Seven Years of Priesthood

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow

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This year, Conventual Franciscan Friar Lazaro Sandoval celebrates the seventh anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He works as the associate pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Hermosa Beach, California and is very active in service to others.

At Our Lady of Guadalupe, Friar Lazaro runs the Hispanic Ministry. This ministry sees him listen to the spiritual needs of all Hispanic people at his parish and solve them as best as possible. Most recently, he ran a mission for his Hispanic brothers and sisters. In the past, Friar Lazaro has also celebrated a midnight mariachi Mass on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. If there is a need to help nourish the faith of people outside of his parish, Friar Lazaro is also always ready to be of assistance as he as when he traveled to St. Hilary Church in Pico Rivera to celebrate Mass.

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 Friar Lazaro Sandoval 

In the past, Friar Lazaro served St. Paul of the Shipwreck Parish in San Francisco. Even today, this faith community in the north of California remembers Friar Lazaro for his exceptional organization skills and leadership that saw St. Paul of the Shipwreck grow. Today, on the anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish thanks Friar Lazaro for his important work and wishes him all the best in the future.

(Source: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Hermosa Beach, California.)

Venezuelan Friar Becomes a Deacon

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Conventual Franciscan Bishop Enrique Montero of San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica ordained Friar Javier Ramirez to the diaconate last weekend. Friar Javier is also a Conventual Franciscan and a native of Venezuela. He is studying theology in Costa Rica. His ordination took place in a chapel near the Franciscans’ friary in Alajuela.


For Bishop Montero, the ordination of Friar Javier took on a particular significance because it was his first such ceremony since he himself was ordained to his current ministry last month. Bishop Montero’s Episcopal ordination filled the streets of San Isidro with local people and brought to town Conventual Franciscans from many countries.


Friar Javier Ramirez is the first Conventual Franciscan from Venezuela to study theology with his brothers in Costa Rica. His Order’s jurisdiction in Venezuela is the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto, which itself is part of the Italian Province of Puglia. Friar Matteo Ornelli is the provincial custos for the custody.


(Source: OFM Conv.)

Franciscan Sister Remembers Friar Casimir Cypher

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2015 will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Conventual Franciscan Friar Casimir Cypher. The American friar was a missionary in Honduras where he worked with the poor. He died a martyr’s death after being taken prisoner by paramilitary forces who executed him for being a priest. Friar Casimir lived his faith to the very last second of his life and did whatever he could to help the poorest, most vulnerable people of Honduras. Last year, the Bishop of Olancho in Honduras started a case for the canonization of Friar Casimir. The Conventual Franciscans in the USA are assisting the bishop in this process.


Friar Patrick Greenough, the Minister Provincial of St. Bonaventure Province in the US Midwest, traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin recently to interview Sister Mary Garcia, a sister from the School Sisters of St. Francis, who knew Friar Casimir and saw him the day before he died. Sister Mary Garcia is 90 years old and has an excellent memory. She recalled Friar Casimir’s kindness and love for the people he was serving in the Olancho department of Honduras. She confirmed that Friar Casimir did not involve himself in the political tensions of the region. He focused on his ministry and was indeed arrested for helping the poor and being a priest.



A Lenten Reflection from Friar John Stowe

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Friar John Stowe is the pastor and rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. Today he offers us a Lenten reflection on video.


Inspired by the imagery in Pope Francis’ homilies, reflections and speeches, Friar John touches on the Holy Father’s description of the Church as a field hospital for sinners. Through this image we see that the Church is merciful and God offers us His love continuously. The Eucharist, Friar John points out, is not a prize for perfection but medication or spiritual nourishment for sinners. We must, however, always embrace conversion so that we may build a closer relationship with God.



Friar John is a native of Lorain, Ohio. He attended St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri where he completed Bachelor degrees in philosophy and history. He also finished a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at The Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley, California.


Friar John has fulfilled a variety of ministries in his life as a Conventual Franciscan. These include amongst others working as the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in El Paso, Texas; teaching at a deacon formation program; promoting comprehensive immigration reform; and sitting on the board of a job training program.



Talk to a Friar

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Left to Right

Friar Eric de la Peña, OFM Conv.

Friar Andy Martinez, OFM Conv.

Friar Joe Wood, OFM Conv.

Friar Vincent Gluc, OFM Conv.

Friar Paul Schloemer, OFM Conv.

Friar Tom Czeck, OFM Conv.