Pennsylvania Priest Receives HNP Francis Medal

Sue Cosgrove Around the Province

Fr. John TerryWILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Earlier this month, Fr. John Terry, pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish, Wilkes-Barre, and director of the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center, was honored for his Franciscan values as he celebrated his 40th anniversary of priesthood and 25th anniversary as director of the CYC.

On May 2, Holy Name Province awarded him the HNP Francis Medal. The medal is given to people who have advanced the values and ideas of St. Francis of Assisi and who have assisted the friars in living and proclaiming the Gospel after the example of St. Francis.

Fr. Terry was cited by the friars as having given concrete expression to the spirit of St. Francis in his service to the young people of Wyoming Valley as priest and CYC director. He has been responsible for continuing in his parish some of the Franciscan traditions, such as the novena to St. Anthony of Padua, that were established by the friars, who ministered there for more than 70 years.

Trained by the Franciscan friars at Christ the King Seminary in Western New York in his theological studies, Fr. Terry helped in the merging of the former St. Joseph’s Church into Our Lady of Hope Parish.

Louis Canino, OFM, who was pastor of St. Joseph’s Church from 1976 to 1982, recommended that the medal be given to Fr. Terry. Louis, director of St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., said the Scranton, Pa., Diocese priest “has an incredible admiration for the friars.”

St. Joseph’s closed when the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., reorganized its churches in 2009. Louis and two other Holy Name Province friars concelebrated a closing Mass there that year. The Province withdrew from the parish in 2002, after having served the people there for 72 years.

Sue Cosgrove, a staff member of Our Lady of Hope Parish, was affiliated to Holy Name Province in 1994. She presented the Francis Medal to Fr. Terry, in Louis Canino’s absence.

Editor’s note: Earlier this year, the Francis Medal was presented to a longtime parishioner of Assumption of Our Blessed Lady Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J.