Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update - November 2018
De Profundis

All during this month the friars of our province have been coming together at the various cemeteries where our deceased friars are buried to mark the month of the Holy Souls. We have gathered in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, Mt. Alvernia in Wappingers Falls, the Boston region (with our cemetery in Andover), and Toronto to join in Mass and in prayers for our deceased brothers, families, and friends.

With this, we acknowledge the month of November as a special time to remember our dead. It is not a coincidence that the Church marks this month as a special time for prayer. We know that our church calendar follows the path of the sun, and that many of the feasts of the church revolve around the agricultural and pastoral roots of the Christian church. Easter, for example, is held in the spring, when the earth comes alive with grasses, flowers, and fruits. Easter not only marked the beginning of the growing season, but the time when the animals of the flock would give birth. Christmas is celebrated at the darkest time fo the year, paralleling the ancient festivals of light, marking Jesus as the Light of the World.

So too with the celebration of All Saints and All Souls Days, as well as our own remembrance of the dead during the month of November. In late October and November we see the end of the harvest, the coming of the winter, and the end of the warmer weather of summer and fall. Many communities celebrate what is called the “Day of the Dead.” 

But November isn’t only a time when we dwell on death. It is also the time when, at the end of this month, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. This national holiday is one with tremendous religious overtones. Thanksgiving recognizes our dependence on something- or rather someone- greater than ourselves for all the good things we have in this life. In our own faith tradition, we give thanks to God for this bountiful land, for the abundance of gifts we have, for the fertility of our soil, the success of the work of our human hands, and the marvelous freedoms we enjoy. 

However, we need to recognize that giving thanks is not simply a posturing of gratefulness, for our thanks would be very empty if not accompanied by grateful action. The scriptures, especially the words of Jesus, remind us that giving thanks must be demonstrated in our daily lives. This, of course, poses some direct challenges to all of us. 

With the blessings of God in the area of technology, we have been given a glimpse of this world that few of our ancestors could have ever dreamed of. We witness first hand the inequalities of the world we live in. and the great needs of so many people. Boundaries have been erased, and we can see that we are, indeed, a global community. 

I would hope for all of us, our giving thanks to God will be accompanied by works of charity, generosity, and love for others. This is our call as Christians, as Catholics, and most especially, as Franciscans. This is how we truly honor our deceased loved ones.
God love you and bless you always. 
Fr. Robert Campagna, OFM
Provincial Minister


Update from the Novices

Dear Brothers,

         It has been just over two months since we received the habit and began our novitiate year. During this time, we have been getting accustomed to religious life here at San Damiano. Our days are filled with various activities, ranging from prayer and studies, to work and fraternal recreation. In addition, we are involved in diverse services both within the Sanctuary and around Assisi. Overall, our initial experience is one of hospitality, fraternity, and spiritual growth.

         The major focus of this year is growth in our prayer life. To facilitate this, we pray all the hours of the Breviary. This includes solemn Vespers with Adoration and Benediction every evening, two hours every day for silent personal prayer, and reflection on the readings for Sunday once a week.

         Three days of the week are dedicated to study. Lessons include Franciscan history and the Writings and Biographies of St. Francis, Scripture, Theology, Integration of Psycho-Spirituality, and Minority. Classes are given by our Novice Master, Vice-Master, and other friars who are experts in their fields. We are very grateful to have an Italian lesson once a week with our Vice-Master, in order to improve our skills in speaking the Italian language. We are also very thankful to our brother novices who are always willing to help us out at other times.

         We also spend a lot of time outdoors, either for work around the property, or fraternal outings to Assisi, the Porziuncola, and hiking to the summit of Mt. Subasio. In particular, we participate in the Rosary and Procession at St. Mary of the Angels every Saturday evening, and we were blessed to celebrate the Transitus of St. Francis right at the spot where he went to the Lord.

         To conclude, these two months have been very uplifting for us. We have had many wonderful experiences and look forward to what is yet to come this year. Please continue to pray for our perseverance and growth in our vocations. As always, you are all in our prayers.

Ci Vediamo Presto! Il Signore vi dia la pace!

The Novices,

Fra. Jack, Fra. Carl, and Fra. Daniel

Novices hiking on Mt. Subasio
Friar Daniel and Friar Jack with their novice master,
Friar Pietro Gasparri, OFM.

We received this update on the Postulancy Program in Calendon, Ontario, from Friar Pierre Farrugia, OFM.  

The postulants Dmitry Neill and Hawkins Choi are alive and well and journeying day by day in the newness of religious life!  Every day they are embracing what it means to live, love and serve in fraternity as they grow accustomed to reaching out to the less fortunate and even to the groups which frequent our St Francis Centre in Caledon. 

On Saturday, November the 10th, they accepted an invitation to help with preparations for containers being sent to a mission in Malawi. They helped unload trucks of donations with about eight other people and stacked and loaded skids later to be loaded into containers. This is done through an organization called Canadian Food For Children which has a warehouse in Mississauga. Our sister, Frankie Burg Feret, who is also minister of an SFO group that visits our centre and which I accompany as spiritual assistant, is the main organizer of volunteers who go to help out there. It is an organization run by Dr. Andrew Simone. Both our sister Frankie and Dr. Simone have done so much for missions belonging to our province although this particular container is going to Malawi. The warehouse they helped out on in Mississauga is run by an organization called Canadian Food for Children which has enormously helped our provincial missions in the past and continues to do so.  It was a great team experience for them where their generous efforts for the poor were greatly appreciated.

A couple of times a month, we unite with a cloistered community of Carmelite Nuns. They ask us to help them with providing Mass. There is a field of pumpkins we would always drive by and one day we had to stop and grab a photo. Never seen that many pumpkins in one field! 

This was just one endeavor they have been engaged in within the last few months of their postulancy. They have by now been to the soup kitchen a number of times, and are getting more acquainted with the routine work the volunteers are asked to help with. They are a welcomed presence by the organizers who enjoy their joyful demeanor and exemplary work ethic. 

Their Italian is coming along, not without struggles. Every day, Friar Peter works with them and encourages them to keep at it. As we all know, living in the culture itself will help them once they’re in Italy. However, midway through their postulancy, we will get them accustomed to the mass and divine office in Italian. Piano, piano... 

On the whole they are doing well and allowing themselves to be guided. Please do keep them in prayer.
Pierre Farrugia ofm
Dmitry and Hawkins ministeringMD at Canadian Food for Children.
In the pumpkin patch with Fr. Peter!
Eightieth Anniversary of the Fire at
St. Anthony's NYC and the death of Fr. Richard Fagan, OFM
November 4, 1938
Father Richard Fagan, O.F.M. was born in Rio De Janeiro, February 20, 1911. He came to Boston at an early age where he lived for several years before moving to Brooklyn, New York.  He first entered religious life with the Marist Brothers in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  He remained with them for two  years before transferring to the Franciscan preparatory seminary in Catskill, N.Y. Upon completion of his preparatory school course there he entered the novitiate on August 15, 1929.  After completing his novitiate year, he took his  first vows on August 16, 1930.  Upon completion of his philosophy course in the Catskill seminary he came to St. Francis Seraphic Seminary, West Andover, Massachusetts,  and was ordained a priest in 1935. Father Richard was assigned to St. Anthony’s Church in 1936. He died at Columbus Hospital in New York City on November 9, 1938 at the age of twenty-seven 

At that time, the Friary at 151 Thompson Street, served as the Provincial Curia as well as the rectory for Saint Anthony Church.  Father Richard was assigned as associate pastor of St. Anthony’s.  The fire, of unknown origin, began early in the morning of November 4, 1938 around 3 or 4 AM, and was discovered by a worker who smelled smoke.  He made his way up the stairs to arouse the friars, but was met by a wall of flames.  The fire quickly swept up the wooden stairway of the five story building and trapped some of the friars who were in their rooms. 
Fr. Richard was one of the first aroused and quickly exited the building.  He missed two of the priests and returned to the building to locate them, dashing through the flames  in the hallway.  He awakened Fr. Luigi Vitale, O.F.M, who was later injured when he jumped two stories to safety.  He then awakened Fr. Bonaventure Pons, O.F.M., who was sleeping while the door to his room was burning down.  Fr. Bonaventure, following instructions from Fr. Richard, started up the stairs to the roof. On the way he felt an explosion which threw him and Fr. Richard to the roof of the building next door, where he saw Fr. Richard lying unconscious, burning and bleeding.  He called for help and firemen carried Fr. Richard down a ladder.

