For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jocelyn Thomas, director of communications
NEW YORK — Aug. 23, 2016 — Three men from Holy Name Province — two of whom are New York City natives — will profess their final vows as Franciscans friars on Aug. 27 at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street.
All are welcome to the 11 a.m. Mass, which will be celebrated by the Very Rev. Kevin Mullen, OFM, the religious superior, or CEO, of Holy Name Province. The three friars — Brothers John Aherne, OFM, George Camacho, OFM, and Edgardo Jara, OFM — will make lifelong commitments to the Franciscan Order and to living vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The friars professing final vows have spent the past several years in the Franciscan training program, which included education and practical experience in pastoral and academic settings. This summer, they participated in a month-long retreat in Italy to learn about Franciscan saints and to reflect on their Franciscan heritage.
Aherne, 43, was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens, N.Y. Before joining Holy Name Province in 2010, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University and worked at several publishing companies. A certified Irish dance teacher, he also ran a small dancing school prior to entering the Franciscan Order.
He professed his first vows as a Franciscan in 2012 and is now working toward a master of divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. In June, he completed a yearlong internship at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he took part in a wide variety of ministries, including directing a young adult program. Aherne got to know the friars by attending daily Mass and serving as a lector and Eucharistic minister at St. Francis of Assisi Church, where he will profess his final vows. He said he entered the province’s training program to “use all my gifts and bring everything to the table to be of as much service to God and to others as possible.”
Camacho, 36, who also grew up in New York, joined the Franciscans in 2009 after having worked for a television station. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from NYU and a master’s degree in pastoral and spiritual care from Loyola University, Columbia, Md. He professed his first vows in 2011 and recently served a yearlong internship at Siena College outside Albany, N.Y., one of two province-sponsored institutions of higher learning. While there, he assisted in the chaplain’s office, the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, and the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center, where he was recently named assistant director.
As a volunteer in his home parish, he led retreats to help teenagers develop effective communication skills with their parents. Camacho, who also became interested in Franciscan life by attending Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church, said he joined the Franciscan Order because of its formation program.
“I sought a significant shift in priorities as well as a deeper relationship with God and a deeper prayer life,” he said.
Jara, 44, a native of Costa Rica, is stationed at St. Camillus Parish, Silver Spring, Md., where he completed a yearlong internship. He holds a degree in philosophy and humanities from Costa Rica Catholic University and a master of divinity degree from the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif. He professed his first vows as a Franciscan in 2013 and is scheduled to be ordained as a temporary deacon in Wilmington, Del., the day after his Aug. 27 solemn profession.
Before entering religious life in 2010, Jara worked in a bank and as a high school teacher. He had also spent several years as part of a Franciscan province in Mexico. Jara came to know the friars of Holy Name Province while attending a workshop involving Franciscan provinces from across the United States.
About Holy Name Province
Holy Name Province is the largest of seven entities in the United States belonging to the Order of Friars Minor. With ministries in 12 states along the East Coast, its nearly 300 Catholic priests and brothers serve in colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and a wide variety of social ministries, as well as in overseas missions.
The Order, founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi, commemorated its 800th anniversary in 2009. Today, St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, remains one of the most widely known saints, revered for his affection for nature and care for creation.
Questions and photo requests should be directed to Jocelyn Thomas, HNP director of communications, at 646-473-0265 or email@example.com.