New and Senior Friars Share Faith When SPUFY Meets in St. Petersburg

Roy Gasnick, OFM In the Headlines

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For the seventh consecutive time since November 2004, the Solemnly Professed Friars Under Five Years (SPUFY) held its semi-annual meeting, Oct. 12-14, with the senior friars of St. Anthony Friary (SAF) here (shown in photo).

The two disparate groups — one among the youngest friars of the Province, the other among the oldest — hit it off from the beginning, so much so that SPUFY friars continue to meet in St. Petersburg for their three yearly gatherings.

Apart from the climate and attractive location, it seems obvious, from conversations and remarks, that the spirit of Francis still plays a large role in our lives here. “Whenever the brothers may be together or meet other brothers, let them give witness that they are members of the same family.”

The 13 SPUFY friars with their moderators — Daniel Dwyer, OFM, and David Hyman, OFM — began arriving on Oct. 11. The meeting began the next day with SPUFY members joining the SAF community for Evening Prayer, preprandium and dinner. They then gathered for an orientation session in the friary library.

On Saturday, they joined the SAF community for Mass and later for Morning Prayer. The rest of the morning centered around a presentation, “Gonzalo & Jim’s Excellent Adventure in the Holy Land,” presented by Gonzalo Torres, OFM, and James Sabak, OFM. They attended the III International Chapter of Mats for Young Friars Minor in July which was described by James in a report in this newsletter in August.

Saturday afternoon afforded free time for the friars to exchange ministerial and community experiences and to enjoy the Tampa Bay area. In the early evening, moderators and SPUFY attendees dined at a local restaurant.

The meeting ended on Sunday with a Liturgy of the Eucharist with faith-sharing at the homily, and then, after breakfast, with a wrap-up session.

In addition to Gonzalo and Jim, the SPUFY friars attending the meeting were Paul Chelus, OFM, George Corrigan, OFM, Octavio Duran, OFM, Zachary Elliott, OFM, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, Paul Keenan,  OFM, Walter Liss, OFM, Gerald Paciello, OFM, David Phan, OFM, Emerson Rodriguez-Delgado, OFM,  and Christopher VanHaight, OFM.

The next SPUFY gathering will be in April 2008.

— Fr. Roy lives at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla.