Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update - September 2019
"May Christ teach you what you are to do. "

It's September. The heat of the summer gives way to the cooler temperatures of the fall. September is always an exciting time, since it is a time of new beginnings. The summer hiatus is over. Schools have reopened. And for us, as friars, we need to intensify our efforts to live the gospel to the best of our ability.

During this month, three of our friars have professed their first vows during a beautiful Mass at St. Anthony Church in New York City. Two of our postulants have received the Franciscan habit and are now making their novitiate at San Damiano in Assisi. We also begin two postulancy programs- one in Canada and one in Brooklyn. New vocations are always a cause for celebration. Seeing that young people (and not so young) continue to find the life and message of Saint Francis of Assisi something which inspires them to live a different kind of life can be very encouraging. Indeed, we know that the values expressed in the life and message of Saint Francis are so relevant today. Whether it be peace- between peoples and nations, or concern for the environment, love for the poor and the immigrant, or confronting the problems of today's market economics and consumerism, Francis shows us eight hundred years later what true followers of Christ should be about.

Any new vocations should present a challenge to us. They challenge us to live more faithfullly the rule and life of the friars minor- as we seek to be good examples of Franciscan life for them. They also challenge us to live up to their own expectations. Their idealism should inspire us to embrace the complete Franciscan life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and not some watered-down version that we may have adopted through the years. Indeed, the task before us is to resist the temptation to have them conform to our lives, but rather to have us conform to their idealism.

I like to recall the words of Mary in her beautiful canticle, the Magnificat. She reminds us that God chooses the weak to make them strong. Certainly, in the midst of our own weaknesses and frailties, we are called to lift ourselves up to be good examples of the Franciscan life. And what better way can there be to be good examples than to live such a worthy Franciscan life as to attract others to our way of life.

Finally, we are reminded of the words of St. Francis himself to the brothers just before he died: "May Christ teach you what you are to do."

Wishing you peace and blessings.
Fr. Robert Campagna, OFM
Provincial Minister
Postulants Report to St. Francis Centre in Caledon, Ontario

F riar Pierre Farrugia, OFM tells us that five postulants have reported to St. Francis Centre to continue or begin their formation. Three new postulants will join two who are returning from last year. The new postulants are Dagoberto Hernandez, 40, from Honduras; Jimmy Marchante, 33, from New York; and Matthew Mancino, 39, also from New York. They are joining Hawkins Choi, 33, from Richmond Hill, Ontario, and Dmitry Neill, 21, from New Milford, CT, who have returned for a second year of postulancy. Friar Pierre is joined by Friar Joseph Powell, OFM, on the formation team. The Tau Ceremony will be celebrated in Caledon on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, and the Provincial will be there to preside.
Friar Pierre tells us that he is very excited about this new year of postulancy. The postulants arrived on the sixth of September, and are settling in nicely. The program prepared for them is well balanced, and takes into account everything prescribed in the "Ratio." Friar Joe has placed them into two groups for the study of Italian: beginners and intermediates, and meets with one group in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The postulants will also be studying the catechism and liturgy as well as Franciscan spirituality. The postulants had their initial retreat at Marylake Retreat Center for three days. They had the opportunity to meet Cardinal Thomas Collins who was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of St. Timothy Church in Orangeville. Besides the photos below, there is a short video they recorded to send greetings to the friars of the province.
Postulants with Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Postulants on Retreat at Marylake.
Postulants Report Our Lady of Peace, Brooklyn

 Our Lady of Peace Friary in Brooklyn will be the location of a second postulancy program for Spanish speaking candidates, who arrived September 18 and 19. They were greeted by Friar Orlando Ruiz, OFM, Provincial Definitor and Pastor of Our Lady of Peace, who is also Vocation Director for the US and Postulant Director. The new postulants will be formally received into the formation program on October 3, during the Transitus at Our Lady of Peace Church. The Brooklyn postulants are seen below, left to right, with Friar Orlando: Kevin Gabriel, 28, from Nicaragua; Marco Antonio Gomez, 28, from Honduras; Nelson Orantes, 20, from El Salvador; and Christian Anariba, 35, from Honduras. Besides their Franciscan formation, they will also be attending school to study English. Friar Octavio Salinas, OFM is also a member of the Formation staff. Welcome, brothers. 
Tau Ceremonies will be held in Brooklyn and Caledon, Ontario for the admission of our new candidates into the postulancy program, beginning their Franciscan Initial Formation.
Information is below:
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Our Lady of Peace Church, Brooklyn NY
7:00 PM
Tau Ceremony and Transitus of St. Francis

Friday, October 4, 2019
St. Francis Centre, Caledon, Ontario
11:30 AM
Tau Ceremony and Feast of St. Francis

Investiture of New Novices
T wo of our province’s postulants were invested with the Franciscan habit and began their novitiate at the Sanctuary of San Damiano in Assisi, Italy.  New friars Oscar Danilo Valle Perez, 27,  from Nicaragua and Luis Hernandez, 33, from El Salvador received the habit of the order from Friar Antonio Riccio, OFM, Provincial Definitor, in the chapel of San Damiano on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Friars Oscar and Luis will be making their novitiate at San Damiano, part of the Seraphic Province of St. Francis of Assisi of Umbria. 
Congratulations Oscar and Luis.  You are in our prayers.  
Profession of First Vows

On Saturday, September 7, 2019, Friars Daniel Cavalieri, Carl Green, and John (Jack) Sidoti, OFM, professed their First Vows in the Order of Friars Minor, Province of the Immaculate Conception at a Solemn Concelebrated Mass at 5:00 PM at Saint Anthony of Padua Church, Sullivan Street, New York City.  The Principal Celebrant was Fr. Robert M. Campagna, OFM, Provincial Minister.  He was assisted by Fr. Mario Julian, OFM, Pastor of St. Anthony’s, and Fr. Orlando Ruiz, OFM, Provincial Definitor and Vocation Director for the US.  Friar Patrick Boyle, OFM, Provincial Vicar, was the Master of Ceremonies.   About 20 friars were in attendance as were many of the family members of the newly-professed friars, as well as parishioners of St. Anthony Church.  Friars Daniel, Carl, and John have just completed their novitiate at the Santuario San Damiano, in Assisi, Italy, where they had a wonderful experience as guests of the Assisi Province.   After the Mass an Italian buffet dinner was held for all in attendance in the Pop Musante Social Hall of the parish.  After a few weeks vacation, they will report to the Convento San Francesco in Rome, Italy, where they will continue their religious formation and studies. Congratulations to our newly professed friars.  
Friar Jack Sidoti, OFM professes First Vows.
Friar Carl Green, OFM professes First Vows
Friar Daniel Cavalieri, OFM professes First Vows
Newly Professed
Post-Novitiate Formation

From Friar Josh Critchley, OFM

My summer in Canada came to an end. It was a very good summer. I was in St. Peter's Church in Woodbridge. It is a large, busy parish with lots of funerals, baptisms, and weddings. There was also a kids camp that I especially enjoyed. There were about 30 kids for both weeks of camp and they were a joy to work with. The community there was very welcoming. The people truly opened their hearts and their homes (and
their grills!) to me this summer and I am very grateful. The friars were also terrific. I am very grateful to the community of St. Peter's for their welcome and incorporating me into their fraternity this summer. The fraternity is Canada is very strong and it was encouraging to see.

Now I am back in Chicago. Today was the new student orientation at CTU, my new school. Great to see friends old and new! We are welcoming 8 newly professed brothers to the community this year, bringing our total this year to 24! A very large community indeed! But grateful to have so many brothers from different parts of the country and the world to share this life with, it makes it so much richer.

Yesterday I also had the opportunity to visit the minister general Michael Perry. I went with two other brothers to the hospital where he is staying in Chicago. He is in good spirits for the most part and was grateful for the company. I assured him of the prayers of all the friars of the province and he sends his greetings in return.

