Ministry Opportunities in Pennsylvania

Johann Cuervo Friar News

SYBERTSVILLE, Pa. — Holy Dormition Friary – ­the more than 70-year-old Byzantine Franciscan community affiliated with Assumption BVM Province – is seeking friars to fill two positions, a director of programs and a director of maintenance.

According to Fr. Jerome Wolbert, OFM, guardian of Holy Dormition Friary, these are opportunities to “live in a friary that follows the Byzantine tradition and to serve in a region struggling to adjust to a growing Hispanic immigrant community and the collapse of the coal industry.”

The director of programs will be responsible for coordinating activities — such as retreats, missions, and sacramental assistance in Byzantine and Roman Catholic churches — while fostering relationships with other parishes and clergy. The director will also act as a liaison with the Sybertsville community. Interested friars should be familiar with the Byzantine tradition or open to learning and serving this ministry with a missionary spirit.

“We are looking for friars who would continue a joyful presence, embracing the Byzantine liturgical tradition,” said Fr. Jerome.

The second position, director of maintenance, will be responsible for coordinating regular maintenance of the grounds and buildings, as well as share cooking duties and other responsibilities in the Emmaus Hall.

“An open invitation is extended to all friars who might want to come to the friary as part of their discernment to this ministry,” Fr. Jerome said. “This is a unique house and a visit would help a friar to see whether this is the kind of situation he would want or be able to serve in.”

In the 1940s, when the Franciscan obtained the property in Sybertsville – roughly 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia – it was the first Catholic presence in the valley, according to Fr. Jerome, a native of Wisconsin. “From the beginning, they sought to be open to everyone, building bridges in spite of some hostility including a cross burned on the lawn.”

“We are looking for friars who are interested in continuing the ministry here, where we have a Byzantine chapel providing a quiet refuge for prayer for all people,” said Fr. Jerome.

Friars who would like to be considered for either position should email Fr. Jerome at by Oct. 15.

Details about the two openings can be found on a flyer distributed by Assumption BVM Province. Information about Holy Dormition Byzantine Franciscan Friary is available on its website and Facebook page.

Readers who would like to share employment opportunities at HNP ministries or at schools, parishes and other organizations affiliated with the Province are welcomed to provide job information to the Communications Office.

— Johann Cuervo is communications assistant at the Provincial Office.

Related Links