World Day for Consecrated Life 2023

The Church celebrates the annual World Day for Consecrated Life on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, each February 2nd. This year, it will be recognized in parishes over the weekend of February 4-5, 2023. Take this time to encourage the young people you know, to consider life as a consecrated religious, in the Church? Tell them what gifts you believe they are gifted to bring to that life, and what gifts they will receive as a member in that life. Keep them, and their discernment in your prayers., as well as an increase in vocations.

Please pray for ALL those who have made commitments in the consecrated life and be sure to thank them on this World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.

For those consecrated to God by the vows of
chastity, poverty and obedience
that they may seek to live their baptismal promises more intensely
and have the grace to persevere in their commitment to the Lord
and serve with open hearts and willing spirits.
We pray to the Lord…

For more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual in North America, visit If you live on the East Coast of North America and you would like more information on Our Lady of the Angels Province, email our Province Vocation Office at

Postulant Tour of Province

The Postulants of our Inter-Province Postulancy in Chicago, IL, spent some time back with their families over the Christmas holiday, followed by touring of each of their provinces. Our own Province’s Postulant, Cesar Perez spent most of January touring several locations throughout our province and our ministries. The Postulants have now returned to the St. Bonaventure Friary (Chicago) to begin the second half of their Postulancy experience. Please continue praying for the Postulants and their Friar Formators.

Visiting with our friars of St. Paul Friary (Kensington, CT), who serve in pastoral ministry at St. Paul Catholic Church: Fr. Joseph Benicewicz, OFM Conv. (Pastor), Cesar Perez (Our Lady of the Angels Province Postulant), Fr. Raymond Borkowski, OFM Conv. (Mass Assistance), Fr. Michael Englert, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar) and Fr. Martin Kobos, OFM Conv (Parochial Vicar).

On his visit with the friars of Most Holy Trinity Friary (Brooklyn, NY), home to five of our friars who serve our pastoral ministry at the Roman Catholic Church of Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary, Cesar helped prep dinner with Br. Tom Purcell, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian). One of the friars there also serves as a Psychotherapist at a Brooklyn based counseling center.

Cesar got to enjoy a nice evening out to dinner with our friars of St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Friary (Chicopee, MA), who serve in pastoral ministry in two area parishes: seated left to right – Fr. Lucjan Szymański, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, Chicopee), Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian & Parochial Vicar of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, Chicopee), Cesar, Fr. Pedro De Oliveira, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Ludlow), and Frei Luiz Fernando Lima Rangel, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Ludlow). [Photo Cred: Fr. Brad Milunski, OFM Conv. (Rector/Pastor of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, Chicopee)]

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Vocation News

The friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province Vocations Office have been involved in a fair amount of travel these last few months. Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. and Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. have traveled together to several events for young people, and it’s been good to have the witness value of both a friar-brother and friar-priest on these occasions. They have also traveled separately, which has given them the opportunity to cover more ground.

While Br. Nick was participating in the 2023 Meeting with the New Ministers Provincial, Custodes and Secretaries, in Rome, Fr. Manny was in St. Louis, MO for SEEK23. It was good to be present among those college students! About 17,000 people were at this yearly event, and Fr. Manny was able to have some meaningful conversations about Franciscan life and history with young men and women. He told the young women that while they themselves couldn’t join us, they probably know someone who would make a good friar.

With FrancisCorps, and student friar Joe Krondon, OFM Conv., also present at this event, it was a great chance to direct college students to the idea of a year-long service experience, if that felt more approachable to them.

The days ahead are marked with even more travel, as we continue the conversation with a number of men in various stages of interest. Br. Nick will be at some vocation fairs, as well as offering reflections to high school guys on retreat. Fr. Manny will be making Lenten Mission visits to some of our ministries and preparing for a World Youth Day experience in Lisbon this August, with our friars in initial formation!

Keep us in prayer as we continue going out into the vineyard. Learn More about vocations with Franciscan Friars Conventual, at

Contact Br. Nick and Fr. Manny at


Feast Day of Santo Niño de Cebú

The feast day of Santo Niño de Cebú is celebrated on the third Sunday in January in the Philippines, and by Filipino communities around the world. The devotion incorporates an image of the Christ Child, as a representation of a vision of St. Teresa of Avila, in remembrance of the conversion of the Philippines to Christianity. The annual Sinulog Festival often includes a novena, the rosary and other prayers, as well as Mass.

Fr. Eric de Pena, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar) and Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar and Province Delegate of the Marian Apostolate) join in the procession at St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church, Elmhurst, NY. (See more photos)

Above photos: At our Elmhurst, NY ministry ~ Saint Adalbert Parish, their annual Santo Niño (Holy Child Jesus) Sinulog Festival was celebrated on Sunday, January 29, 2023. Open to all, the festival began with the Rosary and Prayers to the Santo Niño, followed by 2:00 p.m. Mass. They also enjoyed fellowship and food reception after Mass, in the school cafeteria. Those in attendance were encouraged to bring their Santo Niño images to be blessed during the festival. In preparation for the feast day, they held a special Santo Niño Triduum of prayer and reflection, in their lower church, Friday and Saturday, as prayer moments of inspiration for living a devotion to the Holy Child Jesus.

Enjoy this video of one of the dances at St. Adalbert’s taken by Friar Eric:

While at the festival, friar Marvin even found relatives in California! (More photos)

On Saturday, January 28, 2023, one of our Province’s Novices, friar Marvin Paul Fernandez, OFM Conv. attended the Feast Day of Santo Niño with the parishioners of Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church, (near our Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, CA), hosted by the Filipino Community of San Luis Obispo County and Vicinity.

Catching up with Friar Deacon Manny!

Friar Deacon Emmanuel Wenke, OFM Conv. administered his first Baptism, on January 28th, as Logan (the son of two FrancisCorps11 volunteer alums: Anthony and Kathy) was baptized, at our Syracuse, NY pastoral ministry ~ The Franciscan Church of the Assumption.
May God bless Logan and his family … and Friar Manny too!

Photo Cred: Br. Jim Moore, OFM Conv.
who serves as chaplain at the
Franciscan Place Chapel & Gift Shop at Destiny USA,
as well as the Guardian of St. Francis Friary.
Br. Jim also founded FrancisCorps in 1998,
and served as the first chaplain. 

Prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

January 27 1945: The Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex’s 7,000 remaining ill and dying prisoners were liberated, a few days after nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced to evacuate the camp, during which many thousands lost their lives. 60 years later – November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 to designate January 27th as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, to mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims. It is estimated that around 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz alone, during the less than 5 years of its existence. As many as 15-20 million people may have been killed in the various 42,500 Nazi camps and ghettoes between 1933 and 1945.

Nazi hatred also included a vast array of religions, ethnicities and cultures. By 1945 at least five million gentiles had also fallen victim to it. Among those who were also killed are the 108 Martyrs of World War II, including the friars known as the Blessed Martyrs of Niepokalanów, who were declared blessed by the Saint Pope John-Paul II, on June 13, 1999, all sharing June 12th as their Feast Day. On August 14th, we honor and remember the most well-known Franciscan Conventual Friar Martyr of the Holocaust is St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., who was canonized in 1982 by Saint Pope John Paul II, and declared a Martyr of Charity.

Loving God, You care for each and every human life.
All people are cherished as Your beloved children,
no matter how ordinary or extraordinary their stories are.
Today we come before You
to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
We lament the loss of the six million Jews
who were killed in the Holocaust,
the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution,
and victims of all genocides.
May our minds be clear and attentive to their memory,
and our hearts be moved to bear witness to their lives.
Help us all to turn away from hatred and division,
and to build a world where genocide is no more.
Strengthen us so that we,
in our own ordinary ways,
may show extraordinary love in the world today.

{Taken from The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales}

CMSM Winter Leadership Gathering

January 23-25, 2022: Our Minister Provincial, Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. was in attendance at the annual Winter Leadership Gathering for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM). The major superiors in attendance participated in deep conversation around a variety of leadership issues. “CMSM is the national organization representing leaders of Catholic religious institutes for men, monasteries, and societies of apostolic life in the United States. CMSM is both a common voice for male religious and an advocate for their individual charisms.”

Blessed Mother, Protector of Religious ~ Pray for Us.

For more information on vocations with our province, email

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18-25, 2023
Presented by the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity

These linked RESOURCES were jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches

Prayer for each day, taken from the Vatican News Facebook page:
Day 1
Lord, You called Your people from slavery into freedom. Give us strength and courage to seek out those who are standing in need of justice. Allow us to see this need and provide help, and through Your Holy Spirit gather us into the one fold of Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Amen
Day 2
God, You are the source of our wisdom. We pray for wisdom and courage to do justice, to respond to what is wrong in the world by acting to make it right; we pray for wisdom and courage to grow in the unity of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who with You and the Holy Spirit, reigns forever and ever. Amen
Day 3
Gracious and loving God, expand our vision that we might see the mission we share with all of our Christian brothers and sisters, to show forth the justice and loving kindness of Your kingdom. Help us to welcome our neighbours as Your Son welcomed us. Help us to be more generous as we witness to the grace that You freely give us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Day 4
God of justice and grace, remove the scales from our eyes so we can truly see the oppression around us. We pray in the name of Jesus who saw the crowds and had compassion for them. Amen.
Day 5
God of the oppressed, open our eyes to the harm that continues to be inflicted on our sisters and brothers in Christ. May Your Spirit give us the courage to sing in unison, and raise our voices with those whose suffering is unheard. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day 6
God of Love, we thank You for Your unending care and love for us. Help us to sing redemption songs. Open wide our hearts to receive your love and to extend Your compassion to the whole of the human family. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day 7
God of Hope, help us to remember that You are with us in our suffering. Help us to embody hope for one another when hopelessness is a frequent unwelcomed guest in our hearts. Grant us the gift of being grounded in Your loving Spirit as we work together to eradicate all forms of oppression and injustice. Give us the courage to love what, whom, and how You love, and to express this love in our actions. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Day 8
God, Creator and Redeemer of all things, teach us to look inward to be grounded in Your loving Spirit, so that we may go outward in wisdom and courage to always choose the path of love and justice. This we pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Ecumenism, from the Pandemic to the Synod:
“The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is held annually, and is organized by the PCPCU [Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity] which Bishop [Brian] Farrell [Secretary] says, has as its task and mission the promotion of all the efforts of the Catholic Church to reconcile all Christians in the one Church that Christ prayed for “when he asked that we all be one, like he and the Father are one.”


Pope Francis presided over Vespers for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, to mark the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

“Midway” Meeting of the Order

Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv., Fr. Maximilian Martin, OFM Conv., Fr. David Blowey, OFM Conv. and Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv. attended the January 16-20 first round of the Order’s “Midway” Meeting, held at the Seraphicum College in Rome.