Fall Friars Days 2019

During the Fall Friars Day, on October 15th, our Vicar Provincial Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. took the opportunity to bless one of the newest friaries of our province; the Franciscan Martyrs Friary, in Columbus, GA.

Friars Day – What is It?
Each year, during the Spring and Fall, the friars of the Our Lady of the Angels Province gather for a day of on-going formation and fraternity. Because of the tremendous geographical distance among the friars there are generally four planned days: metro-Baltimore, Western New York, Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and either Georgia or North Carolina.  Topics for each gathering are planned in advance.  This Fall’s topic is Forming Intentional Disciples, with presenter: Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute.

The Fall Friars Days 2019 Schedule

October 8, 2019
Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT
 October 10, 2019
St. Francis Friary, Syracuse, NY
 October 15, 2019
Franciscan Martyrs Friary, Columbus, GA
October 17, 2019
St. Casimir Friary, Baltimore, MD

Consecration to the Immaculate


Parish Community of St. John the Apostle, Kingston, ON Canada

Over Canada’s Thanksgiving Weekend of October 12-13, 2019, the Friars of St. Anthony Friary, in Kingston, Ontario ~ Fr. James Fukes, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian and Pastor of Holy Family Parish, as well as Chaplain of Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School), Fr. Edward Debono, OFM Conv. (Chaplain of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul), and Fr. David Collins, OFM Conv. (Pastor of the Parish Community of St. John the Apostle, as well as Chaplain for Kinston General Hospital) warmly received Friar Jobe to the tenth stop on our M.I Initiative Tour of our pastoral ministries.
On this tenth stop on our Province M.I Initiative Tour, in keeping with the weekend, along with the leper and Naaman the Syrian, those celebrating Mass together at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church gave thanks to God especially for our faith and for the Virgin Most Faithful, the Immaculate Conception. All three Mases were well attended and with many M.I. enrollment among the parishioners. In the photo is a sampling of the parishioners of St. John the Apostle along with Friar David (center), and Friar Jobe (two to his left). Between them is pictured Fr. Varghese Puthenpurackal, OFM Conv. who arrived in Canada two weeks ago from India. He is assigned to our St. André Bessette Friary, with Friar Jobe, to serve as Chaplain for Ottawa’s Queensway Carleton Hospital. This was his first time visiting our Kingston parish and friary.

+Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv.

+Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv. was born on September 7, 1919 in Nowe Kramsko, Poland and he died on October 11, 2019 at Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT.   He was the third child of Stanisław and Victoria (Tomiak) Królikowski. He leaves his Franciscan family and many family members and assorted friends in Poland, Canada, and the United States. At the time of his death he was 100 years old and the oldest Conventual Friar in the world.
Fr. Łucjan’s long Franciscan life began in 1934, when he entered the Franciscan Friar Conventual Seminary located on the grounds of the world’s largest friary in Niepokalanów, Poland. Its guardian was Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, a future saint, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II. Fr. Łucjan completed his high school at the seminary and later made his Novitiate in Niepokalanów (City of the Immaculate) professing his Simple Vows on August 29, 1939, with Fr. Maximilian Kolbe present. He made his Solemn Vows on July 14, 1945 in Beirut, Lebanon and was Ordained to the Priesthood on June 30, 1946, at the Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (Lebanon), by the late +Archbishop Rémy-Louis Leprêtre, O.F.M., was serving as Apostolic Delegate to Syria at the time. He completed his Philosophy studies in 1939 from the University of Lwow. He received an S.T.B. (Theology), from Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, in 1946.
While preparing to begin his theological studies in June of 1940, Fr. Łucjan was arrested by the Russian police (NKVD, later named the KGB) and was deported to a concentration camp in eastern Ukraine.  He was liberated from the concentration camp and later joined the Polish army. completing Artillery School for Cadet Officers in Uzbekistan. He was moved with the Polish army to Iraq in 1942. Since the army needed chaplains, he began his theological studies in 1943 in Beirut. Returning to the army after ordination to the priesthood, Fr. Łucjan served the VIII General Military Hospital in El-Qantara el-Sharqîya, Egypt. After demobilization in 1947 he became the high school prefect in the Polish Refugee camp in Tengeru, near Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. With a civilian population of 4,000 (half of whom were children) Fr. Łucjan volunteered to accompany these orphans through Europe and onto Canada which became their permanent home. Once in Montréal, Fr. Łucjan started placing children in French schools through the Province of Quebec. His first book, “Stolen Childhood,” recounts these unusual experiences and travels with the children.
During his ministerial life, Fr. Łucjan served as Associate Pastor, Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Montréal, Canada (1958-1964). From 1964-1966 he was the Guardian and Pastor, Our Lady of Czestochowa Friary and Church, Montréal, Canada He became the Secretary of the Fr. Justin Rosary Hour (the longest running radio show in Polish outside of Poland), Athol Springs, New York, USA from 1966-1998. Accepting a new ministry in 1999 he was the Parochial Vicar, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, Chicopee, MA until 2009. In 2009 Fr Łucjan continued his life’s work as Confessor and Spiritual Advisor, St. Hyacinth Friary, in Chicopee. In 2016 he was moved to Confessor – Spiritual Advisor, Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT where he continued to be in contact with his many family members and friends until his death on October 11, 2019, after a brief time on hospice.

Fr. Łucjan has authored 5 books, and has written hundreds of talks for Fr. Justin Rosary Hour:

  1. Skradzione Dzieciństwo: Polskie dzieci na tułaczym szlaku 1939-1950,  [Also translated into English with title Stolen childhood]
  2. Pamiętnik sybiraka i tułacza [Also translated into English with the title A Franciscan Odyssey]
  3. Miłość mi wszystko wyjaśniła: Przygody ducha
  4. Modlitwy chorych [2 volumes]
  5. Abba – Ojcze: Przemyslenia Sybiraka i Tulacza

Fr. Łucjan has been awarded and honored by:

  1. The Polonia Restituta (The Merit Cross of the knight of Liberated Poland) 1961
  2. Veterans Gold Cross by the Polish Combatant of Canada (1969)
  3. Meritorious Gold Medal from the Polish Canadian Congress for his works on behalf of Canadian Polonia (1974)
  4. In November 11, 2007 he was honored at the Presidential Belvidere Palace in Warsaw for his efforts in saving orphaned children after World War II, The Third-Degree Award Komandozski Cross of Polonia Resituta Ozdea.
  5. Honored by the European Veterans Conference (1972)
  6. He received the highest degrees of the Scout movement, Harcerz Rzeczpospolitej
  7. In September 2019 he was given a certificate from the President of Poland at a Mass in New Britain, CT.

Fr. Łucjan will lie in state at Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, 566 Front St., Chicopee, MA 01013, on Monday, October 14, 2019, from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m., concluding with a Franciscan Transitus Servic,e at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, October 15, 2019 a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., at the Basilica. Interment will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Chicopee, MA and Memorial Donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Funeral arrangements are by Kozikowski Funeral Home, Chicopee, MA.

From the Curia

Canadian Delegation Celebrates Patron

(Left to Right): Fr. Varghese (Lijo) Puthenpurackal, OFM Conv., Fr. Dennis Mason, OFM Conv., Fr. Peter Knaapen, OFM Conv., Fr. James Fukes, OFM Conv., Fr. David Collins, OFM Conv., Br. Tom Purcell, OFM Conv., Fr. Mark Steed, OFM Conv., Fr. Boniface Reinhart, OFM Conv., Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv., Fr. Dominic Lim, OFM Conv. and Fr. Ed Debono, OFM Conv. (Photo Cred: Fr. Saviour Karamvelil, OFM Conv.

October 4, 2019: The friars of our Province Delegation of St. Francis of Assisi gathered for a concelebrated Mass followed by a festive dinner, to celebrate their 1st Patron Feast Day as our Canadian Delegation – erected on February 14, 2019. All the friars of the Delegation were at the dinner, however Friar Saviour is not in the pictures because he was the day’s photographer. The three friaries are part of our Canadian Delegation are home to twelve friars: St. André Bessette Friary (Ottawa, ON), St. Anthony Friary (Kingston, ON) and the hosting friary of the day – St. Bonaventure Friary (Toronto, ON).

20th Anniversary ~ The Franciscan Place

On Friday, October 11, 2019, The Franciscan Place will celebrate 20 years of ministry, as a Chapel and Religious Gift Shoppe, in the Destiny USA mall, in Syracuse, NY.
If you are in, or find yourself in, the Syracuse area take a moment to visit this unique and peace filled ministry of The Franciscan Church of the Assumption.  Open most days until 6:00 p.m., with Daily Mass celebrated Monday – Friday, Reconciliation opportunities, Friday Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and some time to pray the Rosary with other visitors after the Wednesday afternoon Mass.
For detailed hours of operation or if you have any questions, call 315-471-9511.


Honoring Fr. Briant Cullinane, OFM Conv.

