Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update - May 2021
Dear Brothers,

We know that traditionally, May is the month of the Blessed Mother.  Among the many traditions through the years of honoring Mary during May are May crownings, rosary crusades, and special devotions to Mary.  The church never ceases to honor Mary and the special role she played in the history of salvation, but May has always been a special month.  Among the feasts of Mary in the liturgical calendar, we remember the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marking her apparition to the three young children in Fatima, Portugal. 
When talking about Our Lady of Fatima, however, we must put things into perspective.  Fatima is not just about the miracle of the sun, it is not about the visions of the three children, nor is it about secrets.  Although these are things that people like to grasp at, and the media finds sensational, the true meaning of Fatima is about God, and what His Son Jesus Christ has revealed to us.  It is about obedience to God’s will in our lives, and the necessity of each Catholic to live fully the life of the Gospel through faith, prayer, and good works.  Fatima, as so many other miracles and apparitions, is about God’s intervention in our lives, as He constantly reveals Himself to us through the ages.  
Despite the many things that Blessed Virgin Mary said at Fatima and in other apparitions, we must depend on the Sacred Scriptures for an understanding of who Mary is.  The scriptures, unfortunately, tell us little about Mary. But we know from the several incidents surrounding Mary, especially those narrated to us through the evangelists- that Mary was an obedient servant of God.  This obedience was not something passive- simply accepting what God had planned for her. Rather, she was an active, enthusiastic participant in the plan of Redemption.

We also know of Mary’s deep and abiding love for Jesus, her son.  This went beyond a mother’s love for her child.  Mary was and is, the first disciple, who, through her own Immaculate Conception, participated beforehand in the life saving Blood of Jesus on the cross.

Through the years, the church has been consistent in its proclamations of Mary.  Mary has become for us, a model for Christians and the model for the Church.  Where Mary goes, we follow.  What Mary does, we are called to do.

From the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima come two of the devotions to Mary- as the Immaculate Heart and Our Lady of the Rosary.

Any time we speak of a heart in religious devotions, be it the heart of Jesus in the Sacred Heart, or the heart of Mary in the Immaculate Heart, we speak of love- the love of God for us, and the love we are called to have for God.  We remember that the scriptures tell us that God is Love, and for true love to exist, it must be reciprocal- that is, both given and received.  The heart of Jesus represents the great love which God has for us.  The heart of Mary represents the love of the Church- and our love, for God.

Our Lady of the Rosary is a reminder for us to pray.  Another key ingredient of a love relationship with someone is communication, and prayer is our own communication with God.

Mary, like the saints, plays an important role in leading us to Christ, much as we ourselves may play a role in leading others to Christ by our word and example. Even in our prayers and Litanies, we do not ask Mary to have mercy on us or to save us- only God has mercy, and only God saves.  Rather, we ask Mary to pray for us.

Looking at this very practically, if we believe that Mary, the saints, and even our deceased loved ones, live with God in heaven, why can’t we appeal to them to intercede for us.

As we celebrate this beautiful month of May, this month of Mary, may we resolve to do what Mary did- to follow unreservedly and unceasingly the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we make our way to the Father.

News from the Convento San Francesco, Rome
Post Novitiate Program
Dear Brothers,

Greetings from the Eternal City! 
Since our last update, we have seen a new “re-opening” of Italy take place. We can attend classes in person again, restaurants are able to serve sit-down dinners, and inter-regional travel is once again allowed, all thanks to an increasing number of vaccinations and a decreasing number of new Covid cases. 
The new re-opening plan also gave us a chance to move around freely, always respecting social distancing guidelines and using masks. This past month, we celebrated Mass with the Sisters of Bosco Marengo, during which Fr. Pierre blessed a couple who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Afterwards, we moved outside the convent, where we had a moment of fraternity with the Sisters, the couple, and their immediate family. In addition, we were able to welcome back Brs. Francesco Falco and Vincenzo Romano (from the Province of Benevento) as they finish their studies at the Antonianum. We are all excited to have them back with us! They made us some fantastic pizza as you can see in the photos, for the recreation we have every Friday evening.
During the past month, we celebrated two birthdays: Marco’s 30th birthday and my (Jack’s) 25th birthday. As always, we were treated to extraordinary lunches prepared by Daniela, which were topped off with delicious cakes!
As I write this article, we are getting closer to exams, which begin on May 31st and end on June 27th. We are all happy to finish the semester, but at the same time, are experiencing a little anxiety for the upcoming exams. But, without a doubt, we will get through them without problems, and next thing you know we will be off to our vacations and summer assignments.
 As always, you are all in our prayers, and we thank you for remembering us in yours! We wish you all a blessed Pentecost and we look forward to seeing you all in the summer!
Br. Jack Sidoti

