News from the friars of our Province Custody in Brazil

On Sunday, February 26, 2023, at the hands Cardeal Orani João Tempesta, O. Cist., Arcebispo de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro (Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, O. Cist., the Archbishop of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro), the Custódio Provincial Emérito of our Province’s Custódia Província Imaculada Conceição (Custos Emeritus from 2017-2022 of our Immaculate Conception Custody – Brazil), Frei Ronaldo Gomes da Silva, OFM Conv. was installed as the new Pastor of Paróquia São Francisco de Assis in Rio Comprido – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Frei Ronaldo also now serves the Custody as Definidor (a friar member of the Custody’s Definitory).

Frei Ronaldo lives in community in the Cúria Custodial: Convento e Paróquia São Francisco de Assis (Curia of the Custody & St. Francis of Assisi Friary) with the current Custódio Provincial e Guardião (Custos & Friary Guardian) ~Frei Carlos Roberto de Oliveira Charles, OFM Conv. – pictured at left giving a blessing on all those gathered for the fraternal celebration following the Mass, the Vigário paroquial (Parochial Vicar) ~ Frei Humberto Messias de Lima, OFM Conv., and the Assistente Pastoral (Pastoral Assistant) ~ Frei Fernando Pereira de Andrade Júnior, OFM Conv.

Keep Frei Ronaldo, and all of the friars of our Provincial Custody in Brazil, in your continued prayers, as they officially move to their new assignments, established after their last Chapter. For more information on vocations with our Provincial Custody, visit: ETAPAS DE FORMAÇÃO

More photos are available on the São Francisco em Conversa Facebook and the Convento S Boaventura Franciscanos Conventuais Facebook pages.

Light Dispelling Darkness

Friar Stefano Luca, OFM Cap., Director of the Franciscan Social Theatre Program, and Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv., General Delegate for JPIC, worked with participants to process 11 social theatre workshops held over the past six months.

Introducing An Ecological Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross can be traced to St. Francis of Assisi, who lived at a time when Christian pilgrims could not travel safely to the Holy Land. Francis brought the experience of the Holy Land home, as we bring the Way of the Cross home to our local place of natural beauty. Reflecting on the sufferings of Jesus at each station, we raise the Cross of Christ to remind us that our sister, Mother Earth—our common home—belongs to God, and we ask for strength and unity to care for God’s creation.

Friars Share in Vespers and Talk by Sister Rita Michelle Proctor, OSP

February 19, 2023: Our Lady of the Angels Province friars, Fr. Dennis Grumsey, OFM Conv. (at left – pastor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore pastorate including St. Casimir Church and St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church) and Br. Ed Handy, OFM Conv. (middle – Friar in Residence at St. Casimir Friary) joined parishioners from around the Archdiocese of Baltimore, at The Basilica of the Assumption, the first Catholic Cathedral and a Marian National Shrine in the United States, which is still a flourishing Roman Catholic parish, for Sunday Night Vespers and Talk with Sister Rita Michelle Proctor, OSP, who serves as the 20th Superior General of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, on Servant of God – Mother Mary Lange, O.S.P. and the Oblate Sisters of Providence.

Newman Night of Music

For the past few months, students at UNC Newman Campus Ministry in Chapel Hill, NC have been, on their own initiative, organizing, planning, and practicing for a benefit concert to help defray the costs of campus ministry. The festive evening occurred on February 16, 2023, in the Activity Center, before a crowd of 75 – mostly parents and supportive parishioners. The first half’s program of classical instrumental music included works by Telemann, Burgmüller, Mozart, Elgar, Fauré, Ewazen, Chopin, and Gillock, performed on piano, flute, horn, violin, viola, cello, and basso continuo. After intermission the program switched to choral popular fare, featuring works by Loewe and Lerner, Finzi, Porter, Sondheim, Menken and Ashman, and Lighfoot, accompanied by piano, saxophone, cello, guitar, and violin. The program concluded with a selection of a cappella music, featuring a spiritual, Gregorian chant, and works by Gawthrop and Manibusan/Hart/Angrisano.

‘The Bishop of Assisi – A Heroic Light in the Darkness of the Holocaust’

To be live streamed on February 21, 2023, a ‘Digital Reception, in Honor of Righteous Among the Nations ~ Monsignor Giuseppe Placido Nicolini’ will be a celebration of Bishop Nicolini’s heroic actions in saving hundreds of lives during the Holocaust. This Combat Antisemitism Movement virtual reception will highlight the Yad Vashem ‘Righteous Among the Nations‘ recipient’s story and role in establishing a rescue network in Assisi (later known as the “Assisi Network”). During the Holocaust, Bishop Nicolini rallied Assisi’s citizens and clergy to come together and save the lives of their Jewish brethren, being hunted down by the Nazis. This included Fr. Aldo Brunacci, the Canon of the Cathedral of San Rufino, who served as the head of the Assisi Network – arranging sheltering places for Jews, in some 26 monasteries & convents, and Friar Rufino Niccacci, OFM, [pictured below] the Guardian of the San Damiano Friary, who helped to provide false identity papers and also provided protection and sanctuary in the friaries and convents under his direction, disguising the Jews as friars and nuns. Read more about them and others who worked through the Assisi Network and have been recognized as ‘Righteous Among Nations.’

The link to register for the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Virtual Reception.

Father Rufino Nicacci, OFM pictured with Holocaust survivor, Hanna Hirsch.

The program may help inspire current leaders, and everyone, to confront hatred & bigotry in today’s world.”
~ Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.