Fr. Anicleto Silvioni, O.F.M., 57, the Minister Provincial, also leaped from a third floor window to the next door roof, and was carried by firemen using an ironing board as a stretcher to a nearby tenement.  Fr. Antonine Tosti, O.F.M., 68, was rescued from a ledge on the fourth floor, to which he had been forced by the flames.  He was treated for exposure. Another friar, Fr. Edward Salerno, O.F.M., secretary to the Provincial, was also rescued.
One of the most spectacular rescues was that of the pastor of St. Anthony’s, Fr. Virgil Liucci, O.F.M., 40, who, after being awakened, tried unsuccessfully to get into the hallway.   The flames were too intense, and as they started to sweep into his room on the second floor, he knelt briefly before an image of St. Anthony to pray.  Then he tied a bed sheet to a radiator and started to lower himself to the street.  The flames were shooting out the window when he was about to jump to the street, but just then he heard the fire engines approaching and was rescued. 
Not everyone survived the fire, however.  Brother John Chiazza, a young Italian in this country only a short time, was found dead in his room in a kneeling position with his hands clasped as if in prayer. Also perishing in the fire was the friary cook, Julius Tapperio, 
The New York Times reported:  “ During the fire the priests whose lives were saved stood ready to remove the Blessed Sacrament from the church in the rear of the monastery if the flames had spread that way.  The twenty-five nuns in the church’s convent on Sullivan Street were prepared to leave, but the fire did not spread to their quarters.    While the firemen fought the blaze the nuns prepared coffee for them. Fr. Liucci praised the firemen and the patrolmen in effecting rescues and putting out the blaze.   The church is the scene of a perpetual novena to St. Anthony and there is a shrine to St. Anthony that attracts many visitors. Many cures have been attributed to a relic that is in the church.  Father Liucci said the priests probably would live in the settlement house after some alterations.”  
Fiorello LaGuardia, the Mayor of New York, informed of the fire while at home, sped to the scene in a police radio car and immediately inquired as to what he could do to help the friars.  He offered his sympathy to the pastor. Also visiting the scene was the Most. Rev. Stephen J. Donahue, Administrator of the Archdiocese of New York.  
Father Richard was taken to Columbus Hospital to be treated for burns he received on his hands, face, and legs.  For five days he lay on an inflatable air mattress, suffering great pains from his burns.
The Archives of the Franciscan Province reported: “For four days Father Richard lay in the hospital, hovering between life and death, happy in the knowledge that he had saved the other Fathers, cheerful, resigned, uncomplaining, courageous even beyond belief.  Never did his cheerful, happy nature desert him; he was conscious of having done his duty and even on his  bed of pains he had requests to make which concerned his work in the parish, so anxious was he that certain particular details be carried out- details which were pertinent to the work he had to leave unfinished but which he wanted to see carried out on behalf of the parties concerned.  There was little change in his condition, but on Tuesday, five days after the fire, he took a turn for the better; hope mounted.  His dear sister, Colette, who was constantly at his side and apparently knew no fatigue;  his relatives, and his hosts of friends, were cheered to no end. Wednesday morning at about 6:50, fortified and comforted by the Last Sacraments of the Church, which was administered by Fr. Matthew De Benedictis, O.F.M., a schoolmate, he passed peacefully to his reward- the eternal and blessed reward that Our Blessed Lord has reserved for heroes such as he. For He has said: ‘greater love than this no man hath, than he lay down his life for his friends.
This Father Richard did;  he risked his life that others might live.  His was the death any Franciscan Friar might envy.  He knew and felt he was slated to die, but he did not fear the Angel of Death.  He lived an heroic life as a follower of St. Francis and died an heroic death, carrying into the Other World with him those virtues and traits that made  him so beloved by all- qualities that characterized him wherever he went and that endeared him to old and young alike.”
The Provincial Archives go on to say: “To attempt a description of our hero would be impossible;  besides, we feel that it would not meet even with his tacit approval.  Who could, for instance, describe his love for the poor, his kindness in the fulfillment of his work among the faithful, his zeal and interest in the spiritual welfare of the young of the parish, the numerous converts he brought to the Church, his charity and solicitude for the sick, his willingness to aid those in need, his ready smile and cheerful quip, his sunny disposition and friendliness towards all,  his immunity to discouragement, his all-around amiableness?”
Fr. Richard’s body lay in state at St. Anthony’s for three days, and thousands paid their last respects. The Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated at the church on November 12.  Fr. Virgil Liucci, O.F.M., the pastor, was the celebrant, and was assisted by Fr.  Michael Di Pietro, O.F.M., as Deacon, and Fr. Henry Borelli, O.F.M., as Subdeacon, both of whom were Fr. Richard’s classmates.  Two other classmates, Fr. Paul Bertolami, O.F.M, and Fr. Andrew Bacigalupo, O.F.M., were acolytes. The eulogy was delivered by the Right Rev. William E. Cashin, representative of His Excellency, Mot Rev. Bishop Stephen J. Donohue. The church was crowded with parishioners and clergy.  Outside, 1,000 or more men and women stood mourning for the popular priest.  Fifty priests and four monsignors attended the mass.  Among the clergy were the Very Rev. Anicleto Silvioni, O.F.M.,  the Provincial Minister of the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception, and the Very Rev. Alphonse Parziale, O.F.M. the Provincial Vicar. 
Father Richard was survived by a sister, Colette, his half-sister Marilyn, his half-brother John, and his stepfather, Mario De Costa.  His burial was at the Franciscan Friars plot at Calvary Cemetery. 
In a letter written shortly after the fire, Fr. Anicleto Silvioni, O.F.M., the Provincial Minister, and Fr. Virgil Liucci, O.F.M., Pastor of Saint Anthony’s, wrote:  “What happened to our Monastery and Church on the morning of November 4 th is known to all: a horrible tragedy that will not easily be effaced by time.  The Monastery was destroyed.  Three lives lost.  Two of these were religious-  Brother John Chiazza, sexton,  faithfully serving Almighty God and His Church to the best of his ability.  And our well known and loved Father Richard Fagan, whose acts of Mercy and Charity extended from the babe in the cradle to those breathing their last on the death bed.  He was indeed an Apostle, Missionary, and Martyr of Christ.  No one can ever deny his keen interest in our parochial activities, and the outstanding heroism which culminated with his untimely death.  Truly a lasting Memorial of unselfish Christian love and sacrifice in the history of St. Anthony’s Parish.”  
“Greater love than this no man hath, that he lay down his life for his friends.”   John 15:13
New Canadian Province of the
Holy Spirit/
Saint-Espirit Created
October 22, 2018
On Monday, October 22, 2018, the new Franciscan Province of the Holy Spirit has been created.  The union was formalized by a decree of the General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor, Michael Anthony Perry, OFM. The new Minister Provincial is Friar Pierre Charland, OFM.  The new province is the result of the merger of the two Canadian Provinces, Christ the King of Western Canada and St. Joseph Province of Quebec.  
Friar Pierre was quoted as saying, “The creation of the new Holy Spirit Province of Canada takes us back to the roots of our Franciscan charism. It reflects a desire to be led by the Spirit, even on unknown paths. It takes us back to the experience of Pentecost, and to the core of the Gospel. This is what I hope will characterize the new Canadian province.” 
Many guests from across Canada came to St. Albert, Alberta, to join in this historical celebration. Friar Peter Williams, OFM, general delegate, as well as some Canadian bishops and Franciscan Provincial ministers from the USA. 
The new province will include 87 Franciscan friars from the ages of 32 to 97 present in Quebec (Montreal, Lachute, Trois-Rivières), British Columbia (Vancouver and Victoria) and Alberta (Edmonton and Cochrane). 
The headquarter of the new Province will be in Montreal at La Resurrection convent. 
The Franciscan presence dates back to 1615 with the arrivals of the Recollects.
The existing Franciscan presence dates back to Quebec, in 1888 and the first presence in Western Canada was in 1908. The St. Joseph Province was founded in 1927, and 
Christ the King founded in 1955. In 2018, before the unification, Saint-Joseph Province had 55 friars and Christ the King Province had 32. 
Most of the friars of Saint-Esprit/Holy Spirit Province are from Canada. However some Friars have joined from other countries such as Poland, South Korea, India, USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Vietnam, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines and Nigeria. 
Of the 87 friars there are four in temporary vows and two novices in formation at the International Novitiate in Ireland.   There are currently ten friaries in the province across Canada.   
Friars are also involved in a variety of ministries including, parochial and sacramental ministry, retreats, service to the poor, pastoral care for vocations, hospital and school chaplaincies, social justice advocacy, service to refuges, ministry to Indigenousness communities, overseas missions,  and Provincial administration. 

