Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update - October 2019
If you want to be perfect...

You may have heard the story about the rich man who found out he had only days to live. He broke the news to his wife, and then added, “I don’t want to leave anything behind. When I die, take all my money and bury it in the casket with me.”
At the end of the man’s funeral, his widow came up with a large lock box and placed it in the casket. Then the casket was buried. Someone asked the widow, “You really didn’t bury your husband with all that money, did you?”
She said, “Of course I did. It was all in that lockbox.” 
Her friend said, “Why on earth would you do that?” 
The widow said, “That was my husband’s dying wish. I took all his money, put it into a bank account, wrote a check for the entire amount, and put it in the box and buried it with him.”
I am sure we’ve all heard the quote from the Bible: Money is the root of all evil. This quote, which comes from St. Paul’s letter to Timothy, actually reads “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Some of the most controversial quotes in both Old and New Testaments have to do with the love of money. 
Jesus says “You cannot serve both God and money.”
In the Old Testament, the Book of Ecclesiastes says: “Whoever loves money never has enough- whoever loves wealth is never satisfied.”
In the gospels, Jesus gives us the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar. 
Jesus also tells the rich young man, “ If you want to be perfect, go sell your possession and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
The young man could not give up his many possessions, and so did not follow Jesus. 
No one has to be convinced that Judeo-Christian theology has had a problem with riches. 
So, is Jesus really condemning riches, or is the image of a camel passing through the eye of a needle simply an exaggeration? Jesus knew very well what the love of money can do to people. He came to this earth in poverty, having no place to lay his head. His example as someone who totally gives of himself was imitated by our holy father Saint Francis, who wanted his followers to live in poverty.
For Jesus, it’s a matter of priority. Riches, fame, wealth, all of these are things corrupt, disappear, fade, corrode, rust, or disintegrate. And we cannot take these things with us when we die.  We can easily think of celebrities, for example, who became so rich and so famous, that their wealth brought them great isolation and sadness. Think of all the rich and famous people who have taken their own lives. Think of all those who have had to build walls around their homes to keep people out, or to prevent people from getting near to them.
Sometimes we can accumulate things to such an extent that we become their slaves. Sociologists tell us that a common feature of growing older is hoarding- when we accumulate so many physical things that we don’t have room for them or don’t know what to do with them. As friars, we should always be reminded of the importance of living lives of simplicity and poverty. 
During this month of October, when we recall the life of St. Francis, let us recommit ourselves to these Franciscan and Christian values, so that we can better serve the Lord, his people, and one another.
Fr. Robert Campagna, OFM
Provincial Minister
Pre-Novitiate Formation

