St. Joseph of Cupertino and the Friars He Continues to Inspire

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


San Giuseppe da Copertino si eleva in volo alla vista della Basilica di Loreto

This Thursday (September 18), we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino. Joseph was born in the Italian town of Copertino in 1603 and wanted to be a Franciscan early on in life. He was a troubled individual and a poor student. An effort to become a Capuchin Franciscan failed.  Later an uncle assisted him in entering the Conventual Franciscan Order. And even though his studies as a Franciscan still gave him difficulties, he was able to prepare for the priesthood, pass all necessary tests and eventually become ordained.

Today we remember, St. Joseph of Cupertino for his deep love for Jesus and the Virgin Mary. His love was so powerful that it thrust him into ecstasy and caused him to levitate. To learn more about St. Joseph of Cupertino, please take a look at Friar Peter Mallin’s biography of the saint.


Incidentally, the Conventual Franciscan province that Friar Peter belongs to is named after St. Joseph of Cupertino. It covers California, Nevada and a mission in Vietnam. The friars who belong to the province find inspiration in St. Francis of Assisi and St. Joseph of Cupertino both of who lived the Gospel life in poverty, chastity and obedience.


They are involved in many ministries that improve people’s spiritual lives as well as their physical wellbeing. Just one example of their most recent work is the Heart to Hand Clinic that provides healthcare at the St. Thomas Aquinas Basilica in Reno to those who do not have adequate insurance coverage. Friar Francisco Nahoe is the rector of the basilica. He worked with Heart to Hand’s founders Dr. Shaheen Ali and his wife Behtany Weber to get the clinic running.


(Source of image:



Serving Wherever There is a Need

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Friar Lazaro Sandoval had until recently been the associate pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, California. He had grown very close to the community the members of which also cared for him deeply. A lot of his time at Our Lady of Guadalupe was involved in the Hispanic Ministry. In this ministry, Friar Lazaro celebrated the midnight mariachi Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, organized a mission and generally listened to the needs of the parish’s Spanish speakers.

Last month, Friar Lazaro’s time at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish ended. St. Paul’s Church in San Pablo, California needed a priest after the community’s beloved pastor died. So Friar Lazaro packed his belongings and drove north to the San Francisco Bay Area town. Although, he is going to miss the good people of Our Lady of Guadalupe he knows that God needs him to serve in San Pablo because the community there is in need.

(Source of image with story: OLG Parish, Hermosa Beach, California.)

Joyful Pastor in Angola, Indiana Retires

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Friar Fred Pasche is joyful and always ready to serve. This year the Conventual Franciscan celebrates 50 years of life as a priest. Seventeen of those years he has spent as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Angola, Indiana. Friar Fred loved the parish dearly, but will this year retire from it and move to Terre Haute where he will work as an associate at St. Joseph University Parish.

Under Friar Fred’s leadership, the parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua became energized in and excited about their faith. Together with Friar Fred they raised enough funds to build a new church building for the 700 families in the community.

Born in Lansing, Michigan, Friar Fred met the Conventual Franciscans as a child at his home parish. The connection with the Order was immediate and has lasted throughout Friar Fred’s life.

(Source of image:


A Hispanic Pilgrimage in Carey, Ohio

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On September 21, 2014, The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio will welcome Hispanic pilgrims for a day that will celebrate faith and culture. Pilgrims will be able to confess to a priest in Spanish and attend Spanish language Mass. An outdoor rosary procession and other faith events will allow the visitors to spend the day focused on their relationship with the Lord.

The Conventual Franciscan Friars care for The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation and have been doing so for more than a century. They welcome to the shrine throughout the year men, women, and children from many cultures. The shrine is a place where everyone feels at home.

The upcoming Hispanic Pilgrimage will highlight the Conventual Franciscans’ service to Hispanic Americans and immigrants from Latin America. All across the United States, the friars (amongst other ministries) celebrate Masses in Spanish, run shelters for Latin American migrants who have nowhere else to go, reach out to Spanish-speaking farm labourers, and also provide migrants with nourishment and legal advice.

(Source of image: OLC Province.)


FrancisCorps Welcomes 2014 Class of Volunteers

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2014 is the 16th year of FrancisCorps, the Conventual Franciscans’ volunteer program for young college graduates. Program director Friar Rick Riccioli runs FrancisCorps from Syracuse, New York where on August 17th 12 young men and women were commissioned to begin their volunteer year. Five will live, pray, and volunteer at various sites in Costa Rica while seven will care for the vulnerable people of Syracuse.


This year’s FrancisCorps volunteers are between 21 and 24 years of age and hail from across the continental United States, including California, New York, Nebraska, as well as Louisiana and Georgia. Part of their orientation the volunteers spent on the New Jersey Shore where the Conventual Franciscan Friars staff several parishes. Friar James McCurry – the Minister Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province – joined the volunteers for one of the orientation days and spoke with them about the Franciscan charism. The group enjoyed Friar James’ company and his many wonderful stories.


(Source of image: OLA Province.)