Dear Sisters & Brothers at St. Francis of Assisi Community-

As we make our way through the various members of the community here in the parish and hear their “voices” in this bulletin space, it’s my turn this week! I’m writing to let you know, if you haven’t heard yet, the news that our group of Franciscans known as The Most Holy Name of Jesus Province, is, this week, formally becoming a part of a new, coast-to-coast province of OFM Franciscans in the United States.

This unification, coming together, merger of the six provinces in the United States into one, new one has been in the works for several years now. As you can imagine to bring six organizations, religious communities together has been a lot of work! We’re grateful for the very talented friars and the many lay staff and consultants who have dedicated countless hours to re-imagine how our religious community can best serve in the many places where we minister across the country as well as, hopefully, “thinking outside the box” to determine how we are called to live together and minister in new ways and new places in the coming years.

This week Fr. Julian and myself will travel with other members of our friary to Kansas City, Missouri for this Chapter of Unity – the establishment of the new canonical entity or province and the ending of the existing provinces. It’s an exciting time and, also, one filled with many questions, which will be answered in the months and years to come. Our new province will have the name, Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, and will have its main headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Some of the functions of the new province will be based here in New York City, such as the main fundraising office, the national vocation office and the treasurer’s office. Other offices will be in some other locations that will meet other concerns and needs.

For us here in the parish, not a lot will change but we will be seeing some new friar faces as some new members join our community and they may be able to assist with the ministries in the parish.

We will continue to rely on your prayers of support and encouragement as we go forward!

Peace & All Good,

-Fr. Barry