Wilmington Parishioner Receives Francis Medal

Johann Cuervo Around the Province

Todd Carpenter and Maria Negron during the Francis Medal presentation (Photo courtesy of Todd).

WILMINGTON, Del. — The friars of St. Paul’s community presented the Province’s Francis Medal to longtime member of the parish, Maria Negron, in appreciation of her service and generosity to the community.

Todd Carpenter, OFM, along with Paul Breslin, OFM, and Paul Williams, OFM planned the March 16 dinner at which Negron was recognized.

“Our initial plan was to present the medal to her at Mass; however, Maria’s travel plans changed and we had to present it to her on Thursday evening,” said Todd. “After many years volunteering at St. Paul’s, she is moving back to Puerto Rico to care for her elderly mother.”

Negron was born in Puerto Rico and moved as a child to Wilmington where she became a parishioner of St. Paul’s Church.

“She contributed greatly to the community, always eager to share her talents,” said Todd. “Maria showed true Franciscan humility as she quietly worked in the background never seeking attention or recognition. She was quite surprised and emotional. She will be dearly missed by the friars.”

In 2015, St. Paul Parish commemorated 25 years since the friars of Holy Name Province began serving the community of Wilmington.

“Over the years, St. Paul’s has become home to several levels of the Province’s formation program, first the novitiate program and later, for several years, the postulant program. Today, St. Paul’s is almost entirely a Hispanic parish, with few Anglo and African-American families”, said Todd, who has been pastor since 2008.

A few years ago, the parish’s services and welcoming spirit were featured in an article published in Delaware Today magazine titled “St. Paul’s Church a Haven for Hispanics” highlighting the fact that “Todd Carpenter opens his heart and arms to all.”

The Holy Name Province Francis Medal was established in 1998 by then-Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM. Recipients are people who have displayed an uncommon contribution to the advancement of the ideals and values of St. Francis.

In recent months, the medal has been presented by Steven Patti, OFM, in Raleigh, N.C., and by Jud Weiksnar, OFM, in Buffalo, N.Y.

– Johann Cuervo is communications assistant for Holy Name Province.

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