Our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. was invited to concelebrate the June 16, 2018 5:30 p.m. Mass with His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson ~ Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Most Reverend William Edward Lori, S.T.D. ~ 16th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, at the the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Baltimore, MD.  Cardinal Peter Turkson was in Baltimore to attend an “event aimed to expand entrepreneurship, increase economic opportunity, provide information on the idea of a social economy and combine business practices with those of Catholic social teaching.
A reception for local JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) advocates took place afterwards in the Archbishop’s Residence.

Friar Franck’s Summer Adventure

Photo Cred: Life Teen

Friar Franck Lino Sokpolie, OFM Conv. is spending his summer serving at
our pastoral ministry of St. Paul Catholic Church, in Kensington, CT.

Friar Franck with the St. Paul Parish Youth Minister – John Imbimbo and a member of the Youth Core team – Steve Beck

“I was able to attend the June 10-13, 2018 Catholic Youth Ministry Training Convention (Life Teen) in Scottsdale, Arizona. The theme for this year convention was ‘The Relentless Father’ and it was an incredible five day experience. Over a thousand youth ministers where gathered, with 56+ priests in attendance, as well as another religious friar ~ Br John Timothy of the Community of St. John.
I had the opportunity to serve at all of the Masses and at Adoration, along with two of the seminarians in attendance. Overall, God strengthened my faith and has poured out His grace on me during this weekend convention. I feel renewed and even more committed to living out my vocation. He who has called me to this life of journey towards Him; through no merits of my own continues to unfold in my life His Grace and Mercy.”


Why go to Mass?

Why Go To Mass? (Confirmation, June 2018) from St. Paul Church on Vimeo.


News from the Novitiate

Returning home from Santa Barbara, CA last week, where the inter-novitiate family {three Franciscan Novice Communities of OFM, OFM Cap & OFM Conv} gathered together for the last time this novice-year , our Franciscan Friars Conventual Novices were treated to a special side-trip to “Ostrich Land, USA,” on the California Central Coast. Besides being able to get up close to feed the ostriches and emus, the friars of the St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate (Arroyo Grande, CA) purchased two ostrich eggs to use for a celebration brunch on the June 13th Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.
Friar Fabian Adderley, OFM Conv., our Nassau friar-chef, whipped up the giant ostrich eggs into omelettes mixed with cheese, spinach, sweet peppers, and Australian lamb! It was a great fraternal feast to properly honor our confrere, St. Anthony, the “Ark of the Testament.”

Friar Fabian Adderley, OFM Conv. was born in Nassau, Bahamas and grew up in its capital of New Provenience. Prior to joining the Franciscan Friars Conventual, he worked in hospitality, food and beverage management and also ran a small business consultant agency. He came to know the Franciscan Friars Conventual through watching EWTN during a long period of recovery from a tragic accident, which facilitated much time in prayer, reading and watching television. The life and work of St. Francis of Assisi inspired him in a special way to respond to the call of something greater than himself. He is inspired by Mother Teresa words “God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son. God still loves the world and sends you and me to be His love, His compassion to the poor.”
Friar Fabian is one of the friars in formation for our province, who plans to Profess Simple Vows on July 16, 2016, along with friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv. and friar Steven Arias Mosquera, OFM Conv., at our Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD). The Professions will take place in conjunction with our province Jubilee Mass and Celebration when friars of our province, who in 2018 mark a milestone year for their own Professions and Ordination, gather together with the rest of the province friars for fraternal celebration.
Please keep all of our student friars in formation in your continued prayers as they move onto the next stage of formation this summer.

Happy Feast Day of St. Anthony of Padua!

Feast of St. Anthony of Padua – June 13th
St. Anthony ~ Pray for Us!

In celebration of the Feast of St. Anthony, our Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD) hosted their 8th Annual St. Anthony Festival, on Saturday, June 11th. The featured speaker for the day was Dr. Scott Hahn. For those who were unable to join our friars, staff, volunteers and pilgrims that day, please enjoy these two talks given by Dr. Hahn.

Talk #1: “The Fourth Cup: The Miracle of Mercy in the Eucharist.”

Talk #2: “The First Society: The Miracle of Mercy in Marriage”

Summer Assignments for Student Friars

As it is summer time, our student friars will be serving in several different ministries throughout our province. St. Paul Parish (Kensington CT) is one of our pastoral ministries that will be the summer home of friar Franck Lino Sokpolie, OFM Conv. The parish has created a short video introduction for friar Franck that includes a conversation with some of the parish school’s 8th grade students.

Br. Franck Intro Video from St. Paul Church on Vimeo.

