Conventual Franciscan Vocation Director Tells His Vocation Story

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Brother Joseph Wood arrived in Australia last year from Chicago, Illinois where he had been vocation director for the Conventual Franciscans’ St. Bonaventure Province, which encompasses the Midwestern United States as well as Australia.  In Australia, Brother Joseph is continuing the ministry of vocation director.

To introduce himself to men discerning a vocation across the vast Australian nation, Brother Joseph recorded a video interview. In the video he tells his own vocation story, pointing out that he began thinking about religious life towards the end of high school. He was also drawn to the idea of changing the world and knew that in a community more could be done than if he were working as an individual. Naturally, St. Francis inspired him a great deal too as he continues to inspire people around the world today.

If someone should find him or herself feeling a call to religious life, Brother Joseph, suggests that they pursue it. It is important, he points out, that a person discerning a religious vocation have a spiritual advisor, an experienced individual who can guide you in your journey of discernment. Researching various religious communities and visiting them is another important step in the process. It helps a person better understand the kind of life God’s wants him to take on.

(Source of image with story: St. Bonaventure Province.)


Minister Provincial Delivers Franciscan Themed Lectures at Novitiate in Mishawaka, Indiana

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The Minister Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province Friar James McCurry travelled to the St. Francis of Assisi Novitiate in Mishawaka, Indiana during the last week of February. The novitiate is home to Conventual Franciscan novices from all across the United States as well as the British Isles and Australia.

Over the two days (February 24 to 25, 2015) that Friar James spent at the novitiate he spoke at conferences attended by the Conventual Franciscan novices as well as novices from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. He covered the topics “Mary in the Franciscan Tradition” and “Franciscan Silence”.

Friar James McCurry is a native of Ludlow, Massachusetts. A renowned writer and lecturer, he specializes in the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the field of Mariology. He holds a graduate degree from Boston College and was involved in researching the case for St. Maximilian Kolbe’s canonization in 1982.

(Source of image with story:

Franciscan Reflects on the Gift of His Religious Vocation

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Friar Don Bassana, a Conventual Franciscan from San Antonio, Texas, joined the San Francescani Society on a recent weekend to help revive the garden at the monastery of the Discalced Nuns. As he pulled weeds, he reflected on his life, realizing that only when he became a Conventual Franciscan did he truly find his calling. He wrote later that much like the Carmelite Monastery garden our lives need continuous cultivation. We have to think about whether the things we are doing on a day to day basis are bringing us closer to God.

Friar Don is originally from Beaumont, Texas and had a multi-year career that included running a business with his brother before he joined the Franciscans. His first encounter with the Order of Friars Minor Conventual took place in Assisi, Italy. Don was deeply impressed by the friars he met there. Sometime later back in America he was at church during Adoration when the call from God to be a friar grew intense. Don Bassana hasn’t looked back since.

(Source of image with story:

Franciscans at St. Paul Parish in San Pablo, California Work Hard to Best Serve Their Parishioners

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Three Conventual Franciscan Friars – Lazaro Sandoval, Anthony Howard and Tuan Nguyen – currently serve St. Paul Parish in San Pablo, California. Friar Lazaro is the community’s pastor. He took on this ministry in 2014.

St. Paul Parish is a multicultural faith community. The friars serve their parishioners in Spanish, English and Vietnamese. It is very important to all Franciscans that the people they serve live their faith in the language they understand best.

This summer a fourth Conventual Franciscan – Friar George Cherrie – will join Friars Lazaro, Anthony, and Tuan at St. Paul Parish. Now stationed at St. Paul of the Shipwreck Parish in San Francisco, Friar George is the treasurer for his St. Joseph of Cupertino Province and is also involved in various ministries including serving St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco in the area of mission and community services. He will make an excellent addition to St. Paul Parish.

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

Bloomington, MN Pastor Celebrates 40 Years of Priesthood

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Friar Richard Kaley is the Conventual Franciscan pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish in Bloomington, Minnesota. Visitors to may be familiar with Friar Richard’s voice since we feature his Sunday homilies on the website.

This year Friar Richard celebrates five years of service as pastor to St. Bonaventure Parish. His relationship with the community however goes back decades. Friar Richard was brought up at St. Bonaventure. He professed his Solemn Vows and was also ordained to the priesthood at the parish. Friar Richard’s ordination to the priesthood took place in 1975, making 2015 his 40th anniversary of life as a priest.

St. Bonaventure Parish will hold a celebration on the weekend of April 18-19, 2015 to honor Friar Richard’s four decades of priesthood. His parishioners will offer memories of their time with Friar Richard during the celebration.

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