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.



Take Time to Experience Franciscan Life

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In today’s video, Friar Paul Schloemer describes the Come and See weekend experience with the Conventual Franciscan Friars.  As a vocation director for Our Lady of Consolation Province, an area that covers the US Mid- and Southwest, Friar Paul helps young men discern their call from God.  An important component in this process is actually spending time with the religious community one is considering.



Friar Paul most recently led a Come and See weekend at his Order’s friary in San Antonio, Texas where 19 men came to experience Franciscan life. They met friars in various stages of formation and really explored their calling in life.


Men who attend Come and See weekends are not always completely certain about what path in life they will take.  The time in the friary, however, helps them gain a better perspective on whether Franciscan life is a right fit for them. From the 19 men who attended the recent Come and See weekend in San Antonio, seven are now more deeply exploring Conventual Franciscan life.


(Source: OFM Conv.)

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.