BOSTON — Over the past few months, the Provincial Council has approved for affiliation with the Province the parents of three St. Anthony Shrine friars here.
Joseph and Vincenza Convertino, parents of David Convertino, OFM; John and Gladys Day, parents of Gregory Day, OFM; and Adele Pistacchio, mother of Gene Pistacchio, OFM, were those affiliated.
Adele Pistacchio was the most recent person affiliated, in a ceremony on Oct. 17, following a commemoration of Gene’s jubilee of profession as a friar.
Affiliations of friar relatives often take place on a milestone wedding anniversary of parents.
“For me, it is an honor for my mother to be affiliated, because she now has a closer relationship with the friars,” said Gene, whose father is deceased. “It also will help me remember my 25th anniversary.”
Affiliation means that a person enters into the brotherhood of a Province, and as such, becomes a welcomed guest in the friaries. Affiliated members can also share fully in the Masses, prayers and other good works of the Province.
This is the highest honor that the Province can give a layperson, especially one who has advanced the ideals and values of St. Francis and generously assisted the friars in living and proclaiming the Gospel. It is not uncommon for the affiliated person to receive the Franciscan habit, a certificate or other memorabilia.
Parents are especially revered as members of a brother’s family, according to Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM. They are recognized for the sacrifices and contributions made to the life of their son. “In many cases, the parents of a friar are considered parents to all the friars, since we are considered brothers to each other,” said Michael.
Over the centuries, this honor has been given to laypersons, as well as to prominent individuals — as in the case of Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, who was affiliated to the Province on Sept. 30 in New York City.
— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to this newsletter.