrated New Year’s Eve and then went to bed just after midnight (Rome time). The Christmas festivities wore everyone out, even if they were a bit subdued because of Covid. Many of the brothers who typically would go to visit family, stayed at the friary for the Christmas day meal. We still ate well, prayed well, and enjoyed the day. Too many cakes, candies, and goodies. Claude had no problem addressing this issue.

Prior to Christmas, the brothers celebrated Las Posadas, the annual tradition of carrying Mary and Joseph from place to place looking for lodging.  Typically celebrated for nine days, we reduced our celebration to two days, with teams hosting in one of their rooms each night and serving a modest collation. We are getting better at singing the traditional Las Posadas song, now that we have three years of practice under our belts. We hope to be so good that we can put an audio link on the online newsletter. Perhaps that would be better be played during Lent!

The brothers at St. Christopher Friary decided at their last house chapter to open a prayer request line. This line will be publicized in St Leonards bulletin for now. Once the pilot program is underway, there will be opportunities for expansion. The friars will record the intentions in their house prayer log and read the intentions aloud weekly during evening prayer. Have an intention? Call 617-742-4190 ext 100.

The visitor general arrived for visitation with the brothers. We attempted to be on our best behavior, but that does not last long.
Claude attempting to build a snowman
Claude's final creation (Straight from Instacart)
Visitation Mass with Fr. Bill Spencer, OFM
Tom Garone with Mary and Joseph beginning the La Posadas journey.
Take time to wish our brothers a Happy Birthday!

Philip Adamo - February 2nd - 92
Brennan Egan - February 3rd - 83
Ciro Iodice - February 4th - 79
Giacomo LaSelva - February 6th - 51
James Wells - February 8th - 66
Celestino Canzio- February 15 - 74
Lawrence Stumpo - February 20 - 91
Orlando Ruiz - February 20th - 47
Michael Della Penna - February 21st - 55
Robert Caprio - February 25th - 88
Christopher Gaffrey - February 27th - 44

On 7 January, Pope Francis received the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, in an audience in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Minister was accompanied by the members of the General Definitory, the Procurator General, the Secretary for Evangelisation and Missions, the Secretary General of the Order and the Minister’s Personal Secretary.
At the end of the audience, which lasted 45 minutes, the Minister said that it was an intense and beautiful time of dialogue. Pope Francis listened to the reality of the Order in different parts of the world and some particular situations affecting the Church.
“In particular, the Holy Father urged us to work courageously among young people, according to their language and in favour of vocations, not to resign ourselves, and to look ahead to our future with confidence and faith,” the Minister reported.
He then shared his joy at having seen the Pope’s kindness up close:
“We thanked the Lord for this meeting because we saw the Pope’s affection for us Franciscans in the world and because he repeated several times that St Francis is seductive in the best sense of the word; he attracts and motivates."
Finally, the Supreme Pontiff invited the friars “to live in an evangelical way and to work knowing that they have this great root of inspiration and attraction“.
The audience ended with Pope Francis handing out mementoes to each participant and a short visit inside the Apostolic Palace.

The following is the update and adjusted schedule for the Provincial Visitation by Friar Bill Spencer, O.F.M. 

January 17-31, 2022 (New England Region)
February 1-5, 2022 (New York City)
February 13-28, 2022  (NYC Upstate NY, Connecticut)
February 21-23 Definitorium Meeting (Curia) (Chapter Steering Committee)
March 1-15, 2022 (Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania)
March 21-31 (Central America Foundation)
April 1-18, 2022 (Canadian Foundation)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
June 20-24 Provincial Chapter, Wappingers Falls NY

