John O’Connor Elected President of ESC

HNP Communications In the Headlines

DANVILLE, Calif. — Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, was elected president of the OFM English-Speaking Conference (ESC) at the group’s semi-annual meeting Oct. 11 at the San Damiano retreat house here.

At a simple ceremony, John was presented the original Charter establishing the ESC more than 35 years ago.  Fr. Caoimhin O’Laoide, OFM, provincial minister of the Province of Ireland, was elected vice president. Fr. Tom Washburn, OFM, from the Immaculate Conception Province, based in New York City, was re-elected executive secretary. All terms are for two years.

“During several days of meetings, we discussed a wide range of topics, including guidelines for Franciscan liturgical publications, plans for the  spring meeting at St. Bonaventure University with the General Minister and General Definitorium of the Order, and the challenges and needs of the custody of the Holy Land,” John said.

“As president of the ESC, I will also travel to Rome once a year to meet with the presidents of the other conferences of the Order.”

The ESC is composed of 16 Provincials and Custodes who represent countries where English is the primary language. It meets twice a year, with each of the Provincials and Custodes taking turns hosting the meeting.

The Oct. 8-11 meeting also included:
1. A discussion with the Custos of the Holy Land
2. A visit to St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco
3. Lunch at St. Boniface Parish in San Francisco and a visit to Napa Valley’s Flora Springs Vineyards

Host of the meeting, which was the 77th gathering of the ESC leaders, was Fr. Melvin Jurisich, OFM, Provincial Minister of the St. Barbara Province in Oakland, Calif., who is the ESC’s outgoing president. He is shown in photo with John.