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Brother James Amrhein, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony ~ October, 2019
My name is James Amrhein and I am a 78year-old Conventual Franciscan Religious Brother in the Province of Our Lady of Angels (USA). I am retired now and live with the friars at St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Syracuse, NY. I was born in Utica, NY, and I grew up in a wonderful Catholic family. My parents were very religious and led very good Catholic Christian lives. I learned about the Conventual Franciscans through my brother, Robert, who is a Conventual Franciscan priest in our Province. I entered the Order in September, 1959 at St. Joseph Cupertino Friary in Watertown, NY. It was the initial house of formation for Religious Brothers at the time. After my postulancy, I entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Middleburgh, NY where I professed my first vows in 1961 under the direction of my novice master +Fr. Celestine Regnier, OFM Conv. Some of my novitiate classmates are Friars John Burkhard, Mark Steed, Ed Handy and Nick Lorsen. Later, in 1964 I professed my solemn vows at our major seminary, St. Anthony-on-Hudson, Rensselaer, NY.
My first assignment as friar was at Canevin High School in Pittsburgh, PA where the Friars were teachers and administrators. Most recently, I was assigned as the director of the Food Pantry at Assumption Parish in Syracuse, NY. It was one of my “favorite” assignments because I think it was the most Franciscan of all my ministries!