Friars and Parents of Friars
who have died since the last chapter

Fr. Giles Barreda, O.F.M., September 15, 2019
Fr. Roland Petinge, O.F.M., October 8, 2019
Zenaida Amigleo Te, mother of Fr. Alvin Te, O.F.M., November 3, 2019
Friar John Sebastian Laid-Hammond, March 19, 2020
Fr. Frederick Mazzarella, O.F.M., April 10, 2020
Hana Fialova, mother of Fr. Vita Fiala, O.F.M., June 1, 2020
Giuseppe LaSelva, mother of Fr. Giacomo LaSelva, O.F.M., September 17, 2020
Fr. Roderick Crispo, O.F.M., September 30, 2020
Gloria Tijerino de Salinas, mother of Fr. Octavio Salinas, O.F.M., October 24, 2020 
Gloria Cassese, O.F.M. Affiliate, January 17, 2021 
Fr. John Bavaro, O.F.M., February 8, 2021
Fr. Amedeo Nardone, O.F.M., February 20, 2021
Fr. Clement Procopio, O.F.M., June 4, 2021
Fr. Alexis Anania, O.F.M., July 24, 2021
Fr. Flavian Mucci, O.F.M., September 25, 2021
Fr. Daniel Morey, O.F.M., December 3, 2021
Fr. Dennis Wheatley, O.F.M., December 11, 2021
Fr. Aubert Picardi, O.F.M., January 20, 2022
Remembering Fr. Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M.
Denver's Little-Known Martyr who could one day be a saint.
by Aaron Lambert, Denver Catholic
Father Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M. woke up the morning of Feb. 23, 1908, and prepared for the 6 a.m. Mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Denver. It was the last Mass the Franciscan priest ever celebrated. While distributing Holy Communion, an Italian immigrant named Giuseppe Alia approached the altar rail, and knelt down to receive the Host given him by Father Leo. However, upon receiving it, Alia spit the Host out into his hand and threw it in the face of Father Leo. As the Host fell to the ground, Alia pulled a revolver hidden in his pocket and put a bullet in Father Leo’s heart.
The front page of the February 27, 1908 edition of the Denver Catholic Register described Father Leo’s final moments: “Father Leo reeled and sank to the floor of the sanctuary, striving with the instinct of the priest to collect the consecrated particles which had been scattered from the chalice. Father Wulstan, being called, was just In time to administer the last sacraments when he expired, his last act being to point mutely to the fallen contents of the ciborium.”
With his dying breaths, Father Leo recovered two fallen hosts which he placed in the ciborium he held; he then placed the ciborium on the step of the Virgin Mary’s altar which lay a few feet away. Just a week prior, Father Leo had told members of the Marian society Sodality of Our Lady, “If I had my choice of a place where I would die, I would choose to die at the feet of the Blessed Virgin.” An eyewitness to the murder said that indeed, Father Leo died at the foot of the Blessed Virgin’s altar, with a peaceful smile spread about his face. Father Leo’s love of the Virgin Mary was second only to his love of the Eucharist, as exemplified by his dying acts. On Nov. 9, 1916, the Denver Catholic Register, reprinting an article from The Catholic Columbian, wrote of Father Leo’s Eucharistic devotion: “How he loved the Blessed Sacrament! Although he was dying from the moment the bullet, sharpened by the brutal murderer for its deadly work, pierced his heart, his whole concern was to save from desecration the consecrated species scattered on the ground around him. Curiosity to know why he had an enemy, the roar of rage coming from a congregation frenzied at the crime — not these things turned him from solicitude for the dignity of the great Sacrament he had in his keeping.”
Alia, Father Leo’s assassin, confessed that he was an anarchist. He had planned to kill several other priests that day, and he showed no remorse for his actions. Despite a request for leniency on behalf of the Colorado Franciscan friars, Alia was tried and sentenced to death by hanging – a show of justice in those days. Reportedly, Alia’s last words were, “Death to the priests!”
Father Wulstan, in reflecting on how his life was spared due to an innocent switch with Father Leo between Masses, later told the Denver Post, “I would have been killed and he would be alive now. There is one way to solve the affair that I can see, and that is that God chose the better man.”
Father Leo was informally declared a martyr in the days that followed. His funeral Mass was attended by thousands of people, including the Colorado governor. Father Leo was originally a priest of the St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson. N.J., and though he’d only been assigned to Denver for five months at the time of his death, he was a pastor who was well-loved by his parishioners. His body was transferred back to the friary in Paterson and he was buried at the Holy Sepulchre Roman Catholic Cemetery in Totowa. His gravesite is frequented by pilgrims who visit from all around.After his death, the coroner discovered, quite by accident, more indications of Father Leo’s holiness and heroism. It was reported that Father Leo wrapped his arms and waist with leather straps studded with rows of iron hooks, and the extensive scarring indicated he had done so for a long time. While this sort of practice seems a bit extreme by today’s standards, various priests and religious throughout Church history have done similar practices as a form of asceticism to both keep sinful desires at bay and to share in the sufferings the Lord endured on our behalf. It was likely that Father Leo did this as a form of penance, perhaps to tame his quick temper. Furthermore, when his fellow friars entered his room after his death, they found not a bed but a wooden door upon which Father Leo slept.
In the 1920s, the Franciscan order opened an investigation into Father Leo’s heroic virtues. His cause for canonization was submitted, and in 1938, the process for his beatification was authorized. One parish in Paterson was so sure of Father Leo’s canonization that they were to name it in his honor. However, for various reasons, his cause has since stalled, but it remains open. Perhaps today, in 2021, asking for Father Leo’s intercession to live a courageous and reverent faith, with a deep love for the Eucharist, is all the more germane and necessary. 

