Franciscans Travel to Italy to Prepare for their Professions of Solemn Vows

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



Friar Brad Milunski is the vicar provincial for the Conventual Franciscan Friars’ Our Lady of the Angels Province, a jurisdiction in the eastern United States as well as Canada and a number of other locations. He was born in Amsterdam, New York.


Recently, Friar Bard travelled to Italy for three weeks as a leader of the Solemn Vows Pilgrimage. Nineteen Franciscans from the three branches of the First Order joined Friar Brad on this journey. Spending time in Rome, Assisi and other locations in Italy that played a significant role in St. Francis of Assisi’s life brought the friars closer to God and deepened their understanding of their vocations.


The friars who are preparing for Solemn Vows from the United States and the United Kingdom met with Friar James McCurry for the final week of their Solemn Vows Pilgrimage. Friar James is the Minister Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province and comes originally from Ludlow, Massachusetts.


Living in the Convent at Rivotorto, a short drive down Monte Subasio from Assisi, they continued to reflect on the intricacies of Franciscan life. This was appropriate because the first brothers who started to follow and live with St. Francis of Assisi gathered at Rivotorto and formed what Friar James calls a “protoconvent”.


(Source of image with story:

Feed My Starving Children Receives the 2015 Franciscan International Award

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FMSC food packers

The Conventual Franciscan Friars founded the Franciscan International Award in 1959 to commend and highlight the work of individual men and women as well as organizations who through their work reflect Jesus Christ to the world, much like St. Francis of Assisi did during his ministry.


Past winners of the Franciscan International Award include famed American surgeon Charles William Mayo, Alcoholics Anonymous, Governor Patrick Lucey of Wisconsin and Habitat for Humanity. The organization Feed My Starving Children is the 2015 winner of the Franciscan International Award.

Active in more than 60 countries, Feed My Starving Children offers nutritious meals to the world’s hungry people who otherwise have no access to food. Funded by donations and run by volunteers, Feed My Starving Children prepared and gave out more than 191 million meals in 2013. The organization began its service to the vulnerable in 1987. 

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A Parish in Nevada Spreads Awareness About Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke During The State’s Hot Summer Months

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Summers in Nevada can be very hot. In Reno, temperatures can easily rise to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. People who live in homes without air conditioning or spend a lot of time outside are under threat of heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.


Reno’s Conventual Franciscan-run St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral is currently spreading awareness about the dangers of heat exposure. It is urging parishioners and community members to either stay inside their air conditioned homes on very hot days or if they do not have air conditioning to visit community centres, malls and other public places that do.


St. Thomas Aquinas is also informing the public about symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and urging folks to check in on people who do not live in air conditioned homes at least twice a day. Taking care of one another other is simply the right thing to do.


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The Franciscan Hospitality House in La Crosse, Wisconsin is a Community Effort

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The Franciscan Hospitality House in La Crosse, Wisconsin offers homeless men, women and children as well as those who are facing homelessness a safe space to catch their breath and opportunities to stabilize their lives.


The creation of The Franciscan Hospitality House was a collaborative effort that involved countless generous people from various walks of life including Bishop Jim Arends of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and Conventual Franciscan Friar Bishop William P. Callahan of La Crosse.


Bishop Callahan comes from a long Franciscan tradition that sees friars work with their wider communities on solving social problems that their brothers and sisters are confronting. Working together we can positively affect more people’s lives. 


(Source of image with story: Diocese of La Crosse.)


Franciscans from across the United States Celebrate Investitures into the Habit and Professions of First Vows

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On July 23 and 24, 2015, Conventual Franciscan Friars from across the United States celebrated the Investitures into the Habit and First Professions of Vows of a number of young men who have embraced their call from God to be Franciscans. Both celebrations took place in Mishawaka, Indiana where the Order of Friars Minor Conventual has its St. Francis Novitiate.

Seven men were invested into the Habit. By taking part in the investiture, Brian Tougher, Roberson Lubin, Jaime Zaragoza, Marco Didden, Jacob Minjarez, Timothy Blanchard, and Franck Lino Sokpolie finished their time as postulants (an initial step in the discernment process) and became novices. They will spend the next year as novices in the St. Francis Novitiate, living together in community, learning about St. Francis and their Order, and taking on ministries of service.


A day after the investitures, Andrew Hennessy, Tony Martinez, Jose Maria Lindo, and Bernard Mary Fonkalsrud professed their First Vows into the hands of their Ministers Provincial. When a friar professes his First Vows, he agrees to live in poverty, chastity and obedience for a period of up to three years. During this time the friar usually continues his studies.

If you find yourself intrigued by St. Francis of Assisi like the men who last week were invested into the Habit and professed their First Vows, then you need to take the first step in your vocation journey and contact our vocation directors. They live all across the United States and will answer all your questions about Franciscan life.

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