friar Franck Lino Sokpolie, OFM Conv. ~ While still a full time student at The Catholic University of America (CUA-Washington DC), part of his friar formation includes serving as the Youth & Young Adult Minister of our Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, MD.
Born in Lome, Togo, friar Franck immigrated to the United States with his family, in 2006. Before professing Simple Vows as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels, he was studying, philosophy, political science and foreign languages. After visiting many Orders, friar Franck felt called to the Conventuals as he experienced our ministries, spirituality and community lifestyle. He enjoys reading, learning, and the outdoors, is very devoted to Our Lady and is fascinated by the lives of the Saints.
Message from friar Franck: “All is well here in the St. Bonaventure Friary – House of Studies (Silver Spring, MD) and the student friars send our greetings. As we are all gearing up for final exams, please keep us in your prayers.”
On the 16th of October, the end of the year of celebrating the 100th Anniversary of establishment of the Militia of the Immaculata (MI), a special Mass was offered at our Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD). The friars serving there also initiated a successful general meeting for all those interested in becoming members of the MI. The already established Washington DC – Mission Immaculatae Capital 16670 Village (young adults) was invited to extent its territory to include members through our Shrine of St Anthony.
On a crisp evening, Friday – October 19th, the Shrine hosted a bonfire gathering, with youth and young adult participants from Washington DC (especially CUA), Baltimore, Ellicott City and other surrounding areas, including some student friars from Silver Spring. Among those enjoying the event were Shrine Director – Fr. Eric and Our Lady of the Angels Province’s newest Solemnly Professed friar, Br. Emmanuel “Manny” Wenke, OFM Conv., who was able to take a bit of a break from his busy schedule teaching at Archbishop Curly High School, in Baltimore. The friars counted 25 young adults in attendance and ended the evening with night prayer in the Shrine’s Chapel. It was truly a great night for the books.
The Shrine’s first Taizé night was held on November 19th and it was very beautiful. The chapel was certainly not empty, and the prayer service went really well. Again, people came from all over the area. In addition to our Conventual friars on hand, some OFM Postulants made the drive from Silver Spring, as did some of our Capuchin brothers from Washington DC. The schola was filled with students from CUA, including several friars from our house of studies. Participants also included attendees from Archbishop Curley High School, as well as friar Franck’s brother, nephew and sister-in-law traveling from Richmond, VA.
Adding to the joy of the event, on the following day, Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, was able to personally bless our Taizé Cross, on his visit to the Shrine. Another Taizé night is in the works for Lent 2019. We will keep you posted.