ESC Update: Religious Archivists Gather for Inaugural Conference

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

Archivists from the US-6 provinces, along with historian Jack Clark Robinson, participated in a first-of-its-kind conference for Catholic religious. (Photo courtesy of Tom)

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

Provincial Minister Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM, released a personal statement on the cruelty of family separation at the border, calling it “an offense against the right to life.” Click here to read the full statement.

Archivists from six U.S. Franciscan provinces – including Provincial archivist Thomas Cole, OFM – participated in the “Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives” conference from July 11 to 13 at Boston College. The first-of-its-kind conference brought together archivists, historians and congregational leaders for the purpose of exchanging ideas and best practices for preserving the future of Catholic religious. A white paper will be produced to provide best practices for Catholic archives.

Earlier this month, Fr. Michael Copps, OFM, was elected as custos of the Custody of the Immaculate Conception in Great Britain. “The ESC’s prayers and best wishes go to Fr. Michael and to all the brothers of the Custody,” according to a post on the conference’s website. “Equally, our sincere gratitude to Fr. Patrick Lonsdale, OFM, the outgoing custos and former provincial minister, for his many years of dedicated service. The brothers of the ESC want to acknowledge Patrick’s outstanding hospitality that he and his brothers extended to us during our meeting in April 2018. We enjoyed ourselves and we had a very productive meeting. Patrick, you are in our prayers.”

“Imagine a parish crisis, where everyone is suffering in some way or another. Welcome to hospital ministry,” wrote Fr. Pio O’Connor, OFM, of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, in a reflection on titled “Embracing the Suffering Christ.” Fr. Pio’s parish in Gallup, N.M., includes two hospitals (county and Native American) and three nursing homes, as well as hospice patients living at home. His reflection focuses on the “privilege it is as a hospital chaplain to bring Christ’s presence to those who are suffering and vulnerable.”

Three postulants from Immaculate Conception Province – Jack Sidoti of Winsted, Conn., Daniel Cavalieri of Philadelphia, and Carl Green of Toronto – are preparing to enter the novitiate. They will report to Convento San Francesco in Rome in mid-August and will take part in a pre-novitiate retreat at Monteripido before being received into the Order and invested with their habits on Sept. 8 at San Damiano Friary in Assisi.

Friars Mike Dubec, OFM, and Mike Chowning, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province each marked their 50th anniversary of profession this year. The friars were celebrated during a July 1 liturgy at Mother of Good Counsel Church in Hazard, Ky., where they had both served.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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