Jubilarian Profile: Anthony Carrozzo Marks 50 Years Professed

HNP Communications Friar News

This is the eighth in a series of profiles of HNP friars commemorating anniversaries of Franciscan profession in 2010. The last issue of HNP Today featured John Alderson, OFM.

NEW YORK — Anthony Carrozzo, OFM, Provincial Minister from 1987 to 1996, is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of his profession in July.

Over the years, Anthony’s ministry has mainly focused on spiritual direction, preaching and teaching. He has had many interesting assignments and has held numerous positions of responsibility in addition to Provincial Minister. They include serving several terms on the Provincial Council, and the Province’s director of both initial and ongoing formation, and director of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University.

Today, the formerly high-profile friar is spiritual director at the Center for Franciscan Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at the Province’s widely-known St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in Midtown Manhattan. Before this assignment, he was spiritual director at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, which closed earlier this month.

Founding the ‘Refounding Process’ 
As Provincial Minister, Anthony is best remembered for the refounding process, during which the Province redefined its mission and committed itself to the concept of urban ministry centers, taking on new ministries in Hartford, Conn., New York City, Wilmington, Del., and Greensboro, N.C. During his leadership, the Province also accepted the care of St. Francis Parish in Raleigh, N.C.

Anthony has written about the rebuilding process: “Francis of Assisi’s initial understanding of Jesus’ command, ‘Rebuild my Church’ was literal, so he wholeheartedly renovated buildings; later he came to grasp that Jesus intended the command symbolically, as the pope confirmed by his dream of Francis supporting the crumbling structure of the symbol of the universal Church.”

He continued: “Refounding is like rebuilding: it may be understood symbolically or literally. Concerning refounding, one friar quipped: ‘I didn’t know we were lost.’ But in the symbolic sense we are lost — we need to be constantly renewed by the parables of Jesus, and the wondrous results of prayer, fasting, and refinding the Way of the Lord. The last days must be a strong part of our Christian and Franciscan vision.”

Anthony’s ministry began simply, as the chaplain for St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City in 1966. The native of a Franciscan parish in Winsted, Conn., enrolled in St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., where he completed high school and early college education.

He was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Raphael Friary in Lafayette, N.J., in 1959, and professed temporary vows in 1960. In 1963, Anthony made his profession of solemn vows and was ordained a priest in 1966, in Washington, D.C.

Graduate of SBU and Catholic University
He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and the University of San Francisco.

During his years of formation, Anthony studied at the Province’s house of philosophy in Rye Beach, N.H., and Holy Name College in Washington.

After his ministry as hospital chaplain, he served on the Provincial retreat team at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., from 1967 to 1969, and then on the faculty of St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon until 1973.

He also served as both initial and ongoing formation director for the Province, director of St. Francis Retreat Center in Rye Beach, and director of the Franciscan Institute. He was awarded a doctor of ministry degree from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Calif., in 1979.

Anthony has also chaired the editorial board of the Build with Living Stones project, which prepared the revised American version of the international Franciscan adult education program.

An essay by Anthony titled “My Franciscan Journey” appeared in the February 1991 issue of The Anthonian, the publication of St. Anthony’s Guild.

Anthony will be honored June 24 at the Province’s annual jubilee celebration.

— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today. The next issues will feature William DeBiase, OFM, and Capistran Heim, OFM, who are commemorating 50 years of profession this year.