‘Emmaus’ Friars Gather in New Jersey

HNP Communications Friar News

MARGATE, N.J. — Five friars who live singly met here this month for faith-sharing and a milestone celebration of the Emmaus fraternity gathering.

From May 3 to 5, David Bossman, OFM, Lawrence Burke, OFM, Peter Chepaitis, OFM, Richard Mucowski, OFM, and J. Patrick Kelly, OFM, gathered at the Franciscan Friary in Margate for a retreat. Robert Norton, OFM, was unable to attend because of ministry commitments. All live in North Jersey, except for Peter, who lives in Middleburgh, N.Y.

Unlike most friars who live in community, members of this group, which calls itself “Emmaus,” live singly because of the nature of their ministries. They have been meeting five to six times a year for the past 10 years, to share, pray together and respond to the priorities of the Province, said Peter. 

Twice a year, the group meets in Margate on the New Jersey shore, or at Point Lookout, N.Y., for an overnight get-together. 

At the May gathering, Peter said the friars enjoyed the “warm hospitality” of Bernard Splawski, OFM, andBoniface Hanley, OFM, who run the Margate friary. They also celebrated David’s 50th anniversary of profession, discussed an article Peter is writing for The Provincial Annals and participated in faith-sharing, Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. 

“We are profoundly grateful to the Province for providing houses like those at Margate and Point Lookout that allow us to enter more deeply into our fraternal relationships,” Peter said.

Peter explained why the friars named their fraternity Emmaus at their May 2005 gathering. “Because each of us had to travel to be together, as the couple on the road to Emmaus, it prompted reflection on the story in the Gospel of Luke.”