Provinces Bond Again

Daniel Murray Features

What do Percy Osorio and Edgardo Zea have in common with Henry Sharp,Bernardine Ward, and Francis Muller? No one would have guessed after so many years that the friars in Mexico and Holy Name Province would once more be reunited in a common goal.

Sixty-three years ago, two of the Mexican provinces were the recipients of the generosity of Holy Name Province. At that time, the General Minister of the Order through his Delegate General for the Americas, Mathias Faust, requested other provinces to send friars to labor in Mexico because the Franciscan presence there had dwindled perilously as a result of government persecution of the Church during the 1920s and 30s. In 1943, our deceased brothers mentioned above responded to this call, and went to labor with the friars of the province of Sts. Francis and James of Jalisco. Their work there is still remembered with great gratitude; indeed, one of the Holy Name volunteers, Christian Sell, eventually joined the Jalisco Province and only recently passed away.

The two provinces once again have a bond; but persecution is no longer the issue, formation is. The friars of the Jalisco province laboring in Western Mexico formed the new province of Junipero Serra several years ago.  This new province is now coming to the assistance of Holy Name Province by welcoming two of our Peruvian formation students into their novitiate program.

“Provinces helping provinces” is the name of the game. Canadian novices have come to our province and now our province is sending two of our Peruvian formation students to Mexico.

During vespers on Sept. 15,  Percy and Edgardo were invested in the habit of St. Francis.

An evening of recreation followed the investiture ceremony which was attended by Paul Breslin, director of formation in Peru, Fray David Gutierrez-Ávila, O.F.M., pastor of the novitiate parish and the representative of the provincial, Fray Juan María Huerta, and Fray Ángel Acosta M., the novice master the community of friars and all the novices.