Berard Dudek’s 60 Years of Life as a Priest

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Conventual Franciscan Friar Berard Dudek resides at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Parish in Baltimore, Maryland. He cares for the people of St. Clement with great joy. On June 29, 2014, this community celebrated the 60th anniversary of Friar Berard’s ordination to the priesthood.


Friar Berard has always delighted in serving people who need help. In his many years as a friar-priest he has worked as a pastor, associate pastor, teacher, chaplain, vicar provincial, and principal. Each one of these ministries he embraced with vigor because as he has said in the past, “I just delight in doing God’s work.”


(Source: OLA Province.)

Director of Retreat Center in Prior Lake Explains the Importance of Taking Time to Step of Away from the Busyness of Life

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Have you ever thought about attending a religious retreat? In today's video Conventual Franciscan Friar Bob Roddy and Bob Beck explain that a retreat is a time when we step away from the busy activities of our daily lives and focus on enhancing our faith and becoming the best possible people that we can be. Friar Bob is the director of The Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Bob Beck is the center’s business manager.



In their interview on the show Catherine’s Crossings, they point out that The Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, although rooted in Catholicism, welcomes people of all faiths or those who are connected to no faith in particular.  Everyone who comes to the center feels comfortable and welcome in its surroundings. The center is a place for personal development and stimulating conversation.


The Conventual Franciscans have been at their center in Prior Lake for about 50 years. Over the decades they have formed close relationships with retreatants who regularly return to the center for a bit of solitude. With meals and rooms taken care of, the retreatants focus on spending time in prayer, conversation, and worship. Their time at the center allows them to lead more balanced lives throughout the rest of the year.


The center in Prior Lake is set on 60 acres with forests, meadows and hiking trails. The retreatants often wander through the property where, amazed by the beauty of creation, they continue to move closer to the Lord.  St. Francis also saw God in the world around him.  He let creation inspire and deepen his faith while never forgetting that God asks us to take care of it so that future generations can also enjoy what He has created.



Three Friars All Named Michael Come to Baltimore to Remember the Day of their Priesthood Ordination

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In 1989, Conventual Franciscan Friars Michael Englert, Michael Zielke, and Michael Martin were ordained at St. Casimir’s Parish in Baltimore, Maryland. Recently, the three Franciscans returned to St. Casimir to celebrate the 25thanniversary of that special day with a Mass of Thanksgiving that included Friar Michael Martin’s family and many friends.

St. Casimir Parish continues to be staffed today by Conventual Franciscans. Friar Dennis Grumsey is its pastor. The three friars who celebrated their anniversaries reside in various parts of the United States. Friar Michael Englert lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He is the parochial vicar at that city’s St. Lucie Parish.  Friar Michael Zielke, as has been reported on this website, is the new Minister Provincial for St. Bonaventure Province, the Order’s Midwestern jurisdiction. He lives in Chicago. Friar Michael Martin is the director of the Duke Catholic Center at Duke University in North Carolina.

The three Friars Michael live rich and very satisfying lives. They engage and inspire people to move closer to God and to be the best human beings that they can be. They also always offer assistance and show compassion to the sad and the suffering, remembering that their Order’s found – Francis of Assisi – reached out to every human being who needed help.

(Source: OLA Province)

Rockford Parish’s Pastor Marks 10 Years of Service to Communities in the United States

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St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Rockford, Illinois is a Polish faith community. Conventual Franciscan Friar Darek Barna is its pastor. Originally from Legnica, Poland, the 40 year old friar arrived in the United States 10 years ago when he moved to the Buffalo, New York area and started working for the Friar Justin Rosary Hour. Three years later he started serving Most Holy Trinity Parish in Brooklyn, New York which also has a substantial Polish-speaking community. He has been in Illinois for several years and has ministered in a number of parishes. In 2012, a year after becoming a United States citizen, Friar Darek took on the ministry of pastor at St. Stanislaus Kostka. He loves serving his parishioners very much.


Friar Darek met the Conventual Franciscans as a young man. He studied at their minor seminary in Legnica and then entered the Order in 1993 while in Krakow. A year later he took up his studies at Krakow’s Major Seminary. These lasted until 2000 and saw Friar Darek study theology and philosophy before he moved on to the University of John Paul II to continue graduate work in journalism and Franciscan spirituality. In 2000, Friar Darek was also ordained a priest. 



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.