Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception
Provincial Update May 2022

The Lord Gave me Brothers!

As you know, in a few weeks we will be celebrating our Provincial Chapter.  This is an important event in the life of the Province.  It is a celebration of the gift of fraternity, when we come together as brothers to examine our lives, to renew our fraternity, to share our joys, sorrows, hopes, and expectations, as well as the ordinary business which is a part of any provincial chapter.  We always must understand that chapters are not about elections and voting.  The important thing about our chapters is to renew our life together, to make decisions for the future, and to deal with the realities of our life together.
Certainly, as a province, we face some challenges.  Our aging population, the withdrawal from ministries due to lack of available friars, health problems, and the facts of a changing world and society are all things that we must deal with.  In some ways our ministries have been hurt by the COVID pandemic, by the decrease in trust, and divisions in our church and our society. 

There is also much reason for rejoicing.  The many vocations the Lord has sent to our province is a true blessing to us.  On my recent visit to Rome, I witnessed first hand not only the generous service of our formators,  and the value of our formation program, but also the young friars, both at the Convento and in the novitiate, who were truly desiring to serve the Lord to the best of their ability, striving to be holy friars.  We will see the fruits of this labor at our provincial chapter, when God will bless our province in a special way through the ordination to the priesthood of two of our brothers, Victor Treminio and Joshua Critchley.  What a privileged moment for all of us. 

We also rejoice at the presence of Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., our former Minister General and currently Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.  We are so happy to have him preside and preach at our opening Mass as well as the being the ordaining prelate of our two brothers.  Archbishop Carballo through the years has been very supportive of our province and has been a true blessing to us. 

We also rejoice over such aspects of our province as our Central American missions, our Canadian Foundation, the great work of the Franciscan Mission Associates, and the wonderful ministry and fraternity going on each day in our parishes and retreat centers.  God has indeed blessed us in so many ways.

As we approach our chapter, I ask the brothers to pray for us- for Fr. Bill Spencer, our Visitator General, for the delegates, and for honest and open deliberations.  I also ask for prayers as we choose our province leadership for the next three years, that those elected will give wholeheartedly and generously to the entire church throughout the world, the order, and our province.

