Fall Friars Days 2019

During the Fall Friars Day, on October 15th, our Vicar Provincial Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. took the opportunity to bless one of the newest friaries of our province; the Franciscan Martyrs Friary, in Columbus, GA.

Friars Day – What is It?
Each year, during the Spring and Fall, the friars of the Our Lady of the Angels Province gather for a day of on-going formation and fraternity. Because of the tremendous geographical distance among the friars there are generally four planned days: metro-Baltimore, Western New York, Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and either Georgia or North Carolina.  Topics for each gathering are planned in advance.  This Fall’s topic is Forming Intentional Disciples, with presenter: Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute.

The Fall Friars Days 2019 Schedule

October 8, 2019
Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT
 October 10, 2019
St. Francis Friary, Syracuse, NY
 October 15, 2019
Franciscan Martyrs Friary, Columbus, GA
October 17, 2019
St. Casimir Friary, Baltimore, MD

Consecration to the Immaculate


Parish Community of St. John the Apostle, Kingston, ON Canada

Over Canada’s Thanksgiving Weekend of October 12-13, 2019, the Friars of St. Anthony Friary, in Kingston, Ontario ~ Fr. James Fukes, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian and Pastor of Holy Family Parish, as well as Chaplain of Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School), Fr. Edward Debono, OFM Conv. (Chaplain of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul), and Fr. David Collins, OFM Conv. (Pastor of the Parish Community of St. John the Apostle, as well as Chaplain for Kinston General Hospital) warmly received Friar Jobe to the tenth stop on our M.I Initiative Tour of our pastoral ministries.
On this tenth stop on our Province M.I Initiative Tour, in keeping with the weekend, along with the leper and Naaman the Syrian, those celebrating Mass together at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church gave thanks to God especially for our faith and for the Virgin Most Faithful, the Immaculate Conception. All three Mases were well attended and with many M.I. enrollment among the parishioners. In the photo is a sampling of the parishioners of St. John the Apostle along with Friar David (center), and Friar Jobe (two to his left). Between them is pictured Fr. Varghese Puthenpurackal, OFM Conv. who arrived in Canada two weeks ago from India. He is assigned to our St. André Bessette Friary, with Friar Jobe, to serve as Chaplain for Ottawa’s Queensway Carleton Hospital. This was his first time visiting our Kingston parish and friary.

+Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv.

+Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv. was born on September 7, 1919 in Nowe Kramsko, Poland and he died on October 11, 2019 at Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT.   He was the third child of Stanisław and Victoria (Tomiak) Królikowski. He leaves his Franciscan family and many family members and assorted friends in Poland, Canada, and the United States. At the time of his death he was 100 years old and the oldest Conventual Friar in the world.
Fr. Łucjan’s long Franciscan life began in 1934, when he entered the Franciscan Friar Conventual Seminary located on the grounds of the world’s largest friary in Niepokalanów, Poland. Its guardian was Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, a future saint, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II. Fr. Łucjan completed his high school at the seminary and later made his Novitiate in Niepokalanów (City of the Immaculate) professing his Simple Vows on August 29, 1939, with Fr. Maximilian Kolbe present. He made his Solemn Vows on July 14, 1945 in Beirut, Lebanon and was Ordained to the Priesthood on June 30, 1946, at the Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (Lebanon), by the late +Archbishop Rémy-Louis Leprêtre, O.F.M., was serving as Apostolic Delegate to Syria at the time. He completed his Philosophy studies in 1939 from the University of Lwow. He received an S.T.B. (Theology), from Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, in 1946.
While preparing to begin his theological studies in June of 1940, Fr. Łucjan was arrested by the Russian police (NKVD, later named the KGB) and was deported to a concentration camp in eastern Ukraine.  He was liberated from the concentration camp and later joined the Polish army. completing Artillery School for Cadet Officers in Uzbekistan. He was moved with the Polish army to Iraq in 1942. Since the army needed chaplains, he began his theological studies in 1943 in Beirut. Returning to the army after ordination to the priesthood, Fr. Łucjan served the VIII General Military Hospital in El-Qantara el-Sharqîya, Egypt. After demobilization in 1947 he became the high school prefect in the Polish Refugee camp in Tengeru, near Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. With a civilian population of 4,000 (half of whom were children) Fr. Łucjan volunteered to accompany these orphans through Europe and onto Canada which became their permanent home. Once in Montréal, Fr. Łucjan started placing children in French schools through the Province of Quebec. His first book, “Stolen Childhood,” recounts these unusual experiences and travels with the children.
During his ministerial life, Fr. Łucjan served as Associate Pastor, Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Montréal, Canada (1958-1964). From 1964-1966 he was the Guardian and Pastor, Our Lady of Czestochowa Friary and Church, Montréal, Canada He became the Secretary of the Fr. Justin Rosary Hour (the longest running radio show in Polish outside of Poland), Athol Springs, New York, USA from 1966-1998. Accepting a new ministry in 1999 he was the Parochial Vicar, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, Chicopee, MA until 2009. In 2009 Fr Łucjan continued his life’s work as Confessor and Spiritual Advisor, St. Hyacinth Friary, in Chicopee. In 2016 he was moved to Confessor – Spiritual Advisor, Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT where he continued to be in contact with his many family members and friends until his death on October 11, 2019, after a brief time on hospice.