Franciscan Call for Peace

Eight hundred years ago, Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt met. Francis went to the holy land and in a strong gesture of dialogue, he arrived in Egypt for a very special meeting. Two strangers met in peace, with one breath and heartbeat before God. One was and remained Christian, the other was and remained Muslim. The meeting had a profound effect, particularly on Saint Francis. He had felt a relationship of faith with a brother and was impressed by their call to prayer that sounded through the city and region. Shortly thereafter he wrote a letter to the city administrators and the custodians, to also make a call for prayer.
On Friday October 4, 2019 at 2.00 pm we would like to sound the bells worldwide.
On this feast day, the anniversary of the death of Francis of Assisi, at the time of Friday prayer:
to make Francis’ longing come true
to remember that important meeting between Francis and the Sultan,
to pray together for peace in solidarity with our Muslim brothers & sisters
We also invite everyone to go literally to “the other” in the footsteps of Saint Francis, in fraternity. Visit your neighbor of a different faith, meet the imam of the local mosque, …
We hope that we can count on your support to help carry this initiative, to have your bell(s), … ring in your towers, belfries, carillon, churches, communities, institutions – a call or another sign – on Friday 4 October 2019 at 2:00 PM. to give a hopeful sign of prayer, peace and reconciliation among all people of goodwill throughout the world.
This peace call is initiated by the Franciscan family in Belgium and the Netherlands and is supported by the Belgian Bishops’ Conference, Pax Christi Vlaanderen and Orbit vzw.

Boston's North End Marks 100th Annual Feast of Saint Anthony
Excerpts from an article that appeared in America Magazine, August 28, 2019 written by Angelo Jesus Canta.  
As the clock approached noon on Sunday, Aug. 25, a dozen men prepared to carry a statue of St. Anthony of Padua through the narrow streets of Boston’s North End, thronged with people from around the world. The crowd had been singing “Happy Birthday” to Anthony but now quieted down. The men paused as they brought the saint out of the outdoor shrine. Two sets of cannons shot red, white and green confetti into the air. Marching bands played, and the crowd cheered for the statue of the 13th-century friar holding the child Jesus.
This was the culmination of the 100th  Saint Anthony’s Feast  in Boston. The annual weekend-long spectacle began in 1919 with Italian immigrants from the small village of Montefalcione in Avellino. Organizers say it is the largest Italian religious festival in New England.
As the procession began, several women unfurled long white ribbons that were tied around the statue. People in the crowd reached out with cash in hand, and the women swiftly traded the money for a saint pin and a quick buona festa! (“Happy feast!”) before affixing the bills to the white ribbons. As the statue made its 10-hour procession through the neighborhood, St. Anthony amassed a fortune of pious donations and prayer cards. By the end, practically all that remained visible of the statue was the saint’s tonsured head.
The city estimates that about 250,000 people attend the festival each year. For some, the main attraction is the street food, including cannoli and arancini, Italian-style fried rice balls. But there is much devotion to St. Anthony.  Members of the society keep an overnight vigil at the outdoor shrine during the whole weekend. Some visitors want to avoid the large crowds and instead pray to the patron saint of lost things in the wee hours of the morning.  
This year was very special. Two relics of St. Anthony, were on display from the Basilica of San Antonio in Padua, Italy.  These were taken from St. Anthony’s tomb.  A golden bust of the saint stood next to the relics, and patrons knelt, touched, and kissed the holy relics.  These were brought to the United States by a Franciscan Conventual friar.  
 “We want people to touch them,” said Tom Muscatello, the North American liaison for the basilica. “These relics were venerated by Pope Francis, Mother Teresa and Sister Lúcia of Fátima.” Next to the statue were cards on which people could write their prayer intentions, and Mr. Muscatello assured people they would be hand-delivered to St. Anthony’s tomb in Padua.
Underneath the ribbons of cash, the North End’s own statue of St. Anthony wears a robe with hundreds of gold coins, rings, necklaces and other precious offerings that date as far back as 1919. 
Saint Anthony Slept Here

During the 100 th anniversary of the St. Anthony feast in the North End, the custodian of the relics of Sy. Anthiony, Fr. Alessandro Ratti, OFM Conv. and the US delegate for the Basilica of St. Anthony, Padua, Tom Muscatello stayed at St. Christopher Friary. The relics were placed in the friary chapel on the day before the feast activities and were present for Mass, Office, and during the day for personal prayer and reflection.

