Upcoming Solemn Vow Profession of Friar Antonio

Earlier in March 2023, Friar Antonio Moualeu, OFM Conv. met with our Minister Provincial, Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. Upon Friar Michael’s recommendation to the Definitory at the March Meeting, Friar Antonio was approved to Profess Solemn Vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province. On Aug. 14, 2023, the Feast of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., our confreres will gather in Buffalo, N.Y., to witness and celebrate in community.

More on friar Antonio’s formation journey:

July 2022 Simple Vow Renewal

At the beginning of the 2022/2023 school year, friar Antonio joined our friars living in the St. Frances of Assisi Friary (Hamburg, NY) for his Apostolic Year of Formation, living in community, while serving as the Campus Minister, at our St. Francis High School (SFHS) [Seen at right serving at the December 2022 SFHS Junior Ring Mass, and at lower left during the August 2022 Freshman Retreat].
In May 2022, friar Antonio had received his Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering, from Georgia Institute of Technology. (read more) The following July, in the beautiful SFHS Chapel, at the hands of Fr. Maximilian Avila, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian and an Instructor at SFHS), friar Antonio renewed his Simple Vows; recommitting his desire to live the Gospel as a Franciscan Friar Conventual. It usually takes a bit longer than the three-year time frame of Simple Vows for the final preparation for Solemn (also known as Perpetual) Vows, so it is most often necessary for a friar to renew his Simple Vows, at least once during his formation journey [as seen above]. Such a Vow Renewal had not taken place in the school’s chapel for a long time, and it was a very joyous occasion.

June 2021 Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ celebration at our pastoral ministry of Holy Cross Catholic Church (Atlanta, GA) included the Eucharistic Procession through the neighborhood, led by friar Antonio

Prior to friar Antonio’s Apostolic Year of Formation with our friars in Hamburg/Athol Springs, NY, while still in study for his doctorate, he lived in a large community with student friars from several provinces, in the Post-Novitiate San Damiano Friary (San Antonio, TX), under the direction of Friar Gary Johnson, OFM Conv. (who now serves the province at Vicar Provincial). The student friars work together, supporting, learning and serving each other, as seen at left where friar Antonio helped prepare the 2019 Thanksgiving meal for the friary community. During this stage of formation, student friars not only engage in furthering their education, but also take the time to participate in active ministry. Over his summer break 2021, friar Antonio lived and served with our friars of Holy Cross Friary, in Atlanta, GA (as seen above). Even during the school year of friar Antonio’s doctoral studies, he was working in service ministries and continuing his Franciscan education. Read more about this time of formation and service in his FranciscanVoice.org December 7, 2020 article, “The Source of Joy.”

Post-Novitiate is the time of formation, after a friar has completed his year and a day in the Novitiate, and he professed Simple Vows. Along with two of his confreres (friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv. and friar Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv. seen at left), friar Antonio professed his Simple Vows in July 2019.  These vows are also referred to as Temporary or First Vows, since they are for only three years. They most often are renewed at least once by a friar in formation before he professes Solemn Vows, just as friar Antonio renewed in July 2022. Formation usually takes 8-10 years, beginning with the first stage of Formation – the Postulancy.

2017-2018 Postulancy Class

There were five friars in the 2017-2018 Postulancy Class, of whom friars Raad, Joseph and Antonio were postulants of our province. There are many men who discern out of formation between their postulancy year and final profession. Our province is so joyful that these three men have continued to discern that for them, answering God’s Call means living their lives as Franciscan Friars Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province. Continue to keep friar Antonio and all of the friars in formation for our province and around the world, in your continue prayers. They are much appreciated.

For more information on vocations visit FranciscanVoice.org or email our Province Vocation office at: vocations@olaprovince.org.

Congratulations to Syracuse Ministry

Congratulations Assumption Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen

March 30, 2023:

With the help and support of a multitude of volunteers through the years, Assumption Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen has officially provided one million pounds of food for their neighbors in need! Simply Professed student friar, br. Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv. (right front) serves as Director of Assumption Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen, while in his Apostolic Year of Formation, living with our friars of St. Francis Friary, and ministering at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption, in Syracuse, N.Y.

On the same day, our FrancisCorps ministry announced, through the efforts of all those who voted, shared, and voted again, they were selected as a recipient of a $2,000.00 grant from CNY Tuesdays.


