The following is a monthly compilation of news from the website and Facebook page of the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor, comprising provinces from Canada, England, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta and the United States.
More than 40 Franciscan friars, sisters, Secular Franciscans and friends gathered this month on the eve of the feast of Bl. John Duns Scotus at the library at Immaculate Conception Province’s Provincial Curia for a blessing and dedication ceremony.
“In a move that surprised and thrilled those gathered for the celebration, Provincial Minister Fr. Primo Piscitello, OFM, renamed the library the Blessed John Duns Scotus Franciscan Library,” reported IC Province’s newsletter on Nov. 9.
The library will serve friars in formation, as well as those involved with academic Franciscan research projects, and members of two local Franciscan academic institutions: St. Francis College, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Felician University, Lodi, N.J.
The Nov. 7 dedication began with an academic presentation by Fr. Michael Della Penna, OFM, on his new book, “The Crucified Knight: the Spiritual Odyssey of St. Francis According to Henry of Avranches.” A special prayer serve honoring the theology and spirituality of Bl. John Duns Scotus followed his talk.
Later that week, in Washington, D.C., Br. Bonaventure Bai, OFM, a friar from St. John the Baptist Province became a U.S. citizen after 13 years and a treacherous journey from China to the United States. In 2002, his superior, Fr. Leopoltus Guo, smuggled him out of China to the Philippines, where he was rejected because he came with forged papers. The Vatican provided no assistance. Italy gave him refugee status and, with help from his attorney, he received a U.S. visa. On Nov. 10, he and 120 other people became citizens of the United States. The friar’s story is detailed in SJB News Notes, his province’s newsletter. More news about the SJB friars can be found on the province’s website, Franciscan.org, which was recently updated with a new design.
In New Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe Province welcomed its new director of communications, Julie Ferraro, on Nov. 1. Originally from South Bend, Ind., Ferraro has served in OLG Province as pastoral administrator of St. Mary Mission, Tohatchi, N.M., and administrator of St. Michaels Historical Museum in St. Michaels, Ariz. She will continue in these duties, along with her new responsibilities.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “English-speaking Conference Launches Website, Social Media” — June 5, 2013, HNP Today
- “Provincials Hold Autumn English-speaking Conference Meeting” — Oct. 26, 2015, HNP Today
- “New Franciscan Library to Host Writer Murray Bodo” – May 12, 2015, HNP Today
- “IC Province Friar Appointed to Order’s Communications Team” — Aug. 18, 2015, HNP Today