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Mourning the Deaths of Franciscans

Franciscan deathsThe Province recently learned of the passing of five friars affiliated with the Order’s English-speaking Conference.

Peter Baptist Fritz, OFM, a member of Sacred Heart Province, died on Sept. 10 at St. Mary’s Home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He was 95. Ordained to the priesthood in 1950, Peter served in pastoral ministry at several parishes during his years as a friar. He also served as chaplain to the Poor Clares and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital – the latter for 24 years – both in St. Louis, Missouri.

Giles BarredaOFM, a member of Immaculate Conception Province, died on Sept. 15 at the age of 86 at Marian Manor Nursing Home in South Boston. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Giles spent decades in missionary work – including 21 years in the province’s missions in Central America, and many years in South America, Africa and Japan. He also was assigned to pastoral ministry at IC Province parishes.

Hilarion Kistner, OFM, a member of St. John the Baptist Province who inspired parishioners with his homilies and other friars with his writings in St. Anthony Messenger Press, died on Sept. 21 at St. Margaret Hall in Cincinnati. He was 90. Hilarion served as director of Friarhurst Retreat Center for 17 years, where he was renowned for his pragmatic preaching.

Gilbert Schneider, OFM, the first elected provincial minister of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, died on Sept. 28 at the age of 82 at San Juan Diego Friary in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After his ordination in 1964, he was stationed in the Southwest, where he began a long ministry as a missionary among Native Americans. A native of Hamilton, Ohio, Gilbert was so beloved that hundreds of former parishioners attended his retirement party in 2018.

Martin Thompson, OFM, a member of the Province of Ireland, died on Sept. 29 in Galway, Ireland. He was 84. Most of his life as a Franciscan friar was spent as a missionary in South Africa. The Dublin native was known for his joyful spirit and dedication to his missionary work.

Editor’s note: Each month, HNP Today publishes news of the deaths of Franciscan brothers, priests and sisters. Information should be emailed to the HNP Communications Office. Announcements about deaths in the United States can also be found on the USFranciscans website.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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