Staff Morning of Reflection

Under the direction of Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province Secretary and Vocation Director), the lay staff of the province ministries on the Ellicott City, MD campus [including The Provincial House, The Shrine of St. Anthony, The Companions of St. Anthony, Mission Advancement, and Little Portion Farm] were joined by Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv. (Vicar Provincial) and guest speaker, Fr. Michael Zielke, OFM Conv. (below: Guardian and Director of the St. Bonaventure Friary Post-Novitiate) for a Lent Morning Reflection, on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

The group gathered in The Shrine of St. Anthony Papal Dining Room and then Glass Room for a small group discussion before moving onto our province’s Carrollton Hall Historic Site, for a reflection from Friar Michael on Franciscan humility. Friar Michael shared his take on how the concept of humility compares in the world view, scriptural view, Pope Francis’ view and finally defined Franciscan humility. As a part of his talk, Friar Michael read to the group, Chapter X of The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337). Excerpt – [ Said Friar Masseo: “I say, why doth all the world follow after thee, and why doth every man seem to desire to see thee and to hear thee and to obey thee? Thou art not a man beautiful of body, thou art not greatly learned, thou art not noble: wherefore then should all the world follow after thee?” Hearing this St. Francis rejoiced greatly in spirit, and raising his face to heaven, stood for a long time with his mind uplifted in God, and thereafter, returning to himself, kneeled down and gave praise and thanks to God, and then with great fervour of spirit turned to Friar Masseo and said: “Wouldst know why after me? wouldst know why after me? why all the world follows after me? This have I from those eyes of the most high God, which in every place behold the good and the wicked: because those most holy eyes have not seen among sinners any more vile, or more insufficient, or a greater sinner than I am; and since to do that marvellous work which He meaneth to do, He hath not found a viler creature upon earth; therefore hath He chosen me to confound the nobility and the pride and the strength and the beauty and wisdom of the world, to the end that it may know that every virtue and every good thing is of Him and not of the creature, and that no one may be able to glory in His sight; but whosoever shall glory, let him glory in the Lord, to whom is all honour and glory for ever.” Then Friar Masseo, at so lowly an answer, spoken with so much fervour, was afraid and knew of a surety that St. Francis was stablished in humility.]

Friar Michael closed his talk with the final words, “Let God be God in your lives.”

Entrance to Outdoor Stations of the Cross {Photo Cred: Friar Timothy Dore, OFM Conv.}

Those attending split into groups for personal reflection time, a group discussion on a time God gifted humility, and a chance to pray together while walking the Outdoor Stations of the Cross on the grounds of The Shrine. The groups rejoined as one to close in celebration of The Liturgy of Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, together with those assembled for The Shrine of St. Anthony’s Noon Daily Mass. Fr. Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv. (Director/Rector of The Shrine of St. Anthony), celebrated the Mass, closing his Homily with: “…hope does not disappoint… [Romans 5:5] I simply can hope.” The Mass was also concelebrated by Friar Gary and Friar Michael (see below), who, after Mass continued on with the group for a fraternal meal in the Shrine’s Papal Dining Room.

This peace filled second Day of Reflection for the staff members since Friar Nick began as Province Secretary was greatly appreciated by all in attendance, who look forward to this new fraternal tradition.

Noon Daily Mass at The Shrine of St. Anthony Chapel

News from Our Friars in Brazil

At the invitation of the OFS (Secular aka Third Order Franciscans) of Parish of Saint Benedict in Rio das Ostras, RJ, Brazil (Paróquia São Benedito), friars of our Custody in Brazil, including Frei Willian Gomes Mendonça, OFM Conv., who serves as the Custodial Secretary of our Province’s Immaculate Conception Custody (Custódia Provincial Imaculada Conceição do Brasil) & Guardian of St. Bonaventure Friary House of Formation (Convento e Casa de Formação São Boaventura – Petrópolis) and Frei Ricardo da Cruz, OFM Conv. (Animador Vocacional e Cooperador) facilitated the second day of the parish’s preparatory triduum for a visit of a relic of Saint Francis of Assisi. Frei Willian (above, celebrating Mass) and Frei Ricardo (at left, as he took the opportunity to visit with some young parishioners) serve in vocation promotion for the Custody. You can see more about their work, via the Convento S Boaventura Franciscanos Conventuais Facebook page.

Vocation Contact Info for our Province Custody in Brazil:  despertarfranciscano@gmail.com

Congratulations, Friar Angel!

Several friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province attended the March 25, 2023, Presbyteral Ordination of Friar Angel Garcia, OFM Conv., including Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv., (Vicar Provincial), Fr. Andrzej Brzeziński, OFM Conv. (Associate Director of the San Damiano Friary Post-Novitiate, San Antonio, TX), Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. (Assistant Novice Director of the St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate, Arroyo Grande, CA), Fr. Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, OFM Conv. (Procurator of the St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate, Arroyo Grande, CA), and student friars: Friar Franck Sokpolie, OFM Conv., friar Antonio Moualeu, OFM Conv., friar Marvin Paul Fernandez, OFM Conv. and friar Connor J. Ouly, OFM Conv. Fr. Angel is a friar of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province who studied alongside the friars of our province, as well as those of Our Lady of Consolation Province & St. Bonaventure Province.

Click here for the news post on the Curia’s Website, including more photos.

Upcoming Presbyteral Ordination of Friar Emmanuel

On August 15, 2023, the Feast of the Assumption, our province looks forward to a much-anticipated Presbyteral Ordination of Friar Emmanuel Wenke, OFM Conv.

