SPUFY Friars Gather for Discussions, Support

Stephen DeWitt, OFM Friar News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This year’s meeting of the Solemnly Professed Friars Under Five Years (SPUFY) was held from Jan. 6 to 10. The meeting was attended by all 12 friars in this category, as well as our two mentors, Bill Beaudin, OFM, and David Hyman, OFM. This year, the gathering was coordinated by Stephen DeWitt, OFM, and Mario Gómez, OFM.

We met for three extended discussions and numerous social gatherings over the course of several days. Our first meeting focused on the individual lives of the SPUFY members. The discussion centered on how we were doing ministerially and personally. Areas of conversation included joys and challenges in ministry and what we hoped to be doing after our upcoming Provincial Chapter this summer.

Our second discussion focused on themes dealing with the Chapter and with the future of the Province. We talked about our opinions concerning the state of the Province — what we liked, what we found challenging or in need of change, and the like — and what we were looking for in our next Provincial. We also talked about the likelihood of merging with other provinces in the U.S. and our thoughts on this eventuality.

In our final discussion, we looked at Pope Francis’s call to be ministers who had “the smell of their sheep.” Conversation focused on what this meant in our lives and how we felt we lived it out in our ministries. We concluded this final session with a celebration of the Eucharist.

This year’s SPUFY participants were Lawrence Anderson, OFM, of Pompton Lakes, N.J., Frank Critch, OFM, of Triangle, Va., Fred Dilger, OFM, of Philadelphia, Mario and Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston, Cidouane Joseph, OFM, of Hartford, Conn., Erick López, OFM, and Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., Percy Osorio, OFM,of Lima, Chorrillos, Peru, Juan Turcios, OFM, of Camden, N.J, and Edgardo Zea, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y.

—  Fr. Stephen, solemnly professed in 2011, is parochial vicar at St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J.