Parents of Siena Friar Affiliated to Province

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

LOUDONVLLE, N.Y. — At a Sunday Mass on the college campus where her son studied and now serves, Mary Lou Paulli was affiliated to Holy Name Province last month.

“I continue to see how blessed I am because of these men who live the Gospel of Jesus in the way of St. Francis,” said Mrs. Paulli.

“My mother was deeply moved,” said Kenneth Paulli, OFM, Siena’s chief of staff, about the honor bestowed on his parents on April 14, at which both of Ken’s parents were affiliated in a ceremony at St. Mary of the Angels Chapel on the campus.  His father — Paul James — died in November 2011.

Mary Lou and Paul Paulli, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in April 2008, got to know many friars and several of the Province’s ministries over the past three decades. “My parents were introduced to the Franciscans when I was a student at Siena,” Ken said. They visited Ken when he was stationed in Winsted, Conn., and Little Falls, N.J., and, until his father died, his parents stayed at Siena for two weeks every summer, added Ken, who graduated from Siena in 1982.

“In her remarks after the affiliation, my mother recounted her long connection to the Province,” said Ken, who in 2010 marked 25 years as a friar. “My parents have been very committed to the St. Francis Breadline in New York City.”

More than 80 people attended the Mass celebrated by William Beaudin, OFM, guardian of St. Bernardine of Siena Friary, and a reception that followed. “They seemed touched by the meaning of the affiliation,” Ken said. During the event, Mrs. Paulli was given a Tao cross, to symbolize her connection to the Franciscans.

After being asked by her son of their interest in being affiliated, Ken’s mother said: “Paul and I thought about all the friars who we had come to know through our son, Fr. Ken. Paul and I thought about how our lives had been richly blessed by the life of the friars of Holy Name Province. Fast forward a few years and I continue to see how blessed I am because of these men who live the Gospel of Jesus in the way of St. Francis. Yes, I am blessed. I am honored. I am humbled.”

Ken’s mother lives outside Chattanooga, Tenn., near grandchildren.

In the fall of 2010, Siena established a scholarship named for Ken’s grandparents.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.