Franciscans Gather in Washington, D.C. for Prayer and Conversation

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


The Conventual Franciscan Friars from Silver Spring, Maryland traveled to the Capuchin College in Washington, D.C. for Mass and dinner with friars from various branches of the Franciscan family, creating a group of about 70 men who are inspired by the life and work of St. Francis of Assisi.

Many of the Franciscans at the Mass and dinner know each other from classes at The Catholic University of America. The dinner was an opportunity for them to spend more time together without having to hurry to another class. Prayer and conversations at the get-together inspired and informed all the gathered men to live up to their fullest potential.

The Conventual Franciscans’ friary in Silver Spring is their Order’s formation house. Many of the friars who call it home are in the early stages of their lives as Conventual Franciscans. They are studying for degrees, praying and talking with their formation director, learning more about their Order and taking on service ministries in and around Washington, D.C. 

(Source of image with story: OLA Province.)

Rockford Parish Reaches Out to The Faithful Through Facebook

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Rockford, Illinois was founded in 1909 and began initially serving the city’s large Italian-American community. Today, the parish, with its Conventual Franciscan staff, retains a strong connection to Italian culture while welcoming faithful and curious people of all backgrounds.

One way individuals can learn about and keep in touch with St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Rockford is its Facebook account. Updated many times each week, the account is an excellent way for anyone who might be busy running errands or taking care of other responsibilities during the week to stop and reconnect with one’s faith and faith-community.

A recent post on the St. Anthony of Padua account related to readers the life of St. Nicholas Owen. Another reminded them of an upcoming Easter Egg Hunt. Readers of these posts understand that no matter how busy and complicated their week might get they always have St. Anthony of Padua to depend on. There they find support, friendship and the opportunity to catch their breath and spent time in the presence of the Lord.

(Source of image with story:

In Reno, Nevada, Spanish Speakers Can Walk Through the Stations of the Cross in Spanish This Good Friday

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



Friar Jacob Carazo, the rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, Nevada as well as his two Conventual Franciscan brothers Friars Paul Fazio and Tom Hamilton care deeply for all of their parishioners. Some of these men, women and children belong to the Spanish speaking community and enjoy practicing their faith in this particular language.

For them the friars have organized a reading and walk through the Stations of the Cross in Spanish. The event will take place on Good Friday at 5pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Conventual Franciscan Friars across the United States, from Florida to North Carolina and across to California, are currently serving Latino communities and the special needs that they are facing. The friars advocate respect and dignity for these men and women who at times face discrimination. Discrimination is a particular threat to those individuals who work as laborers on farms and in other jobs where employee rights can be easily ignored.

(Source of image with story: SJC Province.)


Conventual Franciscan Vocation Directors Meet in Maryland

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



Conventual Franciscan vocation directors from across the United States gathered last week in Maryland for a meeting. They first spent time at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City and then traveled to Silver Spring (a Washington, D.C. suburb) where they visited their Order’s formation house. Five vocation directors represent four Conventual Franciscan provinces in the United States. Friar Tom Czeck represents St. Joseph of Cupertino Province in California (where he lives) and Nevada. Friar John Bamman and Friar Andy Martinez work in Our Lady of Consolation Province, a jurisdiction that encompasses the US Mid and Southwest. Friar John resides in Kentucky while Friar Andy calls New Mexico home. The remaining vocation directors, Friar Hans Flondor (he lives in Illinois) and Russell Governale (from Brooklyn, New York) respectively represent St. Bonaventure Province (the US Midwest) and Our Lady of the Angels Province (the US East Coast and Canada).


During their meetings vocation directors talk about their current work and plans for sharing with young people the idea that God might be calling them to religious life. They also get to spend time with other friars who encourage and inspire them.


On their visit to the formation house in Silver Spring, in particular, the vocation directors were able meet with younger friars, many of who are still in school learning about the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and our faith in general. Two younger Conventual Franciscans who call Silver Spring home are Friars Emanuel Vasconcelos and Maximilian Avila. Meeting them one immediately notices the joy they find in being Franciscans. Both Emanuel and Maximilian studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and have traveled on missions abroad. Friar Emanuel has spent time serving the faithful in Brazil while Friar Maximilian did the same in Guatemala.

(Source: OFM Conv.)


In Brazil Two Friars Profess Their Solemn Vows

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


On March 7th, the Conventual Franciscan Friars in Brazil celebrated the Solemn Profession of Vows of Friars Luis Henrique and William. The ceremony took place at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Rio de Janeiro and saw Friars William and Luis Henrique profess their Solemn Vows into the hands of the Custos of their Immaculate Conception Custody, Friar Antonio Molisani.

Many people - including other friars, friends, family, Secular Franciscans as well as parishioners - watched Friar Luis Henrique and Friar William profess their Solemn Vows. They were delighted to see the men follow their calling from God.

Solemn Professions of Vows take place within a Mass. Friar William and Friar Luis Henrique’s Mass was full of Franciscan symbolism – including the sandals that were worn and the music that was played as well as the display of the Rule of St. Francis. Friar Antonio’s homily about the joy that the newly professed friars will find in living consecrated lives in a world focused on consumerism was also Franciscan in nature.

(Source of image with story: OLA Province.)