Episcopal Ordination of Friar Dominique Mathieu, OFM Conv.

On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., Friar Dominique Joseph Mathieu, OFM Conv., the current Assistant General for the Centralis Europae Foederatio (CEF) will be ordained a bishop by the imposition of hands and consecratory prayer of His Eminence, Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. The ceremony will take place at the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome.

Virtual Invitation to Youth on Vocations

Sixteen-year-old Joseph Pontisso, a Grade 11 student at Mary Mother of God School in Toronto, was touched by the personal testimony of Friar Tim Blanchard, a Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Conventual brother who studied at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The 23-year-old Blanchard, who served in Toronto for part of 2020, impressed Pontisso by how he handled the search for a life purpose in high school.
“I was particularly moved when Friar Tim mentioned the fact that he had very high aspirations through high school,” said Pontisso. “As a high school student myself concentrating very hard on my academics, I found it inspiring that he was able to find his vocation to religious life even though he had originally been focused on other things.”

Missionary Vocation

The General Secretariat for Mission Animation (SGAM) of our Curia is working to use new media resources to share news about our Order’s Mission Efforts. One of the new presentations is a multipart installment on the Curia’s website, under the title of “Missionary Vocation – The Mission of St. Francis of Assisi and the First Friar.”

Click on the image & description to read each new installment presented by
Friar Dariusz Mazurek, OFM Conv. – General Delegate for Mission Animation:

1. General characteristics of pastoral ministry in St. Francis’ day.

2. Invitation to Preaching


More information can be found here.

Pasta and Penance with Padre

Over the weekend of February 6/7, 2021, Syracuse University, including SU Catholic Chaplain – Our Lady of the Angels Province friar: Fr Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv., welcomed students back to campus to begin the Spring Semester, two weeks later than usual. Returning also was an SU Catholic tradition, begun by students in the Fall Semester, called Pasta and Penance with Padre. After Sunday Mass, one of the students asked if he could bring the pasta. His choice: Strozzapreti (aka priest-choker) pasta. For a little levity, the students decided to dramatize the name of the pasta for the others (at right). They ate like “real” Italians, standing in the kitchen, so as to stay socially distanced (above). Those not participating in Penance after lunch are always on clean-up and dish-duty!

February at The Shrine of St. Anthony

Although February is a short month, it is a rich month for the faithful.
Fr. Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv. ~ Province Secretary, Spiritual Director of the Companions of St. Anthony, and Rector/Director of The Shrine of St. Anthony on:

Candlemas ~ Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, is celebrated in the Church each February 2nd. It is a tradition on this Feast Day to have candles blessed, symbolizing Christ; the Light of the World. We celebrate the Presentation in remembrance of the rite of purification and dedication of Jesus at the Temple, by Joseph and Mary, 40 days after his birth. At the Presentation, Simeon proclaimed Jesus as the Christ – “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” We faithful reflect on the Light of Christ through the tradition of having candles blessed at Mass, which we will then use throughout the year, at a special Mass called Candlemas.

Those in consecrated life are especially called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all, and in 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life to be celebrated on the Feast of the Presentation. In parishes, the celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the Sunday following the February 2nd Feast Day, in order to highlight the gift of consecrated life with the whole Church. Please pray for all those in consecrated life, especially our friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province, for the strength to continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and to always respond generously to God’s gift of VOCATION.

Special Masses will be celebrated throughout our province, on February 2nd and on the weekend of February 6&7, including Noon Mass on Tuesday, February 2nd, in our Chapel at The Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD). Uniquely, The Shrine also has an on-site gift shop where candles will be for sale prior to Mass. Bad weather is predicted for the area. The shop is fully stocked now, so it may be a good idea to purchase your candles early. Be sure to call ahead before you come to Mass, if the weather is questionable. The St. Anthony Shop is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and can be reached by calling 410-531-2800.

Almighty ever-living God,
we humbly implore Your majesty that,
just as Your Only Begotten Son was presented
on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh,
so, by Your grace,
we may be presented to You with minds made pure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Many of your have heard of and know of the sacrificial love of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. Take a moment to listen to the story of another Martyr of Charity, who was also a Franciscan Friar Conventual. Servant of God ~ Fr. Placido Cortese, OFM Conv. was kidnapped, tortured and killed because of his help of those persecuted by the Nazi’s.
January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Take a moment to listen to Friar Placido’s story presented by Fr. Mario Conte, OFM Conv., the Executive Editor of the “Messenger of Saint Anthony” magazine.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Prayer:
Loving God, we come to You with heavy hearts, remembering the eleven million Jewish & non-Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust. Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us. In Your Light, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine. Help us know the courage to face the darkness. Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over hate and good will triumph over evil. Amen
St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. ~ Pray for Us!
Servant of God Placido Cortese, OFM Conv. ~ Pray for Us!
If you want to know more about discerning life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual,
contact Br. Nick at vocations@olaprovince.org.

The Servants of God & Venerable Friars of our Order

Our Order’s Office of General Postulation has produced a series of biographical articles about the Servants of God, Venerable Friars, Blessed Friars of our Order, with the intention of making these figures better known to the friars and those who visit the website of the Curia of our Order, and to give greater glory to God for what He has accomplished through them, what He can accomplish through us as we are encouraged to follow in their footsteps and ask for their powerful intercession. A short biography has been presented, including the current status of the person’s cause.

So far, these biographies have been presented:

Be sure to check back on the Order’s website site for the last instalments.

We ask all these brothers and sisters to assist us on the journey that the Lord Jesus has called us to undertake, so we may live it more fully.