Novitiate News

The Novitiate Class of 2018-2019: Friar Matt, Friar Joe, Friar Raad, Friar Peter, Friar Kyle and Friar Antonio

Over a year ago, on October 19, 2017 our friars of the Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody (The Greyfriars of Great Britain/Ireland) welcomed Kyle Banks (of England), and Peter Flynn (of Ireland) into the postulancy program. After spending last year in the community at The Friary, Oxford, joining in with the life of the friars and deepening their understanding of religious life in preparation for the Novitiate and being vested in the habit of our Order, Friar Kyle Banks, OFM Conv. and Friar Peter Flynn, OFM Conv. have joined three Novices of our province, Friar Antonio Moualeu, OFM Conv., Friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv & Friar Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv., and Friar Matthew Bradley, OFM Conv. of St. Bonaventure Province, at the Novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscan Friars Conventual) for the USA, East Canada, Great Britain & Ireland, Australia, located in Arroyo Grande, California.

Read more about the Novices of St. Francis of Assisi Friary, Arroyo Grande, CA

For more information on becoming a Franciscan Friar Conventual with our province,
please email our Province Vocation Director – Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv. at vocations@olaprovince.org or call 718-510-5822.
Our Lady of the Angels Province – Vocation Office
223 Bedford Avenue #306
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Keynote Speaker ~ Br. Michael Duffy

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi

Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Brother Michael Duffy, OFM Conv., Associate Dean of the Elms College School of Nursing, delivered the Keynote address on December 5, 2018, Elms College Doctor of Nursing Practice White Coat Ceremony.

JPIC News

September 8, 2018: The postulants helped raise funds and awareness to end hunger, through the 33rd Annual Hunger Walk – supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s network of soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. It is Chicago’s largest annual anti-hunger rally and this year over twelve thousand participants raised more than $190,000.

The week after Thanksgiving, Friar Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. of our province’s Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Ministry met with all of the postulants of the Conventual Franciscan Postulancy USA, in Chicago, IL for two days of JPIC workshops.

Here are some of their reactions :

Joshua (Our Lady of Consolation Province):
We are all called to a life of poverty, so that all may live rich with dignity. ”

Roberto (Our Lady of Consolation Province):
I can personally relate to a lot of what was being mentioned in the workshop. Coming from México and being raised in two different cultures was a challenge but it is certainly one that helped me to more fully understand our current political climate. Definitely learned a lot and am looking forward for what God and the world has to offer in my vocation. Gracias y que Dios los bendiga.”

Luke (Our Lady of the Angels Province):
Social justice begins in our stories. As Christians our stories carry the power and presence of Christ, our Brother and Healer. Humanity today is ‘Doubting Thomas’ and we must show unbelieving Thomas our wounds, which have become scars by the life and light of Christ. Catherine Doherty says it well enough: the time of ‘mere talking is over.’ We must live the Gospel without compromise, because when we don’t, who will?

Alex (Our Lady of Consolation Province):
I gained a substantial knowledge on how to live out the vow of poverty in a way that supports the poor and the environment. Spending a little extra and investing a little more energy in order to support the poor is a part of our charism.”

Christopher (Our Lady of the Angels Province):
In the past 10 years of my life I have been very humbled in encountering the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth around the world. It’s been really eye opening to meet people and explore places that experience varying dimensions of poverty—even here in the US. What a blessing it is now at this point in my life and my vocation to begin developing my understanding of JPIC in a Franciscan framework. With my continued exploration of foundational principles in caring for creation and for our common home I have become more confident in living out Laudato Si and integrating a more holistic lense and approach to matters of poverty and environment. I consider it an obligation in our world to use the privileges afforded me as a first-generation, Latino-American, Catholic, Ecologist, to aid in local and global discussions regarding JPIC and actually heeding the gospel calling to be Christ to others and renew the face of the earth for the glory of our Creator.”

Congratulations, Friar Joe Bayne!

Fr. Joe Bayne, OFM Conv. has been serving as pastor of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, in Chicopee, MA, since August 2, 2018. Prior to his move, he spent three decades serving those in need in the Buffalo area through his work as Executive Director of The Franciscan Center (closed in 2018) as well as serving as Chaplain for the Erie County (NY) Department of Emergency Services.
He is now one of the Honorees inducted on the Erie County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Services Wall of Honor.

