May Crownings 2021

Honoring Our Lady by crowing statues of her in our churches, schools, gathering spaces and outside areas, with a crown of flowers, has been a tradition in the Church for decades. The exact origin of this devotion can not be pinpointed, but honoring Mary in the month of May holds dear to our friars and our province ministries. Throughout the month, we have been sharing posts from our parishes and parish schools, as they celebrated May Crownings, onto our Province FaceBook page. Be sure to check it out to see more photos from around the province. These photos are from the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community, in Burlington, NC.

Checking in with the Novitiate

Top Row l-r: friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv. (OLA), friar Wayne Mulei, OFM Conv. (SJC), Assistant Director of the Novitiate – Fr. Maurice Richard, OFM Conv. (OLA), Minister Provincial of St. Bonaventure Province – the Very Reverend Fr. Michael Zielke, OFM Conv. (SB), Director of the Novitiate – Br. Joe Wood, OFM Conv. (SB), friar Jonathan García Zenteno, OFM Conv. (OLA) Bottom Row l-r: friar Michael Boes, OFM Conv. (OLA), friar Anthony Ruffolo, OFM Conv. (SB), and friar Bram De Backer, OFM Conv. (OLA)

The Minister Provincial of St. Bonaventure Province, the Very Reverend Fr. Michael Zielke, OFM Conv. spent time at the U.S.A. Provinces’ Novitiate, from May 4-11, 2021, to visit with the community there, cook several delicious meals for them, and meet with the community for the scrutiniums for the novices, as they prepare to end their Novitiate year; looking forward to profession of simple vows this Summer. {For our province, we will joyfully celebrate the Simple Vow Professions of friar Michael, friar Edgar, friar Jonathan and friar Bram, on July 29, 2021} It was a great time of fraternity, sharing many laughs and telling stories with Fr. Michael.
Please keep these six Novices in your continued prayers as they make final preparations for their Solemn (Simple/Temporary) Vow Professions. For more information on vocations, contact our Province Vocation Director, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. at or visit

Vocation Visits Going Strong

May 6, 2021: Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. ~ Province Vocation Director (4th from left) was invited to join the students served by Syracuse University Catholic Campus Ministry & Fr. Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv. ~ Campus Minister (center top) for the weekly Thursday Night Dinner after Evening Mass, in the SU Catholic Center.

With the recent lifting of travel and social gathering pandemic restriction protocols, our Vocation Director, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. has been able to return to his travels, visiting our province ministries and promoting vocations to our Order ~ specifically to our province. While in the Syracuse, NY area over Mother’s Day 2021 weekend, Br. Nick was invited to visit with the SU Campus Ministry and joined them for their weekly Thursday Night Dinner (above) in the Catholic Center. He also spoke at weekend Masses at our Syracuse, NY pastoral ministry of Assumption Church, and returned to the University to speak at the Sunday Liturgy, in the St. Thomas More Chapel (below).

While many restrictions have been lifted, several events continue to remain virtual. On May 1st, Br. Nick presented a reflection on the vocation of brother for the 2021 Religious Brothers Day Virtual Gathering, sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, National Religious Vocations Conference, Religious Brothers Conference and Religious Formation Conference.

For more information on Vocations,
visit or email Br. Nick at

News from Our Friars in Ireland

The friars of our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody, living in St. Francis Friary and serving in the Ferns Diocese (Wexford, Ireland) were asked by the Diocese to contribute an reflection for their evangelization website. The Wonder of God’s Creation in a Flower was recently published on the site, by Bro. Solanus Mary Simms, OFM Conv. 
Since June 2020, Bro. Solanus Mary has also been doing a half-hour radio program on the local radio station in Wexford.

