Franciscan Friars
Province of the Immaculate Conception

Provincial Update September 2022

The Letter of

Brother Elias

announcing the Death and Stigmata of our Holy Father St. Francis

Before I begin to speak, I sigh, and rightly so. My groans gush forth like waters in a flood. For what I feared has overtaken me and has overtaken you. And what I dreaded has happened to me and to you. Our consoler has gone away from us and he who carried us in his arms like lambs has gone on a journey to a far off country. He who was beloved of God and of man, who taught Jacob the law of life and of discipline and gave to Israel a covenant of peace has been received into the most resplendent dwellings. We would rejoice exceedingly on his account, yet for our own part we must mourn, since in his absence darkness surrounds us and the shadow of death covers us. It is a loss for all, yet it is a trial singularly my own, for he has left me in the midst of darkness, surrounded by many anxieties and pressed down by countless afflictions. For this reason I implore you. Mourn with me, brothers, for I am in great sorrow and, with you, in pain. For we are orphans without our father and bereaved of the light of our eyes.

In truth, in very truth, the presence of our brother and father Francis was a light, not only for us who were near, but even to those who were far from us in calling and in life. He was a light shed by the true light to give light to those who were in darkness and sitting in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  Lk 1:78 He did this because the true Daystar from on high shone upon his heart and enkindled his will with the fire of His love. By preaching the kingdom of God and turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just, he prepared for the Lord a new people in the world. His name reached distant coasts and all lands were in awe at his marvelous deeds.

For this reason, sons and brothers, do not mourn beyond measure. God, the father of orphans, will give us comfort by his holy consolation. And if you weep, brothers, weep for yourselves and not for him. For "in the midst of life, we are caught in death,” a while he has passed from death to life. Rejoice, for, like another Jacob, he blessed all his sons before he was taken from us and forgave them all the faults which any one of us might have committed, or even thought of committing, against him.

And now, after telling you these things, I announce to you a great joy and the news of a miracle. Such a sign that has never been heard of from the dawn of time except in the Son of God, who is Christ the Lord.

Not long before his death, our brother and father appeared crucified, bearing in his body the five wounds which are truly the marks of Christ. His hands and feet had, as it were, the openings of the nails and were pierced front and back revealing the scars and showing the nails' blackness. His side, moreover, seemed opened by a lance and often emitted blood.

As long as his spirit lived in the body, there was no beauty in him for his appearance was that of a man despised. No part of his body was without great suffering. By reason of the contraction of his sinews, his limbs were stiff, much like those of a dead man. But after his death, his appearance was one of great beauty gleaming with a dazzling whiteness and giving joy to all who looked upon him. His limbs, which had been rigid, became marvelously soft and pliable, so that they would be turned this way and that, like those of a young child.

Therefore, brothers, bless the God of heaven and praise Him before all, for He has shown His mercy to us. Hold fast the memory of our father and brother, Francis, to the praise and glory of Him Who made him so great among people and gave him glory in the sight of angels. Pray for him, as he begged us, and pray to him that God may make us share with him in his holy grace. Amen.

On the fourth day before the nones of October, the Lord's day, at the first hour of the preceding night, our father and brother went to Christ. I am sure, dearest brothers, that when this letter reaches you, you will follow the footprints of the people of Israel as they mourned the loss of their great leaders, Moses and Aaron. Let us, by all means, give way to tears for we are deprived of so great a father.

Indeed, it is in keeping with our love for him that we rejoice with Francis. Still, it is right to mourn him! It belongs to us to rejoice with Francis, for he has not died but gone to the fair in heaven, taking with him a bag of money and will not return until the full moon.

At the same time it is right for us to weep for Francis. He who came and went among us, as did Aaron, who brought forth from his storehouse both the new and the old and comforted us in all our afflictions, has been taken from our midst. Now we are like orphans without a father. Yet, because it is written, "the poor depend on you and you are the helper of orphans" all of you, dearest brothers, must earnestly pray that, though this earthen jar has been broken in the valley of Adam's children, the Most High Potter will deign to repair and restore another of similar honor, who will rule over the multitude of our race and go before us into battle like a true Maccabee.

And, because it is not useless to pray for the dead, pray to the Lord for his soul. Let each priest say three Masses, each cleric the Psalter, and the lay brothers five Our Fathers. Let the clerics also recite in common the vigil office. Amen.

Brother Elias, Sinner.

Friar Kevin Leonel

received into novitiate


San Damiano.

On Thursday, September 8, at the Santuario San Damiano in Assisi, Br. Kevin Leonel Flores Godoy, age 26 was received into the novitiate and invested with the habit of St. Francis by Fr. Antonio Riccio, O.F.M., Delegate of the Provincial Minister and Secretary for Formation and Studies of our province. Br. Kevin joins ten other novices who will comprise this very large novitiate class, consisting of three novices from the Assisi Province, as well as novices from Portugal, Malta, and two other Italian provinces. The eleven novices were told by Fr. Francesco Piloni, O.F.M., Provincial Minister of the Seraphic Province, that this was a year of both testing and conversion. The young friars were entrusted to the Novice Master Fr. Danilo who, together with the formation community of San Damiano, will accompany their journey this year, in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus and of St. Francis.