Another one of our student friars, br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv. will serve in a double internship with the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) and our province’s JPIC (Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation) ministry. Read More


June 7th ~ Memorial of Bl. Zbigniew Strzałkowski and Bl. Michał Tomaszek

Friar Michał Tomaszek, OFM Conv. and Friar Zbigniew Strzałkowski, OFM Conv, along with Rev. Alejandro Dordi (Italian Missionary) are remembered as the  Blessed Three Martyrs of Chimbote, who were murdered in Peru in 1991 by the Shining Path communist guerillas. Bl. Michał and Bl. Zbigniew are remembered today, June 7th and Bl. Alejandro is remember on August 25th.
Read More

Franciscan Novice Communities Gather

Our Lady of the Angels Province had three Novices in the 2017-2018 class: friar Fabian Adderley, OFM Conv. (far left), friar Steven Arias Mosquera, OFM Conv. (third from left – back row) and friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv. (fifth from left – back row)

June 2, 2018: The three inter-obediential Franciscan Novice Communities (OFM, OFM Cap & OFM Conv.) gathered together for the last time during this novice-year at the OFM Novitiate in Santa Barbara, CA. The three sets of novice directors were also able to meet together in the afternoon to coordinate several academic and fraternal events for the upcoming novitiate year. This collaborative Franciscan venture has born great fruit in friendship, fun, and mutual appreciation.

On July 12, 2018, the new 2018-2019 class with include 5 novices from the Franciscan Friars Conventual North America Provinces (Province of Our Lady of Consolation, Province of St. Joseph Cupertino, Province of St. Bonaventure and Our Lady of the Angels Province). The Investiture Ceremony and Mass, when student friars are vested with the habit of our Order in a private community celebration, will take place in the St. Francis of Assisi Friary Interprovincial Novitiate Chapel, in Arroyo Grande, CA. It will conclude with a “Sending Ceremony” for the 2017-2018 novice class. Please remember our friars attending the “Investiture & Sending” ceremony in your prayers on that very special day!

World Day of Prayer for Priests ~ Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus” ~2010, Stephen B. Whatley

June 8th is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and also the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.   St. Francis of Assisi always had a great respect and admiration for priests because it is from their hands that Jesus gives us His Body and Blood, in the Eucharist.   Please join us as we pray for priests and all consecrated religious.   Perhaps, your prayer may invite you to consider being a Franciscan Brother or Priest.  Let us join the Church in prayer, praying in gratitude for the gift of the Priesthood as well as for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

Our altar of gold is the Heart of Christ.
We must enter into the Holy of Holies,
which is this same Heart of Jesus,
and gather up the riches of His love.

~St Anthony of Padua

JPIC Friar Focus – Student Friar in Ministry

A Message from br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv.
“This summer I have taken on a double internship with both the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) and our province’s JPIC (Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation) ministry to further explore and utilize the major I am pursing in Media and Communications, at CUA (The Catholic University of America, Washington DC). In this JPIC Update, I would like to share a quick reflection on two past events I had recently attended and how they have impacted me as a student friar. Its my hope to integrate the deeper truths about what it means to actively participate in social justice as a Franciscan.

On May 21, I participated with FAN and Friar Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. (our Province JPIC Chairman) in the Poor People’s Campaign, a movement that seeks to eradicate the evils of poverty, systemic racism, and actions that lead to war. Already this Campaign has reached 30 states across the nation challenging political leaders to fight against inequality and redirect misguided moral narratives for a better society. The pre-rally began at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in DC where I listened in on the main speaker who, at the core of his message, highlighted the fact that “the values we are demanding should go beyond just a campaign, we are looking to enable the broader movement of equality that will echo in future times”. Looking around at the excited responses and reactions of the people gathered around the speaker it was evident that this was a community willing to take risks, to disrupt unjust systems and illuminate immoral policies. We could look at the failure by federal assistance to distribute public resources to those who are absent of a good job having to fend for themselves as one example of an inactive immoral systems in the economy. Federal programs are not meeting the growing needs of the poor so who will? The group’s willingness to practice civil disobedience to be arrested is considered by them a last resort having unsuccessfully lobbied for the change of policy. It is by this action that we see the impact of the rally transition from words to actions, from being heard to being seen. This operation is not executed just for some political spite but rather displays a great witness to resistance of immoral authority for a positive social change. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the officers who, with a big smile on his face, shared with me how much he “enjoyed arresting this group.” He and the other officers expressed their respect for our groups advocacy for the poor and their organization in making civil disobedience peaceful and orderly. What a shining example of defending human rights in a peaceful manner, it can be done with everyone playing their part. Without failure to mention, both Friar Michael and I were approached throughout the day by several faith leaders, students and ministers on the Capital lawn simply because we were in habit creating a visible Franciscan presence that was clearly noticed that proved both hearting and encouraging for many.
Later that same week, on May 24, along with Friar Michael Lasky, I had joined Friar Timothy Dore, OFM Conv. (pictured at center left) and parishioners from St. Ann Church (Baltimore, MD – one of the parishes where he serves as pastor) for the monthly “Prayer Walk for Peace,” in the city. Leading this assembly of prayer was Bishop Denis J. Madden (urban vicar and auxiliary bishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Baltimore) who opened with the following remarks: “Peace is something that is very possible to spread within the human heart, and its going to be done today within these streets that have seen such terrible violence. Our prayers reach out to this city this evening that it may find God’s love and redirect the violent actions into actions of charity.” As we walked down the busy streets of Baltimore with all eyes fixed on us, hymns of praises were being chanted speaking of the search for a peaceful change. This faithful assembly made this walk with a vulnerability and an openness to forgive and love freely. Various stops were made along the walk where we prayed at specific locations that were affected by physical and social violence one of those locations being the killing of a 16 year old boy who lived not far from the parish due to gang violence. Amidst the weight of hearing these unfortunate stories of violence tainting the city, an image I will never forget was seeing those joined in the walk flood the streets offering a glimpse of something this city sees rarely, hope. Smiles found themselves on the faces of those we passed by as if we had released them from some weight upon their backs that allowed them to finally look up and see the light above that is ever so reachable. God’s voice is heard amid fantastic visuals that signal his presence and this was certainly one of those sights. After the walk several of the parishioners came up to me expressing how wonderful it was to have a Franciscan presence for the walk. This indeed was a ministry of presence embodying the spirit of St. Francis that still lives today.

If you would ask me my takeaways from these past two events I would have this to say. Our faith calls us to be wise in our social actions, bold in our moral beliefs, and courageous in what we know to be right and just. Questions also parallel these paradigms, when a people are living in fear, how do we step in as friars to proclaim Gabriel’s message “do not be afraid” through presence and solidarity, walking with them in the difficult places asking difficult questions and seeking equally different answers and then ACT on it? What is my witness when it comes to upholding equality within our society? There is a part to play in this, pray my brothers that I may find mine and that the Lord may continue to enlighten me during this summer experience. My prayers are with you always!”
(The photos were also taken by br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv.)

Eucharist Enlightens Discernment

Our Lady of the Angels Province Friars: Vocation Director – Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv., soon to be OLA Province Novice – Antonio Moualeu, br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv. & Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv.

For the past several years, Our province Vocation Director, Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv. (far left above), with the support of our friars serving in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, has been on hand at the Eucharistic Congress, advancing awareness of our Order for those attendees who are in Vocation discernment. Three years ago, Antonio Moualeu (2nd from left above) first encountered our friars at this same Eucharistic Congress, at a time when he was discerning a call to the priesthood. According to Antonio, “Through spiritual direction and a friend from the Georgia Tech Catholic Center, I ended up going to the Our Lady of the Angels Province Come and See retreat in Maryland that same year. There, I found out for the first time about Franciscan spirituality; a pivotal moment that started giving meaning to prior events in my life. Through meeting with friars in Jonesboro, GA and around the United States, I found myself constantly drawn to their way of life, their fellowship and ministry. I am so thankful and excited about the opportunity to be an instrument of God’s will, and to spread the Gospel.”
Antonio brought his vocation journey with our friars back to where it all began as he joined Friar Russell at this year’s Eucharistic Congress. Having Antonio speak to passersby about his time as a Postulant, as well as having br. Tim Blanchard, OFM Conv. (Post-Novitiate stage of formation) join in sharing his experiences alongside seasoned friars like Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv. and Fr. Gabriel Scasino, OFM Conv. (pastor & parochial vicar at our pastoral ministry of St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Jonesboro, GA) provided a comprehensive vocation promotion opportunity for our province.

For eight centuries the Church has celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ), honoring the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Significantly, this is often a very public celebration including outdoor Eucharistic Adoration and Processions. {“Wherever in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop it can be done, a procession through the streets is to be held, especially on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, as a public witness of veneration of the Blessed Eucharist. It is for the diocesan Bishop to establish such regulations about processions as will provide participation in them and for their being carried out in a dignified manner.” (Can. 944 §1,2)}
For over 20 years, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, with a Eucharistic Congress held during the same weekend. This Eucharistic Congress was established to gather the faithful as a community (now numbering around 30,000), giving praise and honor to the source and summit of our Catholic faith, the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity tangibly present in the form of bread and wine. The Congress also has always had a focus on prayer for vocations.