On the evening of Friday, October 4, 2019, before the people of our pastoral ministry of  Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community (Burlington, NC) celebrated the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, this beautiful work of art, a large Franciscan oriented cedar wood bas-relief, carved in Mexico and brought to the USA by parishioners, was revealed and dedicated in the gathering space in honor of the ministry of Fr. Briant Cullinane, OFM Conv., and his 60th Jubliee of his Ordination as a Franciscan Priest. Friar Briant, who had also served as pastor at the parish from 1999-2001, has been in residence there since 2010. Now 88 years old, Friar Briant is their Pastor Emeritus, where he remains a well loved presence in the life of the parish.
The community welcomed our Minister Provincial, the Very Rev. Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., who gave the blessing and dedication, as well as presided and preached at the Liturgy. Several of Friar Briant’s confreres were there to join in the celebration, including those who reside in the Blessed Sacrament Friary with him: Fr Vincent Robino, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian & Parochial Vicar at Blessed Sacrament), Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Blessed Sacrament), and Fr. Peter Tremblay, OFM Conv. (Associate Chaplain for Catholic Life – Elon University Campus Ministry). Also there to honor Friar Briant ~ from neighboring Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary (Pittsboro), Br. Raymond Sobocinski, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian) and Fr. Julio Martinez, OFM Conv. (Pastor of St. Julia Catholic Church, Siler City) ~ from St. Anthony of Padua Friary, Fr. Bill Robinson, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar & Associate Campus Minister – Newman Catholic Student Center Parish at UNC Chapel Hill), Fr. Bart Karwacki, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Durham) ~ from Our Lady of the Angels Friary, Fr. Joseph Angelini, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian & Pastor Emeritus at Our Lady of Mercy, Winston-Salem) and Fr. Carl Zdancewicz, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy).

Friar James & Friar Briant unveil the new work of art.



St. Francis Feast Day Festivities

For Franciscans, the Feast Day of St. Francis is not limited to just October 4th. This year, we celebrated Transitus on October 3rd at many of our different ministries. We started Blessing Animals last weekend and will continue at different ministries throughout the week. We celebrated special Liturgies in our parishes, parish schools,  in our high schools, univeristy ministries and shrines on October 4th’s actual Feast Day of St. Francis.

In addition to these “standard” activities, celebrations, prayer services and liturgies, we often gather together with other Franciscan communities to share in fellowship. On October 2nd, our friars of St. Mark Friary, in Boynton Beach, FL shared a meal with eleven Franciscan Sister. These friars serve in pastoral ministry at St. Mark Catholic Church: Fr. Daniel Fink, OFM Conv. (pastor), Fr. Richard Florek, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), Fr. Germain Kopaczynski, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), and Fr. Joseph Dorniak, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar).

Friar Germain enjoyed his time with the sisters.

Friar Joe and Friar Richard sharing a delicious meal with the sisters.

Some Moments from Transitus 2019

At our Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City, MD

October 3, 2019: Our Student Friars of the St. Bonaventure Friary (Silver Spring, MD) organized and directed the Transitus celebration with a candlelight procession, at our Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, MD. The procession into the Shrine Chapel was led by the student friars, as well as a friar from Tanzania newly assigned friar to the Shrine, Fr. Everest Valentine Nyaki Mkenda, OFM Conv., and two Secular Franciscans (at left). After a greeting by our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., Reading I and II were both read by Friar Israel Arauz-Rosiles, OFM Conv., a student friar of St. Joseph Cupertino Province. Between these readings, the Gospel was read by Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Nick Rokitka, OFM Conv., who serves the province as Treasurer, as well as Co-Director of the Post Novitiate Friary in which the student friars reside. Several languages were represented when the intentions were read, including Chaldean read by our student friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv. and German read by Fr. Paul Schloemer, OFM Conv., a friar of Our Lady of Consolation Province and the other Co-Director of the Post Novitiate Friary.
One of our student friars, br. Alejandro María Arias Mosquera, OFM Conv. painted an icon of the Stigmatized St. Francis for the occasion (upper right).
Guests of Honor were the Archdiocese of Baltimore Auxillary Bishop Ermeritus, Most Rev. Denis J. Madden, and from the Priory of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies, in Washington DC, Fr. C. Antoninus Niemiec, O.P. (pictured lower left with Director of the Shrine of St. Anthony, Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Eric de la Pena, OFM Conv. In accord with the ancient tradition of Franciscans and Dominicans exchanging pulpits on their respective Feastdays, Fr. Antoninus served as Homilist for the celebration.

Students from the Catholic University of America stopped for a quick photo with our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (center). Our friars included here, in studies at CUA: (left to right) friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv. friar Franck Lino Sokpolie, OFM Conv., friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv., Jonathan Garcia Zenteno (postulant in blacks shirt), br. Timothy Blanchard, OFM Conv., br. Alejandro María Arias Mosquera, OFM Conv. and friar Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv.

At St. Benedict the Moor Parish, Columbus, GA

This is the second year our friars have been serving in pastoral ministry in Columbus, GA. Again this year, Fr. Noel Danielewicz, OFM Conv. (pastor ) invited his confreres of the Franciscan Martyrs Friary to celebrate Transitus at St. Benedict the Moor Parish. Surrounded by those in attendance for the celebration, behind the altar you can find Friar Noel (leaning on the altar) along with Fr. Robert Schlageter, OFM Conv. (pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church), Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar of St. Anne), Fr. Paul Pantiru, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar of St. Anne) and Fr. Bob Benko, OFM Conv. (pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church).

At the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Chicopee, MA

Several Junior High students of St. Stanislaus School participated in the Transitus Service at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, served by Our Lady of the Angels Province friars, Fr. Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv. (pastor), Fr. Paul Miskiewicz, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), Fr. Mieczyslaw Wilk, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar) and Fr. Nicholas Spano, OFM Conv. (priestly assistance).

At Assumption Church, Syracuse, NY

Elias Arias Rojas, a volunteer with FrancisCorps, took on the role of St. Francis in the Transitus Service celebrated at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption, led by Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv. (pastor)

At St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Jonesboro, GA

Parochial Vicar at our pastoral minstry of Holy Cross Catholic Church, in Atlanta, GA – Fr. Tom Reist, OFM Conv. (top left) joined his confreres serving at St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, as they celebrated Transitus with the congregation, led by  Santo Cricchio, OFM Conv (at left). Friar Santo recently returned to the area after serving his country and continuing his education through the GI Bill. He now serves as a counselor through the Holy Family Counseling Center, via an office at the St. Philip Benizi Parish Center. Serving in pastoral ministry at the parish are Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv. (pastor), Fr. Vincent Gluc, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), Fr. Louis Palacious Rodriguez, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar) and Fr. Martin Breski, OFM Conv. who took these photos.

Blessing of the Animals 2019

Franciscans from around the world celebrate both the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi (on October 3rd) and his Feast Day (on October 4th). For Franciscans, Transitus marks the night Francis left his earthly life, to move onto a life in heaven with Our Lord Jesus. He died, on the evening of October 3, 1226, a small man in his forties who had wanted to live a simple life in service to God. Traditionally Saints’ Feast Days mark the date of death and are remembered with special mention, prayers, and scripture readings. For us, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th is so much more. It is a day filled with celebration and joy. We mark the days surrounding the Feast Day with the blessing of animals, gathering for meals and enjoying the fellowship of our brothers and those we serve. Just as with all of the saints, it is the day Francis obtained Eternal Life.
Starting on the weekend before the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, several friars from throughout our province began this year’s traditional Blessing of Animals; a simple act that helps us share the charism of St. Francis by blessing these special “companions” of those we serve. It is always a source of great joy for our friars in our varied ministries.

As ministries send in photos from the Blessings, we will share them here for all to enjoy.

St. Lucie Catholic Church, Port St. Lucie, FL

This year’s medal given to all those who were blessed at St. Lucie’s

Fr. Curt Kreml, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar) blessing a young parishioner’s pet bird.

Fr. Mark Szanyi, OFM Conv. (pastor) blessed a family’s best friend.

St. Anne Catholic Church (& St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School), Columbus, GA

Fr. Paul Pantiru, OFM Conv. enjoys his first Blessing of the Animals at his new ministry with us. Friar Paul is a friar from Romania who is serving as Parochial Vicar at our pastoral ministry of St. Anne Catholic Church.

Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar) spent some time with the school children and staff, blessing the classroom pets.

Ledger~Inquirer Online Article (By Mike Haskey – )

Blessed Sacrament School, Burlington, NC

The school families gathered to have their animals of all sizes (living and stuffed) blessed by Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv., pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community.

The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, Syracuse, NY

Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv. (Pastor)

Br. Joe Freitag, OFM Conv. (Pastoral Associate)

Archdiocese Pastorate of
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church, St. Michael the Archangel Church & Church of the Annunciation

Fr. Tim Dore, OFM Conv. (Pastor of the Baltimore, MD Pastorate) even got to bless a few turtles at the October 6th Blessing at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church.

Fr. Romuald Meogrossi, OFM Conv. (Pastoral Assistant for the Baltimore, MD Pastorate) enjoyed the October 5th Blessing in front of St. Michael the Archangel Church.

Friar Tim had as much fun as the parishioners and their pet, at the October 5th Blessing at the Church of the Annunciation.

St. Paul Catholic Church, Kensington, CT

Fr. Joe Benicewicz, OFM Conv. (Pastor – center), Fr. Michael Englert, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar – far left) and Fr. Piotr Tymko, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar – 2nd from left) bless the animals for a crowd of gathered parishioners.

Friar Piotr enjoyed getting to know a few of those being blessed.