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Capuchin College: 100 Years to Celebrate

CapCollege LOGO     In early September, friars and friends of our friary, "Capuchin College" (St. Francis Friary),  kicked-off  the celebration of the Centenary - it's been 100 years since the building and dedication of the house where friars throughout this "century" of years have lived and studied. The house was, and still is, dedicated to the formation of friars who have completed their novitiate year. That's the year when men don the Capuchin habit and discern their decision to take their first vows in our Capuchin way of live. Capuchin College is the next destination, where the friars live, study and minister, pursuing professional studies for their lives as friars. Many of them are students of the Theology faculty at Catholic University of America, and various friars live and work there as a support to fraternal life in preparation for priestly ministry. 

    Through September and October, a number of events are taking place to celebrate and remember . . .

More on the Centenary celebration

Puerto Rico: Calm before the Storm

PR MeetingHurr 07    From September 11-15, our Provincial Minister Tom Betz, OFM Cap., took part in the annual friars assembly/retreat in the Custody of St. John the Baptist in Puerto Rico. The joyful and fraternal mood of the friars never envisioned the chaos and destruction which would ensue only a week later. The gathering was held at Casa Cristo Redentor in Aguas Buenas, PR. The photos below shoe the friars in their annual gathering, called to gather the friars in prayer and fellowship from across the Commonwealth. They also reveal, however, some photos from the first moments after Hurrican Maria devastated the island.

Continue to more photos

Partnering Catholic YouthCamps

YouthCampsSigning   Our Provincial Minister, Br. Tom Betz, OFM Cap., and Br. Brian Stacy, OFM Cap., Director of our College Formation Program, traveled to Loveland, Colorado, to meet and sign an agreement with an ecumenical youth program called Group Workcamps. The organization provides mission trips and service "Workcamps" for more than 17,000 young people each year.

     The Province and the organization are forming a new partnership entitled "Group Catholic Workcamps" which will offer religious service weeks for Catholic youth groups and schools. Br. Brian will be the coordinator of the project which, in 2018, hopes to offer three weeks of Catholic service, projected to serve from 1000 to 1200 teens.


Br. David "Manifests the Kingdom"

CiraManifest 02    Congratulations and a round of applause also goes out to our brother, David Cira, OFM Cap.,  on receiving the Manifesting the Kingdom Award from the Diocese of Pittsburgh for his 20 years of Service to Mercy Hospital (now "UPMC Mercy"). It all happened last week, September 24, as Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik honored members from serveral parishes in the Diocese for their outstanding service to the Church.  


Thank you, Fr. Gervase!


    Our brother Gervase Degenhardt, OFM Cap., completed 16 years of service as chaplain to our Franciscan sisters at Mt. Alvernia in Millvale, PA. His last day of service was September 14, 2017. The Sisters, now part of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, had a festive Mass toast at on September 19. Tom

    Provincial Tom Betz (left in the photo) presided and preached at the celebration. A number of friars were present to marked the occasion and to thank Fr. Gervase for his dedicated work and for his show of love for our the sisters, "neighbors" to our Provincial motherhouse in Pittsburgh, PA, who have been so precious to the men of our Province.

Who's in the photo?

Vowed for Life as a Capuchin


       On Saturday, August 19, three of our friars made their "perpetual vows" of povery, chastity and obedience in a Mass celebrated at St. Augustine Church in Pittsburgh, PA. Friends and family of the brothers along with many friars from our Capuchin Province and beyond gathered to witness our brothers placing their hands into the hands of our Provincial Minister, Tom Betz, OFM Cap., to declare their resolve to live "all the days of my life . . . in obedience, without anything of my own and in chastity." With their profession, the brothers have acknowledged the Lord's faithfulness and love and the call they have heard to follow the Lord where he leads them through the grace of our brotherhoord.

       The three brothers who professed vows were Diogo Escudero, OFM Cap., Saúl Soriano, OFM Cap., and Keon Tu, OFM Cap. (all pictured above to the right), each of whom have spent three years in temporary profession at our house of formation, Capuchin College, in Washington, DC.

See photos from the Profession . . .

A BIG Thanks to our Golfers & Friends!

       Our annual Capuchin Golf Outing continues to grow as a successful fund raiser to support our life and work as Capuchin Franciscan friars.  Luckily, the rain held out on Friday, August 4th.  There were a whopping 102 golfers who came out for the day at River Forest Country Club in Freeport, PA,  and many others joined the golfers to have lunch and enjoy the day of family and friendship.  The golfers and sponsors graciously raised over $34,000 for the Father Bill Wiethorn Scholarship Fund which supports the education and formation of our Capuchin Friar students (tuition, room and board just doesn't get cheaper, does it?) . . .


New Destinations in Brotherhood



     As the novices set out on their year of discernment, we celebrate one friar's completion of that year as he makes his first profession of vows, while another six men take their first steps on the journey of brotherhood in Postulancy.


Three Brothers Get into the Habit


    On July 23, 2017, three of our brothers, Paul RahnMike Herlihey and Collin Kourtz (above) made their transitions from "Postulancy" to their Novitiate year with the Investiture ceremony held in Santa Ynez. After a year at our Padre Pio Friary in Philadelphia where they began their discernment of the Lord's call to our Capuchin brotherhood, the three men headed to Santa Inex, CA, to join the other Provinces of the NAPCC (North American and Pacific Capuchin Conference) for the more intense discernement that takes place as "novices." The year began with their "Investiture," as Brs. Paul, Mike and Collin were dressed in the habit of the Order: our Capuchin brown tunic tied with a cord with three knots and marked by the distinctive, elongated hood ("capuccio").  


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Capuchin Friars  ♦  Province of St. Augustine  ♦  220—37th Street  ♦  Pittsburgh, PA 15201  ♦  (412) 682-6011