2020 USA OFM Interprovincial Retreat
“You will be my people, and I will be your God”
January 6-10, 2020 Holy Cross Retreat Center, Las Cruces, NM
January 27-31, 2020, San Pedro Retreat Center, Winter Park FL
Friars from all OFM provinces welcome
Presented by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA
The retreat will trace the development of ancient Israel and then the followers of Jesus Christ into the People of God.  
Registration deadline is December 20.
For the Retreat Brochure, click below:

News from Wappingers Falls

 August was the usual busy time both for the fraternity and the Retreat House here at Mount Alvernia.
A group of Romano’s former University of Pittsburgh students hosted a luncheon — at the aRoma Osteria in Wappingers Falls — for his 80th birthday. Joe LaGressa arrived on the 19th. Tom had surgery on the 23rd and is in full recovery. And Dennis Arambasick arrived on the 28th.
0n Monday the 12th Tom and Armand joined the Poor Clare’s in their Monastery for a festive luncheon on the Feast of St. Clare. The Mt. Alvernia friar-priests offer daily and weekend Masses at the St. Clare Monastery which is situated on our property.
From the 18-22 the Retreat House hosted the annual Chinese Cursillo Retreat. Each year about 80, mostly young Chinese Catholics, from throughout the United States come to Mt. Alvernia for their annual retreat. Among the priests in attendance was a young seminary professor from mainland China. (See photos below)
And throughout the month we had several persons here for privately directed retreats.

September brings a full retreat schedule: St. Joseph Parish, Boundbrook, NJ, an Inter-Community Formation Workshop for young religious, an Engaged Encounter weekend, students from New York’s Convent of the Sacred Heart, and a weeke nd retreat for young adults from St. Francis of Assisi Church 31st Street NYC.
Capuchin Provincial Retreat 2019
Capuchin Franciscans, Province of St. Mary
October 20-24, 2019
Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center, Wappingers Falls

Retreat Director:  Fr. Vincent Fortunato, OFM Cap
Sunday Evening to Thursday Noon

Reservations can be made by contacting Fr. Gabriel Massaro

“Understanding the Heart of Saint Francis through his Testament.”
The theme will be presented in a manner applicable to all three families of the First Order.  The attitude of Saint Francis, revealed in his Testament, concerning such things as Eucharist, Fraternity, Conversion, and other elements of the Franciscan Charism will be examined.  This year’s retreat promises to be a significant event in Franciscan renewal in the life of any friar.
Update on
Friar Michael Perry, OFM,
Minister General,
injured in bicycle accident.
On Thursday, August 15, Friar Michael was riding his bike along the lakefront in Chicago while on vacation when he hit a hole which caused him to fall from his bike. In hitting the hard cement, Friar Michael broke part of his pelvic bone that holds in place the femur and controls leg movement.  He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where the extent of his injuries were determined to warrant surgery, which was scheduled  on Monday, August 19. 
A message was sent to all the province from Friar Julio Cesar Bunader, OFM, Vicar General of the Order, updating everyone on Friar Michael's condition. He wrote:
Br. Michael is doing fine, thanks be to God; he is recovering from the trauma associated with the accident, and is in good spirits as he begins his rehabilitation treatment.
Br. Michael asked me to let you know that he will need to withdraw from all activities for a considerable period. During that time he will devote himself to praying for all those who are in need of prayer, particularly for the friars who are facing suffering, illness, and uncertainty at present. Br. Michael also asks us to pray for him, praying that the Lord may continue to be at his side, granting him the strength and patience to cope with his rehabilitation. This treatment is currently taking place at The Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, 355 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611. 
I take this opportunity to inform you that during the period of time in which I assume the ordinary vicar's power of government of the Order (GGCC 200 §1), I commit myself to do so entrusting myself to the help of the Lord and of my brothers — especially the General Definitory — so that as a fraternity we may continue to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ and, through the action of the Holy Spirit, to live the Gospel in the Church according to the form observed and proposed by St. Francis of Assisi (cf. GGCC 1 § 1). In order to carry out this service in the best way possible, I will be careful to keep the Minister General informed and will seek to act according to his mind and will (GGSS 148 § 3). Let us remain united in prayer to the Most Holy Trinity and to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Francis, and St. Clare.
The latest we have heard is that Friar Michael is recuperating at St. Peter's Friary in Chicago. The Provincial Office has sent a get-well Mass card. Please continue to remember him in your prayers.
Saint Anthony Church Candlelight Service in Remembrance of September 11

