ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Voicing their support for the revitalization of Franciscan life in the US, six provinces of the Order of Friars Minor have voted to form one new organization.
On May 30, the friars of each of the six provinces voted at meetings in their communities to support the formation of one new organization. It will comprise the almost 1,000 Catholic Franciscan friars belonging to the existing six provinces – both brothers and priests – and will be headquartered in a yet-to-be-determined location.
“The other provincial ministers and I are delighted with the outcome of the vote,” said Friar David Gaa, OFM, provincial minister of St. Barbara Province. “This is an important step in the process of revitalizing Franciscan life in the United States.”
The Franciscan friars of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province (based in Franklin, Wisc.), Holy Name Province (headquartered on 31st Street in New York City), Our Lady of Guadalupe Province (Albuquerque, N.M.), Sacred Heart Province (St. Louis, Mo.), St. Barbara Province (Oakland, Calif.), and St. John the Baptist Province (Cincinnati, Ohio) have been in dialogue about unifying their communities since 2012.
“The new entity will better serve the friars’ fraternal life and mission in the United States by making adjustments to the current administrative structure,” said Friar Jack Clark Robinson, OFM, the provincial minister of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province.
Like many other religious communities throughout the United States, the Franciscans are facing a reduction in its members. During the 1960s and 1970s, the number of Friars Minor in the United States peaked at 3,252, but today the numbers are down below 1,000 friars.
The reconfiguration will not happen immediately. The next step in the process is to obtain approval to unify from the Order’s minister general, Friar Michael Perry, OFM, who is based in Rome. Should he decide that such a reconfiguration would be helpful to Franciscan life and ministry, he will appoint a delegate to visit the friars in the United States. If his delegate’s report is favorable, it is expected that the process of reconfiguration will move forward.
Meanwhile, the process is continuing as issues of canon and civil law are resolved. Franciscan leaders expect that the new province will be officially formed in late 2022 or early 2023.
The worldwide Franciscan Order, founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi, comprises brothers and priests who work in a variety of settings including parishes, schools, retreat centers, and social justice ministries. Today, St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, remains one of the most widely known saints, revered for his affection for nature and care for creation.
More information on the Revitalization and Restructuring process can be found in a set of Frequently Asked Questions.
A month from now, the Franciscans of the United States will be gathering in each of their Provinces for an Extraordinary Chapter, which will be a special meeting during which they will make decisions about the future of the Franciscan Order here in the United States and how they can best respond to the needs of the Church and our society.
On Tuesday, May 29, Wednesday, May 30, and Thursday, May 31, there will be no 7:00 AM Mass.
The confession schedule will have one slight change: in the afternoon, confessions will be heard from 4:30 to 5:30 PM.
We will observe our summer holiday schedule with just one Mass at 11:30 AM.
There will be no confessions and the church offices will be closed.
Let us prayerfully remember all those who have given their lives in defense of our country, and for the cause of freedom throughout the world, especially the members of our armed forces who have died while serving in various parts of the world. “There is no greater love than this – to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
“Non-Christians by God’s gracious initiative, when they are faithful to their own consciences, can live ‘justified by the grace of God and thus be ‘associated to the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ.’ But due to the sacramental dimension of sanctifying grace, God’s working in them tends to produce signs and rites, sacred expressions which in turn bring others to a communitarian experience of journeying towards God.
While these lack the meaning and efficacy of the sacraments instituted by Christ, they can be channels which the Holy Spirit raises up in order to liberate non-Christians from atheistic immanentism or from purely individual religious experiences. The same Spirit everywhere brings forth various forms of practical wisdom which help people to bear suffering and to live in greater peace and harmony.
As Christians, we can also benefit from these treasures built up over many centuries, which can help us better to live our own beliefs.”
One of the great treasures of the Eastern tradition is the icon of the Holy Trinity created by the Russian iconographer Andrei Rublev in the 1400s. The Trinity is symbolized by the three travelers to the tent of Abraham and Sarah. They are seated at a table blessing a cup of wine, under the oak of Mamre. If you look closely, you will see a sacrificed calf in the chalice, reminding the viewer of the cross.
The table, prepared for eating and tilted toward the viewer, is an invitation to the Eucharist. From left to right, each figure is keyed to a person of the Trinity. Like all icons, this image is theology in art. The persons are equal in proportion and dignity, they all carry staffs to symbolize their power, and are shown with golden wings and halos.
Today, the best place to see Rublev’s work is the Holy Trinity Cathedral, at the heart of the vast Holy Trinity monastery about an hour from Moscow. After decades of persecution, it is now once again a living monastery, a world heritage site, and the spiritual home of Russian Orthodoxy. A Google visit is highly recommended today!
-Rev. James Field
Offertory Sunday Collections in church:$65,244
Online Sunday Collections: $16,989
Total Sunday Collections: $82,233
Total Weekday Collections:18,625
Total Sundays and Weekdays: $100,858 (Easter was in April, but Holy Week was in March this year)
Budgeted for April 2018: $83,333
Collections for April of the prior year:
Offertory Sunday Collections in church:$70,152
Online Sunday Collections: $9,452
Total Sunday Collections: $79,604
Total Weekday Collections: $33,139
Total Sundays and Weekdays: $112,743 * (Easter and Holy Week are in this total for 2017)
Budgeted for April 2017: $83,333
Today we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity. We celebrate the existence of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We celebrate God’s love for humanity, a love which is greater than we will ever understand. We are sons and daughters of God the Father, sisters and brother of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, from which we hear today, says that we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”
The blessings that we have received from the Lord come with a responsibility: “Go…and make disciples of all nations.” This might seem overwhelming for us humans with our limitations and imperfections, but what we have received from God is not meant just for ourselves, it is meant to given away freely. We are not alone as we do this. Jesus says: “I am with you always until the end of the age.”
There are several noteworthy events this week: Memorial Day is Monday. Take time on this day to remember those who have given their lives that we might be free. We live in a country that is very different from other countries around the world and enjoy many freedoms that others do not have. Remember those currently serving and their families.
We Friars of Holy Name Province will gather midweek at Siena College to vote on whether we will be one Franciscan Province in the United States. Friars from six Provinces (geographical areas) will be meeting simultaneously. Please keep us in your prayers.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M
Join us for THEOLOGY ON TAP: MASS 101
Wednesday, May 23rd at 6:30 PM
(The talk will begin around 7:00 PM)
20 West 38th Street
Between 5th & 6th Avenues
Speaker: Fr. Santo Cricchio, OFM Conv.
What actually happens at Mass? Why do we go? What do we get out of it? What keeps us coming back?
Join the Young Adult Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi for a lively discussion of Mass:101
We’ll kick things off with our speaker, Friar Santo and break out into small groups to discuss, meet new people, and enjoy some yummy food and drinks.
About Fr. Santo:
Friar Santo entered the Franciscans (Order of Friars Minor Conventual) in Ellicott City, Maryland in1984.
He completed his theological and pastoral at the Washington Theological Union and received a Masters of Theology. On October 12. 1991 he was ordained a friar-priest in Baltimore, Maryland.
From 1991 to 1996 he served as an associate pastor of Most Holy Trinity Church, a Latino parish in Brooklyn, NY. From 1996 to 2001 as associate pastor of St. Clement Mary Parish in Baltimore, Maryland. In the summer of 2001 through the spring of 2005 he served as one of five associate campus ministers at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
In the summer of 2000 Friar Santo became a Reserve Chaplain for the United States Navy. As a Navy Chaplain he has served the men and women of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. He was deployed in service to Operation Enduring Freedom in Dijibuiti for a year. Upon completing his deployment Friar Santo returned to Brooklyn as Pastor, and together with a great pastoral team merged two parishes into the combined identity of Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary, a trilingual parish. After eight years of ministry in Brooklyn he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia where he continued to ministered to the Latino community until the summer of 2017.
Currently he is using his Post 9/11 G.I. Bill to earn a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. As of 2018, Friar Santo will have completed thirty-three years of religious profession as a Franciscan Friar, twenty-six of which as a friar-priest and sixteen as a Navy Reserve Chaplain.
This is a Young Adult Ministry Event. It is open to all NYC young adults in their 20′s and 30′s!
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