More Postings by Bro. Solanus Mary:
A Vocation to the Religious Life

Season Opener ~ Saint Kateri National Shrine

Saturday, May 1, 2021 marked the season opener weekend (photos to come) for our Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site., including Masses celebrated by our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. Throughout the Summer Season (May 1 – October 31), services will be held in their outdoor Saint Maximilian Kolbe Pavilion, rain or shine. They will celebrate a 4:30 p.m. Vigil Mass on Saturday and a 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, every week. The Grounds are open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily with the Shrine Office open Friday through Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.. The Office is closed on Wednesday and Thursday. The Shrine also has a Gift Shop, open Friday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gift Shop is closed on Wednesday and Thursday. St. Peter’s Chapel and Native American Exhibit are also currently still closed, but the Candle Chapel, Outdoor Sanctuary, and Hiking Trails have remained open year-round, dawn to dusk, weather permitting. Summer Calendar

Note: You may have noticed the new logo featuring the iconic main building that welcomes visitors to the Shrine. This building reflects both the spiritual and cultural mission of the Shrine, as it houses both the Native American Museum and Saint Peter’s Chapel, named in honor of Saint Kateri’s place of baptism. The color purple acknowledges the Iroquois Confederacy; the people who lived on this site historically ~ Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s people.

Artist/Author Karla Korzach (at center) of soon-to-be-published St. Kateri Coloring Book, pictured with her husband Walter, and (left to right) St. Kateri National Shrine Director ~ Fr. Timothy Lyons, OFM Conv., renowned Algonquin member Terry Steele, Mrs. and Mr. Korzach, and our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv.

Year of St. Joseph Reflections

St. Joseph, Light of Patriarchs
Reflection by Our Lady of the Angels Province, Minister Provincial
The Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv.

St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
Reflection by Our Lady of the Angels Province, Vicar Provincial
Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv.

St. Joseph the Worker – Year of St. Joseph
Reflection by Our Lady of the Angels Province Friar and Assistant General of our Order of Friars Minor Conventual
Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.

The Example of St. Joseph
Reflection by President of Archbishop Curley High School
Fr. Donald Grzymski, OFM Conv.

The Prayer of Saint Joseph & St. Joseph – Guardian of Christ
Recited and Reflection by and our Province Vocation Director
Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv.

There are two Feast Days devoted to St. Joseph as an individual: March 19th is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary & May 1st is the Feast of St. Joseph, the Worker.  The shared Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is celebrated the Sunday after Christmas, each year. The March 19th Feast Day is the most commonly celebrated Feast Day of St. Joseph throughout the world. Although a remembrance of St. Joseph on March 19th goes back as far as the 10th century, March 19th was officially established a Feast Day by Pope Pius V in 1570. It was not until 1955 that Pope Pius XII established the second Feast Day on May 1st, as the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, coinciding with May Day – International Workers’ Day. During this Year of St. Joseph (December 8, 2020 – December 8, 2021), the faithful are also encouraged to remember St. Joseph on the 19th of each month and every Wednesday.
Reflections from Vatican News

Although it really can be started at any time, traditionally each year, on March 10th, many of the faithful begin a St. Joseph Novena. Many versions can be found online and it is also prayed after Mass in many parishes, from March 10th until March 18th. The online resources are a great way to join in prayer during these times of pandemic restrictive protocol.

Official Prayer of the Year of St. Joseph
To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. By that charity wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and wilt succor us in our need by thy power and strength.
Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, following thine example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

Composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam Pluries.

JPIC – Farm Focus

Last week we celebrated the feast day of Blessed Giles of Assisi, the patron of Little Portion Farm. Giles was a farmer and early follower of St. Francis. After grain had been harvested in the summer, Giles would walk the fields to glean what was leftover by the reapers, and then gave away almost all that he gathered to the poor.

Cardinal Gregory at Our Lady of Good Counsel

His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, the Archbishop of Washington, celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel (April 26) with a visit to Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Tom Lavin, OFM Conv. has served as Chaplain at the Olney, MD high school since August 2015.
Cardinal Gregory celebrated Mass alongside Friar Tom before taking a brief tour of the campus, visiting their grotto, and meeting some of the students. Due to COVID restrictions, the Mass was Livestreamed to all the classrooms and to the virtual students, at home.  A small group attended the Mass in person, as a representation of the greater school community.

Kevin Abdo -Director of Campus Ministry, Paul Barker -President, Cardinal Gregory, Fr. Tom Lavin, OFM Conv. -Chaplain, and Tom Campbell -Principal