Come and See ~ November 10-12, 2017

On the weekend of November 10-12, 2017, Our Lady of the Angels Province will host another Come and See weekend. These weekends are available several times a year to give men in discernment the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the life, charism and ministry of our friars, while spending some time living in community with us.
If you would like more information on how you can participate in this next Come and See, please contact our Vocation Director, Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.

Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody Elections

September 7, 2017: Our Lady of the Angels Province Custody of The Blessed Agnellus of Pisa held an election during their 1st session of their 2017 Chapter. On hand were also Friar Jude Winkler, OFM Conv. (pictured lower left) who serves our Order as an Assistant General, Friar James McCurry, OFM Conv. (pictured 3rd from lower right) who serves as our Minister Provincial and Friar Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv. (pictured 2nd row left) who serves as our Province Secretary.

(Bottom left to right) Friar James McCurry, OFM Conv. ~ OLA Minister Provincial and Friar Ciprian Budău, OFM Conv. ~ New Provincial Custos. (Top left to right) Friar Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv. ~ Definitor and Secretary, Friar James McInerney, OFM Conv. ~ Definitor, Friar Maximilian McKeown, OFM Conv. ~ Definitor & Vicar, Friar Jude Winkler, OFM Conv. ~ Assistant General of the Order, Friar Dariusz Davidowski, OFM Conv. ~ Definitor

Friar Ciprian Budău, OFM Conv. ~ Custos
Friar Maximilian McKeown, OFM Conv. ~ Vicar
Friar Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv. ~ Secretary
Friar Dariusz Davidowski, OFM Conv. ~ Definitor
Friar James McInerney, OFM Conv. ~ Definitor
Friar Rory Doyle, OFM Conv. ~ Bursar
Friar Giles Zakowicz, OFM Conv. ~ Director of Formation

The friars of our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody finished their Chapter on September 8th and are now in preparation for the second week of their Chapter that will begin on September 18, 2017. Please keep them and all of our friars in your continued prayers.

Celebrating a New Academic Year

Our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., celebrated a Mass of the Holy Spirit with our community of Student Friars and their Directors, on the 10th of September, as they commence the new academic year.

The seven friar-students of our Formation community in Silver Spring -MD, and their two Directors (Br. Jim Moore, OFM Conv. – left and Fr. Brad Milunski, OFM Conv. – 2nd from right), surround the new kitchen island in the renovated St. Bonaventure Friary (Post Novitiate).

As a new academic year begins, we ask that you keep in your continued prayers – our friars in formation, our friars in post graduate studies and our friars teaching in our two high school ministries (Archbishop Curley High School & St. Francis High School), as well as our friars serving is high school (Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School, Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, St. Francis Academy) and college campus ministries (Syracuse University, The Catholic University of America, Newman Student Center Parish, Duke University and Elon University) and those serving the pastoral needs of our many province parochial schools. We also ask prayers for all the students served in these many ministries, by our friars.

Prayer to St. Joseph Cupertino, OFM Conv.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino
who by your prayer obtained from God
to be asked at your examination,
the only preposition you knew.
Grant that I may like you succeed in my
(here mention the name) exam.
In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me!
O Holy Ghost enlighten me!
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me!
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me!

New Faces at FrancisCorps (FC 19)

Please welcome your new FrancisCorps volunteers. Pictured left, they are: (Top/L-R): Malia Hamilton (From Kihei, HI, attended the University of Texas at Austin. She will be in Syracuse), Dan Pezzola (From Central Valley, NY, attended CUA. He will be in Syracuse), Jenna Breiner (From Lincoln, NE, attended Creighton. She will be in Costa Rica), Matt Grothaus (From Poquoson, VA, attended Notre Dame. He will be in Costa Rica); (Middle): Jenny Cook (From Strongville, OH, attended Bowling Green. She will be in Syracuse), Nico Angerosa (From Glenville NY, attended SUNY Oswego. He will be in Costa Rica), Catherine Rainey (From Willoughby Hills, OH, attended Mercyhurst. She will be in Syracuse); (Bottom): Rachel Jones (From Loveland, CO, attended Iowa State. She will be in Costa Rica), Clare Meland (From Pittsburgh, PA, attended Notre Dame. She will be in Syracuse), Natalia Rincon (From Freeport, NY, attended CUA. She will be in Costa Rica), Beruchya Dao-Bai (From Kew Gardens, NY, attended Notre Dame. She will be in Syracuse). Also, sort of new to FrancisCorps, we welcome Johanna Cajina (FC 17 alum) who has been hired as the Associate Director. Her primary responsibility will be recruiting volunteers and social media.
This 19th group (FC 19) includes six volunteers who will serve in Syracuse and five in Costa Rica. They were commissioned at Assumption, Syracuse on Sunday, August 20th and then spent the week at the Franciscan Sisters’ Alverna Retreat Center for orientation and formation. They then headed down to the Shore, where the friars at Point Pleasant hosted them for a BBQ. This first retreat ended with a visit to the Poor Clares in Chesterfield, NJ. The volunteers are counting on your prayers as they begin to discover the Franciscan charism through their life in community and service to the poor.

Pilgrimage Reflections

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Militia Immaculata
Founded by St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv.
August 7-18, 2017

Thirty-seven pilgrims participated in Our Lady of the Angels Province’s official pilgrimage celebrating the Centenary of the founding of the M.I. movement by our confrere St. Maximilian Kolbe.  Five of the pilgrims were friars of OLA Province and our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody.

The first part of our pilgrimage was to Italy (Rome and Assisi). We began by celebrating Mass in the chapel of Convento Kolbe where St. Maximilian lived for 7 years, praying before the same statue of the Immaculate, and where, with six confreres, he founded the M.I. on October 16, 1917. The highlight of our next day in Rome was to celebrate Mass at the altar of Our Lady of the Miracle in Sant’ Andrea delle Fratte Church where St. Maximilan celebrated his first Mass. After waiting under the blazing sun to clear security at St. Peter’s Square, we visited the treasures inside St. Peter’s Basilica and prayed before the tombs of St. Peter, St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII.
Our third day in Italy was all about Assisi. We visited the Basilica of St. Clare as well as the Portiuncula in Our Lady of the Angels Basilica. As always, the highlight was praying at the tomb of St. Francis and celebrating Mass in a chapel of the Sacro Convento, which St. Maximilian visited several times, and where, as a plaque records, he blessed the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. To the pilgrims’ delight, our own Fr. Martin Breski, OFM Conv. (who serves at the Basilica as an English speaking guide for pilgrims) provided a full tour of Papal Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.
We returned to Rome truly blessed and a little heavier, what with all the souvenirs and religious articles we were carrying, and the delicious pasta we consumed!

As in Italy, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (OLA Province Minister Provincial and the Pilgrimage Spiritual Guide) continued to inspire with his spiritual guidance.  With all the knowledge he has gained over the years about St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., he continued to amaze us – especially in Poland. Of the eight days we spent there, three were splendid jewels that crowned our pilgrimage. The first (August 12th) was our visit to Niepokalanow (City of the Immaculate) established ninety years ago this year to promote and further the works of the Immaculate to which St. Maximilian and the friars were totally dedicated. At the celebration of the Mass in the friary’s first chapel, all the pilgrims made the total consecration to the Immaculate, enrolled in the M.I., and were given a Miraculous Medal.
The second highlight (August 13th) was the visit to Poland’s National Shrine of Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain) in Czestochowa, where during the day we celebrated Mass in the Chapel of the Rosary. Then, at 9 p.m., the hour of the “Apel” (the “call”), we were all privileged to kneel right in the sanctuary before the sacred icon of the Black Madonna. In a televised broadcast to Poland and the world, Fr. Simon, one of the Pauline Fathers, singled out our group announcing that we were visiting the shrine from the U.S. to mark the centenary of the M.I. and pointing out to all that St. Maximilian had celebrated Mass there three times according to the monastery’s records. Then, three of us friars were each invited to pray a Hail Mary in English.

