Franciscans in Rome Honor the Life and Work of Friar Donald Kos on His 80th Birthday

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



Earlier this month, the Franciscan Friars Conventual celebrated a Mass at the Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli in Rome, Italy in honor of Friar Donald Kos’ 80th birthday. The friars incidentally care for the basilica, which is right next door to their General Curia.

Friar Donald has had a remarkable year and indeed a remarkable life. In January 2016, Pope Francis awarded him the The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal for his work to the Church. Other recipients of the medal include the German chemist Otto Hahn, The Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, and the Australian community worker Monica Gallagher.

Friar Donald’s service to the Church is remarkable. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Friar Donald professed his Solemn Vows in 1957 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961. He holds various degrees, including a BA from St. Bonaventure University near Olean, New York and doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

He has spent the last 55 years living in Italy and working for his Order and the Church. His ministries among others have seen him take on the roles of Postulator General of the Conventual Franciscan Order, Judge of the First Instance at the Vatican Tribunal, Procurator General, and currently Judicial Vicar of the Ecclesiastic Tribunal at Vatican City.

(Source of image with story:


Franciscan Reflects on What Joining a Religious Order Means

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


Franciscan Friar Conventual Joseph Schenk has been involved in many social outreach ministries. In these he has helped vulnerable men and women stabilize their lives. His work for The Trinity Human Service Corporation in Brooklyn, New York as well as the promotion of his St. Bonaventure Province’s missions are just two examples of Friar Joseph’s work to help our brothers and sisters. Joseph’s current ministry is that of Outreach Coordinator for the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program in Chicago, Illinois. In true Franciscan fashion, Friar Joseph saw the need in our world to help refugees and acted on it.

Several months ago, Joseph recorded a video to help men who feel called to religious life. It is featured above. In the video, Friar Joseph points out that anyone who wants to join a religious Order needs to accept people with their various personalities. Service is another important factor specifically in Franciscan life. All friars take on ministries whether in social outreach, teaching or something else. Prayer and of course living out the Gospel are two other key aspects of Franciscan life.

Do you have questions about what it is like to be a Franciscan? If yes, then take the first step and get in touch with our vocation directors here. They look forward to hearing from you.

(Source of image: St. Bonaventure Province, OFM Conv.)

Cooking and Serving Soup Can Be a Spiritual Experience

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

14324322 501978869993013 3148681794996561967 o

A number of Franciscan Conventual student friars in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam have taken on a soup ministry. The men gather in the kitchen of their friary where they chop ingredients and cook a nourishing soup for 200 patients in a nearby hospital. With the delicious soup in a large cauldron they transport it in a wagon to the hospital and begin serving it to patients.

The act of serving soup not only sustains patients from a nutritional standpoint but presents opportunities for human contact. The friars pray for the patients themselves and ask them how they are doing. In the act of serving soup, friars and patients bond. The patients find themselves filled with hope and greater awareness of God’s presence in their lives.

The Franciscan Conventual mission in Vietnam inspires Franciscans who live in the United States. Their Order’s St. Joseph of Cupertino Province in California and Nevada actually cares for the wellbeing of the mission. Friar John Heinz, the Minister Provincial of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province, and other American friars visit it regularly.

(Source of image with story: Conventual Franciscans Vietnam Mission.)


Young People Embrace Stewardship of Creation and Service to Others

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow




Friar John Bamman is the vocation director for Our Lady of Consolation Province in the Midwestern United States. His office is in Louisville, Kentucky. But his work takes him all across the region. Recently, though, Friar John had to travel just across the Ohio River to Clarksville, Indiana to take part in a special day at St. Anthony School.


Twenty volunteers from various ministries that help make our world a better place as well as Friar John spoke to St. Anthony’s seventh graders about the meaning of stewardship and assisting our homeless brothers and sisters. They expressed interest in the talks and are keen on helping the more vulnerable members of their community.


Their St. Anthony School is a ministry of St. Anthony Parish, a Franciscan Conventual-run church where Friar Joseph West is pastor. He welcomes everyone to St. Anthony for Mass, conversation and individual prayer.


(Source of image:


Profession of Solemn Vows in San Antonio is a Joyous Celebration

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


Franciscan Friar Conventual Don Bassana professed his Solemn Vows into the hands of Friar Jim Kent, his Minister Provincial, on September 3, 2016. The ceremony took place during a Mass at San Francesco di Paola Parish in San Antonio, Texas where Friar Don, a native Texan, has been active.

Today we are delighted to provide for you a video (see above) of Friar Don’s profession. Watching it roll we immediately see the joy everyone in the church is feeling on Don’s special occasion. Friar Don too is absolutely delighted to be living out his vocation from God. A successful businessman in the past, Don knew that God wanted him to do something else in life. When he discovered the Franciscans while traveling through Italy, Don understood that God wanted him to be a friar. Now he has professed to live in poverty, chastity and obedience for the rest of his days.

(Source of image with story: