For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jocelyn Thomas, director of communications
PHILADELPHIA — July 27, 2015 — Fr. Patrick Sieber, OFM, a member of Holy Name Province, the largest community of Franciscan friars in the United States, is celebrating 50 years as a friar this summer.
A Philadelphia native, Fr. Sieber serves at St. Francis Inn, the province’s soup kitchen in the Kensington neighborhood, just 10 blocks away from where he grew up. His religious life has included working in a parish and as an overnight hospital chaplain for the past 28 years.
After graduating from high school, Fr. Sieber worked for several years in a paper box factory in Kensington before attending the province’s seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. Fr. Sieber was received into the Franciscan Order in 1964 and professed his first vows one year later. As a student friar, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University and made his solemn profession in 1969.
Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1971, he was assigned to St. Anne’s Parish in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he spent nine years as assistant pastor. During this time, he continued his education at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, earning a master’s in sociology in 1975.
In 1979, he began a two-year assignment advocating for justice and peace issues in Washington. While there, he joined groups from around the country in non-violent civil disobedience at the Pentagon. In 1981, Fr. Sieber started his first assignment at St. Francis Inn. While there, he began participating in demonstrations with anti-nuclear weapons groups at various weapons production and military facilities in the area.
In 1996, he began serving as part-time as a chaplain at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, N.J., where he continues to minister today. After a ten-year absence, Fr. Sieber returned to St. Francis Inn in 2007.
He expressed his gratitude for the Franciscans, saying, “As a member of the Franciscan family, I have been blessed with people who have helped me to identify with the needs of the poor. I have tried to address these needs found in all men, including myself.”
He and other friars marking their golden and silver jubilees were honored at a Mass on June 24 at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City.
About the Province
Holy Name Province is the largest of seven provinces in the United States that belong to the Order of Friars Minor. With ministries in 12 states along the East Coast, its more than 300 Catholic priests and brothers serve in colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and a wide variety of social ministries, as well as in overseas missions.
The Order, founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi, commemorated its 800th anniversary in 2009. Today, St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, remains one of the most widely known saints, revered for his affection for nature and desire for respect of all people.
Questions and photo requests should be directed to Jocelyn Thomas, HNP director of communications, at 646-473-0265 ext. 321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.