The webpage of the new province is
Canadian Friars in Chapter
Friar Pierre Charland, OFM, New Minister Provincial
Remembering our Deceased Friars
Masses were celebrated in November at the four cemetery sites of the province: Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY; St. Francis Cemetery in Andover; Mt. Alvernia in Wappingers Falls; and Toronto, Canada. Below are some photos of the New York regional gathering at Calvary Cemetery.
Friar Patrick Boyle, OFM, Provincial Vicar, leads graveside service.
Booklet prepared for the Mass and cemetery service.
Friars and staff gathered
at graveside
Graves of the friars buried at Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Queens NY
View From Serra Retreat in Malibu

We have received word from Friar Charles Talley, OFM, Director of Communications for the St. Barbara Province, on the status of the friars at Serra Retreat in Malibu. Serra Retreat was established in 1942, and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It is a beautiful and prayerful place, and has been the venue for many Franciscan meetings and gatherings through the years.

MALIBU, Calif. — Despite the raging fires in southern California, the friars of St. Barbara Province at Serra Retreat are safe and sound. The premises of Serra Retreat were evacuated, with the exception of firefighters who have been given hospitality there during the ongoing Woolsey and Hill fires, which ignited on Nov. 9.
On the initiative of Fr. Mel Jurisich, OFM, director, upwards of 20 firefighters have been welcomed to Serra Retreat for much needed respite during their continuing efforts to contain the blaze. As of Monday, Nov. 12, Mel reported, “We had four trucks at Serra yesterday. We opened all the rooms, including the kitchen, to the firefighters and told them to help themselves to whatever they wanted to eat. They cooked dinner last night for 22 people, watched the game on tv, made breakfast for themselves, and then went back to their work.”
The firefighters work in 12-hour shifts, with crews cycling in and out.

Fr. Mel, former provincial minister of St. Barbara Province, said that the other friars in Malibu were all safe and sound and had either found shelter elsewhere or, like Friar Michael Doherty, OFM, had elected to stay on during the evacuation period.
“Everybody is fine,” said Mel. “Tom Anderson, our administrator, has been doing an outstanding job. He and I have been staying with the sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet at their motherhouse. They couldn’t be more hospitable. Serra Center, of course, is a mess right now, covered with smoke, ash and leaves from the fire. But we’ll straighten all of that out as we go along. The important thing is that everyone is okay.”
As of Monday (Nov. 12), more than 150,000 people had been evacuated from the Malibu area, less than 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Approximately 90,000 acres of land had been scorched by the flames, with the loss of numerous homes, including those owned by a variety of Hollywood celebrities. Every shifting wind makes fire control especially hazardous and unpredictable.
On Tuesday morning, a huge flare-up of the fire, caused by winds in the Santa Monica mountains, made the idea of returning to Serra Retreat before Thursday an impossibility.
In the Bay Area smoke and ash from the recent Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. — abetted by high winds — continued to pour over portions of the San Francisco Bay Area the weekend of Nov. 10. With pollution at dangerous levels, residents were advised to stay indoors as much as possible. The devasting conflagration has so far claimed upwards of 50 lives and essentially destroyed the town of 26, 000 inhabitants approximately 170 miles northeast of San Francisco.
— Fr. Charles, director of communications for St. Barbara Province, lives at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, Calif., roughly 30 miles east of San Francisco. He reports that because of the smoke, nearby Mt. Diablo is not visible from the retreat property as it usually is.

Latest news from Malibu (November 14).
Serra Retreat Administrator Tom Anderson reports that "around 2:30 pm today (Wednesday), the authorities lifted the mandatory evacuation for Serra Retreat residents only, and up to the library area. Most of Malibu is still under mandatory evacuation. So most of the friars are heading back to Serra today. This is good news. The retreat center is safe, but there will be a lot of cleanup. Hopefully, we can get the employees back soon and reopen for groups. Thanks for your prayers."

Letter from the
Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Minister Provincial received this letter from Bishop David Zubik, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, thanking the province for its faithful service to the people of the Diocese of Pittsburgh since 1899.
Friar Alexis Anania, OFM, in residence at Mt. Alverna Friary, Youngstown, Ohio

Friar John-Michael Pinto, OFM, assigned to St. Anthony Friary, Catskill NY

Franciscan News from Valley of the Angels, Guatemala

We received this from Friar Michael Della Penna, OFM at Valley of the Angels, Guatemala

Good afternoon!  I hope this email finds you well on this October day. I'm writing to share some good news with you. As you know, several Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) missioners serve at Valle of the Angels with Fr. Michael.  This year returned missioner Amanda Ceraldi, who served as an FMS missioner at Valley of the Angels Orphanage in Guatemala for 3 years, was honored as the featured speaker at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC.  Several dozen FMS family members gathered to commemorate the day.
Amanda shared  her experience of Transitus  in Guatemala in which the evening centered around the 215 children who call Valley home.  Amanda reflected
During my time at Valley of the Angels I gave and received love more than I ever thought possible. I discovered infinite ways to love another person. The community and environment at Valley was one that cultivated unconditional love. Through the children, the staff, the benefactors, and all those connected to Valley, love was at the center of the mission.
Most of the children at Valley come from homes where they experience abuse and violence. Despite the heavy trauma they’ve endured during their young lives, they still live with child-like, unencumbered joy. Transitus was an event that ignited that joy in the children and in turn ignited joy for all those in attendance. The transformation of love in the children exemplified God’s unconditional love for each of us.
My experience at Transitus confirmed for me that God loves me unconditionally. His love was absorbed into my ministry, teaching me that I also have the capacity to love unconditionally. The Transitus celebration at Valley opened my eyes and my heart to better understand the call that God has given me to love. God called me to love. God opened my heart in a way that allowed me to experience God’s real, life-changing, unconditional love on mission through every person I encountered. To love and be loved simply because I exist. I felt whole, because that’s what love does. I felt authentically myself, because that what love does. I felt alive, because that’s what love does.
The entire reflection is online, and we'd welcome the Province to republish it if it assists with any of your communications work.  

Thank you for your support of FMS that makes experiences like this possible.  We are deeply grateful.
Peace and all good,

In the early part of 2013, our students began to received lessons from San Martin, a well known bakery franchise and Naturalceites, a local business. By 2014, intecap, a prestigious vocational school provided the students with some training with the purpose of helping them acquire knowledge and practical techniques that would help them after graduation.  
We then formalized classes with the 11th grade girls, teaching them to bake bread and extended the program to include 12th graders with a class in making pastry. In 2015 Naturaceites joined the formal trainings and began to offer our 10 th  and 11 th grade girls bread specialties and pastries.   In 2016 Molinos Modernos joined and began teaching the girls of 10 th  grade the basics of baking.
By the end of 2016 we began to see the fruit and true potential of the program not only providing marketable skills for the girls but as a means of creating a self-sustainable project for valley. At this time we were already baking all our own bread for the children and offering it after mass as well. With the generous support and enthusiasm of Rodolfo Cabrera and Jose Moreno of the El Pulté, we were offered an amazing opportunity. 
Rodolfo designed a bakery for Valley and Jose and the El Pulte committed to building it for us. The ground breaking ceremony of the construction for the bakery took place on September 20, 2018.
We are thrilled our girls will be given the opportunity to learn valuable skills which will help them gain their own financial independence.  
December Birthdays
Take time to wish our friars a Happy Birthday!

Paul Rotondi - December 3rd - 88
Peter Furgiule - December 3rd - 65
Armand Padula - December 4th - 88
Louis Troiano - December 10th - 88
Patrick Boyle - December 15th - 66
Vit Fiala - December 16th - 61
Daniel Morey - December 25th - 77
Albin Fusco - December 28th - 89

Brother Damian Novello, OSF

Experiencing Our Journey to God Through the Life of Francis of Assisi

Blessed John Duns Scotus Library, November 10, 2018
Fr. Paul Rotondi, OFM, Provincial Archivist, reported the following:

Br. Damian Novello, OSF, assistant to the community minister of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, addressed 20 people at the curia’s Duns Scotus Library on November 10, 2018, on the subject of spiritual direction from a Franciscan standpoint.  Fr. Andre Cirino and Siobhan O’Dwyer coordinated the lecture and reception.

Brother projected an interesting diagrammatic view of the religious experience, using St. Francis’ castle dream (2 Cel 6) and elements of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. The upward progression, he pointed out, is from knowing one is a “loved sinner” to being, suffering, and rising with Christ. The height, or top story of the castle, is the contemplative phase (love).

Spiritual direction – better, dialog, accompaniment – for Franciscans involves allowing Francis, Clare, Bonaventure, and the other exponents of our extensive tradition to inspire us to love and imitate Christ more fully. As a one-on-one encounter, the participant seeks or sets a goal and reflects with a prayerful accompanier on the progress being made or to be made.

St. Francis’  Letter to Brother Leo describes an historical Franciscan approach to spiritual decision-making or discernment.  Our founder writes:
“Brother Leo, wish your Brother Francis health and peace! [Notice the
reverse address.]
“I tell you yes, my son! And like a mother!  Everything we spoke about on the road, I dispose of with this sole word of advice.  And if hereafter you need to come to me for advice, this is what I advise you: Whatever the way you believe you will best please the Lord God and pursue his footsteps and his poverty, just take that way with the Lord’s blessing and under my obedience.  And if it is necessary for you for the good of your soul or some other personal consolation, and you, Leo, wish to come to me, just come!”  (The Words of St. Francis, n. 125)  

From the USA Franciscan Provinces

A Franciscan Plea for the Soul of America

October 4, 2018
Justice for the poor, respectful care for the environment and courageous peacemaking have been the hallmarks of the Franciscan Movement since its beginning 800 years ago. 
St. Francis of Assisi freely chose to live a radically simple lifestyle among and with the poor; called himself a brother to all creatures and to the earth itself; and crossed religious and cultural frontiers to dialogue with a Muslim leader in an attempt to prevent another bloody war. St. Francis rejected the societal-economic shift of his time that valued financial success over human dignity. 
Today these values continue to inspire and guide Franciscans. They also inspire millions of people in the U.S. and beyond—people of faith and other people of good will. They demand action in promoting a consistent ethic of life that embodies a Common Good built on the foundation of full respect for all stages and types of life, and without a false ranking of these stages of life. 
The current direction of the United States is diametrically opposed to these values. Impoverished people are dismissed from our public discourse. People of color continue to experience a system of racial oppression. 
Refugees seeking haven in this country are refused a fair hearing, are separated from their children, and are confined in jails or cages before being sent away. Modest steps to heal our suffering planet  
are dismissed or undercut by short-sighted public policies. The warnings of science regarding air, land and water, and the very survival of humans as part of the earth community are ignored. And constant belligerent rhetoric, including threats of nuclear devastation, issue forth from current U.S. American politicians. 
Equally ominous is the gradual but purposeful dismantling of U.S. political values. Freedom of speech and an independent media are vilified; judicial processes are ridiculed; and respectful public discourse is a lost art. Some public leaders would rather provoke outrage than provide accurate information. It is more common to dehumanize, demonize and marginalize the most vulnerable of our world rather than to address difficult and complex issues. A seemingly-successful economy for some people is perched on the vast and growing disparity of wealth in the U.S. and wider world, and on total disregard for ecological sustainability. We are witnessing an untenable situation where all political sides find it impossible to dialogue with civility, reach workable compromise and move a public agenda forward to address the challenges of our day. For the Common Good to be realized, change is needed across the political spectrum. 
As Franciscan friars living and working in the United States at this moment in history, we feel obliged to reject—and to speak out loudly and clearly against—all such policies and practices that so flagrantly violate our Franciscan values and the basic principles of Catholic social teaching. We feel compelled to live out our Franciscan charism of repentance in response to the profoundly unjust and destructive public policies our country is adopting. This will require soul searching and the contemplative discomfort that leads to transformative action. We, who love the United States of America, must act against an all-encompassing threat to the very soul of our beloved country. We will increase our work for justice in the public arena, including in the electoral process, clearly setting ourselves at the side of those who are excluded—namely, immigrants, women, people of color, the earth community and impoverished people—and supporting their full engagement in the public discourse. 
We pledge anew to live the Gospel boldly, so as to ensure public and private respect for the dignity of every person and the integrity of creation. In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, where there is hatred, we will attempt to sow love; where there is injury, healing, where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is injustice, reform; and where there is sadness, joy. 

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


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

Friar Carl Graczyk, OFM (Assumption Province)
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 and rehabfacilities:
Friar Philip Adamo, OFM
Friar Giles Barreda, OFM
Friar Lawrence Stumpo, OFM
Friar Daniel Morey, OFM

For our infirm family and friends:
Erick Mejia, brother of Friar Joaquin Mejia, OFM, seriously ill
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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