On the evening of September 11, 2019, Saint Anthony Church in Manhattan held a candlelight prayer vigil in remembrance of the tragic attack on our nation. Saint Anthony's is only one mile north of ground zero, and many of the parishioners of St. Anthony's were deeply affected by those terrible events in the history of our nation and city. The service opened with a prayer by Friar Charles Trebino, OFM, Pastoral Associate at St. Anthony's. After two sets of music lasting twenty minutes long, there were scripture readings and candles were lit in the sanctuary. In addition, all were invited to stay and have some quiet time and reflection. Refreshments were served after the service.
Death of our brother
Friar Giles
Barreda, OFM
On Sunday, September 15, we received word that Friar Giles Barreda, O.F.M., a member of the fraternity at St. Christopher Friary, passed to his eternal reward at Marian Manor Nursing Home in South Boston. Friar Giles was 86 years old. He was born in Cambridge, MA, and had an extensive ministry as a friar and a priest. After his ordination in 1961, Friar Giles spent many years as a missionary, twenty-one years in our own Central American missions, and a few years in Galapagos, Ecuador and in South America, as well as Africa and Japan. Upon returning to the states, Friar Giles spent some time ministering in our own provincial parishes. A letter was sent to all our provincial friars, with the following information:

+ Viewing +  
St. Christopher Friary Chapel
18 North Bennet Street
Boston, MA 02113
Thursday, September 19, 2019 
4:00 PM-7:00 PM

A Prayer Service will be conducted at 7:00 PM 

+ Mass of Christian Burial +  
St. Christopher Friary
Friday, September 20, 2019
10:00 AM
+ Interment +
  Immediately following the Funeral 
St. Francis Cemetery, River Road, Andover, MA

October Birthdays 
Take time to wish our friars a Happy Birthday!

Mario Julian - October 2nd – 65
Nery Aguirre - October 6th - 75
Joseph Powell - October 10th - 32
Rohwin Pais - October 13th - 58
Angelo Falzon - October 15th - 62
Roger Hall - October 16th - 65
Paschal DeMattia - October 19th - 84
Angelo Monti - October 21st - 77
Pierre Nguyenvan Quy - October 22nd - 78
Michael D. Ledoux - October 23rd - 62
Roland Petinge - October 31st - 85

Friar Giles Barreda, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)
Friar Vianney Sipulski, OFM (Assumption Province)
Friar Finian McGinn, OFM (St. Barbara Province)
Friar James Toal, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Edward Coughlin, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Eric Pilarcik, OFM (St. Barbara Province)
Friar Cyprian Berens, OFM (St. John Baptist Province)
Friar Marc LeGoanvec, OFM (Holy Spirit Province)
Friar Roy Rivas-Nuno, OFM (St. Barbara Province)

Recently Deceased Family and Friends
Rosina Mancini
(Mother of Doctor Ottavio Nardone))
Josephine Micallef
(Sister-in-law of Friar Albert Micallef, OFM)

Let us pray for our infirm friars:

Friar Michael Perry, OFM (Minister General)
Friar Jim Villa, OFM
Friar John Bavaro, OFM
Fr. Simeon Distefano, OFM
Friar Thomas Hollowood, OFM
Friar Daniel Morey, OFM
Friar Amedeo Nardone, OFM
Friar Armand Padula, OFM
Friar Flavian Mucci, OFM
Friar Claudio Moser, OFM

For our friars in skilled nursing and rehab facilities:
Friar John Bavaro, OFM
Friar Philip Adamo, OFM
Friar Lawrence Stumpo, OFM
Fr. Clement Procopio, OFM

For our infirm family and friends:
Theodore L. Duguay (father of Mark Greenfield, IT technician for the NYC friaries)

Please pray for all our friars, family, benefactors, and friends.
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
The Management
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 Curia
125 Thompson Street
New York NY 10012
Cell: 917.337.9833
Office: 212.674.4388 xt. 113