Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update - October 2018
The Importance of Prayer

As Franciscans, I am sure that we all know the importance of prayer in our lives. This, of course, is not something reserved to the followers of St. Francis. All Christians are called to be people of prayer because it is prayer that intimately links us with our Lord and God.
All of us, I believe, grew up with certain prayers that are familiar to us. We know, for example, the Our Father- the great prayer that Jesus himself taught us, or the Hail Mary, which is a combination of various quotes surrounding the Annunciation to Mary by the Angel Gabriel that she would be the mother of God, and Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth.  You may know other prayers that are familiar, the Hail Holy Queen for example, or the Memorare. Perhaps you have a favorite prayer or novena that you say. 
The Mass itself is the greatest prayer of the church, when we gather together in memory of Jesus at the Last Supper and celebrate his passion, death, and resurrection. The Liturgy of Hours is also something familiar to us and should be prayed every day. In some of our friaries, we incorporate the Hours with the celebration of the conventual Mass. The other Hours mark special times of the day when we should gather to pray. 
Perhaps the rosary is important to you, or the Franciscan Crown. We know that October is the month of the Holy Rosary.
There are other forms of prayer. Morning or evening prayers that we may say at bedside, or grace before meals, or simply asking God to help us in a certain situation. We don’t need to use formal prayers- we can pray in our own words. Or we can pray without using words at all- as we meditate. 
We certainly realize that we don’t have to be in church to pray. In fact, we can pray anyplace. And prayer isn’t just a one way street- we also need time for silence to let God speak to us. After all, prayer is our communication with God.
One of the questions we may have is how does God respond to our prayer and answer our prayers. We should not try to impose on God what we feel He should do to respond or answer our prayers. We say that God acts in mysterious ways, and very often, He answers our prayers in ways in which we don’t understand
There is a famous story about a man who was caught in a terrible flood. He was in his car and the car got stuck. He went up on the roof of his car and began praying to God to save him. Suddenly a boat came by. The man In the boat said “I have come to rescue you.” But the man on the car said, “No, I have prayed to God and He will save me.” This happened two more times. Finally, the flood waters rose so high that the man drowned. As he stood before St. Peter he said, “I am very disappointed in God. I prayed that He would rescue me and He never came.” St. Peter said to him, “Who do you think sent the boats?”
Although this story is obviously meant for humor, it still has its valid point.
As Christians, Catholics, and especially as Franciscans, we need to make sure that prayer is always an important part of our lives.
With blessings and peace .

Fr. Robert Campagna, OFM
Provincial Minister

Friar Victor Receives Ministries of Lector and Acolyte

Friar Victor Treminio, OFM, who spent part of the summer at Our Lady of Peace Friary in Brooklyn, NY, has received the Ministries of Lector and Acolyte from our Provincial Minister Friar Robert Campagna, OFM. at the Provincial Curia chapel. Present were Friar Patrick Boyle, OFM, Vicar Provincial; Friars Orlando Ruiz and Courtland Campbell from Our Lady of Peace, and Friar Vincent Ciaravino. Friar Victor departed Brooklyn on September 30 and has returned to the Convento San Francesco in Rome to continue his post-novitiate formation and studies. Congratulations, Victor, and best wishes for a successful year.
Friar Joshua Critchley OFM Summer Experience

Friar Josh, in the post-novitiate program studying in Chicago, writes to us about his exciting summer:

With regards to summer ministry it was an excellent summer for me. In June I was in Brooklyn at Our Lady of Peace with Orlando and Courtland. It was a good experience of fraternal life, they were both very welcoming. I loved the diversity of the parish, the English mass and the Spanish mass, as well as the traditional Latin mass and the Neo-Cats are all present there. It was a great learning experience for how to deal with different groups and try and make them one parish community. I also got to practice and study Spanish a good deal while I was there.

Afterwards I assisted at a meeting in Wappingers Falls for OFM secretaries of formation, vocation directors, and directors of ongoing formation. That was a good experience as well being with brothers from all over the ESC, talking about the beauties and challenges of Franciscan life and how to apply them specifically to ongoing formation.

Then I went to Central America for the next 6 weeks. It was my first time in this part of the world and it was truly eye opening. In short I loved it. The people were incredible and their faith deeply touched me. I saw such poverty there but somehow a deep joy and a love of life. I was most of the time in Ataco, El Salvador at Immaculate Conception parish with Fr. Rafael. I also was able to spend a few days in Tegucigalpa, Honduras at the school there and I visited Valley of the Angels in Guatemala- all amazing and beautiful ministries of the province. My Spanish also improved considerably and the people were so willing to help me and teach me. The way of life was pretty different, so many stories of ways I got in trouble for "thinking like a person from the US!" But I consider myself so blessed to be able to have visited and experienced the missions in Central America.

I currently have four classes this semester so I am pretty busy! This is my last year at St. Xavier University, so in the spring I will be getting my BA in philosophy. Pretty excited about that.

Photos of Friar Josh in Central America
Postulants begin studying Italian
Our postulants Dmitry Neill and Hawkins Choi have begun studying Italian as part of their program to prepare for novitiate and post-novitiate in Italy. They are being instructed by Friar Peter Furgiuele, OFM. Friar Pierre Farrugia, OFM is the Director of Postulants.program in Caledon, Ontario, Canada
Hawkins and Dmitry in Italian class with Friar Peter.
Have Travel Plans?
The Provincial Minister would like to remind all the friars to inform him if you will be traveling outside the country. This is listed in our Provincial Norms (and also a matter of courtesy).
Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed of our Franciscan Family
Please RSVP if you wish to attend any of these Liturgies.
Find a Friary...and a whole lot more!
US Franciscans Web Site

By Friar Jim McIntosh (HNP)
Brothers, Just FYI. I've published a new page on US Franciscans: — All OFM churches, shrines, missions, chapels, retreat houses, ministry sites, and educational institutions in the US.

There is also a more complete map on the friars-only side of US Franciscans: — All of the above plus friar residences (retirement houses, houses of formation, etc.) and provincial offices.

The general public can find places to worship, retreat houses, etc., while friars have access to information on all our locations. The information is current as of that which will be published in the back of the 2019 Ordo.

Both maps are completely searchable by location (the viewer's actual location or any specified location) so people can find, say, retreat houses in their area or a Franciscan church when traveling to another city. Viewers can also generate directions to the selected location.

In some cases, I was not able to determine whether a house was a residence or a ministry site. When in doubt, I labeled it as a residence to exclude it from the general public's map. If you notice any problems or have any questions, please feel free to contact me:

Friar Thomas Washburn, OFM, From Local Minister and Pastor, Saint Margaret Church and Friary, Buzzards Bay, MA to Rector of St. Mary's Cathedral and Administrator of the Catholic Community of Central Fall River. (St. Margaret Parish will be staffed by priests from the Diocese of Fall River)

 Fr. Joseph Nathan, OFM, From St. Christopher Friary, Boston, has returned to his home Province of Singapore.
Franciscan Spiritual Direction
November 10 at the Duns Scotus Library
Provincial Curia
November Birthdays
Take time to wish our friars a Happy Birthday!

Ronald Bolfeta- November 7th- 69
Rafael Fernandez- November 10th- 64
Roberto Siguere- November 12th- 77
James Goode- November 18th- 76
Amedeo Nardone- November 18th- 76
Conrad Fernandes- November 22- 34

Friars Depart from
Saint Pamphilus Parish, Pittsburgh
On Sunday, October 14, 2018, with the implementation of On Mission for the Church Alive , the parish renewal campaign for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Friar Alexis Anania, OFM and Friar John-Michael Pinto, OFM, completed their ministry at St. Pamphilus Church in the Beechview section of Pittsburgh.  The parish was established in 1960 and has been staffed by the friars of our province for 58 years.  St. Pamphilus now becomes part of the Beechview/Brookline Parish Grouping, consisting of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Beechview, and Our Lady of Loreto, St. Pius X, and Resurrection Parishes, all in Brookline.  The new parish will be staffed by priests of the Diocese.  The new amalgamated parish will, in the future, decide what buildings it will need to adequately continue its ministry.  

St. Pamphilus was established as the second parish in Beechview, when then bishop Cardinal John Wright offered the parish to the province in replacement of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle in the lower Hill District, which had been closed and razed to make room for the urban development around the new Civic Arena.  Friar Theodore DiMasi, OFM was the first pastor.

With our withdrawal from St. Pamphilus, we no longer have provincial ministries in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Besides St. Pamphilus (and formerly St. Peter the Apostle Parish), the province had staffed Our Lady Help of Christians in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh, and Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport.
Feast of St. Francis
October 4, 2018

What 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, marked 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.
Pittsburgh PA
Buzzard's Bay
St. Anthony NYC
Derry NH
St. Anthony NYC
Friar Orlando blesses a fish
NYC Region celebrates the Transitus in Brooklyn
Transitus Program, Brooklyn
Feast of St. Francis, Brooklyn
Toronto Region
Toronto Region

Communique from the General Definitory

Tempo Forte for
September 201 8
Posted on September 27, 2018 in  General Secretariat News
The September Tempo Forte of the General Definitory began at 09:00 on the 10th of the month. The Minister General, Vicar General, and each of the General Definitors spoke about the activities in which they had been engaged since the the conclusion of the previous Tempo Forte (July 16th to 27th, 2018).
That same day, the Visitator General for the General Curia Fraternity, Br. Hugh McKenna, presented his Visitation Report to the General Definitory. The report contains recommendations for improvements in the quality of the fraternity’s life of prayer and service, as well as addressing the Curia offices’ activities for the good of the entire Order.
Working sessions were spent discussing the final document of the 2018 PCO (which is in its final phase and is being translated into the official languages ​​of the Order), and the General Definitory’s letter for the Solemnity of our Seraphic Father, Saint Francis.
At 11.30 on Thursday, September 13th, Brs. Michael and Julio César went to the General Chapter of the Capuchin Friars Minor and officially greeted the new Minister General, Br. Roberto Genuin, OFMCap.
On Friday September 14th, the Definitory was warmly welcomed by the Fraternity of San Sebastiano alle Catacombe (Rome), where, with the professional assistance of Br. Matteo Giuliani, they engaged in an evaluation of the fraternal life and mission of the General Definitory during the three years since the last General Chapter. During next December’s Tempo Forte the General Definitory will devote an additional two days to devising further improved ways of working.
On Sunday 16th and Monday 17th of September, the Minister General and members of the Definitory went to the Sanctuary of La Verna for the celebration of the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis. On Tuesday 18th, Br. Michael, Minister General, accompanied by Br. Antonio Scabio, Definitor General, participated in the Chapter of Mats that saw three Italian Provinces gather together in Baronissi (Salerno).
During this Tempo Forte, the General Definitory elected the following General Visitators:
Br. Sérgio MOURA RODRIGUES, for the Province of St. Francis, Brazil;
Br. Stephen O’KANE, for the Holy Name Province, New York, U.S.;
 Br. Silvio Rogelio de la Fuente was appointed as Local Bursar, and Br. Angelo Flores Guerrero as Local Assistant Bursar, of the Fraternity at St. Anthony’s International College, Rome.
Br. Juan Isidro Aldana Maldonado was elected Vicar of the Santa Maria Mediatrice General Curia Fraternity, with Brs. Cesare Vaiani, Rufino Lim, and Marco Mendoza Martínez named as members of the Discretorium. They will cooperate with with the recently elected Guardian, Br. Saúl Orlando Flores Interiano, and with Br. Tiberiusz Maka, Local Bursar.
Br. John Puodziunas, General Treasurer, attended a session during which a variety of financial issues were discussed.
Following advice from experts in the field, who have been studying the matter for some time, an exploratory structure has been developed that will lead to the establishment of a Foundation for the collection and distribution of funds for the various Missionary and Formation projects of several of the Order’s Entities.
Extra-Capitular elections of some Guardians in a few Entities of the Order were ratified.
The Report of Br. Paul Smith, Delegate of the Minister General for the Custody of St. Francis of Assisi in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands was tabled and discussed.
With the sense of sadness that always characterizes such cases, the following were examined during the Tempo Forte:
Ipso facto dismissal from the Order (4);
Dispensation from celibacy and from the obligations of the clerical state(3);
secularisation pure et simpliciter(1);
exclaustration for three years(7);
Some obediences to return home from missionary projects dependent on the Minister General were granted, as were some obediences to take part in other projects.
The September 2018 Tempo Forte ended following the morning session of Friday 21st. The General Definitory will meet for the next Tempo Forte beginning on Monday November 5th 2018, and during the second week of Tempo Forte (November 12th to 16th), the Minister General and Definitory will meet with the 22 General Visitators appointed during 2018.
To the praise of Christ and of the Poverello of Assisi. Amen!
Rome, September 26th, 2018
Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General


2019 InterProvincial OFM Retreat

"And The Lord Gave Me Brothers..."
January 14-18, 2019 Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale Arizona
February 4-8, 2019, San Pedro Retreat Center,
Winter Park FL

Friar Richard Rohr, OFM
For full information, click below

General Definitory Visits Custody of the Holy Land

From the 10th to 15th October 2018, the OFM General Definitory visited the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land. The program allowed the General Government to devote time to learning about the significant aspects of the life and mission of the Custody, visiting the holy places and taking part in various celebrations with the Fraternities and the local Church.
The following events were organized: a meeting of the Minister and General Definitory with the Custos and the Discretorium of the Custody of the Holy Land, in the convent of Saint Saviour in Jerusalem; an assembly with the brothers in formation of Saint Saviour’s and Ein Karem; Mass in the shepherds’ field in Bethlehem; a procession to the Grotto of the Nativity and visit to the fraternity of Bethlehem; a visit to the archaeological museum of the Holy Land in the Convent of the Flagellation in Jerusalem; the Via Crucis on the streets of Jerusalem; a visit to the Basilica of the Annunciation with prayer of the Angelus in Nazareth; a visit to the Lake of Galilee and a Feast in the Sanctuary of Capernaum; a meeting and Mass with the inter-obediential fraternity in Emmaus Qubeibeh; a meeting in the friary of Saint Saviour with the brothers of the Custody, a celebration of Vespers and festive dinner; a visit to Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives; and a Mass of the General Definitory in the Holy Sepulchre.
The Minister General Br. Michael Perry, OFM, with the Vicar General and Definitors, gave thanks to God for the fraternal closeness of the brothers of the Custody of the Holy Land, for their ongoing service to the local Church and pilgrims in the Holy Land, for the life of the friars minor in dialogue with the different cultures and beliefs. Their prayer is the prayer to the “Most High, almighty, good Lord”, that He might assist the Order with his grace, to live the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, in fraternity and minority.
News from Valley of the Angels, Guatemala
Showing the Poor God Loves Them

   For the last eight years, I have been honored to serve with Silent Children’s Mission, a nonprofit Catholic charity which seeks to relieve the suffering and neglect of the poorest of the poor. Officially registered in Toronto, Canada in 2011, and directed by Frankie Burg-Feret, a Minister of her Secular Franciscan Community at our St. Francis Center in Orangeville, Canada, our organization is guided by the charism of St. Mother Teresa. We are active in various countries in the developing world, and our focus is on those who do not have a voice, especially abused children and women.  The goal is to clothe, feed and educate these little ones and to let each of them know someone cares, that God has not forgotten them but loves them tenderly. 

       We presently help the poor in eleven countries including Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi, Zambia, and Liberia. Our funds are directed to lay missionaries, priests and religious working at ground level in order to assist them with their programs in healthcare, education, nutrition, spiritual care and counselling. We value the relationships we have with our missionaries as our friendships in Christ enable us to work effectively for the children in need. We recently visited the Secular Franciscans and Franciscan Sisters in Chililibombwe, the Poor Clares in Lusaka and the Sisters of Charity in Ludzi who are selfless, Christ filled individuals who do the work of many. They welcome our visits and the opportunity to share about our work and our faith with a day of recollection and prayer. On our recent mission visit in Zambia and Malawi, we reflected on Pope Francis’ recent Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate where he encourages all people to respond to God’s call to holiness. 
Our Angels were given a unique opportunity by a very dear friend named Maria Pivaral, who helped prepare our girls to FLY in the future. With the help of Thrive and the Güino & Field Office, ten of our students have received full and partial scholarships in Seminars developed by Thrive.
Friar Michael blessing the children at the Poor Clare convent.

During our visit, we were able to see the many fruits of our work in Malawi and Zambia. What brought us great joy was our supported children who had recently graduated from school and who have either found employment contributing to their communities, or are moving on to higher education. Each story is unique and a testament to the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Gabriella’s story of abuse and extreme poverty would almost seem hopeless but with determination she just graduated from Agricultural College. Maria, a child from a very poor family in the village near the convent struggled academically until Sr. Bernadette’s faith in her and her direction to tailoring school helped this child to blossom! And Thokozani, an orphan after her beloved mother died of AIDS, recently graduated from high school and has just started college to become a nurse. A visit to the SCM sponsored farm in Mkanda, Malawi left us in wonder at God’s many gifts as we saw the once barren, dry land transformed into a productive, self-sufficient farm providing food for the poor and jobs to many. These are some of the inspiring stories of God’s work made possible by the many benefactors of Silent Children’s Mission.

