As part of a Four-Year Plan, the friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province drafted a vision statement which included priorities such as Fraternity, Ministry, JPIC Culture, Vocations, Senior Friars, Our Custodies, and in turn, objectives to enact through the work of our varied Commissions and Initiatives.
In accordance with two of the objectives for Senior Friars, in order to provide both the care of our elder friars and their continued inclusion in the fraternal life of our Province, our Senior Friars Commission requested that those friars share Spiritual Testaments, in their own words.
Each week, check back for a new reflection.
Fr. Richard Rossell, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony September, 2019
My name is Richard Rossell. I am 85-year-old and a retired member of the Conventual Franciscan friars of Our Lady of Angels Province (USA). Right now, I am missioned as the Guardian of St. Peter Friary in Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ. I am from Trenton, NJ. My mother Marcella and my father Ralph taught me and my brothers Robert, Ralph, Ronald and Roger how to be persons who loved God and His blessed Mother. They were wonderful parents who worked very hard for our family. I was taught by the Franciscan friars at the legendary Trenton Catholic High School. It was a great experience and I got to know many of the friars.
I entered the Franciscan Order in 1952 at our seminary on Staten Island and then completed my novitiate in Middleburg, NY in 1955 and professed my first vows as a friar in 1955. The deceased +Fr. Celestine Regnier was my novice master. My solemn profession followed in 1958. After completing all my studies at our seminary, St. Anthony-on-Hudson, Rensselaer, NY, I was ordained on May 27, 1961 at the Cathedral in Albany, NY. +Father Canice Connors, Andy Dural and Joe Laufer were my classmates.
My first assignment as friar-priest was to return to my high school (Trenton Catholic) where I was a high school teacher but my ‘favorite’ assignment was and is right here at St. Peter Parish and Friary in Pt. Pleasant, NJ…a wonderful town and such good people! I also remember the wonderful people at Canevin High School in Pittsburgh, PA where I also tough high school and one of my students who died of cancer. That was tough.
I have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and love the “Hail Mary.”
I would encourage anyone considering a vocation to our Order and Province to “pray and be open to the Holy Spirit.”
And to our current student friars: “Please trust in God and His Blessed Mother and be grateful for all of God’s gifts.”