(Video  of the “Apel”)

The third significant day (August 14th) was marked by a pilgrimage to Auschwitz concentration camp, where we joined Polish friars, bishops, a German Archbishop, and hundreds of other faithful.  We participated in an outdoor Mass solemnly celebrated next to the “Block of Death” within which is the bunker cell #18 where St. Maximilian died, ultimately succeeding in the transformation of a place of hatred and death into a sanctuary of love and life.

Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv. (Pilgrimage Director)

Photos from inside the room of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, OFM Conv., in Niepokalanów (City of the Immaculate)

JPIC Friar Focus

Br. Nicholas Romeo, OFM Conv., Fr. Ericson de la Peña, OFM Conv., Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. and Fr. Matthew Foley, OFM Conv.

In his own words… Friar Matthew Foley, OFM Conv.:

For the past six years, I have brought students from Archbishop Curley High School to a week-long Catholic Service camp called Encounter the Gospel of Life based out of the University of Maryland- College Park. The idea of the camp is to serve the poor and marginalized in our own backyard.
Like our first year, the 2017 group was huge, including 36 current students, 4 alums, 3 teachers and a parent.  We were also fortunate to be joined by Br. Nick Romeo, helping out his Alma Mater, in the hopes of bringing some of his students from St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, NY.
Using a “direct-relational” model of service, participants work directly with and get to know the people they serve. In turn, we believe that we will be served by the individuals that we came to serve, as we encounter Christ in those we serve and hopefully others can encounter Christ in us. This year 300 youth, young adult and adult participants served at nursing homes, with the poor, camps for children and for adults with physical and mental disabilities. There were also two sites that worked on and advocated for pro-life and immigration issues.
Each day begins with Mass and then small groups head to their service sites. This year I worked at the Arc of Howard County, right down the street from the Shrine of St. Anthony! There the young people worked with adults with Downs Syndrome and other mental disabilities. We played games, music, and did art projects. Moving from Social Outreach to Social Justice, later in the week we shared our experiences of working with the disabled by writing to members of Congress, to let them know about how some changes in health care would affect those whom we served, those who also ministered to us!
Returning to the university at the end of the day, we gather to reflect theologically on the connection between service and faith. In the evenings, we also had programing that included keynote speakers, activities on Catholic Social Teaching, Eucharistic adoration, and reconciliation. (Special thanks to the many friar priests in Washington, Ellicott City, and Baltimore who over the years have assisted in hearing confessions!)
Kenny Clapp, a rising sophomore at Curley described his experiences of working with inner city children at a day camp to teach them peacemaking skills.  “I thought that I would be coming here to help the kids I worked with, considering they were homeless and coming from a bad area and seemed like the typical model for a person in need. But in reality, it was the kids that helped me. They were so joyful and happy and positive that they made me realize how blessed I was in my own life.”
Please email or call if you’d like more information about the camp, or if you’re looking for a summer service experience for the high school aged youth at your ministerial site. The dates for next year’s camp are July 8-14, 2018. The website is

100th Anniversary of the Militia of the Immaculata

The August 22, 2017 many of our province friars were on hand at the dedication of our new “International” St. André Bessette Friary, in Ottawa, ON included the second of our Province Masses, Celebrating the Centenary of The Militia of the Immaculata (MI). It was celebrated at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Church (Venier, ON), where Fr. Dominic Lim, OFM Conv., a resident friar of the St. André Bessette Friary who serves there as pastor. Our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. was the principal celebrant and homilist at the 5:00 p.m. Mass and the Archbishop of Ottawa, The Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J. also presided. Following the Mass, the Archbishop blessed and dedicated the new friary in honor of St. André Bessette (Brother André).


August 1, 2017 article on St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. written by our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv.