Four Friars Profess First Vows

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Four friars made their simple profession of vows June 5, before Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, and nearly 200 Holy Name friars during the Province’s Chapter at the St. Bonaventure University Chapel here.

Antonio Cornier, OFM, Francis “Frank” Critch, OFM, Mario Gomez, OFM, and Joseph Macaluso, OFM, read their vows individually and were welcomed officially into the Province by a fraternal embrace. The celebration of the Rite of Simple Profession in the Order of Friars Minor was held on the last day of the Chapter.

In his homily, Thomas Gallagher, OFM, HNP director of novices, discussed the qualities of the newly professed, saying, “Together, they make the perfect friar. We are all gifted, and each person’s gifts are different,” he added. “We are all called and we are all sent.” Expressing his wit, Thomas included humor in his homily, adding to the festive feeling of the service.

‘The Lord Gave Me Brothers’
Frank  shared his feelings, reiterating the famous quote by St. Francis, “And the Lord gave me brothers.”  He said: “This quote became very real on June 5 as we were gathered with friars, family and friends to celebrate our first profession. The outpouring of support, fraternal love and the joy of being one with all that was happening — and in the midst of all those around us — was overwhelming and humbling. The spirit of the occasion strengthened my resolve as a Franciscan, and the vows will always be for me a moment in time that will continue to be gift.”

In his remarks, John thanked Thomas and Flavian Walsh, OFM, associate director, for their nine years of servce in the formation of the novices. He also thanked the musicians.

Instrumental and vocal music at the Mass was provided by Kevin McGoff, OFM, Peter Chepaitis, OFM, Gerald Paciello, OFM, Dennis Tamburello, OFM, and two parishioners from  St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in  Hartford.

SimProfLRG_7321Friars with Varied Backgrounds
Antonio, a physician from south Florida, ministered as a postulant at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, where he taught clinical pediatrics to medical students. In an article in the summer 2007 issue of the Vocation Ministry’s Insight & Wisdom, Antonio said his formation process has “brought home the fact that friars were preachers from the earliest days of the Order.”

Joseph, a native of Yonkers, N.Y., graduated from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., with a degree in English.  After college, he taught fifth grade at St. Mary’s Academy in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. According to an article in the fall 2007 issue of Insight & Wisdom, Joseph said he is attracted to the Franciscans because of his desire “to be a brother, to learn from his brothers, and to serve the people of God with love.”

Frank, a native of Newfoundland, Canada, recently transferred to Holy Name Province from Christ the King Province.  Before becoming a friar, he had run a restaurant in St. John’s, Newfoundland, for a number of years. This summer, Frank will minster at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

Mario, a native of Lima Peru, said he values the fact that the growth process “though personal, is not private. It has a communal aspect.” Mario will minister in North Carolina this summer.

Frank summed up the day best: “ ‘The Lord gave me brothers,’ and I give thanks always for the opportunity to live this gift in this province of Holy Name through prayer, fraternal life and mission, by the example of those around me who have lived this life and who continue to be examples of  living their Franciscan vocation in clarity and audacity.”

Shown in photo are Frank, Mario, Antonio and Joseph.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.