ESC Update: New Priest and New Website for St. Barbara Province, Other News

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

Fr. Vincent Xuan Nguyen at his ordination (Photo courtesy of St. Barbara Province)

The following updates summarize news from the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor, comprised of provinces and custodies from the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Malta and Lithuania. Follow the ESC on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information throughout the month.

► The provincial ministers and custodies of the English-speaking Conference held their annual spring meeting from April 3 to 7 at The Emmaus Centre, a Christian Brothers retreat center, in Swords, Dublin, Ireland. During that time, the leaders of the United States provinces also met to discuss the Revitalization and Restructuring Process. A summary of the meeting is included on the ESC website.

► St. Barbara Province celebrated the ordination of Fr. Vincent Xuan Nguyen, OFM, on March 25. “Vincent’s journey was a long one,” read a message on the province’s Facebook page. “His father was jailed for political reasons after the Vietnam war, the communist regime persecuted his family ceaselessly, and his family had to seek political refuge in the U.S. in 1994. He joined the Franciscans in 2003 and on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, he was ordained as a Franciscan priest. He takes as his ordination motto the words of Virgin Mary: ‘The Almighty One has done great things for me.’”

► The Franciscan friars of St. John the Baptist Province, based in Ohio, took part in the annual opening day parade for the Cincinnati Reds on April 3. “The parade began at noon under threatening clouds. We were located at the end of the parade, so we didn’t reach the starting point until 2 p.m.,” wrote Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM, on the SJB blog. “It was a long wait, and we lost Fr. Hilarion Kistner along the way in the crowd. Several senior friars rode in convertibles provided by Jake Sweeney Chevrolet, and they waved and received as much applause as the Reds players at the beginning of the parade. “The parade isn’t so much about baseball is it is about community. We are truly a part of the community and have been for more than 150 years” said Frank. “Even people who are not Catholic know us for our generosity and service to the poor.” A video of the friars was produced by Franciscan Media.

► This was no April Fools joke – the new St. Barbara Province website launched on April 1. “We are delighted with the support and feedback so far, and have already received a number of comments, corrections and suggestions,” reported Fr. Charles Talley, OFM, director of communications. To view it, visit

► Several #FriarFriday reflections were posted on throughout the month of April, including “The Mirrored One” by Jim McIntosh, OFM, and “A Franciscan Holy Week” by Fr. Gregory Friedman, OFM, of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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