NEW YORK — Joseph Cavoto, OFM, was received into the Order of Friars Minor in Holy Name Province by Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, on April 16, the date Franciscans throughout the world often recommit themselves to the Rule of St. Francis.
This date was appropriate for Joseph, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement based in Garrison, N.Y., because it is considered the date when St. Francis’ “way of life according to the Holy Gospel” was first approved by Pope Innocent III. Traditionally on this day, many Franciscans renew their vows.
The friars at the St. Francis Friary gathered with friars from two other New York City friaries on April 16 to renew their vows. Joseph, a therapist, has been living at the Midtown Manhattan friary for the past three years during his assignment at the St. Francis Counseling Center at St. Francis Church on West 31st Street.
“For more than 35 years, Joe has lived as a Franciscan following the Rule of the Third Order Regular as an Atonement friar,” said Dominic. “Now, he has decided to continue his Franciscan journey as a Friar Minor, professing the Rule of St. Francis in Holy Name Province.”
“With this ceremony, Joe entered a three-year process described by the indult from the General Minister wherein he may transfer, at the end of which he may make a permanent commitment to the Order of Friars Minor,” said Dominic, the Province’s secretary for formation and studies.
Joseph said his decision to join the OFM was based on becoming acquainted with Holy Name members and their work, as well as talking with Michael Blastic, OFM, who transferred to the Friars Minor from the Conventual Franciscan Order in 2006.
“The journey that led me to the Province began about 10 years ago when I took the course, ‘Build With Living Stones,’ at St. Stephen of Hungary Church, led by Anthony Carrozzo, OFM,” Joseph said. At the conclusion of the two-semester course, he invited Anthony to work with him at a clergy consultation and treatment program at St. Vincent Hospital in Harrison, N.Y.
“In time, Anthony left St. Vincent and invited me to consider working at St. Francis Church in Manhattan. I took his invitation as a prompting of the Spirit, since I had always been drawn to the Friars Minor,” said the Norwalk, Conn., native. “Once I arrived at 31st Street, the fraternal life, more than the ministry, rejuvenated my vocation in a way I could not have anticipated. I felt increasingly at home with the Province and came to learn that several friars had transferred to HNP from other Franciscan communities.”
Last October, he visited Michael at Holy Name College in Maryland. “After I explained what was stirring inside me, he spoke of his own transfer. Michael explained, ‘Once I made my decision, I never looked back.’ I took his wise counsel to heart and am grateful to continue my Franciscan vocation in the company of such fine brothers in HNP.”
Joe will now wear the habit ot the Friars Minor.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.
Editor’s note: Several simply professed friars in Boston and Silver Spring, Md., also renewed their vows on April 16.