Friars Gabriel Rojas and Kevin Ottoniel Hernandez profess first vows

The Seraphic Province of Umbria-Sardinia and the Province of the Immaculate Conception of New York are pleased to announce that on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at the Santuario di San Damiano in Assisi, three brothers professed first vows upon completion of their novitiate. The newly professed friars are Br. Gabriel Rojas and Br. Kevin Ottoniel Hernandez of the Immaculate Conception Province, who were professed by Fr. Robert M. Campagna, O.F.M., Provincial Minister of the Immaculate Conception, and Br. Gabriele Calzoni, who was professed by Fr. Francesco Piloni, O.F.M., Provincial Minister of the Seraphic Province. Fr. Francesco, who was the main celebrant and homilist, welcome Fr. Robert as well as Fr. Patrick Boyle, O.F.M., Provincial Vicar, and Fr. Antonio Riccio, O.F.M., Secretary for Formation and Studies. The profession Mass was available for viewing on the website of the Seraphic Province as well as the Facebook page of the Immaculate Conception Province. 


In his homily, the minister highlighted how humility is the way that allows us to cling to God and remain in his love. In particular, then, for those who profess the Rule of St. Francis, this takes on the further specification of minority, which colors all values ​​making them Franciscan. Fr. Francesco then concluded by inviting the newly professed and all the faithful to put the Lord in the first place, because this is the way that leads to enter into eternal life and joy.


One of the exciting things that happen during the summer is having our friars from the Convento in Rome come to the various friaries. We get to know them better and enjoy their company, while at the same time they, in turn, get to have first-hand experience of the life of the friars and the ministries of our province.

This summer we at Padua Friary were happy to welcome Friar John (Jack) Sidoti to our community. Jack was a true blessing to our house, assisting in various aspects of community living, assisting at Masses at St. Anthony's as well as with Fr. Provincial at the Basilica of Old St. Patrick's Cathedral and Most Precious Blood Church.  Jack also had the opportunity to get to know New York City, using his free time to visit some of the sites that even native New Yorkers never get to see.

Jack fully embraced the excitement of city living, and one aspect that he manifested was he became a fan of the New York Yankees. It was a very opportune time for Jack to do this. The Yankees have been involved not only in a pennant race in the American League East, but also had one of its players, number 99, Aaron Judge, pursue several batting records. At this point at the end of September, Judge is definitely in line for what is called the “Triple Crown”- best in homeruns, batting average, and runs batted in.

Yankee fans, and indeed baseball fans as a whole, have been consumed with his pursuit of Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 homeruns. At Padua Friary, we have been following closely every game, waiting to see when the next homerun will be hit.

Jack had a special opportunity to see Judge hit homerun number 60, tying him with Babe Ruth’s record which last for many years. Since so many people were attending the games at Yankee Stadium, Jack was able to get a very cheap “standing room only” ticket on September 20 at Yankee Stadium, a night game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Going into the ninth inning, the Yankees weren’t doing too well. The Pirates were leading in the score, and Aaron Judge had his final at bat of the game. There, to the dramatic cheers of the crowd, both in the stadium and glued to tv screens everywhere, Judge hit is 60th homerun and tied the record set by Ruth. At Padua, we were screaming with delight. We were so happy that Jack had the opportunity to witness such an historic homerun. BUT….we quickly found out that, unfortunately, Jack had left the game early and was on his way home on the subway when the homerun was hit. Even worse, Giancarlo Stanton, another Yankee slugger, hit a grand slam homerun and the Yankees won the game. David Cone, one of the Yankee announcers, stated “I feel sorry for anyone who left the game early.” Jack messaged back to the friars, “I hate myself.” Needless to say, the brothers had a great time rubbing it in and Jack was clearly embarrassed by the whole affair. The friars determined that a good epitaph for Jack’s tombstone would be: “He left too soon.” Sorry Jack. 


Take time to wish our friars a Happy Birthday!

Kevin Ottoniel Hernandez- October 1st- 32

Mario Julian - October 2nd – 68

Nery Aguirre - October 6th - 78

Joseph Powell - October 10th - 35

Rohwin Pais - October 13th - 61

Angelo Falzon - October 15th - 65

Roger Hall - October 16th - 68

Paschal DeMattia - October 19th - 87

Angelo Monti - October 21st - 80

Michael D. Ledoux - October 23rd - 65


At its meeting of September 27, 2022, held at the Provincial Curia, the Provincial Definitorium enacted the following assignments and transfers:

Friar Joseph Powell, O.F.M., elected Guardian of St. Thomas Aquinas Friary, Derry NH.

Friar Damian Johnson, O.F.M., elected Vicar and Procurator of St. Thomas Aquinas Friary, Derry NH.

Friar Orlando Ruiz, O.F.M., elected Guardian of Our Lady of Peace Friary, Brooklyn, NY.

Friar Octavio Salinas, O.F.M., elected Vicar of our Lady of Peace Friary, Brooklyn, NY.

