One day after being ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, archbishop of Atlanta, Friar Emmanuel Wenke, OFM Conv., celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Francis Church in Athol Springs, New York, on Aug. 16. Nearly 50 friars from Our Lady of the Angels Province also partook in the celebration. Friar Wenke’s father, Deacon Matt Wenke, served as deacon.
Minister Provincial Michael Heine, OFM Conv., served as concelebrant and homilist. “This morning we come together to celebrate our newest friar priest. Today we offer great thanksgiving to God.”
Friar Michael was Friar Emmanuel’s postulant director in 2012. “He has been open to the spirit, and has developed into a wonderfully mature, exemplary friar,” he said, and continued with this guidance: “Take time to reflect on the scriptures each day and let your homilies be the fruit of your prayer. Be a man of peace. As St. Francis said, make sure you always heal wounds, bind what is broken, and bring home what is lost.
“Being a friar priest is one of self-sacrifice and service. Always imitate what Jesus did the day before Good Friday. He washed the apostle’s feet. Manny, always be a foot washer. No task or assignment is below you. Do what no one else wants to do.”
After the Closing Prayer, Friar Emmanuel said, “Words of thanks for all of your support, for being present here. Following a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York, this Sunday (Aug. 20), Friar Emmanuel will join the faculty of Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore.