This Month in Provincial History

Jocelyn Thomas Features

Notable events for the month of July include:

One Year Ago
July 18-20, 2014 — The Province’s justice, peace and integrity of creation leaders met at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, Stoneville, N.C., for their annual local contacts’ retreat to share experiences, skills and interests. (This month, they will meet at the Malvern, Pa., Retreat Center.)

Ten Years Ago
July 1, 2005 — Two New Jersey parishes — St. Leo in Elmwood Park, and St. Anne, Fair Lawn — were returned to the Archdiocese of Newark. (Last month, the Province announced that at the end of July 2015, the friars would be leaving St. Francis Xavier Parish in Narrowsburg, N.Y.)

July 17, 2005 — The Province assumed care of Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla. (The parish marked the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2010.)

15 Years Ago
July 15, 2000 — The golden jubilee of The Cord magazine was observed with special ceremonies at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. (This spring, SBU’s Franciscan Institute launched a new version of the publication — Franciscan Connections.)

30 Years Ago
July 26, 1985 — Brenda and Arthur Powers, a young couple from Newton Centre, Mass., and their two adopted daughters, became the Province’s first contracted lay missionaries when they departed the U.S. to serve in Caseara, Brazil. The late Finian Kerwin, OFM, then-Provincial promoter of the missions, described the contract as a “historic agreement” that “manifests how the Province and the Custody of Brazil recognize the value and importance of lay missionary activity in the Church.” (Today the Province continues to support lay missioners through ministries such as the Franciscan Mission Service.)

40 Years Ago
July 15, 1975 — The yearlong observance of the 700th anniversary of St. Bonaventure’s death closed with an academic convocation and liturgical celebration at St. Bonaventure University.

50 Years Ago
July 2-4, 1965 — During a visit to the United States, then-General Minister Fr. Augustine Sepinski, OFM, visited the friars in New York City and at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. His trip also included stops at several of Immaculate Conception Province’s ministries, as well as a visit to the World’s Fair in Queens, N.Y. Photos of the Order’s leader at both locations were published in The Provincial Annals. (Current General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, visited Holy Name Province last month, presiding at the June 24 Jubilee Mass at St. Francis Church in New York City.)

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas