Meet Our Vocation Director- Friar Russell Governale
Friar Russell Governale was born in Brooklyn, NY. He began to discern Religious Life and Priesthood when he was a student in high school. He desired to do something with his life that would serve God and neighbor. Although he was good friends with the Diocesan priest at his school, he did not feel the call to Diocesan life, but rather too, Religious Life. He found some advertisements in his Catholic newspaper about different communities and contacted them for information. He was amazed by the literature that the Conventual Franciscans sent him and continued to communicate with them. After visiting the seminary and Novitiate he saw that there were many men who were his age who had joined. In 1976, he decided to join them after his high school graduation in 1978.
Friar Russell has been involved in various ministries. After formation, he was a Deacon and a newly ordained Priest at Most Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, NY for over nine years working with a Spanish speaking community in a very poor and challenging neighborhood. He then served as Associate Novice Director in Staten Island, NY for four years, and during that time, served as a psychotherapist (Clinical Social Worker) for Catholic Charities in Newark, NJ. Friar Russell was one of the Postulant directors in Philadelphia, PA where he continued to serve as psychotherapist in Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He assisted for six months at St. Philip Benizi Parish in Jonesboro, GA between those two assignments. Friar Russell then was assigned as the Pastor of Most Holy Trinity Church, from 1997-2006 until he was named the director of the Regional New York Office of the Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs doing program development and leading pilgrimages to Italy, Spain and the Holy Land. He was called to serve St. Adalbert Church in Elmhurst, NY for four years ending in 2014. Thereafter, Friar was called to be the Vocation Director for the new province, Our Lady of the Angels. He enjoys spending time with his friends to share about life as well as, exercising and reading.
He continues to serve as the Vocation Director for all men in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
“It is my hope that all vocation prospects will have an openness to discernment. God, the Holy Spirit, will move our hearts so that we know what the next best step in our lives is all about.” – Friar Russell Governale