The Province is mourning the passing of several friars and Franciscan sisters, as well as the president of St. Francis College.
Two members of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., have died – Sr. Elizabeth O’Leary, OSF, on Dec. 9, and Sr. Rosa Mystica Niedda, OSF, on Dec. 24.
Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, 95, died Dec. 14 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He lived 76 years of religious life, 71 years of priesthood, 50 years of the episcopate and 43 years of cardinalate, according to the US Franciscans website, which also said that the former archbishop of São Paulo was a journalist, a professor, and a writer who published 57 books. Cardinal Arns denounced the torture used by the military during the military dictatorship of Brazil, which lasted from 1964 to 1985. He was a staunch defender of human rights in Brazil and throughout Latin America, especially in Argentina and Chile.
Two members of St. John the Baptist Province died this month – Fr. Edward Lammert, OFM, 86, on Dec. 17, and Fr. Rock Travnikar, OFM, on Dec. 25 in Tampa, Fla.
Brendan Dugan, 69, president of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., died on Dec. 18.
Sr. Francis Marie Connolly, 105, FMSC, a member of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, died on Dec. 18 in Peekskill, N.Y., after living 85 years as a Franciscan sister. An announcement with a photo was posted on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Sisters of Peekskill.
Sr. Margaret VanWagenen, OSF, 79, died in Aston, Pa., on Dec. 19. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 59 years and had ministered primarily in education and childcare.
Editor’s note: HNP Today publishes news of the deaths of Franciscan brothers, priests and sisters. Information should be emailed to the HNP Communications Office. Announcements about deaths of friars of OFM provinces of the United States can also be found on the USFranciscans website.
- Cardinal Paola Arns information from OFM website
- “Brazilian Cardinal Arns remembers for his fight for human rights” – Dec. 15, 2016, Catholic News Service
- “Deaths in Franciscan Communities” – Nov. 30, 2016, HNP Today
- “Peekskill Sisters Celebrate 150 Years” – Jan. 21, 2015, HNP Today
- “Sacred Heart Province Announces Communication Leadership Transition” – Nov. 7, 2012, HNP Today