For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jocelyn Thomas, director of communications
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Feb. 14, 2017 — Two Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province, Brothers Mario Gómez, OFM and Edgardo Jara, OFM, will be ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 18 at St. Camillus Church, a multicultural community near the nation’s capital.
All are welcome to the 11 a.m. Mass that will be celebrated by The Very Rev. Roberto González, OFM, archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Brothers Gómez and Jara were ordained transitional deacons at St. Paul Church in Wilmington, Del., this past August. Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, N.J., presided at the Mass, which was celebrated in both English and Spanish in recognition of the friars’ heritage.
Hailing from Lima, Peru, Br. Gómez attended law school at the Catholic University of Peru. He was a member of a secular institute for six years, where he received religious training, ministered to college students and discerned his vocation to religious life. Br. Gómez met the Franciscans in 2004 and professed his final vows as a Franciscan in 2012. “The open-mindedness and accepting frame of mind of the friars struck me from day one,” he said. “I found a group of men that I perceived as a community in which the values of fraternity among its members, and service to and solidarity with the poor, were cherished.”
After his profession, Br. Gómez lived at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he completed a yearlong internship and served as director of the Latino ministry before completing his master of divinity degree at Boston College. In June, he transferred to Duns Scotus Friary in Durham, N.C., to serve as a pastoral assistant for Immaculate Conception Parish.
Br. Jara, a native of Costa Rica, has been stationed at St. Camillus Parish since July 2015. He holds a degree in philosophy and humanities from Costa Rica Catholic University and a master of divinity from the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif. He professed his first vows as a Franciscan in 2013. When asked about what aspect of the priesthood to which he was most looking forward, Edgardo responded, “To be an instrument of God’s mercy and love.” He added, “As a ‘father,’ I am called to love those who I will encounter through my ministry. When they will see me, they have to see in my words and overall in my actions: God’s love, compassion, welcoming, and mercy. I am a sinner, and I know I am not worthy, but I will try my best, with God’s help, to serve those who I will encounter until my last day in this world.”
Br. Jara will celebrate his first Mass on Feb. 19 at St. Camillus Church. Br. Gomez will celebrate his first Mass the following week, on Feb. 26, at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham. All of these liturgies are considered Masses of Thanksgiving.
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.
Interview and photo requests should be directed to Jocelyn Thomas, HNP director of communications, at 646-473-0265 ext. 321 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.