Over the weekends of January 26-28 and February 2-4, 2019, our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. visited our province’s newest friary, the friars living in community there, as well as their ministry sites (Columbus, GA). Franciscan Martyrs Friary is home to five friars of our province: Fr. Robert Schlageter, OFM Conv. (pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church), Fr. Noel Danielewicz, OFM Conv. (pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Parish), Fr. Mark David Skura, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar at St. Anne Catholic Church), Fr. Bob Benko, OFM Conv. (pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and St. Mary Magdalen Mission), and Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar of St. Anne Catholic Church).
This friary, and our ministries served by the friars living there, are located in the Diocese of Savannah, GA. Fr. James was also able to take the opportunity to visit with another one of our friars living and serving there; Bishop of Savannah, The Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Besides being a guest of honor at the Diocese’s annual Deimel Legacy Ball at Fort Benning, Fr. James celebrated and preached at the principal liturgies in all three parishes (St. Anne Catholic Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, and St. Benedict the Moor Parish), as well as the small mission church of St. Mary Magdalen in Buena Vista.
Fr. James also celebrated Mass for the 730 students of St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School to mark the opening of Catholic Schools Week. Parishioners repeatedly expressed their gratitude for the reviving presence of the Franciscan Friars in their local churches.
Please note that Bishop Gregory has invited Fr. Bortolino Maistrello, OFM Conv. of the Basilica of St. Anthony (Padua, Italy) to the Diocese of Savannah to visit with two holy relics of Saint Anthony of Padua, from February 22 – March 3, 2019. One of the stops near the end of the tour is our pastoral ministry at St. Anne Catholic Church, on March 2nd. If you are in the area, our friars welcome and encourage you to visit. Clicko on the insert and follow to the link for more details.