Get to Know Our New Vocation Director

Originally from Baltimore, MD, during his free time, Brother Nick enjoys hiking and reading. His favorite books are The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and the Confessions of Saint Augustine. He also enjoys going to the theatre and character study films. During dinner with friends, he enjoys red wine or a dark beer, and a tasty cigar along with some music. Some of his favorite movies include Little Miss Sunshine, Revolutionary Road, and An American Tail. He loves to binge watch The Office, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, and West World. He enjoys music by The Beatles, Cage the Elephant, and Vampire Weekend.

Rite of Investiture 2020

Once they were all four clothed, the new Novices turned around to face their confreres, and receive a joyful congratulator greeting from them all. (Novices Left to Right: friar Bram, friar Jonathan, friar Edgar and friar Michael. In the background is our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv.)

friar Michael Boes, OFM Conv.
friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv.
friar Jonathan García Zenteno, OFM Conv.
friar Bram De Backer, OFM Conv.

On July 5, 2020, in the Chapel of The Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD), Our Lady of the Angels Province celebrated the Investiture of our four Novices. After being clothed in the habit of our Order, they traveled to the North American Novitiate – home to all of the Novices from the Provinces serving in North America. They will spend a year and a day in fraternity there, in private and communal prayer, in classes, workshops, seminars, experiencing manual work, and other activities in line with the goals of this stage of formation. For more photos from the day, visit our Province Facebook page. Please keep them and all of the Novices of the Class of 2020-2021 in your prayers.

Investiture Homily for Our Lady of the Angels Province Novice Class of 2020-2021
– July 5, 2020

Delivered by the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv.
– Minister Provincial

If you would like more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of our province,
contact our Vocation Director, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv.
at vocations@olaprovince.org or call him at 202-681-6051.

Curley Senior Celebrates Sacraments of Initiation

On Thursday, June 25, 2020, during a special Mass celebrated at our pastoral ministry of St. Casimir Church (Baltimore, MD), Kenny Clapp – a member of our Archbishop Curley High School Class of 2020 – was received into the Church as he professed his faith in Jesus and received the Sacraments of Initiation; Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.

The Sacrament of Baptism

Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Chris Dudek, OFM Conv., who serves as an instructor and as campus minister at Archbishop Curley High School, was the main celebrant of the Mass and the minister of the Sacraments.

Sacrament of Confirmation

The celebration was originally scheduled at the school in March, but had to be postponed as the school was closed due to COVID-19.

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

Many of Kenny’s family and friends were able to be present to witness his commitment to Jesus, as were members of Archbishop Curley High School faculty (including Our Lady of the Angels Province friars, Br. Lawrence LaFlame, OFM Conv. and Fr. Bryan Hajovsky, OFM Conv.) and Our Lady of the Angels Province Vicar Provincial, Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. (at left above)

Kenny’s Family

A small social distancing reception took place in the park across from the church after the Mass.

Several of the Archbishop Curley High School students, faculty and friars who came out to celebrate with Kenny

Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv. is looking forward to seeing you as you begin your college years at Syracuse University, where he serves as Catholic Campus Minister.

Provincial Meeting with the President of Poland

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Our Lady of the Angels Province Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. met the President of the Republic of Poland, H.E. Andrzej Duda, and other dignitaries and representatives of our Order and the Polish Government, in Washington DC.
H.E. Andrzej Duda awarded posthumously Friar Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv. with the Order of the White Eagle – Poland’s highest order awarded to both civilians and the military for their merits. (article in Polish)
In his Acceptance Remarks, Friar James stated, “As you know, Father Łucjan was a member of the Order of Franciscan Friars Conventual. We Franciscans first came to Poland in the year 1236. Today’s ceremony marks a unique moment in the 800-year-long history of the Franciscan Order. For the first time in Franciscan history, and in Polish history, the Order of the White Eagle is being conferred upon a Franciscan Friar. How fitting, indeed, it is that the humble Polish Franciscan Łucjan Królikowski is the recipient!
Friar James (far left) was accompanied by six of Friar Łucjan’s closest friends, including Kraków, Poland’s St. Anthony of Padua and B. James of Strepa Province (Prowincja św. Antoniego i bł. Jakuba Strzemię w Polsce) Delegate for the USA – Fr. Piotr Sarnicki, OFM Conv. (2nd from right) and Our Lady of the Angels Province friar – Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. (far right), who serves as Parochial Vicar for our pastoral ministry of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. 

The President was presented with a 1st Class Relic of St. Maximillian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. by Friar James, alongside Helena Knapczyk – one of Fr. Łucjan’s Polish orphans from Siberia & the Tengeru refugee camp.

Video Link

World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus” ~2010, Stephen B. Whatley

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus” ~2010, Stephen B. Whatley

On June 19, 2020, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we join in a World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.  Occurring annually on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this World Day of Prayer was established by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002, and encourages each priest to reflect upon the importance and dignity of his vocation. St. Francis of Assisi always had a great respect and admiration for priests, because it is from their hands that Jesus gives us His Body and Blood, in the Eucharist.   Please join us as we pray for priests and all consecrated religious.   

Perhaps, your prayer may invite you to consider being a Franciscan Brother or Priest.  Let us join the Church in prayer, praying in gratitude for the gift of the Priesthood as well as for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

Our altar of gold is the Heart of Christ.
We must enter into the Holy of Holies,
which is this same Heart of Jesus,
and gather up the riches of His love.

~St Anthony of Padu

Re-Opening Ministries of the Province

Our Lady of the AngelsAs our province ministries are mostly spread throughout the East Coast of North America (Ontario, Canada down to Florida, USA), the re-opening dates and procedures of each ministry varies greatly. Our friars ask that you please check the individual ministry website for the unique re-opening situations at each location. The list of websites for our province ministries can be found on our “Locations” page of this website. If you are unclear from the ministry site’s webpage information (as some ministries staff has not been able to return to onsite work yet), check on their social media pages for the possibility of finding the most up to date information. The friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province miss you and are working diligently to be able to join in celebrations and events with you again, as soon as is safely possible.

Checking in with Ministries

Burlington, NC: The Little Portion Food Pantry, sponsored by our pastoral ministry of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community, serves those experiencing food insecurity in North Carolina’s Burlington and Almanace Counties. They hosted their latest food distribution on Friday, June 5, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., serving 640 families (3,047 individuals) with enough food to last several days.  Through the generosity of benefactors, donors, supporters, the Burlington Police Department, the City of Burlington and their fantastic volunteers, they provided not only the staples of dry and canned goods, but also fresh produce – such as potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce and even fresh garlic, parsley & basil grown in the parish garden. Follow the parish and school on Facebook for updates.

 

Ellicott City, MD: Operating under the same English translation for the St. Francis of Assisi’s Portiuncula (Read More), our Province’s Little Portion Farm has been successful again this year in providing fresh vegetables donated to the Franciscan Center in Baltimore City, MD. The overarching mission of Little Portion Farm is to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor (Read More). Harvests from the farm include lettuce, potatoes, dill, peppers, spinach, radishes, and much more. Follow Little Portion Farm on Facebook for updates.

Atlanta, GA: On Friday, June 12, 2020, from noon until 6:00 pm, and on Saturday, June 13, 2020, from 8:00 am until 2:00 p.m., our pastoral ministry of Holy Cross Catholic Church will hold summer blood drives. Although an event held often at the parish, during this difficult time the Red Cross is in great need of blood donations. The parish sponsored ministry of St. Vincent de Paul is another important resource during these trying times. This is a lay organization at the parish; leading women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the community at large, by praying with them, assisting with rent or mortgages, utility bills, food, clothing and screenings. You can follow the parish event and happenings on the Holy Cross Atlanta Facebook page.

Syracuse, NY: The Poverello Health Center is part of the Franciscan Northside Ministries of our pastoral ministry of Assumption Church. The center provides free health services to those in need who have no other alternatives of financial resources for medical care. It will open for walk-ins Wednesday June 10, 2020, from 6-7:30 p.m. For more information on the varied social outreach ministry of the parish community, follow Assumption Church – Syracuse Facebook page.

Order of the White Eagle Awarded Posthumously for Father Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to social and charitable activities for the benefit of Polish war orphans, victims of forced displacement from the Eastern Borderlands into the USSR, for pastoral work, and a sacrificial attitude in helping other people. Below is an English Translation of the decree from the President of Poland honoring Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, the late +Fr. Łucjan Królikowski, OFM Conv. with Poland’s highest state decoration, the Order of the White Eagle. (Original Article Source)

___________________________

President Andrzej Duda met Father Łucjan on September 22, 2019, during a visit to New Britain, CT. (source: https://www.prezydent.pl/aktualnosci/ordery-i-odznaczenia/art,544,order-orla-bialego-posmiertnie-dla-o-lucjana-krolikowskiego.html)

The Order of the White Eagle [Awarded]
posthumously to
Father Łucjan Królikowski

The President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda has awarded the highest state decoration:

In recognition of outstanding services in social and charitable activities for Polish war orphans, victims of forced displacement from the Eastern Borderlands into the depths of the USSR, for his pastoral work and sacrificial attitude in helping others.

A citizen of the Republic of Poland and Canada has been awarded

THE ORDER OF THE WHITE EAGLE

 Posthumously

 Father Łucjan Królikowski

 A Polish Conventual Franciscan, Siberian exile,
soldier of the army of General Anders
and guardian of Polish war orphans from the Polish refugee camp in Tengeru (Tanzania)
– the children whom he took to Canada in the first days of June 1949,
protecting them from repatriation to a country controlled by the communist regime,
He died on October 11, 2019 in the Franciscan community of Chicopee in the USA.

___________________________

Read more on the life and work of Friar Łucjan

Congratulations Class of 2020!

Ministries throughout our province have missed out on “standard” graduation ceremonies and celebrations for the students served by our friars who are part of the Class of 2020. This includes students from PreK classes through University level graduates. Although these events were canceled or postponed, each of our ministry sites has tried to still make these milestones special. One such ministry is the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community, in Burlington NC. The parish school celebrated the 8th Grade Students, while still observing safety protocols in place during the pandemic.

 

We have been sharing these events, as they have occurred on our Province Facebook page, such as Fr. Matt Foley, OFM Conv. and other staff members at the Graduate Yard Sign Distribution at our St. Francis High School, in Athol Springs, NY, (at left). To view more celebrations of the Graduating Class of 2020 within our ministry sites, be sure to check out Franciscan Friars Conventual of the Our Lady of the Angels Province.

Prayer for Peace with our Friars of Brazil

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, the friars of our Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conceição (Immaculate Conception) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, prepared a message of Peace, Hope, Love and Faith, for all friends, parishioners and benefactors, in this time of pandemic, where concern and fear robs us of peace.

Praying the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. Our Minister General, the Most Reverend Fr. Carlos Trovarelli, OFM Conv. begins and ends the Video.

May Saint Francis of Assisi intercede for us right now so that we do not lose the true peace that helps us all to endure all the difficulties of life with patience. Remember that all of our sufferings mimic the suffering of Jesus abandoned on the cross. This is the “Perfect Joy.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Show his face and have mercy on you!
Turn to you his eyes and give you peace!

The Lord bless you
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Peace and Good!!!