Upcoming Presbyteral Ordination of Friar Emmanuel

On August 15, 2023, the Feast of the Assumption, our province looks forward to a much-anticipated Presbyteral Ordination of Friar Emmanuel Wenke, OFM Conv.

Friars of our Order – Franciscan Friars Conventual (OFM Conv.) – around the world spend many years in preparation and formation before professing the solemn vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Solemnly professed friars include friar brothers and friar priests. For those who have discerned to live out their Franciscan Vocation as a friar priest, the formation journey toward ordination includes several years of continued study after Solemn Profession. For Friar Emmanuel, after serving our province as a solemnly professed friar brother for two years, working as an instructor in high school ministry, he discerned to continue formation in study for the priesthood, spending September 2020 – January 2023 in Theological Studies in Canada. In December 2022, he was ordained a Transitional Deacon, at our Syracuse, NY pastoral ministry ~ The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, where continues to serve (as seen below while celebrating his first baptism).

A little more on Friar Emmanuel: His life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual began, in 2012. At that time, our Province Postulancy was located in the St. Joseph Cupertino Friary, above The Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD). The Postulancy, now located in the St. Bonaventure Friary (Chicago, IL) is the first formal stage of formation. There, Friar Emmanuel lived, worked and studied in Ellicott City with his formators: Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. and Br. Daniel Geary, OFM Conv., as well as thirteen more friars residing in the two friaries located on the Ellicott City, MD complex: several senior friars, friars in active local ministry, postulants and our province friar leadership. On July 4, 2013, Friar Emmanuel was “blessed and sent forth” to the next stage of formation, known as the Novitiate, which was located at the time in Mishawaka, IN. It is now in Arroyo Grande, CA. Twenty days after his arrival, on July 24, 2013, he was clothed in the habit of our Order at the Rite of Investiture, at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, in Marytown, Libertyville, IL, a ministry of our confreres of the St. Bonaventure Province, in the Midwest USA.

After his time of formation as a Novice, under the guidance of his formators – Fr. Giles Zakowicz, OFM Conv. & Br. Paschal Kolodziej, OFM Conv., Friar Emmanuel professed First (aka Simple/Temporary) Vows as a Franciscan Friar Conventual, on July 25, 2014 (see at left that day with two of his classmates, Br. Paul Martin Becka, OFM Conv. and Fr. Colin Mary Edwards, OFM Conv. – both of our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody). He then moved into our Province’s Post Novitiate stage of formation, in the St. Bonaventure Friary Post Novitiate (Silver Spring, MD), with seven other student friars and their formators: Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv., Br. Jim Moore, OFM Conv. and senior friar in residence, Fr. John Burkhard, OFM Conv.

During his years there, in addition to discerning to serve as a friar brother, he continued his studies at the Catholic University of America, in Washington DC, graduating on May 13, 2017, with a B.A. in Theology & Religious Studies, as well as a Certificate of Pastoral Ministry (seen at right as a CUA student). Just a few months later, during his summer assignment assisting with our Senior Friars in our Immaculate Conception Friary, in Rensselaer, NY, the then Friary Guardian, Fr. Tony Kall, OFM Conv. received Friar Emmanuel’s Renewal of Temporary Vows, during a service during which several members of Friar Emmanuel’s family were able to participate. In August 2017, Friar Emmanuel moved to our Immaculate Heart of Mary Friary, in Baltimore, MD and was assigned to Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore, MD, where he serves as a Theology Instructor. He was Solemnly Professed in September of 2018 (see below) and continued to serve the students of our Baltimore high school ministry, until discerning to continue with God’s Call to the Priesthood.

Continue to pray for Friar Emmanuel during these last months
before his August 15, 2023 Presbyteral Ordination.


For more information on vocations, visit FranciscanVoice.org or email our Province Vocation Directors, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. and Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. at vocations@olprovince.org.

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