Tau Ceremony at Our Lady of Peace

During the annual Transitus ceremony of the New York Region, four candidates were received into the province's postulancy program by receiving the Tau cross at the hands of Friar Patrick Boyle, OFM, Vicar Provincial. The Transitus was celebrated on October 3 at Our Lady of Peace Church in Brooklyn, where the new postulants will have their formation program. Friar Patrick was assisted by Friar Orlando Ruiz, OFM, Pastor of Our Lady of Peace and Postulant Director, and Friar Octavio Salinas, OFM, Assistant Formation Director. The new postulants are:
Kevin Gabriel Gonzalez Vega, 28, from Nicaragua
Marco Antonio Gomez Garcia, 28, from Honduras
Nelson Aldair Orantes Calderon, 20, from El Salvador
Christian Javier Anariba Caballero, 35, from Honduras
In attendance were some of the New York area friars, the local Franciscan Sisters, and some parishioners and friends. A gaudeamus was held in the friary immediately following the ceremony. A wonderful time was had by all in attendance, and the postulants and sisters, along with Friars Orlando and Octavio, serenaded the group with Spanish songs. The next day, October 4, on the feast of St. Francis, the local friars and postulants gathered for evening prayer at Padua Friary, followed by a fine dinner at Villa Mosconi restaurant on MacDougal Street, hosted by Fr. Mario Julian, OFM, Pastor of St. Anthony Church.
Tau Ceremony at St. Francis Centre, Caledon
On Friday, October 4, at St. Francis Centre in Caledon, Friar Robert Campagna, OFM, Provincial Minister, was the principal celebrant at a Mass for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. In attendance were local friars and many benefactors of the province. During the Mass, the new candidates for the postulancy program were initiated into the Province's formation program in the Tau ceremony, receiving the Tau cross as a sign of their commitment to the rule and life of the Franciscans. Receiving the Tau Cross were:
Dagoberto Hernandez, 40, from Honduras
Jimmy Merchante, 33, from New York
Matthew Mancino, 39, from New York
They will be joining our two postulants from last year, Hawkins Choi, 33, from Richmond Hill, Ontario and Dmitry Neill, 21, from New Milford CT. The formation directors are Friar Pierre Farrugia, OFM, Director of Postulants, and Friar Joseph Powell, OFM, Assistant Director.
Friar Pierre tells us about this year's program:
"We are very proud of our new postulants, Jimmy, Matthew and Dagoberto, who join Dmitry and Hawkins, as together they proceed through their initial formation. It is a blessing to accompany them, alongside Fr Joseph, as they try to persevere in their call and "yes" to God. Yesterday on the feast of St Francis, they received their Tau. Keep them, and all of us in formation work, in your prayers. Blessings and peace +
p.s... Matthew just celebrated his birthday and was a good sport about wearing the traditional Montana's moose head b'day apparel while all the waiters/waitresses in the house cheered and yelled throughout the restaurant! Good man."(see photo below)
News from our Novices

Our two novices, Friar Oscar Valle Perez and Friar Luis Hernandez, report on their activities at San Damiano, Assisi:

Dear brothers greetings of Peace and Goodness to all of you.
We have initiated our novitiate year here at the San Damiano convent, but first we went to another convent named Nostra Signora del Farneto where we had one week of Spiritual Exercises along with the other novices: Raffaele from the Province of Umbria and Enrico from the Province of Benevento. Also with us were the six postulants of the Province of Umbria. It was really a wonderful time to hear God's voice through the Gospel, to pray, to have silent time, to reflect, and to get to know and to share with other friars.

After that week Brother Oscar Valle remained at that convent ( Farnetto) and I was sent to another convent in the rural area of Perugia named Nostra Signora della Spinetta, where I spent one week living with the friars and helping them with the daily labors such as cutting the grass, collecting tomatoes, feeding the animals they have and so on.

On Saturday both of us arrived at the Convent of San Damiano ( Assisi) to begin our novitiate year. At midday we had the Rite of Investiture, presided by the provincial of the Umbria Province, Fr. Claudio. It was a very joyful and emotional moment. After this we shared a meal with some friars and family member that were present.

The first week week was to adjust to the schedule and also to get familiar with the house. We began to do some cleaning in the place, some gardening, and we have been cutting lavanda flowers that after it gets dry we have to put in small bags.

Please keep all of us in your prayers. Brothers Oscar and Luis

Photo below: Friar Luis and Oscar with friends from Rome,
Daniela Pittacci and Gianni Lionetti
Update from the Post-Novitiate in Rome

Dear Brothers,
May the Lord give you peace!
As I write this update, we are finishing our second week in Rome. It certainly has been a whirlwind of a time with all the things we have done. Here are some highlights:
October 1 st  marked the beginning of another year for our fraternity with the arrivals of newly professed friars Jack, Dan, and Carl. This year we are a total of seven, with Fr. Antonio Riccio as Guardian, Fr. Jimmy Zammit as vicar and post-novitiate formation director, Brs. Victor Treminio, Jack Sidoti, Daniel Cavalieri, and Carl Green, and Yasser Peña Rodriguez – who is living with us to have an experience of the Franciscan way of life. In the days after everyone arrived, we celebrated the Transitus and Feast of St. Francis with Fr. Alvin Te and the friars of the General Curia, where we celebrated with a wonderful dinner and fraternal recreation after the Mass of St. Francis. 
On October 7 th , the school year began for us at the Pontifical University Antonianum. This year, Brs. Jack and Daniel will study philosophy, while Br. Carl, Br. Victor, and Yasser are studying Theology. We are all very excited to be able to begin our studies, and to share this experience with friars and sisters from all over the world.
Even though we are only two weeks into our time here in Rome, we have already had visits from the brothers of our Province. On October 9 th , we enjoyed lunch with Fr. Andre Cirino, who was in Rome with a pilgrimage group, and Fr. Alvin Te. 
As you can see, it's been a busy couple of weeks for us. But there is still more to come. Some of us are going to the Canonization Mass of St. John Henry Newman and four others on Sunday, October 13 th . In addition, we look forward to a visit with our Minister Provincial, Fr. Robert Campagna, who will spend a few days with us after his ESC meeting in Malta. Lastly, on Sundays, we have the day free after the morning Mass and breakfast, so that we can go out and explore the countless opportunities here in Rome. We truly are blessed to be here.
As I have said above, we are all very excited to kick off this new year of fraternity and embark on a new experience at the Antonianum. As always, I would like to ask all of you to remember us in your prayers as we continue in our university studies. 
Pace e Bene!
-Br. Jack Sidoti, OFM

Note: Friar Daniel Ramirez Luna, OFM, who has transferred from the Franciscan Custody of Caribe (Puerto Rico) will be joining this community next month.
The 2019-2020 Fraternity of Convento San Francesco
Left to Right: Br. Victor Treminio, Fr. Jimmy Zammit, Br. Daniel Cavalieri, Fr. Antonio Riccio, Br. Jack Sidoti, Br. Carl Green, Yasser Peña Rodriguez
Lunch with Friar Alvin Te and Friar Andre Cirino
News from Friar Josh Critchley in Chicago

Over all things have been pretty quiet, and we have been busy with classes at CTU. I have four classes this semester. My favorite is Intro to Old Testament taught by Br. John Barker OFM. This class is incredible! He is really teaching a love of the Scriptures.

The community attended the Duns Scotus Lecture at CTU. It was a good talk on Asian slavery in the Americas. The lecture was given by Friar Linh Hoang, OFM, on "Asian Slavery in the Americas: Franciscanism, Race, and Identity in the Asion American Experience." The Duns Scotus chair was given to CTU by the St. John the Baptist Province many years ago and they have an annual lecture series.

Students from CTU both lay and religious attended the Climate March in Chicago. It was an amazing time. There were an estimated 1500 people at least who marched downtown. We had so many conversations with people about Catholics and the climate and about Laudato Si- a moving experience. We heeded the call of Pope Francis in his encyclical where he stated:
"We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor," Encyclical Letter "Laudato Si'" of the Holy Father Francis (#49)

Community life is good. We are twenty-two in the house, very full but we certainly make the best of it! The weather has definitely started to get cooler and we are starting to dig out our winter things from the closet. The windy city is cold in the winter!
Photo below is of our group at the Climate March.

Congratulations to Friar Aziz Eissa, OFM, who has officially become a member of our province. Friar Aziz is a member of the St. Peter fraternity in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. He has transferred from the Custody of the Holy Family in Egypt. Friar Aziz has been working in our province in Canada since May of 2017. Welcome, Aziz.
John Duns Scotus Library Lecture
Provincial Curia
August 15, 2019

On Thursday, August 15, Fr. Joe Schwab OFM, Executive Director of the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ, gave a presentation at the Blessed John Duns Scotus Library on the topic:   Blessed John Duns Scotus: Loving Over Knowing, A Heart-centered Approach to Understanding God.  About 35 people—friars, sisters, Secular Franciscans, and other guests were present. Some of them were hearing about Scotus for the first time. They engaged the speaker with comments and questions both during and after the presentation. In addition to explaining some of the basic notions of Scotus’ thought, Joe noted that St. Junipero Serra, a professor in Mallorca, taught theology to the friars from a Scotistic perspective, a work that Sr. Mary Beth Ingham CSJ has been and is still doing today for the Franciscan family. Thank you Joe!

This the tenth presentation on a Franciscan topic offered at our Franciscan Library. We have heard from Murray Bodo OFM, Michael Della Penna OFM, Rick Martignetti OFM, Clare D’Auria OSF, Thomas Barton OSF, Athena Godet-Calogeras, Margaret Carney OSF, Kathleen Osbelt OSF, and Damian Novello OSF. 

Mark Your Calendars
J ohn Duns Scotus Library
Provincial Curia
Reading the Tavola of St. Clare:
Leadership Ideas from her Sacred Journey
Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler OSF,
Vice President for Mission Integration at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois
 Saturday, November 16, 2019, at 1:00 PM.
Come join us!

Overflow crowd gathered at the library.
Fr. Joe Schwab presents his lecture on Blessed John Duns Scotus.
November Birthdays
Take time to wish our friars a Happy Birthday!

Oscar Valle Perez (Novice)- November 6th-28
Ronald Bolfeta- November 7th- 70
Rafael Fernandez- November 10th- 65
Roberto Siguere- November 12th- 78
James Goode- November 18th- 77
Amedeo Nardone- November 18th- 77
Conrad Fernandes- November 22- 35

Pope Francis Celebrates the
Feast of St. Francis
Plants a Tree in the Vatican Garden
Pope Francis joined Amazonian church workers and indigenous people on October 4,  the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, to plant an oak tree in the Vatican Gardens.
He also consecrated the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon to St. Francis. The synod is being held at the Vatican Oct. 6-27.
About 20 delegates from Amazonian countries opened the ceremony, singing and dancing around a mandala of Amazonian symbols that included a banner with a photograph of Notre Dame de Namur Sister Dorothy Stang, a missionary from Dayton, Ohio, who was murdered in Brazil in 2005 because of her defense of the land rights of small-scale farmers.
Members of various church groups brought offerings of soil from symbolic places, including the Amazon, which has a rich cultural heritage and is also a land where martyrs have died; India, a country vulnerable to climate change; countries where people are trafficked or forced to migrate; places where young people participate in climate change demonstrations; and the Shrine of the Renunciation in Assisi.
The event took place only two days before the beginning of the Synod on the Amazon — the first ever synod on the theme of integral ecology.
The feast of St. Francis marked the conclusion of The Season of Creation, the annual celebration that takes place between September 1st and October 4th. This year was the first time that it was officially proclaimed by Pope Francis for the Catholic Church.
The Feast of St. Francis falls shortly before the 40th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s proclamation of St. Francis as patron saint of ecology (November 29th, 1979).
The event was meant to send a powerful message to the world about the Church’s commitment to the care of the earth, our common home.  This celebration and the symbolic planting of a tree in a garden that is at the heart of the universal Church will be an opportunity to communicate the importance of the Synod on the Amazon, as well as proposing St. Francis as a model and guide for the synodal process.  With this in mind, the event included a prayer of dedication of the Synod to the intercession of St. Francis, praying that the Synod will be a fruitful step in the discernment of new paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology in this critical region of the world.  The event was sponsored by the Order of Friars Minor, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, and REPAM- the Pan Amazonian Ecclesial Network.  
Feast of St. Francis
October 4, 2019

There are many traditions for the friars and our ministries surrounding the Feast of St. Francis- the celebration of the Transitus on October 3, marking the passing of St. Francis from death to eternal life; the Solemnity of St. Francis on October 4, with Solemn Liturgical celebrations and festive meals; the Blessing of Animals and Pets, celebrated in many of our friaries and parishes. Below are some photos of these events.
Friar Patrick and his pet goat
And ducks, too