Fr. Łucjan has authored 5 books, and has written hundreds of talks for Fr. Justin Rosary Hour:

  1. Skradzione Dzieciństwo: Polskie dzieci na tułaczym szlaku 1939-1950,  [Also translated into English with title Stolen childhood]
  2. Pamiętnik sybiraka i tułacza [Also translated into English with the title A Franciscan Odyssey]
  3. Miłość mi wszystko wyjaśniła: Przygody ducha
  4. Modlitwy chorych [2 volumes]
  5. Abba – Ojcze: Przemyslenia Sybiraka i Tulacza

Fr. Łucjan has been awarded and honored by:

  1. The Polonia Restituta (The Merit Cross of the knight of Liberated Poland) 1961
  2. Veterans Gold Cross by the Polish Combatant of Canada (1969)
  3. Meritorious Gold Medal from the Polish Canadian Congress for his works on behalf of Canadian Polonia (1974)
  4. In November 11, 2007 he was honored at the Presidential Belvidere Palace in Warsaw for his efforts in saving orphaned children after World War II, The Third-Degree Award Komandozski Cross of Polonia Resituta Ozdea.
  5. Honored by the European Veterans Conference (1972)
  6. He received the highest degrees of the Scout movement, Harcerz Rzeczpospolitej
  7. In September 2019 he was given a certificate from the President of Poland at a Mass in New Britain, CT.

Fr. Łucjan will lie in state at Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, 566 Front St., Chicopee, MA 01013, on Monday, October 14, 2019, from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m., concluding with a Franciscan Transitus Servic,e at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, October 15, 2019 a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., at the Basilica. Interment will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Chicopee, MA and Memorial Donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Funeral arrangements are by Kozikowski Funeral Home, Chicopee, MA.

From the Curia

Spiritual Testament ~ Friar Jude

Each week, check back for a new reflection.

