Two Friars, 3,000+ Miles, One Road Trip

Maria Hayes Friar News


Selfies from the road: Casey Cole (left) and Edgardo Jara (right) are driving across the United States this week. (Photo courtesy of Casey)

Earlier this month, Edgardo Jara, OFM, graduated from the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif., and after several years away from his classmates at Holy Name College outside Washington, D.C., it was finally time for him to return home.

But before he could do that, the student friar needed to find a way to move his belongings from the West Coast to the East Coast. To save on cost, he decided to drive them back and invited classmate Casey Cole, OFM, along for the ride. Together, the friars are driving from San Diego, Calif., to Silver Spring, Md., and vlogging along the way.

“It’s an adventure of a lifetime,” Casey said on his blog “Breaking in the Habit.” “In my case, with the exception of one year in Wisconsin, four days in Colorado and three days in Los Angeles, I have never been off of the East Coast. I think I agreed to it before he even finished asking me.”

This road trip is more than a sightseeing excursion — it’s also a chance to meet friars from other Franciscan provinces across the United States. From May 26 to 31, Casey and Edgardo are stopping at the following locations:

  • Phoenix, staying at a St. Barbara Province friary
  • Roswell, N.M., at an Our Lady of Guadalupe Province friary
  • San Antonio, Sacred Heart Province friary
  • New Orleans, St. John the Baptist Province friary
  • Greenville, S.C., Holy Name Province friary

“To cut down on costs and, frankly, because it’s awesome to be part of a worldwide fraternity, we will be staying each night at a different friary in a different Franciscan province,” Casey explained.

The first vlog — or video blog — followed Casey as he flew from Washington to San Diego on May 22. He shares comments he received from fellow travelers in the airport — “Hey man, are you for real?” — and when his flight lands in San Diego, Lalo is there to welcome him.

On their second day in California, Edgardo took Casey to Mission San Luis Rey, one of the original Franciscan missions in the Southwest. Fr. David Gaa, OFM, pastor and executive director of the mission, shared some of its history with the two HNP friars.

The next stop on the friars’ trip was Los Angeles. While in the city, Edgardo and Casey toured Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral and visited Santa Monica beach — after experiencing L.A.’s typical gridlock traffic.

The friars will continue to document their journey as they head east. Followers can subscribe to the “Breaking in the Habit” YouTube channel, follow @friarcasey on Twitter, and use the hashtag #FriarRoadTrip to keep up with Edgardo and Casey. Additional photos and reflections can be found on Casey’s blog.

The two friars welcome questions and suggestions from their audience. Viewers can submit comments through one of the media channels listed above or by emailing

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

Editor’s note: A reflection by Edgardo Jara about his experience on the West Coast appears on the Holy Name Province website.