Friar Joshua Critchley, O.F.M., transferred from Saint Francis Centre, Caledon, to Saint Peter Church, Woodbridge, Ontario, as full time associate pastor, effective immediately. 

Friar Peter Furgiuele, O.F.M., transferred from St. Peter Church, Woodbridge, to Saint Francis Centre, Caledon, effective immediately. 

The Province has officially withdrawn ministry and service at Saint Francis of Assisi Church, Mansfield Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  

Minister General Visits Our Province

On Sunday, September 25, Br. Massimo Fusarelli, OFM, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, accompanied by Br. Jimmy Zammit, OFM, General Definitor, arrived in New York after visiting the Canadian Province of the Holy Spirit. His fraternal visit to our province and the Holy Name Province was met with great anticipation by the friars. Staying at our Curia on Thompson Street, Massimo and Jimmy were hosted by Fr. Robert Campagna, OFM, Our Provincial Minister, and Fr. Patrick Boyle, OFM, Vicar Provincial. On Monday and Tuesday morning, they visited the Provincial Curia of the Holy Name Province, as well as the retired friars in Butler, New Jersey. On Tuesday afternoon, focus switched to our own province with a visit to Franciscan Mission Associates, Kolbe Friary, and Siena Friary in Mount Vernon. Massimo met with Madeline Bonnici, Executive Director of FMA, as well as Fr. Alvin Te, OFM, Assistant Executive Director. Our visitors returned to Thompson Street, where a fraternal gathering was held in the recration room of Padua Friary. After a brief prayer service and question and answer period held with the brohtsrs of the New York area, pizza was served. Massimo had an opportunity to meet two of the three new postulants living at Our Lady of Peace in Brooklyn.

On Wednesday Massimo celebrated Mass for the Padua community and followed by a delicious meal prepared by Franklin, Padua's chef. In the afternoon, Massimo met with the Provincial Definitorium and concluded his visit with another great meal prepared by Rosa Landazuri. On Thursday, Massimo and Jimmy departed for the Croatian friars' church (the former St. Raphael's) in mid-town Manhattan. All in all it was a great visit.  

Massimo made great efforts to meet and speak with all the friars in attendance. Some of the topics discussed were: the relationship of our province with the US-6 provinces, soon to be amalgamated into one new province- the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Massimo made it very clear that we were an equal province and that his wish was that we would flourish and grow. He also spoke of the various regions of the order in the world, and that the order was becoming more centralize in Asia, Africa, and South America. He spoke glowingly of our own friars in formation in Italy, and how much he enjoyed their presence. He said they visit the General Curia often and that he himself had enjoyed the hospitality offered to him at the Convento. Massimo also spoke of the jewel of our order’s ministry- the Custody of the Holy Land, and how more friars were needed to continue the great work of ministering to the places where Jesus himself lived. In all, the friars thoroughly enjoyed his visit to our province, and many expressed sincere thanks for his ministry to the order and his presence among us. 

With the Padua Community. 

The new postulants and formation team from Brooklyn

Speaking at the

NYC Regional Gathering

Mass at Padua

Orlando and Romano

With Madeline at FMA

Fr. General and Fr. Provincial

Fr. General and Definitorium




Fr. Rick Martignetti, O.F.M.

Father Rick Martignetti is a Franciscan priest in the Immaculate Conception Province of the Order of Friars Minor. In 2002, he was awarded a doctorate in Sacred Theology / Franciscan Spirituality from the Pontifical

University Antonianum in Rome. He has done years of preaching, teaching, campus ministry, spiritual direction, retreat ministry, formation work, youth events, and pilgrimage work. He is currently the Director of Campus Ministry at Ave Maria University in Florida. His book of meditations, Hidden Beauty: Reflections on Saint Bonaventure's Tree of Life was published in 2014 by Tau Publishing. You can enjoy his “Two Minute Homilies” and more by accessing his blog: or by going to his YouTube channel. 



Winsted Brothers visit Enders Island

Been having a wonderful summer in Winsted. Br. Matthew has been a great addition to our community. We recently went on retreat for 2 days, August 23-25, at St. Edmund Enders Island in Mystic, CT. A beautiful spot on the coast of CT in the Long Island Sound. Beautiful moments of prayer and fraternity with other people on retreat and sabbatical. Their flowers were especially magnificent. Grateful for the opportunity. Know of our prayers for all the brothers of the province each day! Blessings to all.  Pictured below:  Friars Roger Hall, Matthew Mancino, Joshua Critchley, and Bruce Czapla. 

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 Stephen Galambos,OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)

Friar Michael Joyce,OFM (Holy Name Province)

Friar James Hoffman, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)

Friar Vince Elsen, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)

Friar Vincent Callahan, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)

For the friars who are sick

Friar Ralph Paonessa, OFM

Friar Nery Aguirre, OFM

For our infirm family and friends:   

Dennis Russell (Brother-in-Law of Fr. Robert Campagna

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:

Regina Emerick (Sister of Fr. Jack Hoak, OFM)

Silverio Antonio Ramirez Delgado (Father of Friar Daniel Ramirez Luna, 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