The recognition of 65 years as a friar is something extraordinary. What is even more extraordinary is that this year (2017) our province proudly has 6 friars celebrating just that:
Friar Ronald Sermak, OFM Conv. (August 15, 1952)
Friar David Stopyra, OFM Conv. (August 15, 1952)
Friar Giles VanWormer, OFM Conv. (August 17, 1952)
Friar Duane Mastrangelo, OFM Conv. (August 17, 1952)
Friar Alvin Somerville, OFM Conv. (August 17, 1952)
and the focus of this post – Friar Briant Cullinane, OFM Conv. (August 17, 1952).
Friar Briant is still quite active in our province work and currently serves as Pastor Emeritus of our pastoral ministry Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community as well as the Guardian of our Friary there; home to four of our friars.
The responsibility of a Guardian is extensive. He is responsible for all that pertains to the community and prayer life of the friars, and for the necessities of life of the friars in the local fraternity (friary), each of which is made up of at least four friars, and is led and governed by the Guardian, either alone or with the Friary Chapter. The Guardian and Director of Ministry for each friary collaborate through fraternal dialogue, particularly with regard to scheduling and calendars, to ensure that each can faithfully fulfill his respective responsibilities. The purpose of this service is to correctly order the life and mission of the entire fraternity. Guardians are bound to their friary residence so as to be available for service to the friars assigned to them. It is the duty of the Guardian to safeguard the rights of each individual in the friary and to respect and implement the decisions of the majority in matters which require a deliberative vote.
Fr. Briant is a well respected and knowledgeable friar, who friars characterize as someone known for his equanimity, gentleness and wisdom. He professed his Solemn Vows on September 17, 1955, was Ordained to the Priesthood on February 8, 1958 and has served in varied ministries throughout his 65 years as a friar, including pastor-ships, diocesan offices (Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Toronto) and roles of high province leadership. Even though he will be turning 85 this year, he continues to give freely to the Province, the needs of our friars and of our ministries.
If you “Google” Fr. Briant you will find more information that you would have time to read, but here is a very nice blurb from the “About Us” page of our pastoral ministry, The Franciscan Church of St. Bonaventure (Toronto, ON).
“The appointment of Friar Briant Cullinane (OFM Conv.) as pastor in 1970 was very well received, since he had already been a lively, energetic part of the parish team for more than seven years. Nobody worked harder than he did, though it’s fair to say he pushed many parishioners to try! And they did try, since Friar Briant showed himself to be a truly inspirational leader, capable of getting the best out of his flock. The Franciscan community was very vibrant and various friars lived among us including Friar Raymond Sobocinski, (OFM Conv.) and Fr. George Sabol, (OFM Conv.). They and Friar Regis Rodda, (OFM Conv.) were also involved in the establishment of our “daughter” parish of Blessed John XXIII. In his 13 years with us (6 as pastor) Friar Briant helped create a warm spiritual home that was also the focus of many social and sporting interests. Friar Briant led the renovation of St. Bonaventure’s Church and expansion of the Parish Centre. He brought an exceptional level of care to this project which resulted in the excellence and beauty of our parish facilities. St.Bonaventure became the jewel of the Archdiocese. Friar Briant’s farewell party at the parish hall in 1976 (he was elected Vicar Provincial for his province) is remembered as a joyous occasion tinged with more than a little sadness. It was attended by just about the whole parish as well as fellow priests, well-wishers and clergy of other denominations. It would come as no surprise when, shortly afterward, Friar Briant was elected Minister Provincial ...”
Here are the other 2017 Jubilarian Friars of our Province.
Our friars will hold a special celebration in their honor at the
Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, MD,
starting with noon Mass, on July 24, 2017.
65 Year Profession
Friar Ronald Sermak, OFM Conv.
Friar David Stopyra, OFM Conv.
Friar Giles VanWormer, OFM Conv.
Friar Duane Mastrangelo, OFM Conv.
Friar Briant Cullinane, OFM Conv.
Friar Alvin Somerville, OFM Conv.
60 Year Profession
Friar Phillip Blaine, OFM Conv.
Friar Joseph Madden, OFM Conv.
Friar Paul Varga, OFM Conv.
Friar Nevin Hammon, OFM Conv.
Friar Herman Czaster, OFM Conv.
Friar Alexander Cymerman, OFM Conv.
50 Year Profession
Friar Jude Surowiec, OFM Conv.
Friar Paul Miskiewicz, OFM Conv.
Friar Noel Danielewicz, OFM Conv.
Friar Martin Kobos, OFM Conv.
Friar Karl Kolodziejski, OFM Conv.
Friar Joseph Connick, OFM Conv.
Friar William Robinson, OFM Conv.
40 Year Profession
Friar Paul Lininger, OFM Conv.
Friar Michael Taylor, OFM Conv.
Friar Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv.
Friar Daniel Fink, OFM Conv.
Friar Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv.
Friar Dennis Grumsey, OFM Conv.
Friar Stephen Murphy, OFM Conv.
Friar Timothy Kulbicki, OFM Conv.
25 Year Profession
Friar José Guadalupe Matus Castillo, OFM Conv.
Friar Marek Stybor, OFM Conv.
Friar Abelardo Huanca Martinez, OFM Conv.
60 Year Ordination
Friar Giles VanWormer, OFM Conv.
Friar Antone Kendrac, OFM Conv.
50 Year Ordination
Friar John Burkhard, OFM Conv.
Friar Dominic McGee, OFM Conv.
Friar Benedict Fagone, OFM Conv.
40 Year Ordination
Friar Justin Ratajczak, OFM Conv.
Friar Carl Zdancewicz, OFM Conv.
Friar James McCurry, OFM Conv.
25 Year Ordination
Friar Miroslaw Podymniak, OFM Conv.
Friar Timothy Dore, OFM Conv.