JPIC ~ Novitiate Visit

Novices Left – Right: friar Jonathan Garcia Zenteno, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province), friar Anthony Ruffolo, OFM Conv. (Saint Bonaventure Province), friar Michael Boes, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province), [Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. – Our Lady of the Angels Province JPIC Commission Chairman], friar Wayne Mulei, OFM Conv. (St. Joseph of Cupertino Province), friar Bram De Backer, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province) and friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province).

April 12-19, 2021: Our Lady of the Angels Province JPIC (Justice, Peace & the Integrity of Creation) Commission Chairman, Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. visited the North American Novitiate, to speak about social justice, his experience in his JPIC Ministries in Shamokin, PA and the 2019 JPIC Summer Experience he had with five student friars in Shamokin, Lexington, Colombia, and El Salvador. The 2020-2021 Class of Novices were grateful for the quality time they spent with Friar Michael.

Ministry in Action

Great Job, St. Lucie Catholic Church, our pastoral ministry in Port St. Lucie, FL, served by Fr. Mark Szanyi, OFM Conv. (pastor), Fr. Curt Kreml, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar), and Fr. Gabriel Scasino, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar).

The Mission of St. Francis and the First Friars – Installment #4

Characteristics of Religious Orders in His Day: Monastic life gained particular importance in the Middle Ages. It was seen as a kind of exile. Existence in this world was viewed as slavery and a pilgrimage to the “heavenly Jerusalem” with Jesus Christ pointing the way. The very word “world” (in Latin: mundus) was understood in a negative sense by the monastic Orders.

58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations ~ April 25, 2021

Each year, on Good Shepherd Sunday (April 25 this year), the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  As revealed in the name, the day is an opportunity for Catholics around the globe to pray more intentionally for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and the diaconate.

Read Pope Francis’ special message for the World Day of Prayer 2021.

Praying for vocations is necessary, but insufficient.  Remember to also encourage young men to consider the priesthood or religious life:

  1. Identify a young man, who you observe has the gifts and persona that make for a holy priest or religious.
  2. Ask—clearly and bluntly—that young man if he’s ever thought about being a priest or brother.
  3. Tell him the gifts you see in him, which are leading you to ask.

News from the Novitiate

At the picturesque St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate, in Arroyo Grande, CA (in the St. Joseph of Cupertino Province), the friar Novices celebrated Palm Sunday alongside their friar formators, including Br. Joseph Wood, OFM Conv. (St. Bonaventure Province – Director of the Novitiate – far left), and Fr. Julian Zambanini, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province – Friar in Residence) who served as celebrant for the Liturgy. Friar Julian was assisted by friar Jonathan García Zenteno, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province Novice – left center) and friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province Novice – Cross Bearer – far right). Also pictured here is friar Anthony Ruffolo, OFM Conv. (St. Bonaventure Province Novice). The Novitiate is home to all Novices of the four North American Provinces, including Our Lady of Consolation Province.

Holy Thursday Mass in the Novitiate Chapel, celebrated by Fr. Maurice “Moe” Richard, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province – Assistant Director of the Novitiate) and concelebrated by Friar Julian.

On Good Friday, Friar Moe was assisted by friar Jonathan and friar Edgar

Although the Novices are spending a year and a day in the prayerful confines of this Novitiate community, their formators make sure they have moments of joyful fraternal celebration breaks from their studies of Franciscan History, Franciscan Spirituality, Rule and Constitutions of the Order, Liturgical – Devotional – Contemplative Prayer, History of Consecrated Life, and the Gospel Counsels. The Communal Prayer life in fraternity nourishes the Novices souls, and they are happy to also share in traditional celebrations that nourish their bodies, like an Easter Feast which even included a Baranek Wielkanocny (Paschal Butter Lamb), displayed by friar Edgar.

The Our Lady of the Angels Province friars pictured here, who are not in the prior photos above are: friar Michael Boes, OFM Conv. – Novice – bottom 3rd from left & friar Bram De Backer, OFM Conv. – Novice – bottom 3rd from right. Several friars of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province are also pictured here: Friar Jacob Carazo, OFM Conv. – Vicar Provincial , Friar Jerry Payne, OFM Conv. – Novitiate Formation Team, Friar John Farao, OFM Conv. – Prison Chaplain, and the other Novice – friar Wayne Mulei, OFM Conv. (top right)]

A message from the friars of the Novitiate:
“Happy Easter from all of us here at St. Francis of Assisi Novitiate. May the Risen Lord bless you and keep you. Alleluia!” 

Checking in with Friar John, at the Vatican

Tuesday, March 30, 2021: The friars at the Convento San Pietro – Collegio dei Penitenzieri Vaticani (Friary of St. Peter – The College of Penitentiaries) had a visit from Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, OFM Conv. (Archpriest of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vicar General for the Vatican State, and president of the Fabric of Saint Peter). Some photos were taken of the visit with the friars on their patio, which overlooks St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Gardens (Shown above and home to the Franciscan Friars Conventual who serve as Confessors at the Vatican, including Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. John Voytek, OFM Conv., pictured at top left). The friars of the Penitenzieri presented Cardinal Gambetti with a Saint Joseph icon (below), who also visited the friary chapel (at left).

Congratulations Friar Joe!

March 21, 2021: The City of Chicopee, MA honored Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Joe Bayne, OFM Conv. with a celebration honoring him for his selfless service to the St. Stanislaus Community and the men and women of the Chicopee Fire Department. Additionally, Friar Joe was honored for his Birthday (March 15), Feast Day (March 19th), and Belated 35th Ordination Anniversary. A very large amount of Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr parishioners joined in a Car Parade to extend their well wishes to their Beloved Pastor; a much-loved Shepherd to the St. Stanislaus Community. “We are so blessed to have him as our humble Shepherd!” ~ DQ Diane LaCosse

Media coverage for the day included: Local TV 22, Catholic Communications, the Diocese of Springfield’s “Real to Reel — 3-27-2021” and the Chicopee Herald. The Parish had a wonderful day honoring their Beloved Priest – Friar Joe!