Brooklyn Transitus Dinner
Brooklyn Transitus
Blessing Pets in Brooklyn
Friar Orlando and friend
Feast of St. Francis, Canada
Fr. Mario: Don't bite my finger!
Blessing of Animals in Derry NH
English Speaking Conference OFM Provincials Meet in Malta

Br. Richard Grech, Provincial Minister of the Province of St. Paul the Apostle, Malta, hosted the Autumn meeting of the English-Speaking Conference at the friars’ Porziuncola Retreat Centre from October 14 th  to 18 th , 2019. 
Besides the regular activities of the Conference meeting, the ministers reflected on a number of documents from the General Curia —   the Handbook for Guardians; the document on Fidelity and Perseverance; and the 2018 document from the Plenary Council of the Order. Two Maltese friars who had been at the June 2019 Chapter for Under 10 friars in Taizé (Brs. Walter Vassallo and Clive Camilleri) attended the gathering and spoke about their experience of this important event in the life of the Order. For the visitors to Malta, recalling the shipwreck of St. Paul and the time the Apostle spent in Malta (cf. Acts 27, 28) was very moving.
ESC President Jim Gannon (ABVM, USA) chaired the meeting, which brought together friars from Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, and the U.S.A. Before the start of the ESC meeting, the Ministers of the six U.S. provinces working towards union met for two days to advance their Revitalization and Restructuring process.


OR NOT.....
On October 13, Pope Francis entered into his twitter account this statement:  “Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints.  They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercessions. 
The Holy Father was tweeting about the five new saints canonized during a Mass at Vatican City.  He had no way of knowing that in writing #Saints it automatically included the logo of the Saints football team, a fleur-de-lis.     After securing a 13-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the official twitter account of the New Orleans Saints gave Pope Francis a shout out, thanking him for his support.  Saints fans are hoping that the Holy Father’s endorsement and blessing will help the football team, as its starting quarterback is recovering from an injury.  The Saints also prayed that the five new saints would also bless the New Orleans Saints, invoking their “interceptions.”
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: 

Death of our brother,
Friar Roland Petinge, OFM
Friar Roland Petinge, OFM, passed into eternal life on the morning of Tuesday, October 8, 2019. At the time of his passing Friar Roland was a member of the community of Saint Christopher Friary, Boston. He was 84 years old.

Born Vincent in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was the son of Carmela (Gigante) and Cosmo Petinge. he was predeceased by his brother Daniel and is survived by his sister, Frances LaTerza, and many nieces and nephews.

He was received into the order on July 14, 1952 and professed his first vows
on July 15, 1953.
Friar Roland made his Solemn Profession of Vows on July 15, 1956 and was ordained a priest on May 20, 1960. Friar Roland served in various ministries. As a teacher he served at Christopher Columbus High School in Boston, St. Francis Seminary in Andover, and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Troy, NY. He was an associate pastor at St. Anthony Church in New York City, and Pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Cambridge. He is well remembered for his work in formation, serving in many capacities. Prior to his retirement Friar Roland served on the retreat staff at St. Francis Retreat Center, in Andover, Massachusetts. He was also a General Visitator to the Province of the Assusmption.

Friar Roland's wake and prayer service were held on Sunday, October 13 and his Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, October 14th, at St. Leonard Church in Boston. Friar Claude Scrima, OFM, a classmate, was the main celebrant, and Friar Robert Caprio, OFM preached the homily. His bural was at St. Francis Cemetery in Andover. May he rest in peace.
Prayer Requests

Friar Roland Petinge, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)
Friar Peter Baptist Fritz, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
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)

Recently Deceased Family and Friends
Michael DeBenedictus
(Music Minister at Catskill)
Rosina Mancini
(Mother of Doctor Ottavio Nardone))

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
Please pray for all friars, families, friends, and benefactors,
living and deceased.
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