Celebrating Vocations with Fr. James

These past months, our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (pictured top right) has been traveling throughout our province and beyond, visiting with our friars, fostering vocations and serving the needs of the province and the Order at large.

In addition, he just conducted an October 29 – November 3, 2018 retreat for the Franciscan Sister Servants of the Eternal Word in Irondale, Alabama (EWTN).  While there, Friar James was also able to meet with the Minister Provincial of India’s St. Maximilian Kolbe Province, the Very Reverend Fr. Leo Payyappilly, OFM Conv. (pictured top left) who drove from Kentucky to Alabama for a meeting. Several friars from India’s Province work and live with our friars, including Fr. Saviour Karamvelil, OFM Conv. who resides in our St. André Bessette Friary (Ottawa, ON – Canada) while serving as a Catholic Hospital Chaplain for the Archdiocese of Ottawa, as well as Fr. Albert Puliyadan, OFM Conv. who resides in our SS. Francis and Clare Friary (Washington DC, USA) while serving as Associate Chaplain for Liturgy and Worship for The Catholic University of America – Campus Ministry Office.

The friars of our Province work in communion with other Provinces around the world. There are friars serving in our ministries from the Philippines, Romania, Bolivia, Kenya, Poland, Ghana and South Korea. Our friars are also often afforded the opportunity to meet Religious from many other Orders serving with or near our own ministries. During this recent retreat with the Franciscan Sister Servants of the Eternal Word (a Third Order Franciscan Community), Friar James also enjoyed visiting with their chaplain. Soon to be 102 years old, Dominican Friar – Fr. Lambert Greenen, OP (pictured at left with Friar James) was born on January 11, 1917, in Northern Ireland. He and his brothers served as altar boys in their local parish, staffed by the Irish Province of the Dominican Order. Fr. Lambert join them in 1933, celebrated his first profession in 1934, was joined in the Order by his brother +Fr. Clement in 1937, and was ordained a priest on September 29, 1940. This year he celebrated his 78th Ordination Anniversary.
After World War II, Fr. Lambert was sent to study or his doctorate in Canon Law at the Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano, in Rome. Returning to Ireland, he taught for many years in the Dominican Studium in St. Saviour’s Dublin. He then served as Prior to St. Malachy in Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland until after Vatican II, when the Irish Provincial was asked to provide an English speaking friar to establish and edit the proposed English weekly edition of L’Osservatore Romano. Fr. Lambert took on the task as the first editor of the English language edition of the Vatican newspaper (1968). In November of 1990 the weekly editions switched to computerized technology and in 2010 received a new editorial system, permitting the more rapid preparation of material. In his final years in Rome Fr. Lambert became friends with Mother Angelica and her EWTN mission. As he was no longer serving as editor of L’Osservatore Romano, she invited him to travel to the USA for the first time and while there (1997) he began working with and as chaplain for the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word. This community has proven to be a welcoming home to Fr. Lambert.

During this 2018 National Vocations Awareness Week, we hope to celebrate all vocations and encourage more people to say “YES!” to God’s Call.
If you feel you may be called to serve God as a friar brother or friar priest of our Order, please contact our Province Vocation Director, Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.

Franciscan Friars Vocation Office
223 Bedford Avenue #306
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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