News from the Province's Novices
San Damiano, Assisi

Dear Brothers
Peace and all good!
Since the last time we wrote to you, we have had many different experiences in this time of Novitiate. Thanks be to God, all the novices are very well, we are feeling that the time is going by fast.
We share with you some news:
Holy Week was a beautiful and contemplative time with Jesus. Truly at San Damiano the Liturgy is simple and solemn at the same time. Easter Sunday was a great feast, not only was the Mass solemn and festive, the table was too.
During the first week of Easter, we did different activities for recreation and fraternal sharing, such as play soccer, two free days and a trip to Gubbio. At Gubbio we visited the Monastery of St. Jerome and shared the prayers and the Mass with the sisters there.
Another special moment was celebrating the Mass at St. Francis’ Tomb in the Basilica di San Francesco. The Conventual Friars were very kind. Two friars of the Sacro Convento gave us a little tour of the Church and Convent. It was very interesting to know the Basilica was built by Frate Elias di Cortona in honor of Saint Francis.
Finally, a great grace for us was the Vigil of Prayer in front of the Crucifix of San Damiano at the Basilica di Santa Chiara. It was very special to contemplate the same cross that Saint Francis and St. Clare did.
Brothers, everyday at San Damiano is a gift from God, every moment God speaks to us in the little things. We keep you in our prayers. Please, we ask you, to keep us in your prayers.
The Novices of Immaculate Conception Franciscan Province of New York

The novices visited Gubbio, the site of the famous "Wolf of Gubbio". The story, as seen in Chapter 21 of the Fioretti, tells of St. Francis making peace with the wolf, who had ravaged the town of Gubbio and its environs. Two photos below:
Province Photo Montage Prepared for General Chapter

The Provinces of the Order have been asked to submit a two-minute video or slide show, featuring the province's fraternity and ministry with the theme "Restoring God's Church: Fraternity and Mission." This will eventually be posted on the order's web page. Below is the photo montage from our province, put together by Friar Joseph Lorenzo, OFM, Provincial Secretary and Communications Director for the Province. After clicking on the link below, press the arrow to the left at the bottom of the screen to view the video montage.

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

Pierre John Farrugia - June 8th - 48
Luis Hernandez – June 8th- 35
John-Michael Pinto - June 9th - 65
Clement Procopio - June 1th - 102
Thomas Garone - June 15th - 77
Antonio Nardoianni - June 16th - 72
James Welch II - June 19th – 62
Andre Cirino- June 19th- 81
Simeon Distefano - June 20th - 85
Michael Travaglione - June 30th - 83

Province Anniversaries 2021

Philip Adamo
Paul Guido
Angelo Monti
James Villa
Nery Aguirre
Damian Johnson
Antonio Nardoianni


Clement Procopio
Albin Fusco
Louis Troiano
Primo Piscitello
Claude Scrima
Michael Travaglione
Vincent Ciaravino
Lawrence Stumpo


Isaac Calicchio
Paul Rotondi
Armand Padula
Albin Fusco
Claude Scrima
Michael Travaglione
Maurus Muldoon
Paul Guido

Patrick Boyle
Octavio Salinas
Angelo Falzon
Dennis Wheatley
Rohwin Pais
Charles Trebino
Stephen Galambo

Celestino Canzio
Alfonse Ferreira
James Goode
Joseph LaGressa
Robert Campagna
Francis Walter
Rohwin Pais
Richard Martignetti
Charles Trebino
James Welch II

Albert Gauci
Joseph Lorenzo
Jimmy Zammit
Mario Julian
Michael Dominic Ledoux
Stephen Galambos
Michael Corcione

A Franciscan Friar's Perspective on the
Violence in the Holy Land

By Fr. Ibrahim Foultas ofm
Jerusalem 14 May 2021
Since the clashes started in Jerusalem, Damascus Gate and the mosques, protests and violence have started, among the population, to have more than 200 outbreaks of revolt between cities and villages across the country. We're witnessing unarmed man-against-man violence, violence that is exploding with all the anger on both sides, young Israelis and young Arabs, perhaps inherited from the great failure of the resolutions enforced in 1967, and from the indifference of the international community to find a solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which seems to have reached a tragic crossroads: we are on the verge of a civil war.
These days I've been contacted for some interviews, and from the news I hear from the news, many times it leaks, a little knowledge of the territory and of the population that lives there. Another Middle East conflict has erupted with all its unheard violence in the bombardment between Gaza and Israel, where we witness the destruction of homes, families forced to abandon everything, many injured and dead on both sides, and at the same time it bursts of a war made of words and news, which impacts the lives of the people living this tragedy equally badly.
To understand the Middle East, and what is happening, we need to have a knowledge of local history. For example in Israel, together with Israeli citizens, and settlers, who can be Jewish or secular, live the Israeli Arabs of 48, who they can be Christians or Muslims, but everyone is Israeli citizens with Israeli passport. Palestinians live in the West Bank, they can be Christians or Muslims, and they have a Palestinian passport. In Jerusalem, besides Israeli citizens, Palestinians live, who don't have any passports: they can have a Jerusalem identity card, if they're ′′ 67 Arabs, or a ′′ passe ′′ lasse. This is the mosaic of a population that lives in the same territory but doesn't have the same directions.
What's happening in Haifa, Nazareth, Ramle, Lod, Cana, Askelon Tel Aviv in Israel, and Nablus, Bethlemme, Jenin, Bethania, Hebron in Palestine, and many other cities a real warfare broke out, a Hell! Burnt cars, lynching, fires at housing, synagogues, places of worship, the throwing of rocks at passing cars, causing many dead and serious injuries. A real war of violence between Jewish and Arab Israeli settlers in Israeli cities, and the same is happening in occupied areas of the West Bank.
The road has become the theater of a war with sticks and rocks, as we are informed in detail of the war strategies between Hamas and Israel, which have already suffered many victims, we are not realizing the danger that the Country is running. People are afraid to leave their homes for fear of being raped, because if you're Arabic or if you're Jewish, you're even going to die!
It's not just a war between Israel and Hamas, as it was in the previous Intifadas between Israel and the West Bank, where the parties can decide to ceasefire and agree.
Here we are facing an angry population, on both sides, who are trying to do justice for themselves, and where there is no interlocutor.
I appeal to all Heads of State, to call on Hamas and Israel to cease fire, and to intervene quickly to restore order to the streets and to the population now distrusted by long years of conflict.
Violence breeds violence, we all need to stop it!

Short Timeline of the

Province's Ministry in

Central America

A longer, more detailed version will appear in the Provincial Chronicle. This history has been compiled by Bishop Maurus Muldoon, O.F.M.

1504-        Christopher Columbus lands in Honduras in present day Trujillo. 
1545-        The first diocese in Honduras established (Trujillo).
1572-        First Franciscan mission in Olancho.
1612-      Franciscan mission endeavor in Olancho ends with martyrdom of Fray Esteban and his companions.
1623-         Second mission endeavor terminated with martyrdom of three friars near Catacamas.
1668-         Third mission endeavor.  Three Franciscan convents established.
1821-         Independence from Spain declared for Mexico and Central America.  Catholic clergy expelled.
1829-        Franciscans expelled from Comayagua. 
1848-        Last mention of Franciscans in Olancho
1944-        Beginning of the presence of the Province of the Immaculate Conception in Central America. 
October 4- First three of our friars depart for Central America.
November 27- First province missionaries arrive in Olancho.  
1945-         February 20- Second group of missionaries depart.
December- Third group of missionaries depart.
December 1-Province opens another mission field in Comayaguela. 
1946-         Friars establish the Instituto San Francisco.
1947-         June 16-The Province accepts a mission in Jutiapa, Guatemala. 
1949-         Province missionary presence in Guatemala expands. 
1950- Province begins mission in El Salvador (Sonsonate).  Province decides to consolidate missionary endeavor in Central America.  There are now 12 mission posts.  
1956- October 18- Bishop Bernardine Mazzarella, O.F.M. Ordained Bishop of Olancho.
1960- Province takes on mission in Comayagua, Honduras.  Opens the Colegio Serafico for candidates to the Franciscan Order in Comayagua. 
1961- Fr. Lawrence Graziano, O.F.M., is consecrated Bishop (Auxiliary Bishop of Santa Ana, El Salvador). 
1963-         March 13- Bishop Bernardine appointed Bishop of Comayagua, Honduras. 
1964- July 26, 1964- Father Nicholas D’Antonio, O.F.M., Ordained Bishop of Olancho.
1965- Bishop Graziano appointed Coadjutor Bishop with right of succession of the diocese of San Miguel,
1968- Bishop Graziano appointed Bishop (Ordinary) of San Miguel, El Salvador 