     Bishop Robert Kasun CSB, the Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto and Vicar for Lay Organizations, recently commented: “These are people who take seriously the call of the Gospel.  I heartily endorse their ministry and encourage generous donations to Silent Children’s Mission to Christ’s beloved suffering people.” 
We are very grateful for Bishop Kasun’s endorsement. 
For more information please visit our website at:

Fr. Michael Della Penna ofm
Director, Valle de los Angeles, Guatemala
Chair of the Board and Spiritual Director, Silent Children’s Mission
Sr. Bernadette, Friar Michael, and Frankie with Maria (wearing the dress she sewed).
Down Memory Lane
Photos of the razing of St. Peter the Apostle Church, Fernando Street, Pittsburgh PA circa 1960
Saint Anthony's NYC
Hosts NYC's Biggest Pizza Party
Slice Out Hunger 2018

Saint Anthony’s in New York City hosted the annual “Slice Out Hunger” event, billed as New York City’s largest pizza party. On October 10, 2018 in the social hall, over fifty pizzerias donated 1,200 pizzas to the event. which earned $70,000, all of which will be donated to local food banks and programs to assist the hungry. 
An enormous line wrapped around the entire city block, winding down West Houston Street, Thompson Street, Prince Street, and back up Sullivan Street to the church entrance. Organized by Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours, the giant pizza party participants included some of the best pizzerias in the city, including Arturo’s, Joe’s, Prince Street Pizza, Song e Napule, Grimaldi’s, and many more. Each slice costs $1.00
That low entry price—most people spent about $10 to $20—ensured that Slice Out Hunger was once again a charity "ball" that anyone with line-standing patience and a passion for pizza could participate in, though a few $100 VIP passes were sold as well. The event is now in its ninth year and has raised a tremendous amount of money for hunger relief organizations. 
Lisa Giunta, friend of the friars and owner of Arturo's on W. Houston and Thompson Street, with her "pizza friends."

You don't have to wait for the Newsletter...get the latest news!
Prayer Requests

Father John Reiss (Former member of the province)
 Priest of the Diocese of Youngstown. October 5
Friar Bede Fitzpatrick, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Jeremiah McGinley, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Christian Reuter, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Bishop Fiachra O'Ceallaigh, OFM (Province of Ireland)
Former Provincial and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin
Friar Gordon Hayes, OFM (Sacred Hert Province)
Friar Larry Nickels, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar David Moczulski, OFM (Saint John Baptist Province)

Recently Deceased Family and Friends
Kaci Critchley , aunt of Friar Josh Critchley, OFM,
who passed into eternal life on August 16.
Sheila Washburn , mother of Friar Thomas Washburn, OFM,
who passed into eternal life on July 9.
Maria Grazia Nardoianni , mother of Friar Antonio Nardoianni, OFM, who passed into eternal life on April 26.

Let us pray for our infirm friars:
Friar Giacomo LaSelva, OFM
Friar Albin Fusco, OFM
Friar Daniel Morey, OFM
Friar Amedeo Nardone, OFM
Friar Armand Padula, OFM
Friar Primo Piscitello, OFM
Friar Fabian Grifone, OFM
Friar Flavian Mucci, OFM
Friar Claudio Moser, OFM
Friar Charles Soto, OFM
Friar Clement Procopio, OFM

For our friars in skilled nursing facilities:
Friar Philip Adamo, OFM
Friar Giles Barreda, OFM
Friar Lawrence Stumpo, OFM

For our infirm family and friends:
Ann Seidita , sister of Curia secretary Rosemary McKenna
Patricia Houck ,(cousin of Friar Patrick Boyle), serious cancer diagnosis
Maria Tagani (daughter of St. Francis Centre staff member)

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.
St. Anthony Friary
24 Harrison Street/ PO Box 487
Catskill NY 12414
Cell: 917.337.9833
Office: 518.943.3451 xt. 314


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