Read a few of our recent articles about Friar Joe’s years of service in the Buffalo, NY area:
2017 Carl Day Award for Community Service
2017 Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus
The Franciscan Center – Logistics
2016 Gaudete Medal
2015 ~ Meet Fr. Joe Bayne, OFM Conv.
2015 Blue Mass – Buffalo, NY

JPIC News

The encyclical — as well as the government’s report — serves to remind the human family that the focus is not what’s best for an individual or one country, but what’s best for the entire planet, said Father Michael Lasky, a Conventual Franciscan who serves as director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation Ministry for the order’s Our Lady of Angels Province based in Ellicott City, Maryland…
“We are brother and sister to one another. In that context, don’t you sacrifice for the one you love, especially if the one you love is hurting? That means we have to live differently. We have to do a radical shift,” Father Lasky said

“Rejoice with me!”

A Message from Br. Ed Handy, OFM Conv.
“Rejoice with me,”
with great joy and thanksgiving to Almighty God, after 30 years of ministry with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ!
In 1988, I began a ministry as a teacher of special education with the Mt. Carmel Guild School for Students with special needs. Eight years later I was assigned to St. Bridget’s Transitional Housing and Supportive Services Program for Homeless Men Living with HIV/AIDS as a residential counselor.  This year, after 22 years at St. Bridget’s, I retired from Catholic Charities and will move from Clifton, NJ. to my birth city of Baltimore in the near future.

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The following excerpt was taken from a post on our site, where Brother Ed shared this description of his ministry of service with St. Bridget’s Residence Program:

St. Bridget’s is one of many community services provided by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. It is not a hospice nor a medical facility, but a transitional housing program, providing a safe and healthy environment necessary to enable each resident to empower himself with skills necessary to obtain a permanent home.
Ministering to homeless men with HIV/AIDS at St. Bridget’s reminds me of how St. Francis, with love and compassion, approached the leper 800 years ago. Many of our men have shared with me their personal stories of how they have been rejected by society, family and friends because of their HIV/AIDS condition. Much education is still needed in this area. ‘What you did for the least of these…, you did for me’ (Mt 25:40). This is our testimony and our challenge to offer a better life for those who seek our services. My weekly ministry hours and days at St. Bridget’s are from 3:00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m. – Monday through Friday. Compassion and Service has been the hallmark of my … years ministering at St. Bridget’s.

Vocation Cornet

In order to foster vocations, our friars have instituted a “vocation corner” in the bulletins of our parishes, schools and other ministries, with plans to fill those “corners” with personal vocation stories.

Vocation Story ~ Friar Donald Grzymski, OFM Conv.
My vocation was discovered as a high school student at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, and now 50 years later, I’m in my fourth assignment at Curley, and my cumulative 21st year as a teacher and administrator at the school. Surely it is not the norm to keep returning to the same place, but it does give a unique perspective, and the ability to know many people over decades. It has been a blessing.
Those we serve in ministry, wherever I have been, are really good people, and care about us as both individuals and as a community. Many years of my ministry have been around young people, and it’s rewarding to see them searching for the good, and for God. The media seems to report so much sad news, but in ministry we also see so much good news.
Surely the brotherhood we promote at Curley (the school uses the phrase “where brotherhood begins,” and the message of brotherhood is regularly spoken of by the students) reflects the brotherhood of the friars, for we friars do care for one another, support one another and share our lives, our struggles and our joys. People do appreciate the message of the Good News and receiving it with a Franciscan spirit. When we can discover and follow our vocation the Lord helps us along the way, and our brothers do as well.

If you are interested in Franciscan Life, visit our Vocations page for more information information including how to contact Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv., our Province Vocation Director.

Vocation Corner

In order to foster vocations, our friars have instituted a “vocation corner” in the bulletins of our parishes, schools and other ministries, with plans to fill those “corners” with personal vocation stories.

Vocation Story ~ Friar Dennis Mason, OFM Conv.
Just as I was ready for high school the Friars came to my home town and opened a school where I and some friends enrolled. The Friars challenged us to be our best and were compassionate when we struggled. The thought of a vocation from my earlier years was re-awakened and I entered the Order after graduation. That was fifty years ago. As in anyone’s life, there have been difficult times, but never any regrets. Prayer, acceptance and support, shared among the Friars and among the people we serve, have been cornerstones of life and ministry for me. Years ago, I sensed God’s call and still sense it today. So, I keep listening and keep giving thanks for the Franciscan life God gives me.

If you are interested in Franciscan Life, visit our Vocations page for more information information including how to contact Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv., our Province Vocation Director.

Approval of the Constitutions

Chairman of the Revision Committee ~ Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Timothy Kulbicki, OFM Conv.:
On this day, November 29, 2018, the Feast of All Franciscan Saints and the anniversary of the solemn approval of the Rule of St. Francis, November 29, 1223, the Prefect of the Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, João Cardinal Braz DE AVIZ, has issued the decree approving the revised text of the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.