Other friar bishops: Bishop Gerald Scarpone, O.F.M.; Bishop Maurus Muldoon, O.F.M.; Bishop Virgilio Lopez, O.F.M.; Bishop Roberto Camilleri, O.F.M.; Bishop Joseph Bonello, O.F.M. And, of course, we cannot forget our dear brother, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, an affiliate of our Order and province.

With the growth of the missions in Comayagua in the early 1960’s, the missions of the Immaculate Conception Province reached the highest level of numbers.  Fr. Matthew DeBenedictis, O.F.M., Minister Provincial, in his report to the 1964 General Chapter of the Order, referred to the missions in Central America as “The Crowning Glory of the Province.”  He noted that the province at that time had two bishops and a Prelate Nullius, 4 priests, 3 brothers working in 26 mission centers, of which ten had parochial schools and three had Christian Formation Centers.  The Seraphic Seminary in Comayagua (the Pearl of the Missions) had a constant increase of local vocations.  

From the Meeting of the Provincial Definitorium,
May 12, 2021
Friar Paul Guido, OFM, from St. Anthony Friary, Catskill, to Mt. Alvernia Friary, Wappingers Falls, NY, in residence.

Friar Brennan Egan, OFM, from St. Anthony Friary, Catskill, to Veteran's Home, Braintree, MA.

Friar John-Michael Pinto, OFM, from St. Anthony Friary, Catskill, to Our Lady of Peace Friary, Brooklyn NY.

Friar Victor Treminio, OFM, from Valle de Los Angeles, Guatemala, to Catedral Inmaculada Concepcion, Juticalpa, Onlancho, Honduras, as transitional deacon.

Friar Joshua Critchley, OFM, approved for Solemn Profession, which will take place at St. Joseph Church, Winsted, CT on July 31, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Summer Assignments for Simply Professed Friars (Rome)
Friar Daniel Cavalieri, OFM to St. Christopher Friary, Boston.
Friar Jack Sidoti, OFM to St. Thomas Aquinas Friary, Derry NH
Friar Carl Green, OFM to Toronto (Pending COVID restrictions)
Friars Marco Antonio Gomez Garcia and Luis Hernandez to Ataco, El Salvador
Friar Oscar Valle Perez to Agape, El Salvador
Friar Daniel Ramirez Luna to Valle De Los Angeles
(All seven friars will be renewing their temporary vows on June 29, 2021)

Approved for Entrance into the Novitiate at San Damiano, Assisi:
Kevin Ottoniel Hernandez, Efraim Gabriel Rojas Medieta, Yony Alberto Molina Diaz, and Jimmy Alexis Marchante.

Approved for entrance into the postulancy of the Province (Our Lady of Peace, Brooklyn. Darwin Joel Perez, Fredy Daniel Rivas Hernandez, Kevin Leonel Flores Godoy, and Luis Alejandro Solano Castillo.  

The Provincial Chapter of 2022 has been scheduled for June 21 to 24, 2022, at Mount Alvernia in Wappingers Falls, NY.



Friar Cormac Nagle, OFM (Holy Spirit Province-Australia)
Friar Richard James, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar James Hoffman, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar George Musial, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar Eric Sampson, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)

Recently Deceased Family and Friends
Kenneth Lovasik (Former Friar)
Joseph Castro (Maintenance Supervisor at Provincial Curia)
Maria Caprio Sicuso (Sister of Fr. Robert Caprio)

Let us pray for our infirm friars:
Friar Peter Hoang Cao Thai, OFM
Friar James Goode, OFM

For our Infirm Family and Friends
Janice DiLillo (Cousin of Fr. Robert Campagna)

For all infected and affected by the virus.

For our friars in skilled nursing and rehab facilities:
Friar James Goode, OFM
Friar Albin Fusco, OFM
Friar Isaac Calicchio, OFM
Friar Daniel Morey, OFM
Friar Philip Adamo, OFM
Friar Lawrence Stumpo, OFM
Friar Clement Procopio, OFM

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.
For families separated from their loved ones due to quarantine.
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