Friar Marvin Paul Fernandez, Friar Vincent Mary Ouly, make simple profession of vows

“In the Church’s tradition, religious profession is considered to be a special and fruitful deepening of the consecration received in Baptism …”
~ Vita Consecrata #30

Friar Connor Ouly (from l-r), Minister Provincial Michael Heine, and Friar Marvin Paul Fernandez outside The Shrine of St. Anthony.

Friar Michael Heine, OFM Conv., minister provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province, received the simple profession of vows from Friar Vincent Mary Ouly, OFM Conv., and Friar Marvin Paul Fernandez, OFM Conv.,on July 21, at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Md. The Rite of Profession marked the end of the first year of their novitiate.

“It is an exciting day for Our Lady of the Angels Province,” said Minister Provincial Friar Michael Heine, OFM Conv. “Two friars who are saying ‘yes’ to their vocation as Franciscan Friars bring new life and vitality into the province. Just as Saint Francis was called to rebuild the Lord’s Church, so too are these two friars who help rebuild by living the Gospel life!

Friar Fernandez and Friar Ouly will now enter the post novitiate phase of their formation. They have enrolled in the pre-theology program at Catholic University of America.

“Two friars who are saying ‘yes’ to their vocation as Franciscan Friars bring new life and vitality into the province,” said Minister Provincial Friar Michael Heine.

More than 50 friars were in attendance and took part in a fraternal embrace with Friars Ouly and Fernandez following their solemn profession of “obedience without anything of my own and in chastity.” The two friars signed the Book of Profession and had their unknotted cords which are worn around the waste replaced with a cord with three knots symbolizing their vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity. They also were given a copy of the Rule, the fundamental law for Conventual Franciscans.

Reflecting on his simple profession, Friar Ouly said, “This day for me is strengthening of the relationship between myself and Jesus Christ in the Family of St. Francis.” Friar Fernandez added, “It is a blessing and a grace to take the vow and to be part of the bigger Franciscan order.”

About 90 young people from Baltimore, Siler City, N.C., Atlanta, Jonesboro, Ga., Buffalo, and Olean, N.Y., were also in attendance as they started their Assisi by the Chesapeake retreat which was led by the friars..

Fr. Fernandez grew up in Laoag City in the Philippines’ Ilocos Norte province and is now a Canadian citizen. He was a nursing assistant, cook, and manager of nursing assistants at a Senior Living Center before pursuing his vocation. He said he was inspired by the friars in his parish to enter the Franciscan Friars Conventual. His from Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Ottawa, Ontario (Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall).

Friar Fernandez kneels at the feet of Friar Michael Heine.

Fr. Ouly is from Prince of Peace Parish in Steelton, Penn. (Diocese of Harrisburg). He studied voice/opera at the Juilliard School in Ne. York City. His vocation was driven by the Conventuals dedication to serving the poorest of the poor in simple but necessary ways in parishes, schools, and hospitals.

“By religious profession the friars publicly commit themselves to live the Gospel in fraternity and minoritas … the friars recognize that they have received the grace from God the Father to follow Christ in his chaste, poor, and obedient way of life. They dedicate themselves entirely to God and bring their baptismal consecration to a particular fulfillment.”

~ Constitutions, 4.1, 9.1

A joyous day for Friar Marvin Paul Fernandez and his family.

The family of Friar Vincent Mary Ouly shared this special day with him at The Shrine of St. Anthony.

Church of Buffalo holds Memorial Mass for Fr. Joseph Bayne

Bishop Michael J. Fisher, bishop of Buffalo, was the principal celebrant for a Memorial Mass for the late Friar Joseph W. Bayne, OFM Conv., at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo on July 15. Fr. Bayne, a former chaplain with the Buffalo Fire Department, died June 23 in Chicago at the age of 66. “We remember a wonderful priest, Fr. Joe Bayne,” Bishop Fisher said. “Let us hold him in our hearts and our prayers. He was a priest above all things. We thank his family for the gift of his vocation to the Franciscans. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace.”

Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., archbishop of Atlanta, was among the concelebrants at the Mass which was attended by friars from the United States and Canada. Priests and permanent deacons of the Diocese of Buffalo were also on the altar.

In his homily, Minister Provincial Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv., “Joe loved Buffalo and was a great ambassador for the city. Many of us are still in shock at his sudden death. It is with faith we come before God and thank and praise him for the gift he has given us in Joe Bayne. Joe has reached the goal of his life and for that we are happy. Joe loved to say, ‘I don’t care what they think of me. I’m going to tell it like it is.’ We didn’t always see eye to eye, but we don’t hold grudges. Joe’s personality served him well in his preaching. Like John the Baptist, Joe preached Jesus Christ in a way that captivated his listeners. Joe met people where they were. He was rock star here in Buffalo.”

Fr. Michael then read “A Firefighter’s Son,” a poem Father Joe had on the first page of a scrapbook that was filled with clippings of the story of his father, a Baltimore Fire Department firefighter who perished fighting a fire in 1977.

“Joe is synonymous with the fire department. He would show up to the most difficult situations. He ministered to the firefighters, the first responders, and their families, and of course, those whose lives were turned upside down. His presence was one of hope. His truly were the arms of God as he hugged and consoled so many. Joe loved being a Franciscan Friar. From day one he wanted to be the best friar and he always encouraged young men to consider the Franciscans. Joe loved being a friar priest. He was a great preacher and celebrated the sacraments with so many. He was a mentor to so many priests.

“Yes, we all know, life is difficult … because life involves sacrifice. Jesus crucified and risen from the dead boldly proclaims hope does not disappoint. We will see Joe again. And so, Joe, Friar Joe, Father Joe, ES11, Billy to your mom and family, we already miss you. Thank you for saying yes to Jesus and being His presence in our lives. We now commend you into the merciful arms of Jesus.”

Several people delivered Words of Remembrance

Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Rinaldo said, “He had a significant impact on the Buffalo Fire Department and an enduring legacy he left behind. He served with a distinction for over a decade as department chaplain. He was uniquely qualified to handle the tough stuff (of being a fire chaplain). He had a deep understanding and passion for the unselfish work performed by firefighters. His presence at fire sciences projected a sense of calm. He served this department long and faithfully. Let today serve as a final salute to his courage and commitment to his beloved firefighters.

Dan Nevereth, commissioner, Homeland Security and Emergency Services – Erie County: “Fr. Joe was our first chaplain. He was the godfather of our tremendously talented chaplain corps of today. He was a calming force in the eye of a hurricane. He was a beacon of comfort.”

Bill Miles, executive secretary, New York State Association of Fire Chaplains: “I called him brother. He was a brother to every one of us. Fr. Joe held training sessions to help other chaplains to be more effective. All of you had the same experience with our brother Joseph. He was always there for all of us.”

Jim McCullough, retired deputy commissioner, Erie County Department of Emergency Services: “On behalf of Fr. Joe’s mother, Jean, she would like to thank all the firefighters for honoring her son these past few weeks. Joe was made of steel. He was our Superman.”

First town liberated on D-Day and the priest who visits every year

People come to Sainte Mère-Église in Normandy not just for its beauty, but to remember those who sacrificed their lives in Operation Overlord.

In June 1944, Allied forces from 12 different nations ventured into direct peril to serve the people of Europe. Sainte Mère-Église was the first town in Normandy to be liberated on June 6, 1944, on what came to be known as D-Day.

Chaos and destruction reigned in Sainte Mère-Église that day. Some 15,000 paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions descended in and around the small town in northwest France. Sainte Mère-Église occupied a strategic position. The mission of the paratroopers was to capture the town and thus achieve easier access to the borders of the landing beaches where the main assault of Operation Overlord would take place.

The paratroopers were very vulnerable to enemy fire as they descended from the sky. Many were shot and killed.

Visitors come to Sainte Mère Église from around the world to honor, pay tribute, and express gratitude to those soldiers for their heroic acts. They also pray for the souls of the fallen on both sides of the battle.

Fr. James McCurry OFM with German cadets
Fr. James McCurry, OFM with German cadets attending the memorial services.

Fr. James. McCurry, OFMConv from Holyoke, Massachusetts, has been attending commemoration ceremonies in Normandy for many years. He confirmed that every year a new generation of soldiers from the 82nd travel to Normandy to honor their comrades. This year he offered Mass and paid tribute to the Airborne Divisions in the neighboring hamlet of Cauquigny, a site of heavy fighting 79 years ago.

With “fury from the sky,” the Airborne Divisions fought land battles as fierce and deadly as the sea battles. These brave American soldiers, whose blood would grace the soil of these local villages, had one noble purpose – to liberate Normandy, then France, and eventually all of Europe, from the violent tyranny of Adolf Hitler.

German military troops also visited the town this year. Father James observed in his homily, “For many years now, as a beautiful sign that justice and freedom can flourish in peace, our former enemy — now our good friends — have come from Germany to give us a fraternal testimony of reconciliation and human solidarity.”

Captain Ignatius Maternowski

Attendees also paid special tribute to a courageous chaplain, Captain Ignatius Maternowski, a Franciscan friar and priest.

On Monday, June 5, as troops were preparing for their mission back in England, Fr. Maternowski offered Mass for hundreds of the soldiers. In keeping with canon law, he gave “general absolution” to the troops, who were too numerous to engage in the sacrament of confession privately. This was to be his last Mass. He parachuted with his Mass kit and died on D-Day before having an opportunity to offer Mass on French soil.

Local French committees and US-Normandy Association, Memory and Gratitude members have installed a memorial to honor Fr. Maternowski. There is a large panel about the friar in the village of Gueutteville, where he died. A poignant etching depicts Fr. Maternowski ministering to a deceased American soldier

Memorial to Fr. Ignatius Maternowski in Guetteville, France.
Memorial to Fr. Ignatius Maternowski in Guetteville, France.