Post-Novitiate Program
The Convento brothers and the novices from Assisi with
Fr. Robert and Definitor General Fr. Jimmy Zammit.
Dear Brothers,
​May the Lord give you peace!
​To say that the month since Easter has been busy would be an understatement! The last time we wrote, we were in the midst of the beautiful celebrations of the Paschal Triduum. While most of us served at the General Curia, Br. Marco Antonio and I (Jack) were asked to lend a hand to the friars of Benevento at the Basilica of our Lady of Grace. 
​Since Easter week was a vacation week from school, we had the opportunity to take a two day fraternal trip to the city of Naples, where we visited some of the beautiful churches (including the Cathedral, where the relics of Saint Januarius are reserved). We walked along the sea, and enjoyed Neapolitan pizza. However, I think I can speak for all when I say that the most memorable part of our trip was our day-long excursion to the Island of Capri, where we took a boat tour of the island, visited the famous Blue Grotto, and walked around the island. We are all very thankful to Fr. Antonio for organizing the trip, and we are also thankful to the Minister Provincial, Solemnly Professed Friars and Students at St. Clare’s friary who hosted us. To return the favor, we were happy to host the students when they came to Rome on May 12th-13th for an international congress on the 1223 Rule held at the Antonianum.
​The following couple of weeks were full of celebrations not only for us, but for the fraternity of the general curia and whole order. We were invited to the General Curia on April 23rd when the announcement was made that our Vicar General, Br. Isauro Linfati, has been nominated Bishop of Iquique, Chile. We wish him all the best in his new ministry! Additionally, on April 26thand 30th, we celebrated Marco’s 31st and my 26th birthdays with outstanding lunches and cakes prepared by Daniela. Finally, on May 7th we celebrated the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of Graces, the patronal feast of the Fraternity of the General Curia, with Mass presided by the Minister General, followed by lunch.
​We were also blessed to have our Minister Provincial, Fr. Robert, come to Rome along with Fr. Michael Ledoux from May 9th until the 17th, in order to meet with each one of us. And, as you may have read a few months ago, Fr. Robert and the Provincial Definitory approved the requests to admit Daniel Cavalieri, Marco, and me to the ministries of Reader and Acolyte. So, on Sunday, May 15th, with Fr. Robert presiding at Mass, we held the rite of institution to the ministries in our Chapel. Present were all the friars of the fraternity, Fr. Michael, and our three novices who came from Assisi. We wish to express our gratitude to Fr. Robert for his visit and for granting us admission to these ministries, and we ask all of you, brothers, to pray for us as we continue our formation journeys.
​As you can imagine, it has been quite a busy month for us here in Rome. And the next few weeks will be just as busy, as exams begin on May 30th. Please pray that we do well on these exams and close out another academic year on a high note! As always, I pray that you are all well.
​Br. Jack Sidoti
Happy Birthday Marco Antonio (With Fr. Robert) and Jack
The Minister General visits the Convento
The brothers in Naples
At the General Curia pictured with Bishop-elect Isauro Linfati on the announcement
of his appointment as Bishop
Photos Above: Installation of Friars Jack, Daniel, and Marco as Acolyte and Reader
Newly Discovered Prayer
by St. Francis of Assisi
A previously unpublished and unknown prayer of St. Francis of Assisi was presented in the issue of “Frate Francesco Magazine of Franciscan Culture”, edition 88 of the year 2022.  The magazine is published by Culturale Aracoeli by Fr. Aleksander Horowski of the Historical Institute of the Capuchin Order.
The new prayer was presented in the original Latin text and translated into Italian.  Fr. Aleksander writes, "In the light
of these elements together with the results of the sources and the lexicon of the Oratio, we can consider this prayer – until proven otherwise- as a sufficiently corroborated text by Francis." This prayer is an invocation to the peaceful King but also an exhortation to men of good will to be peacemakers as evidenced by the following passage.

You, O children of men,
praise the Lord of glory above all things,
magnify it and greatly exalt it!
And glorify him forever and ever,
to be all honor and glory in the heights
to God, the almighty creator,
and on earth peace be to men of good will!
Most magnificent is this peaceful King, above all kings
of the whole universe,
Lord God, our Creator,
Redeemer and Savior,
Advisor and our admirable Legislator!
Take time to wish our brothers a Happy Birthday!

Luis Hernandez- June 5th- 36
Pierre John Farrugia - June 8th - 49
John-Michael Pinto - June 9th - 66
Thomas Garone - June 15th - 78
Antonio Nardoianni - June 16th - 73
James Welch II - June 19th – 63
Andre Cirino- June 19th- 82
Simeon Distefano - June 20th - 86
Michael Travaglione - June 30th - 84
New Vicar General Elected


Br. Ignacio Ceja Jiménez is the new Vicar General
On May 13, 2022, the General Definitory of the Order, meeting at the Generalate in Rome, elected Br. Ignacio Ceja Jiménez to the office of Vicar General of the Order of Friars Minor, in accordance with Article 208 of the General Constitutions of the Order.
Br. Ignacio, a member of the Franciscan Province of Saints Francis and James, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1961. He made his novitiate in 1985-1986, made temporary profession in 1986, solemn profession in 1988 and was ordained a priest on May 23, 1992.
As previous assignments he served as General Definitor for Latin America, Minister Provincial of the province of Saints Francis and James in Mexico, Vicar of the same province, Master of Students, Master of Novices and Guardian.
Br. Ignacio succeeds Br. Isauro Ulises Covili Linfati, who was appointed bishop of Iquique, Chile, on April 23, 2022 by Pope Francis.

Conrad Fernandes has decided to seek exclaustration and laicization. We wish our brother well.

