Provincial Update - May 2017
Raised hands catching sun on sunset sky. Concept of spirituality, wellbeing, positive energy etc.

Greetings and Blessings

Dear Brothers,

     Since our last formal communication, we have moved from one season to another, both on our secular and liturgical calendars.  The season of Lent gave way to the season of Easter and nature passed from winter to spring.  The forty days of our Easter season seem to have moved faster then the forty days of Lent that preceded them. Soon more changes will take place.  Spring will give way to the warm days of summer, and our Easter season will bring us back to the season of 'Ordinary Time.'  Time indeed marches on, and hopefully the blessings of this present season will continue to refresh, renew and revitalize our being, both physically and spiritually.  I pray that the graces of this Easter season continue to fill you with new hope.

     The changes in seasons have also shown changes in our Provincial fraternity.  Although a people of hope, of trust and belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, sadly we have faced the loss of five of our brothers in as many months.  Our brother Fidelis De Berardinis left us just prior to Christmas; then our brother Luke Storino in February, followed by our brother Edmund Ansaloni in March; our brother Donaldo Salazar in April and most recently, in this month of May, our brother Roch Ciandella.   As we celebrate this season of renewed hope in the Lord's promise of resurrection, let us also be mindful of our need to grieve.  Along with the  number of lives our brothers touched collectively over their years of ministry, each of us, in some way, was also touched by them personally.  May we encourage one another to be aware of our own needs, and to permit some quiet time for ourselves, to allow to well up from our heart what is ready and needing to flow at this time. 

     The resurrected Christ changed the world and each of us.  As we ask the Lord's continued blessings upon us all, might we pray for a renewed commitment to our life in fraternity and to our continued support, love and friendship toward one another. 

"And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart,
and there find Him.
For He departed, and behold, He is here!" St. Augustine

Very Reverend Robert Campagna, OFM
                                                                                                  Provincial Minister

Holy Week & Easter
Pictured below, Fr. Joaquin Mejia from Our Lady of Peace, Brooklyn, N.Y., during the 'Veneration of the Cross' at the Good Friday Service.

Good Friday at Our Lady of Peace, Brooklyn.

                    Easter Sunday at Our Lady of Peace Church, Brooklyn, New York.

Easter Sunday at St. Anthony's, NYC

                      Easter Sunday at Saint Anthony of Padua Church, New York, N.Y.

Highlights from the Provincial Board Meeting

The Provincial Board met at the Provincial Curia on May 8th, 9th and 10th of this month.  Joining the Provincial Council on Tuesday, May 9th, the Province Vocation Directors,  Fr. Conrad Fernandes and Fr. Bruce Czapla, presented the candidates who have applied to join
our formation program in the fall.  The following are some highlights from our meetings:

  • Friar Philip Adamo - has moved from St. Francis Centre for Religious Studies,    Caledon, Ontario, to Providence Villa Nursing Facility.
  • Friar Celestino Canzio - originally from the Province of St. Bernadine of Siena, Abruzzo, Italy (which recently merged with the Province of Rome) he has ministered in our Province for many years and has made a formal request to officially become a member of our Province.
  • Fr. Norbert De Amato - has moved from St. Christopher Friary, Boston, MA., to the Don Orione Nursing Facility in East Boston.
New Assignments:
  • Friar Bruce Czapla - has been named Director of Vocations for the United States, and will moved from St. Margaret Church, Buzzards Bay, MA., to Immaculate Conception Friary, Boston, MA.
  • Friar Aziz Eissa - from Holy Family Province of Egypt, has been given permission to work in our Province, and has been assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Friar Pierre John Farrugia - has been named Director of Postulants for the formation site at St. Francis Centre for Religious Studies, Caledon, Ontario.
  • Friar Conrad Fernandes - Director of Vocations for Canada, will move from St. Francis of Assisi Church, Toronto, Ontario, to St. Francis Centre for Religious Studies, Caledon, Ontario.
  • Friar Vit Fiala - has returned from the Convento San Francisco, Rome, to Mount Alverna Friary, Youngstown, Ohio, as Director of the Shrine of Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted.
  • Friar Charles Grech - from St. Paul the Apostle Province of Malta, has been given permission to work in our Province, and has been assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Friar Roger Hall - has moved from Mount Alverna Friary, Youngstown, Ohio to St. Joseph Church, Winsted, CT., as Associate Pastor.
  • Friar Albert Micallef - from St. Paul the Apostle Province of Malta, has ministered this past year as a member of the Formation Staff at the Convento San Francisco, Rome.  He will move to St. Francis of Assisi Church, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Friar Thomas Washburn - Executive Secretary for the English Speaking Conference, will assume the pastorate at St. Margaret Church, Buzzards Bay, MA.

The Provincial Minister and Board, approved six candidates for entrance to our Postulancy program, beginning in September.  Due to immigration restrictions, it has been decided to conduct Postulant formation in two locations: three of the candidates from the United States will reside at Immaculate Conception Friary, Boston, Massachusetts; three candidates from Canada will reside at St. Francis Centre for Religious Studies, Caledon, Ontario. 
The three Candidates from Canada:
Brian Dave Menezes
Bill Huang
Carl Green
The three Candidates from the United States:
Daniel Cavaleri
Louis Franciose
John Sidoti
Reception of Postulants
Feast of the Stigmata, Sunday, September 17th
St. Anthony of Padua Church, New York, N.Y. 
The service will begin at 4:00 p.m.

Restructuring Survey

In February, the members of the Province were asked for their input regarding the models that are being considered for the process of the restructuring of the seven provinces of the United States.  This survey, which was not any type of official ballot or vote, was simply to assist the Provincial Minister and the Board in their future direction of the Province.  The results of the survey are as follows:

  • 119 surveys were mailed
  • 102 surveys were returned

Of those returned:

  •   3 were invalid
  •   7 expressed support for the model of one province being formed
  • 14 expressed support for the model of two provinces being formed
  • 78 expressed support to remain as an independent province.

Friar Tom Washburn, Executive Secretary for the English Speaking Conference, posted a congratulatory note regarding Friar Mark Soehner, O.F.M. and Friar Bill Farris, O.F.M. who were elected Provincial Minister and Provincial Vicar respectively during the Chapter of Saint John Baptist on Wednesday, May 24th.  Friar Mark will succeed Friar Jeff Scheeler, who served for the past nine years as Provincial Minister for St. John Baptist Province.
Congratulations are also extended to Friar Pierre Charland, O.F.M. and Friar Michael Boyer, O.F.M. who were elected Provincial Minister and Provincial Vicar respectively of St. Joseph Province, Quebec, Canada.
Regional Gatherings with Friar Aidan Mc Grath, O.F.M.

Friar Aidan Mc Grath, Secretary General of our Order, will address the members of our Province at a series of 'Regional Meetings.'  The topic of his presentation will be:
'Brothers and Lesser Ones Moving Towards Mercy and Pardon.'
We have arranged for three dates and locations for the gatherings and strongly encourage all the members of the Province to attend. Since lunch is being planned for the gatherings, please contact the friar listed below that you plan to attend.

Friar Aidan will conduct his presentation on the following dates and locations:
  • Monday, June 5, 2017

St. Christopher Friary

18 North Bennet St.

Boston, MA   02113-1913

Please contact: Friar Robert Artman @ (617) 742-4190

  • Wednesday, June 7th

St. Peter Friary

100 Bainbridge Ave.

Woodbridge, Ontario  L4L 3Y1

Please contact: Friar Michael Corcione @ (905) 851-3600

  • Friday, June 9th

St. Anthony Friary

24 Harrison St.

Catskill, N.Y.  12414-0487

Please contact: Friary Gabriel Aceto @ (518) 943-3451


The format will be the same at each gathering:
    • 10:30 a.m. - 12 noon - 'First Session'
    • 12 noon - Lunch
    • 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 'Second Session'
Prayers Requested

Infirm Friars: 
  • Robert Artman
  • Flavian Mucci
  • James Goode 
  • Clement Procopio
For our Friars in 'Skilled Nursing Facilities':
  • Friar Philip Adamo
  • Friar Lucius Annese
  • Friar Norbert De Amato
  • Friar Louis De Tommaso
  • Friar Lawrence Stumpo
Infirm Family and Friends: 
  • Joseph Almagno (brother of Friar Romano Almagno)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fernandes (parents of Friar Conrad Fernandes)
  • Anna Palmarozzo (mother of Friar Richard Martignetti)
  • Guillermo Ruiz (father of Friar Orlando Ruiz)
  • Gloria Salinas (mother of Friar Octavio Salinas)
  • Marie Caprio Sicuso (sister of Friar Robert Caprio)
  • Sheila Washburn (mother of Friar Thomas Washburn)
Recently Deceased
  • Friar Fidelis De Berardinis, O.F.M. (December 20, 2016)
  • Friar Luke Storino, O.F.M. (February 28, 2017)
  • Friar Edmund Ansaloni, O.F.M. (March 28, 2017)
  • Friar Donaldo Salazar, O.F.M. (April 23, 2017)
  • Friar Roch Ciandella, O.F.M. (May 11, 2017)

Please pray for all friars, family, friends and benefactors,
living and deceased. 
Upcoming Dates:
  • June 17th - Friar Orlando Ruiz, O.F.M. will be installed as Pastor of Our Lady of Peace Church, 522 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. The liturgy will be celebrated at the 4:30 Vigil Mass.
  • September 17th - 'Tau Ceremony' for the Reception of the Postulants. Saint Anthony of Padua Church, Manhattan, New York at 4:00 P.M.
  • September 17th, 18th, 19th & 20th - Provincial Board Meeting at the Curia in Manhattan.