September 25-27, 2019: Our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. traveled to celebrate with the Franciscan Friars Conventual of the newly established Province of St. Francis. The new borehole project there was funded by our province, in order to supply water for our Franciscan House of Studies in Lang’ata, Nairobi. Prior to its installation, for over six months, the 60 friars there had no water, as their well went dry at 93 meters. The newly installed borehole is now 400 meters.
While in Kenya, Friar James was able to visit the National Shrine of Our Lady, in Nakuru’s Subukia Sub-County. Administered by our Franciscans for over 10 years, the Shrine was the site of the September 26th inauguration celebration for the newly established Province of St. Francis – formerly a Custody of the Gdansk Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe (Poland). The Shrine is located about 4 hours northwest of Nairobi and was the site of most of the festivities. It is situated directly upon the Equator and also includes a small open-air mosaic chapel (photo insert at left) constructed by the Friars on the Equator line. Friar James was honored to be invited to speak at the Province’s Inaugural Mass and give a toast at the reception.
Also in attendance from our province was Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. Friar Marek was formerly a friar of the Gdansk Province who served as one of their early missionaries in Kenya. Friar Marek is now a friar of our province, serving as Parochial Vicar at our St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church pastoral ministry in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
Fr. Jerzy Auguścik, OFM Conv., a friar ad tempus of the Gdansk Province, serving in pastoral ministry for our province, as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish (Coal Township), Mother Cabrini Catholic Church (Shamokin), and St. Patrick Parish (Trevorton) joined in the celebrations as well, as did Our Lady of the Angels Province friar and Assistant General of our Order (CFF), Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.