Friars of our Order – Franciscan Friars Conventual (OFM Conv.) – around the world spend many years in preparation and formation before professing the solemn vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Solemnly professed friars include friar brothers and friar priests. For those who have discerned to live out their Franciscan Vocation as a friar priest, the formation journey toward ordination includes several years of continued study after Solemn Profession. For Friar Emmanuel, after serving our province as a solemnly professed friar brother for two years, working as an instructor in high school ministry, he discerned to continue formation in study for the priesthood, spending September 2020 – January 2023 in Theological Studies in Canada. In December 2022, he was ordained a Transitional Deacon, at our Syracuse, NY pastoral ministry ~ The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, where continues to serve (as seen below while celebrating his first baptism).

A little more on Friar Emmanuel: His life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual began, in 2012. At that time, our Province Postulancy was located in the St. Joseph Cupertino Friary, above The Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD). The Postulancy, now located in the St. Bonaventure Friary (Chicago, IL) is the first formal stage of formation. There, Friar Emmanuel lived, worked and studied in Ellicott City with his formators: Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. and Br. Daniel Geary, OFM Conv., as well as thirteen more friars residing in the two friaries located on the Ellicott City, MD complex: several senior friars, friars in active local ministry, postulants and our province friar leadership. On July 4, 2013, Friar Emmanuel was “blessed and sent forth” to the next stage of formation, known as the Novitiate, which was located at the time in Mishawaka, IN. It is now in Arroyo Grande, CA. Twenty days after his arrival, on July 24, 2013, he was clothed in the habit of our Order at the Rite of Investiture, at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, in Marytown, Libertyville, IL, a ministry of our confreres of the St. Bonaventure Province, in the Midwest USA.

After his time of formation as a Novice, under the guidance of his formators – Fr. Giles Zakowicz, OFM Conv. & Br. Paschal Kolodziej, OFM Conv., Friar Emmanuel professed First (aka Simple/Temporary) Vows as a Franciscan Friar Conventual, on July 25, 2014 (see at left that day with two of his classmates, Br. Paul Martin Becka, OFM Conv. and Fr. Colin Mary Edwards, OFM Conv. – both of our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody). He then moved into our Province’s Post Novitiate stage of formation, in the St. Bonaventure Friary Post Novitiate (Silver Spring, MD), with seven other student friars and their formators: Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv., Br. Jim Moore, OFM Conv. and senior friar in residence, Fr. John Burkhard, OFM Conv.

During his years there, in addition to discerning to serve as a friar brother, he continued his studies at the Catholic University of America, in Washington DC, graduating on May 13, 2017, with a B.A. in Theology & Religious Studies, as well as a Certificate of Pastoral Ministry (seen at right as a CUA student). Just a few months later, during his summer assignment assisting with our Senior Friars in our Immaculate Conception Friary, in Rensselaer, NY, the then Friary Guardian, Fr. Tony Kall, OFM Conv. received Friar Emmanuel’s Renewal of Temporary Vows, during a service during which several members of Friar Emmanuel’s family were able to participate. In August 2017, Friar Emmanuel moved to our Immaculate Heart of Mary Friary, in Baltimore, MD and was assigned to Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore, MD, where he serves as a Theology Instructor. He was Solemnly Professed in September of 2018 (see below) and continued to serve the students of our Baltimore high school ministry, until discerning to continue with God’s Call to the Priesthood.

Continue to pray for Friar Emmanuel during these last months
before his August 15, 2023 Presbyteral Ordination.


For more information on vocations, visit FranciscanVoice.org or email our Province Vocation Directors, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. and Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. at vocations@olprovince.org.

Confirmation at St. Mark Catholic Church

The friars of St. Mark Friary, in Boynton Beach, FL (Friar Richard Florek, OFM Conv., Friar Germain Kopaczynski, OFM Conv., Friar Carl Zdancewicz, OFM Conv., Friar Michael Sajda, OFM Conv., Friar Joseph Dorniak, OFM Conv. and Friar Bob Benko, OFM Conv.) present the sixteen teens who were Confirmed at St. Mark Catholic Church, on Sunday, March 26, 2023, by The Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach. The Confirmation Mass 2023 was livestreamed on the parish’s social media and can be viewed below. More Photos

Adapted prayer taken from the March 26th parish bulletin:
Holy Spirit,
strengthen the Confirmandi
of all of our pastoral ministries
with Your gifts
Fear of the Lord,
as a disciple of Christ.
Fill them with the joy of Your
Increase in them the fruit of Your Spirit.
Help them to
experience and trust Your dwelling within,
so that they may count on your
guidance today and every day.
Show us the way to help one another
become better disciples of Jesus Christ, sharing Your love with our world and with each person we encounter. Amen

Keep all those in Faith Formation in our pastoral and education ministries, in your prayers.