Br. John Aherne, OFM
A native of Queens, N.Y., solemnly professed friar Br. John Aherne, OFM, joined Holy Name Province's Franciscan Postulancy Program in 2010 and professed his first vows in 2012. Over the last few years, he has ministered at Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla., and at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and he has worked with various communities – veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center, persons with intellectual disabilities, and the poor.
Before joining Holy Name Province, Br. John worked at several publishing companies and also ran a small dancing school. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from New York University and is a certified Irish dance teacher.
He became acquainted with the Franciscan friars by attending daily Mass and serving as a lector and Eucharistic minister at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manhattan. When he began Holy Name Province's Franciscan Postulancy Program, Br. John said that he wanted to "use all my gifts to be of as much service to God and to others as possible."
Br. John professed solemn vows in August 2016 and was ordained a transitional deacon in June 2017. He lives in Chicago, where he is finishing studies at Catholic Theological Union for a Master of Divinity degree.
"I have always felt called to the priesthood," says Br. John. "The parish where I grew up – Transfiguration Parish in Maspeth, Queens – was staffed by kind, generous, prayerful men who were terrific role models. They also sparked within me a love for the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church, a love that has been kindled by the many Holy Name friar-priests I've gotten to know. I have experienced the healing that the Eucharist, the liturgy of the word, and reconciliation can bring; I well up with tears at baptisms and marriages; I have been humbled while sitting at the bedsides of dying people."
He adds, "I can think of no better way to serve God than to be present with people at these moments of life and share the sacraments with them. Being able to celebrate the sacraments with people strikes me as a tremendous privilege."
Name: Br. John Aherne, OFM
Hometown: Queens, N.Y.
Stage of Formation: Studying for priesthood
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