Franciscan Parish in El Paso is Ready to Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

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The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe takes place each year on December 12. Our Lady inspires the faith of millions of people, especially those who live in Mexico and surrounding regions. Our Lady of Guadalupe after all appeared to St. Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City in 1531.

In El Paso, Texas, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Ysleta Mission) will host events in celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe from December 3 to 12, 2015. These will include daily rosary prayers, novenas, an Advent Penance service, Las Mañanitas, Mass, a procession and a celebratory reception. Franciscan Friar Conventual Miguel Briseno will help lead these celebrations of faith. Friar Miguel is the pastor of Ysleta Mission. He has been with the parish for many years. A native of Artesia, New Mexico, he clearly enjoys helping people grow in their faith.

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American Franciscan Joins College of Confessors at the Vatican

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Franciscan Friar Conventual Patrick Greenough – an American originally from Indianapolis, Indiana – recently moved to Vatican City where he took up the ministry of confessor inside St. Peter’s Basilica.  He will fulfil this important service to the faithful during the upcoming Year of Mercy, which starts on December 8, 2015 and ends on November 20, 2016.

Friar Patrick’s new role at the Vatican is part of a long Franciscan tradition. His Franciscan brothers have been hearing confessions at St. Peter’s Basilica since 1774 when Pope Clement XIV appointed them to this ministry.

Friar Patrick has led a rewarding life as a Franciscan Conventual.  Among other ministries, he has for years been active as a leader in the Militia of the Immaculata, recently lived in Jerusalem (a centre of faith for Jews, Christians and Muslims), and served as Minister Provincial of St. Bonaventure Province in the Midwestern United States.

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Remembering Friar Zbigniew Strzalkowski, Franciscan and Martyr

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Zbigniew Strzalkowski (born in Poland in 1958) entered the novitiate of the Oder of Friars Minor Conventual when he was 21 years old. He had already finished his schooling and was in the workforce when he began to understand his call to Franciscan life.

His formation journey saw him study theology and philosophy in Krakow and then profess his Solemn Vows in 1984. Two years later Zbigniew was ordained to the priesthood and then moved to Legnica. In this city he served his Order’s seminary as vice-rector for two years.

His Franciscan province had started serving at a mission in Peru in 1988. Zbigniew joined this mission late that very year, settling in the town of Pariacoto. With his Franciscan brother Friar Michal Tomaszek, he helped local people by assisting them as they grew in their faith. He was present to these people in good times and bad, supporting them always. In 1991, members of the Sendero Luminoso terrorist group killed Friar Zbigniew and Friar Michal as well as Father Alessandro Dordi for their faith. The men died as martyrs. On December 5, 2015, all three will be beatified in Chimbote, Peru.

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Bless Your Home

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St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, Nevada gives its parishioners the opportunity to have their houses blessed. Interested persons simply need to contact the parish office to make the necessary arrangements.


The blessing of a house reminds its residents that God watches over us lovingly at all times.  The rector at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, Franciscan Friar Conventual Jacob Carazo wants his parishioners to be aware of this and to do their best to reflect Jesus to the world when they are at home, at work or somewhere else.


Friar Jacob was installed as rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in January 2015. The installation marked his return to the parish because many years earlier he had been ordained to the priesthood here. Prior to becoming rector of St. Thomas Aquinas, Friar Jacob served St. Paul Parish in San Pablo, California.


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Retreatants Find Peace of Mind Through Prayer

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If you live in West Texas or Southern New Mexico and are looking for a way to reconnect with the Lord, then the Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico is the place for you. Served by Retreat Director Franciscan Friar Tom Smith and a wonderful staff of laypersons, Holy Cross is surrounded by acres of pecan orchards and has views of the majestic Organ Mountains in the distance. Meetings, spiritual retreats and other events take place at Holy Cross throughout the year.

Most recently, the center hosted a Taize prayer service in its chapel. Retreatants sang quiet refrains, read passages from the Scripture, and prayed. The whole experience was relaxing. It allowed the group to take a break from their busy lives and reconnect with the Lord.

To learn more about the Holy Cross Retreat Center, please visit To find a Franciscan-run parish or other ministry in another part of the United States and to learn about the Franciscans, we urge you to take a look at this webpage.

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