The Province has notified the Archdiocese of Toronto of our plans to withdraw from our ministerial commitment to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Toronto, effective in mid-September. The Archdiocese has agreed to this and will be assuming the ministry of that parish in September.

The General Definitorium has confirmed the election of Fr. Francesco Patton, O.F.M. to another term as Custos of the Holy Land, and his election was confirmed by the Holy Father.

The following summer assignments have been announced for our friars in Rome:
Ataco: Aldair Orantes Calderon, Kevin Gonzalez Vega, Daniel Ramirez Luna
Agape: Luis Hernandez Reinosa, Oscar Valle Perez, Marco Gomez Garcia
Winsted: Matthew Mancino
St. Christopher Friary, Boston- Dagoberto Hernandez Lopez
St. Francis Centre, Caledon- Daniel Cavalieri
Padua Friary, NYC- Jack Sidoti
Provincial Chapter Information

Ballots for the straw ballot for Vicar Provincial and Provincial Definitorium are due on May 31.

Ballots for the Canonical Election of the Minister Provincial were due on May 20. That election is now closed. Ballots will be counted at the Provincial Chapter.

Legislation: Any suggestions for changes to province legislation should be sent either to Michael Corcione, Chair of the Provincial Legislation Committee, ( or our Paul Rotondi ( at your earliest convenience.
ATTENTION CHAPTER DELEGATES: Please mail or email a copy of your COVID vaccination record to the Provincial Secretary ( as soon as possible. Please also notify the Provincial Secretary if you are not vaccinated.
Our Lady of Peace

in Brooklyn


La Virgen de la


Our Lady

of the Clouds
Parish Celebrates Ecuadorian Feast

On May 1, the friars and parishioners of Our Lady of Peace Church in Brooklyn gathered together to celebrate Our Lady of the Clouds (Virgen de la Nube) with the Ecuadorian community after two years because of covid, .... stronger and better...
The devotion to Le Virgen de la Nube is from Ecuador. It originated 85 years after the Archbishop of Quito blessed the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Good Success on February 2, 1611. Here is the story of the miracle of Our Lady of the Cloud. 

At the end of the year 1696, the Bishop of Quito, Don Sancho de Andrade y Figueroa, was very ill. Disconsolate at the thought of losing their Bishop, the people of Guálupo, a village on the outskirts of Quito, decided to organize a novena to the Virgin Mary asking her for his recovery.

On December 30, they organized a Rosary procession from the town of Guálupo to the Cathedral in Quito. On the return trip, at around 4:30 in the afternoon, Fr. José de Ulloa y la Cadena, chaplain of the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception of Quito, was leading the group in the praying of the Rosary. He was just beginning to recite the third decade of the Glorious Mysteries when he looked up and saw a figure forming in a large cloud in the late afternoon sky. He pointed to the east and exclaimed to the crowd: “The Virgin! The Virgin!” 

In the sky between the sanctuaries of Guálupo and Quito, the Blessed Virgin appeared standing on a cloud somewhat darker and denser than the others, which served as her pedestal. She wore a crown on her head and carried a bunch of lilies in her right hand like a scepter. In her left hand she carried her Divine Son. She was dressed in a white silk tunic that draped to her feet in soft pleats, half hidden by a majestic mantle. On her head was a long filmy white veil. 

This apparition, which was viewed by the close to 500 people in the procession as well as many others living near Quito. It lasted for the length of a "Glory Be" Prayer, the praying of one "Our Father" Prayer, and one "Hail Mary" Prayer. Testimonies of the miracle include those of the President of the Royal Chamber Don Mateo de Mata Ponce de León and other respected town officials. All the testimonies are carefully conserved today in the Archives of the Quito Archdiocese. As confirmation of the miracle, the Bishop was immediately healed. Soon afterward, he authorized the devotion to the Virgin under the invocation "The Virgin of the Cloud", and erected an altar to her in the Cathedral of Quito. 

