Friar Bryan Professes His Solemn Vows

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


The Conventual Franciscan Friars have been serving at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio for more than 100 years. The basilica is home to the friars and the many important events in their lives such as professions. On August 22, 2014, for example, Friar Bryan Hajovsky professed his Solemn Vows at the basilica (please see the video below). His Minister Provincial Friar Jim Kent received the vows, which see a friar commit himself to Conventual Franciscan life for the rest of his days. He inspired Friar Bryan, other friars as well as Bryan’s friends and family with a homily that asks Franciscans to bring Christ’s love to our suffering brothers and sisters.


Friar Bryan currently calls the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation home. He ministers to visiting pilgrims and teaches Spanish at the nearby parish school. Originally from Texas, he is kind and engaging and always ready to reach out to anyone in need of help. Being a Conventual Franciscan Friar is his true calling in life.


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Franciscan Theologian Takes Younger Friars on a Pilgrimage to Italy

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Conventual Franciscan Friar Steve McMichael is a retreat leader at the Franciscan Retreat and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota and an associate professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He has taught at the university amongst others courses on the Christian Theological Tradition as well as Evil and the Suffering of God. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Gregorian University in Rome.

When recently Friar Bryan Hajovsky traveled to Italy on a pilgrimage with a number of friars to prepare for his Solemn Vows, he had the good fortunate to have Friar Steve McMichael as a leader. With his academic background, deep spirituality and engaging manner, Friar Steve was able to help Friar Bryan deepen his spirituality and understanding of what it really means to be a Conventual Franciscan.


Amongst a number of spiritually significant locations, the pilgrims stopped in Assisi, the birth and resting place of St. Francis and St. Clare as well as the spiritual home of all Franciscans. Every friar who visits Assisi finds his life transformed and vocation energized more than ever.


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Take a Tour of the New Holy Cross Chapel in Mesilla Park, New Mexico

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Conventual Franciscan Friar Wayne Hellmann is a theologian and professor of theological studies at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Washington. Recently, he visited the Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico.

The center is an important Conventual Franciscan ministry with Friar Tom Smith as its director. Soon, the center will have a new Holy Cross Chapel, which will welcome larger groups for Mass and individual prayer.

In our video today, Friar Wayne takes us on a tour of the chapel during its construction. He explains right away that the style of this communal place of worship resembles the chapels and churches that were constructed in this region in the 17th century.

Taking us inside Holy Cross Chapel, Friar Wayne continues with his tour, highlighting that many large windows that will bring natural light into the building and the fact that when you walk into the Church, the Cross draws your attention right away.

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In Buffalo Franciscans Profess Solemn Vows

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

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Last week on Wednesday August 6, 2014, Conventual Franciscan Friars Nicholas Rokitkta and Gabriel Scasino professed their Solemn Vows into the hands of their Minister Provincial Friar James McCurry. Solemnly professed friars embrace the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for the rest of their lives.


Both Gabriel and Nicholas have spent many years discerning their vocations and were in a joyous mood during their profession. They know that God has called them to be Conventual Franciscans.


The more than 200 people gathered at St. Louis Church to witness the Nicholas and Gabriel’s professions also understood that the men were fulfilling their call in life. Amongst the gathered were friends, family and other friars. They were thankful for the opportunity to take part in such an important occasion in a friar’s life.


(Source of image: OLA Province.)

Spend St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Feast Day at His Shrine in Libertyville, Illinois

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If you live either in Chicago or Milwaukee, then you have a chance to celebrate St. Maximilian Kolbe’s feast day (August 14, 2014) at the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Libertyville, Illinois. The shrine is about an hour south of Milwaukee and 45 minutes north of Chicago.

Founded and served by Conventual Franciscan Friars of whom St. Maximilian Kolbe was one, the shrine gives pilgrims an opportunity to spend time with and venerate relics of St. Maximilian and to learn his inspiring story.

Born in Zdunska Wola in the Polish portion of the Russian Empire in 1894, and baptized as Raymond, Maximilian found himself drawn to Conventual Franciscan life after hearing Friar Peregrine Haczela preach at a parish mission in nearby Pabianice. In 1907, he entered the Order’s preparatory seminary in Lwow.

Showing great intellectual promise, Maximilian went on to complete a doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure. Both are located in Rome.

In his life, Maximilian also started the Militia Immaculata, travelled on missions to Japan and India, founded Niepokalanow (City of the Immaculate) from which he brought our faith to people through radio and periodicals, and offered shelter to our Jewish brothers and sisters during World War II. In 1941, he died in Auschwitz Concentration Camp through lethal injection after volunteering his life for that of Franciszek Gajowniczek.

Maximilian’s detailed biography can be found here. And if you live too far from the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe, please do visit the community’s website.

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