Father Jude Surowiec, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony ~ July, 2019
My name is Jude Surowiec I am a 71 years-old Conventual Franciscan Priest in the Our Lady of Angels Province (USA). I am in residence at St. Hyacinth Friary in Chicopee, MA and am a professor at Holy Apostle’s College in Cromwell, CT . I was born on May 1, 1948 in Detroit, MI and I am primarily of Polish descent. I have one sister, one brother and many nieces and nephews. The parish where I grew up was very instrumental in helping me to get to know the Friars and my Uncle was a member of the Franciscans (St. Anthony Province at that time). I later attended St. Francis High School in Hamburg, NY which is staffed by the Conventual Friars so I knew the community very well.
I entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Ellicott City, MD in August, 1966 and professed my first vows under the direction of my novice master +Fr. Dominic Slemba, OFM Conv. Friars in my class Martin Kobos, Vincent Vivian, Noel Danielewicz and Paul Miskiewicz. Several of my classmates are deceased. I professed my solemn vows on August 15, 1970 in Granby, MA.
I was ordained a Franciscan priest in Rome, Italy on June 29, 1975 after completing my studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. I later was assigned to teach at our seminary, St. Anthony-on-Hudson, Rensselaer, NY and I consider teaching my favorite assignment/ministry.
Various texts in Sacred Scripture come to mind when asked if I have a favorite prayer or devotion, so I would have to say Romans 8: 36-39 and Philippians 3: 7-16.
For those considering a vocation to our Order and Province I would say: “Reflect upon the ‘signs’ that the Lord provides for you in your life’s journey. It will help you discern where the Lord in leading you.”
And to our student friars: “Be open to the guidance of the Spirit – reorganize your gifts and talents and be willing to share them with others.”

Canadian Delegation Celebrates Patron

(Left to Right): Fr. Varghese (Lijo) Puthenpurackal, OFM Conv., Fr. Dennis Mason, OFM Conv., Fr. Peter Knaapen, OFM Conv., Fr. James Fukes, OFM Conv., Fr. David Collins, OFM Conv., Br. Tom Purcell, OFM Conv., Fr. Mark Steed, OFM Conv., Fr. Boniface Reinhart, OFM Conv., Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv., Fr. Dominic Lim, OFM Conv. and Fr. Ed Debono, OFM Conv. (Photo Cred: Fr. Saviour Karamvelil, OFM Conv.

October 4, 2019: The friars of our Province Delegation of St. Francis of Assisi gathered for a concelebrated Mass followed by a festive dinner, to celebrate their 1st Patron Feast Day as our Canadian Delegation – erected on February 14, 2019. All the friars of the Delegation were at the dinner, however Friar Saviour is not in the pictures because he was the day’s photographer. The three friaries are part of our Canadian Delegation are home to twelve friars: St. André Bessette Friary (Ottawa, ON), St. Anthony Friary (Kingston, ON) and the hosting friary of the day – St. Bonaventure Friary (Toronto, ON).

20th Anniversary ~ The Franciscan Place

On Friday, October 11, 2019, The Franciscan Place will celebrate 20 years of ministry, as a Chapel and Religious Gift Shoppe, in the Destiny USA mall, in Syracuse, NY.
If you are in, or find yourself in, the Syracuse area take a moment to visit this unique and peace filled ministry of The Franciscan Church of the Assumption.  Open most days until 6:00 p.m., with Daily Mass celebrated Monday – Friday, Reconciliation opportunities, Friday Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and some time to pray the Rosary with other visitors after the Wednesday afternoon Mass.
For detailed hours of operation or if you have any questions, call 315-471-9511.


Spiritual Testament ~ Friar Boniface

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.

Father Boniface Reinhart, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony ~ September, 2019

Greetings everyone! My name is Boniface Reinhart and I am a 92 years old member of the Our Lady of Angels Province (USA). I am retired now and reside at St. Bonaventure Friary in Toronto, Canada, and am happy to say that my ministry is prayer!
I was born on September 19, 1927 in Breslau, Ontario, Canada to wonderfully holy and devote Catholic parents. I was the 10 and last child of this family and we have always been very close all of our lives. When I was growing up, my mother was a subscriber of the “Companion” magazine, a publication of the Conventual Franciscan Friars. I read the magazine and saw the vocation notification and so I contacted Fr. Celestine Regnier and that was the beginning of my vocation story.
In September, 1945 I entered the Franciscan Minor Seminary which was on Staten Island at that time. Later (1948), I entered the novitiate which was in Cohoes, NY. My novice master was +Fr. Engelbert Eichenlaub, OFM Conv. We had a big class of novices but not all were professed at the end of the year. Some of my classmates were: +Otto Fouser, +Fermin Finn, +Camillus Murray, +Charles Nelipowitz, +Longinus Lynch. We professed our Simple vows on August 21, 1949 and our Solemn Vows on October 4, 1952.
I completed my studies for the priesthood at our Seminary (Collegio Serafico) in Rome, Italy and I was ordained in Rome on July 4, 1954. I returned to the States and was first assigned as a parochial vicar at St. Francis Parish in Hoboken, NJ.
I too have had many different assignments but one of my ‘favorite’ assignments was at St. John’s parish in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I was the first Franciscan to be pastor there so it was challenging but very, very rewarding. I have so many good stories of all of my assignments, I couldn’t begin to recount them all. I just know that I have been blessed.
My favorite prayer/devotion is praying the rosary daily. It has always been my favorite devotion.
I would like to say to any young person considering a Franciscan vocation that I have always been content with my decisions and assignments and living in community with others has been a great support to my vocation. And I would say to our current student friars: study St. Francis! In today’s world we cannot live exactly like he did but we can with the grace of God live the same spirit! And growing older…the older you get, the more you learn of God’s love for us and you appreciate it.

Honoring Fr. Briant Cullinane, OFM Conv.

On the evening of Friday, October 4, 2019, before the people of our pastoral ministry of  Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community (Burlington, NC) celebrated the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, this beautiful work of art, a large Franciscan oriented cedar wood bas-relief, carved in Mexico and brought to the USA by parishioners, was revealed and dedicated in the gathering space in honor of the ministry of Fr. Briant Cullinane, OFM Conv., and his 60th Jubliee of his Ordination as a Franciscan Priest. Friar Briant, who had also served as pastor at the parish from 1999-2001, has been in residence there since 2010. Now 88 years old, Friar Briant is their Pastor Emeritus, where he remains a well loved presence in the life of the parish.
The community welcomed our Minister Provincial, the Very Rev. Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., who gave the blessing and dedication, as well as presided and preached at the Liturgy. Several of Friar Briant’s confreres were there to join in the celebration, including those who reside in the Blessed Sacrament Friary with him: Fr Vincent Robino, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian & Parochial Vicar at Blessed Sacrament), Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Blessed Sacrament), and Fr. Peter Tremblay, OFM Conv. (Associate Chaplain for Catholic Life – Elon University Campus Ministry). Also there to honor Friar Briant ~ from neighboring Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary (Pittsboro), Br. Raymond Sobocinski, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian) and Fr. Julio Martinez, OFM Conv. (Pastor of St. Julia Catholic Church, Siler City) ~ from St. Anthony of Padua Friary, Fr. Bill Robinson, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar & Associate Campus Minister – Newman Catholic Student Center Parish at UNC Chapel Hill), Fr. Bart Karwacki, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Durham) ~ from Our Lady of the Angels Friary, Fr. Joseph Angelini, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian & Pastor Emeritus at Our Lady of Mercy, Winston-Salem) and Fr. Carl Zdancewicz, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy).

Friar James & Friar Briant unveil the new work of art.



St. Francis Feast Day Festivities

For Franciscans, the Feast Day of St. Francis is not limited to just October 4th. This year, we celebrated Transitus on October 3rd at many of our different ministries. We started Blessing Animals last weekend and will continue at different ministries throughout the week. We celebrated special Liturgies in our parishes, parish schools,  in our high schools, univeristy ministries and shrines on October 4th’s actual Feast Day of St. Francis.

In addition to these “standard” activities, celebrations, prayer services and liturgies, we often gather together with other Franciscan communities to share in fellowship. On October 2nd, our friars of St. Mark Friary, in Boynton Beach, FL shared a meal with eleven Franciscan Sister. These friars serve in pastoral ministry at St. Mark Catholic Church: Fr. Daniel Fink, OFM Conv. (pastor), Fr. Richard Florek, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), Fr. Germain Kopaczynski, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), and Fr. Joseph Dorniak, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar).

Friar Germain enjoyed his time with the sisters.

Friar Joe and Friar Richard sharing a delicious meal with the sisters.