March 25, 2017: On the Feast of the Annunciation, Franciscan Friars Conventual Brothers from North America were among the 225 Religious Brothers who attended the Brothers Symposium with the opportunity to interact with speakers, facilitators, panel members, and session leaders.
Originated as the National Symposium on the Life of the Religious Brother and held at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN), the program was based on the December 2015 Vatican document “Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in Church.“ Many participants concluded the day with a Vigil Mass & Closing Liturgy, in the University’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart, celebrated by His Eminence, Joseph William Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., of the Archdiocese of Newark.
We are an Order of Friar Brothers and Friar Priests. Our Brothers serve as teachers, administrators, directors and in formation. Their ministries range from educational institutions to missionary work, to outreach facilities. Although there are many more Brothers in our 4 North American Provinces, attending this Symposium from Our Lady of Consolation Province were Br. Don Bassana, OFM Conv., Br. Randy Kin, OFM Conv., Br. Ian Bremar, OFM Conv. and Br. Kerry Guillory, OFM Conv. One of the postulants of St. Bonaventure Province, br. Jim Battles, OFM Conv. joined the group, as did our own br. Timothy Blanchard, OFM Conv., who is in the Post-Novitiate stage of Formation. The other Brothers were from Our Lady of the Angels Province, and included Br. Paschal Kolodziej, OFM Conv. (Guardian of St. Bonaventure Friary – Chicago & Director of the North American Postulancy), Br. Tom Purcell, OFM Conv. (Guardian of St. Bonaventure Friary – Toronto & Executive Director of St. Clare Inn Transitional Housing Program for Homeless Women) and Br. Jim Moore, OFM Conv. (Guardian of the St. Bonaventure Friary Post Novitiate for Our Lady of the Angels Province).