Epiphany Extraction

DSC02977Each year, our Friars celebrate Epiphany Extractions. Franciscans hold great reverence for the saints. We customarily celebrate the Epiphany as a feast for promoting personal holiness. During the para-liturgical ceremony of the Extractions, each friar draws the name of a saint (who becomes his patron for the year) and a short spiritual exhortation (as a focus for spiritual refinement). During Epiphany the community also renews the sanctity of our homes (friaries) by processing to bless each room.
Early in Franciscan history, this tradition developed for our friars. We Franciscan Friars Conventual would like to share this cherished tradition with you. The ritual is simple. Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Choose a card randomly. On the card will be the name of a saint, a mystery in the life of Jesus or perhaps a particular devotion. Announce your choice to the people praying with you. Some of them may have their own experience with your choice. Read up on it in Catholic literature or on the internet. With the help of the Holy Spirit, look for some direction in your life and spirituality from these “living words of God.” You may be surprised how your choice touches your journey of faith.
Remember too, that we are all saints. Sinners too, but saints nonetheless. What can others see in us that reflects “the living word of God?” Your Epiphany patron may help you plan your resolutions or just be your companion in prayer, in the New Year. Look at this as just one more gift from God on Epiphany, the Feast of Gifts.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us Pray: God, Who instructs the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that we may be truly wise in the same Spirit and ever rejoice in His consolation.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.


On Friday (January 6, 2017) evening the friars of Immaculate Heart of Mary Friary (Baltimore, MD) hosted our friars serving and studying from the Washington DC, Silver Spring MD Ellicott City MD and Baltimore MD friaries, for the extraction of patron saints and saying for the coming year. Following the extractions was a social and dinner. During the meal prayer the friars participated in the traditional oplatki (Christmas wafers) and shared a fond wish to one another for the coming 2017 year.

Jersey Shore Friars

On Sunday (January 8, 2017), our Jersey Shore Friars gathered for the annual Epiphany Extraction Liturgy which was also a farewell celebration for Friar Greg Spuhler, OFM Conv. (moving to Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary, in Pittsboro, NC) and Friar Phil Blaine, OFM Conv. (moving to a care center in Enfield, CT).

NY Friars and FrancisCorps

FrancisCorps volunteers joined our friars from the Syracuse area to celebrate the Solemnity of Epiphany with a sumptuous meal and a lot of laughs, while snow fell dutifully outdoors.


Our friars in the Shamokin, PA area celebrated a belated Epiphany celebration including the friary blessing (shown here with the “Chalking of the Door” by Friar Martin Kobos, OFM Conv.), a festive dinner and Epiphany Extraction service. Once again, the Friars of Mother Cabrini Friary also invited area Religious Sisters and other guests to join them for this year’s Epiphany and Extraction of Patron Saints celebration. Extractions took place following a delicious meal and desserts. The Wisdom of the Holy Spirit was most evident in who got which patron saint and scripture quote for 2017!