+Fr. Justin Biase, OFM Conv.
Let us pray for the soul of the Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province, Very Reverend Justin Biase, OFM Conv. Our deepest condolences for all his family, friends, and brothers.
+Very Reverend Justin Biase, OFM Conv. +The Very Reverend Justin (Augustine) Biase, OFM Conv. was born on Staten Island, NY, on September 9, 1943, and passed away on September 21, 2017. He was the son of +Frank and +Isabelle (Carlucci) Biase. He is survived by his Franciscan family, by his sister Anna Biase Geronimo and her husband Joseph, nephew Joseph Geronimo and his wife Kerry, niece Maria Miller, five grand-nephews, one grand-niece and several cousins in the US, Canada, and Italy.
After attending St. Francis Seminary on Staten Island, +Friar Justin entered the Franciscan Friars Conventual Novitiate in Middleburgh, NY, in August of 1961. On August 28, 1962, he professed his Simple Vows and on August 28, 1965, he professed his Solemn Vows. He was ordained to the Priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany, NY, on May 30, 1970. During his first year of Priesthood, he lived at the friary of the Moroccan Martyrs and was a Graduate Student at Fordham University, from which he earned a Masters Degree in Sociology, in 1972.
+Fr. Justin was first assigned as a Parochial Assistant at St. Bartholomew Church, Camden, NJ, from 1971 through 1982, where in time he became both Pastor and Guardian. From 1982-1989, he was assigned to St. Joseph Church, Hoboken, NJ. He was the Novice Director at St. Francis Novitiate on Staten Island, NY, from 1989 to 1997. In 1997, he was assigned to Francis, Brother of Peace Friary in Syracuse, NY and in 2001 was made the Pastor of Assumption Parish, Syracuse. Elected as Minister Provincial of the former Immaculate Conception Province in 2005, he was re-elected in 2010, and served in that capacity until 2014, when St. Anthony of Padua Province and Immaculate Conception Province unioned to become our current Our Lady of the Angels Province. During his years as Minister Provincial, he oversaw the life and ministry of the friars of the Province living in the USA and Canada, as well as the Provincial Delegation in Costa Rica, and the Custody of the Immaculate Conception in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
+Fr. Justin became well-known for championing the cause of racial equality and empowerment of minorities, through committed service to the poor and marginal. He dedicated the early years of his public ministry to serving the African-American community of Camden. Fluent in Spanish, he later served Latino communities in New Jersey and New York. He was also very active in the Conference of Major Superiors of Men for religious, in the United States. He represented friars of the United States on the international level at General Chapters of the Franciscan Order. On several occasions, he served as a delegate and prophetic voice at religious assemblies and congresses in Africa, South America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. He will be deeply missed by those who experienced his compassion and kindness.
After the creation of Our Lady of the Angels Province in 2014, +Friar Justin moved to Most Holy Trinity Parish, Brooklyn, NY, serving as Guardian of the Friary & as Parochial Vicar to the Parish. Sister Death claimed him quite suddenly following heart surgery a few days after his 74th birthday. He will lie in state at Most Holy Trinity Church, 138 Montrose Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Visiting hours will be held there on Sunday, September 24th, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., and on Monday, September 25th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., with a Franciscan Transitus Vespers Service at 7:30 p.m., on Monday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26th, preceded by visiting hours from 9:00 – 10:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Franciscan Friars plot at St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village (Queens), NY, immediately following Mass. Because of +Fr. Justin’s lifelong investment in the formation of young Franciscan Friars, memorial donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042. Funeral arrangements are through B. Anastasio and Son Funeral Home, 533 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211.