News of the miracle spread rapidly throughout that province and soon arrived in Peru. Some years later, the Prioress of the Monastery of the Nazarene Mothers, Mother Barbara Josefa of the Holy Trinity, received permission for a picture painted on linen of the Virgin of the Cloud to be carried in the annual October procession through the streets of Lima. This invocation to "Our Lady of the Cloud" remains very popular in Lima today.
Pope Francis issues Rescript permitting Non-Ordained Members of Religious Orders to be Major Superiors

On May 18, 2022, Pope Francis changed canon law to allow for lay members to lead clerical religious orders. The change allows for non-ordained religious brothers to assume the office of major superior — a governing rank equivalent to a bishop in canon law.
Following the change, lay members of some clerical religious orders are now eligible to serve as superiors in their orders at the global level, with Vatican approval. 
The canonical reform means that lay religious can exercise the canonical power of governance, including over the order’s ordained members. That includes the power of superiors to grant and remove sacramental faculties for clerical members - priests and deacons - under their jurisdiction.
“A non-clerical member of an Institute of Consecrated Life or of a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of pontifical right is appointed major superior, after having obtained a written license from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life at the request of the Supreme Moderator with the consent of the Council,” according to the rescript published by the Vatican May 18.
Lay members of clerical instititutes can now be elected as major superiors through the canonical process known as postulation, in which a candidate with some otherwise impeding condition is elected and proposed to the Vatican for confirmation despite the impediment. 
In this case, according to the rescript issued by the pope, lay candidates who are elected will be considered by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) who will “evaluate the individual case and the reasons given by the Supreme Moderator or by the General Chapter” for the election of the lay member before issuing a written permission for the candidate to be confirmed.
The wording of the rescript suggests the election of lay major superiors would be approved as exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but the text effectively changes the norms of the Code of Canon Law which defines clerical orders as those which “by reason of the purpose or design intended by the founder or by virtue of legitimate tradition, [are] under the direction of clerics” in canon 588 §2, though the rescript does not alter the text of the canon itself.
Celebrations in Central America
On Monday, May 2, the Instituto San Francisco de Honduras marked the resumption of face-to-face classes.  On May 11, Fr. Rafael Fernandez, O.F.M., President of the Central American Foundatino of our Province and Rector of the Instituto celebrated a “Return to Class” Mass in the morning, with 50 percent of the students.  Fr. Rafael stated that they are taking turns by groups, with half each week.  It was a very emotional celebration of the month of the Blessed Mother, and to meet again after more than two and a half years that the Instituto was closed.  

Fr. Rafael also reported that on May 13, the parish where he is pastor, Iglesia Inmaculada Concepcion in Ataco, El Salvador, celebrated the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, beginning with the Holy Mass at 5:00 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. started the procession through the streets of Ataco. The faith filled response  from the people was incredible. They offered their intention for the whole world, for an end to the pandemic, and especially for peace in the world, that so much war, death and destruction would end. With great faith they  prayed the Holy Rosary and Marian songs.
Photos above: Instituto San Francisco Opening Mass
Photos below: Celebration at Ataco
For our friars in skilled nursing facilities
Friar Regis Gallo, OFM
Friar Albin Fusco, OFM
Friar Lawrence Stumpo, OFM
Friar Phillip Adamo, OFM

For the friars who have recently died
Friar Ronald Pecci, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Peter Fiore, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Timothy Arthur, OFM (St. Barbara Province)
Friar Neil O'Connell, OFM (Holy Name Province

For the friars who are sick
For our infirm family and friends:   
Melissa McDonald (Niece of Fr. Robert Campagna)
Pray for all those infected and affected by the caronavirus. 
For all our friends and family who are ill.

For our recently deceased family and friends:
Mary Greco (Sister of Fr. Claude Scrima, OFM)
Andrew Shreeves (Uncle of Fr. Christopher Gaffrey, 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.
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
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 Secretary/Communications Director
125 Thompson Street New York NY 10012
Cell: 917.337.9833
Office: 212.674.4388 Xt. 113