Two Receive Francis Medal at Pompton Lakes Parish

Maria Hayes Around the Province


POMPTON LAKES, N.J. — Two beloved parishioners of St. Mary’s Church were honored last week with the Province’s Francis Medal. The friars recognized Elkin and Gloria Vargas during a special service at the church on Aug. 29.

After many years as members of the parish, the Vargas couple is moving to Florida. They have been vital members of the parish and active in many ministries, according to pastor Frank Sevola, OFM.

“Elkin is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, food pantry volunteer, and a founder of our Latino ministry,” Frank said. “Elkin and Gloria have always been available to offer assistance to anyone who needed it, especially the newly arrived immigrants. We are so proud to call them friends of St. Mary’s. We will miss them and we wish them the very best in this next chapter of their lives.”

“As a couple, they have helped countless families in the area, both Latino and non-Latino who found themselves in need,” said Frank. “From furniture to apartments to food we could always count on the Vargas’ to offer a helping hand. At every turn, Elkin and Gloria embody Franciscan values and they are certainly worthy to receive the Francis Medal.”


The HNP Francis Medal was established in 1998 by then Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM. Recipients are people who display an uncommon contribution to the advancement of the ideals and values of St. Francis. Over the past few months, the medal has been presented to parishioners in various locations, including Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., and Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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