This Month in Provincial History

Maria Hayes Features

Notable events for the month of March include:

One Year Ago
March 2, 2014 — The Franciscan Volunteer Ministry received the St. Katharine Drexel National Justice Award for its outstanding spirit of service and evangelization, and for bearing the values of St. Katharine. (The FVMs are serving in two locations this year: St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., and St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia.)

March 22, 2014 — The Order of Friars Minor launched the “Franciscans for Ecology” website to mark the 35th anniversary of the naming of St. Francis as the patron of ecology. (Additional resources on ecology can be found on the Justice and Peace section of

March 29, 2014 — St. Anthony’s Guild celebrated its 90th anniversary with a Mass, luncheon and exhibition at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.

Five Years Ago
March 25, 2010 — The Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., announced that two schools affiliated with the Province — Our Lady of the Assumption in Wood-Ridge and St. Joseph in East Rutherford — would close at the end of the academic year due to low enrollment.

15 Years Ago
March 5, 2000 — The Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn., was dedicated by Archbishop Daniel Cronin. (The center offers a variety of community services for the poor and alienated in the Hartford metropolitan area. For more information, visit the center’s website.)

30 Years Ago
March 1, 1985 — Holy Name Province assumed care of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden. John Anglin, OFM, Aubrey McNeil, OFM, and the late Thaddeus Sapio, OFM, were among the first friars to serve there.

50 Years Ago
March 17, 1965 — The feast day Mass at St. Patrick’s Parish in Buffalo, N.Y., was celebrated by candlelight after the parish complex lost power at the beginning of the liturgy. (Fr. John Paul Hunt continued to celebrate the Mass, and the fire department arrived soon after to install temporary spotlights and restore power.)

March 28, 1965 — John Bosco Valente, OFM, led the first liturgy for the deaf at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I. The Mass was in sign language, with the people answering and praying with the celebrant, Fr. James Swanson, diocesan coordinator. (As a young priest, John became deaf. He spent 42 years at St. Francis Chapel, where every Sunday he offered a liturgy using American Sign Language.)

Compiled by Maria Hayes