The Franciscan Book of Memories states, “He was an exemplary priest, a dynamic preacher, but most of all, he was truly an apostle and friend of the soldiers entrusted to his spiritual care.”

Private John Steele

Another paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division became a target that night. Private John Steele’s parachute landed in the middle of the town, crashing onto the steeple of the 12th-century church. Wounded in the foot, Pvt. Steele was left dangling on the side of the church as the deadly fighting unfolded below. For the next two hours, he pretended to be dead. His story was later depicted in the film The Longest Day.

Mannequin Pvt John Steele hanging from church steeple
A mannequin of Pvt. John Steele hanging from the steeple of the church of Sainte-Mère-Église.

John Steele was eventually taken prisoner by German troops. He later managed to escape and made it back home to his family. The private has a special place in history and for the people of Sainte Mère-Église. After the war he returned to the town often and is fondly remembered by the locals. A uniformed mannequin hangs on the church steeple to honor Pvt. Steele.

The Airborne Museum and an ancient church

The newly refurbished Airborne Museum in the center of Sainte Mère-Église is the largest of its kind in Europe, a place of remembrance allowing visitors to access in-depth formation about the invasion, from its preparation in England through the ensuing battle. The museum was first inaugurated in 1964 and has, over the years, acquired a rich collection, including an authentic C—47 glider.

Should you visit Sainte Mère-Église, make sure to visit the ancient church near the museum, as it is a particularly moving experience. Visitors can read personal messages in the visitors’ book. In particular, you will want to view two important stained-glass windows: one depicting St. Michael, the patron saint of paratroopers, and another dedicated to Father Maternowski.

Stained glass window honoring Fr. Ignatius Matenowski.
Stained glass window honoring Fr. Ignatius Matenowski.
Story source: Aleteia

Fr. Joseph William Bayne, Jr.

Fr. Joseph William Bayne, Jr., OFM Conv., 66, a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province, died on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Chicago.

Born in Baltimore, Md., on March 15, 1957, he was a son of the late + Joseph William Sr. (1977) and Jean (nee Gorman) Bayne. He is survived by his mother and younger brother, George.

Fr. Joe, as he known by so many, was a graduate of Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, where he first encountered the Franciscan community, he would join after graduation in 1975. Completing his Novitiate in Ellicott City, Md., he professed Simple Vows on August 15, 1976. He completed his undergraduate degree at St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby, Mass., earning a BA in Philosophy in 1980. After professing Solemn Vows on August 15, 1981, Friar Joseph studied at St. Anthony-on-Hudson in Rensselaer, N.Y., where he earned his M.Div degree before being ordained to the Priesthood on March 25, 1985.

From 1985-1989, Fr. Joe began his priestly ministry in Shamokin, Penn., where he served as Parochial Vicar of St. Stephen Parish and then St. Stanislaus Parish.

In 1989, Fr. Joe moved to Buffalo, where he began a 29-year ministry at The Franciscan Center, a transitional housing program for runaway and homeless young men from Western New York. The Center served more than 4,000 young men before closing its doors in 2018. For thirteen of his years in Buffalo, Fr. Joe served as Chaplain of Erie County Emergency Services and the Buffalo Fire Department, often known by his call number, ES-11.

In 2018, Fr. Joseph was reassigned to Chicopee, Mass., where he served briefly as Pastor of St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Parish and Chaplain of the city fire department, before accepting the responsibility of becoming the Associate Director of Formation at the Conventual Franciscans’ Postulancy house in Chicago. This ministry to young men in their first year of formation as friars was very much a reprisal of his years at The Franciscan Center.

Visitation hours will be held Sunday, July 2, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Church of the Annunciation (5212 McCormick Avenue, Baltimore Md., 21206), with a Franciscan Wake Service at 7 p.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, July 3, at 11:00 a.m., in the Church of the Annunciation, followed by internment in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Baltimore.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in Buffalo, on Saturday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m., in St. Joseph Cathedral (50 Franklin Street, Buffalo N.Y., 14202).

Friar Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv. – 1957-2023

Friar Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv.

The Franciscan Friars Conventual are saddened to announce that our brother, + Friar Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv., was embraced by Sister Death late on the evening of Friday, June 23.

Fr. Joe, as he was known, ministered for three decades in the Diocese of Buffalo as executive director of The Franciscan Center, while also serving as chaplain for the Erie County Department of Emergency Services. His most recent assignment was as the associate director of Formation for our Postulancy Program, located in Chicago.

“The friars woke up today to the unexpected news of the loss of our brother, Joe,” said Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of the Our Lady of the Angels Province of which Fr. Joe was a member. “Right now, the friars are in mourning.”

We know that our good Fr. Joe was beloved by many, who will want to pay their respects. We ask your patience as arrangements are made Details will be announced as soon as they are finalized.