Friar Victor Treminio, O.F.M., transferred from Catedral Inmaculada Concepcion, Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras, to Asociacion Agape de El Salvador, Sonsonate, El Salvador, effective January 11, 2022.

Darwin Joel Perez has left the formation program at Our Lady of Peace Friary in Brooklyn.

By a decree issued by His Eminence Sean Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M.Cap,., Archbishop of Boston, Reverend Michael A. MacInnis has been incardinated as a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, effective December 21, 2021.

New Minister Provincial Elected for St. Casimir Province of Lithuania
Br Evaldas Darulis, OFM, was elected Minister Provincial of the Province of St Casimir of Lithuania. Also elected were Br Andrius Nenėnas to the office of Vicar Provincial and as Definitors Br Tomas Žymantas, Br Andrius Dobrovolskas, Br Paulius Bytautas and Br Alvydas Virbalis.
Friar Aubert Marie

Picardi, O.F.M.

Passes into

Eternal Life

January 20, 2022
Our brother, Fr. Aubert Marie Picardi, O.F.M, passed into eternal life on Thursday, January 20, 2022, while in hospice care in Boston, Massachusetts. Fr. Aubert was 91 years old. He was born in Boston to Amorino and Eva (Parziale) ) and was baptized James. He grew up on East Boston and entered the novitiate on August 15, 1953, professed first vows on August 16, 1954, and was ordained a priest on June 16, 1962 by Bishop Lawrence Graziano, O.F.M. Fr. Aubert spent many years ministering in our Central American missions, in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. On returning to the United States, he was involved in several parochial ministries in the New England area, including pastor and associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Boston, and associate pastor of St. Leonard and St. Margaret in Buzzards Bay. His current assignment was St. Christopher Friary.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Wake and Viewing: Monday, January 24, 2022
St. Leonard Church, Boston, 4-6 PM
Funeral Masss follows at 6:00 PM
Interment: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

“Priests shall say two Masses for each deceased friar of the province, professed or novice. On notification of a friar's death, friaries of the province and foundations should gather for a concelebrated Mass inhis memory. In the house to which a confrere, professed or novice, was assigned at the time, Masses are to be celebrated on the thirtieth day ("month's mind") and first anniversary after his death.” (PS.6)

Heavenly Father, we commend to your mercy our brother, and all who have embraced Sister Death and we thank you for the gift of their lives. United in faith and prayer, through the intercession of our Immaculate Mother Mary and our holy Father Saint Francis, keep us ever steadfast in your love as we strive for your vision of a world made new.

Around the Province

St. Anthony NYC Creche
St. Anthony NYC
Convento S. Francesco
Convento S. Francesco
Our Lady of Peace, Brooklyn
Our Lady of Peace, Brooklyn Outdoor Nativity Creche
New Vocation Poster

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You:
Home Alone VI- Alone at the Vatican
For our friars in skilled nursing facilities

Friar Regis Gallo, OFM
Friar James Goode, OFM
Friar Albin Fusco, OFM
Friar Isaac Calicchio, OFM
Friar Lawrence Stumpo, OFM
Friar Phillip Adamo, OFM

For the friars who have recently died

Friar Aubert Picardi, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)
Friar Thomas Jones, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Carl Hawver, OFM (St. John Baptist Province)
Friar Thomas Frost, OFM (St. Barbara Province)
Friar Paul Williams, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Karl Koenig, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Paul Osborne, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Dennis Wheatley, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)
Friar Daniel Morey, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)

For the friars who are sick

Friar Jim Lause, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar James Goode, OFM

For our infirm family and friends:   
Pray for all those infected and affected by the caronavirus. 
For all our health care workers and first responders.
For all our friars and family who are ill.

For our recently deceased family and friends

Vincent Campanelli (Former Simply Professed Friar, family owned
Joe's Dairy next door to St. Anthony Friary NYC)

Please pray for all friars, families, friends, and benefactors,

living and deceased.

For medical personnel and first responders.

For those in our nursing homes and hospitals.

Please print out a copy of this newsletter to share with those in your community who do not have email. We hope that every friar in our province will have access to the Newsletter and that a printed copy will be posted on your friary bulletin board.
Thank you
Province of the Immaculate Conception, New York NY
125 Thompson Street
New York NY 10012

Please send any articles, news items, or photos to
Friar Joseph F Lorenzo, O.F.M.
Provincial Secretary/Communications Director
125 Thompson Street
New York NY 10012
Cell: 917.337.9833
Office: 212.674.4388 Xt. 113