| Province of the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus, USA
Pages: 244 - 262
Fr. Michael J. Higgins, TOR)
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, USA
the history of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis a common unifying theme can be seen
in the importance placed on service to the people of God. The brothers and sisters of the
Third Order, as Fr. Lino Temperini points out so well in his various contributions to this
volume, have always been guided by their individual and collective awareness of the needs
of the Church and formed by their willingness to respond to those needs. From the earliest
recorded experiences of the "regular" branch of the Third Order, the sisters and
brothers have worked in hospitals and hospices, educational institutions of various kinds,
in spiritual direction and in any number of other areas in which people were in need of
prayerful and loving service
history of the two provinces in the United States, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the
Immaculate Conception of Mary, are two uniquely "American" expressions of this
Franciscan tertiary spirit and commitment. Both provinces were born out of a genuine and
prayerful desire to be of service to the people of God, and both continue to struggle be
responsive to the ever-changing needs of the Church in the United States.
Irish Foundation in the United States
history of the Third Order Regular in Ireland dates back to the later part of the 14th and
early part of the 15th centuries. These tertiary communities were small communities of
clerical and lay friars who supported themselves by manual labor, farming the fields
around their friaries and through educational apostolates to the working class and poor
Irish families. Patrick Quinn points out that
. the curriculum of these schools would have focused on native learning - the grammar,
poetry, histories and sagas of Gaelic Ireland, as well as the genealogies of important
is some evidence that, at least in some of these foundations, the brothers worked side by
side with tertiary women, "living in separate buildings of the same friary." 2 It is important to
note that this apostolate to the poorer people in the outlying areas of Ireland seems to
be a conscious decision on the part of these Third Order communities. Rather than teach
Latin, rhetoric, philosophy and theology to the children of the rich and privileged, they
taught practical courses in farming, the native Gaelic language, and basic catechesis.
Franciscan minority and a love for the weakest members of society seem to have been a
prevalent charism. Bonaventure Kiley, who for many years served as provincial archivist
with a great deal of expertise and dedication, points out that at one time there were in
Ireland "some fifty houses of the Regular Tertiaries besides the numerous groupings
of the men and women of the Third Order Secular." 3
1 Patrick Quinn,TOR, "The Third Order Regular of St. Francis in Ireland,"
Analecta TOR (Vol. XXIV, 153, 1993), p. 253.
2 Quinn, p. 254.
3 Bonaventure Kiley, TOR, "The Loretto Franciscans," in Bicentennial History of
Loretto, Pennsylvania: 1976, ed. by Joseph J. Bentivegna, Ebensburg, PA: Damian Printing
Co., 1976, p. 95.
history was not kind to the Third Order Regular in Ireland. The Reformation of the 16th
century was particularly brutal for the Franciscan family in the British Isles. Many
friars lost their lives, monasteries and convents were pillaged, burnt and destroyed and
the practice of religious life was outlawed. The Third Order Regular, which flourished so
well on Irish soil, was uprooted and destroyed. According to some historians the Order was
able to survive until the early part of the 18th century, when the last friary
"passed into the hands of the First Order." 4 Some stories, now considered to be
apocryphal, recount how friars clandestinely continued to live their religious life in
hiding and provided a living bridge with the ancient communities in Ireland.
the beginning of the 1800s, the Third Order Regular was once again established in Ireland.
began again at Merchant's Quay with a group of zealous men from the secular tertiaries at
the Friar's Minor church of Adam and Eve. The first Third Order Regular friary was
established in May of 1820 in Milltown, with the second being opened in September of that
same year at Dalkey. 5
around the year 1820, a Franciscan community of brothers was founded in the Archdiocese of
Tuam in Ireland 6 in order to work with youth
in education. This diocesan group, which at first was under the jurisdiction of the OFM
Observants, adopted the Rule of the Third Order Regular and was formed into a diocesan
community under the Bishop of Tuam. The apostolate of this tertiary community, which
included houses in Dalkey and Mt. Bellew, was very much like the apostolate of the first
Third Order friars in Ireland. "In addition to teaching school they farmed the land
that by their labor they might be self-supporting and the poor would not be denied an
education." 7 The community grew and established religious houses
in a number of towns, including Roundstone and Clifton. Once again the tertiary charism of
minority and service to the poor was a guiding force in the community. "The spirit of
Francis once again inspired men and women to respond to the concrete ministerial needs of
the local church ... " 8
to the poor economic condition of Ireland in the middle part of the 19th century, a
condition exacerbated by the potato famine and the immigration of thousands of Irish to
the United States, the friars were forced to look to other countries for financial support
for their apostolic work. There was also a desire to help those suffering the effects of
the famine in Ireland. Thus in 1846 three Irish brothers left Dublin for the United
States, settling in Louisville, Kentucky, where they set up a school. Unfortunately,
"sickness plagued the Brothers and the school was closed little more than a year
later." 9 In 1847 another group of brothers journeyed to
the US and settled in Loretto, Pennsylvania, in October of the same year. Loretto was at
the time a part of the Pittsburgh Diocese.
brothers settled in Loretto in response to a request from the bishop of Pittsburgh, Bishop
Michael O'Connor, who was in need of a religious community to work in the educational
4 Quinn, p. 260.
5 Quinn, p. 262.
6 John P.M, Doyle, TOR. (compiler) History of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of
Penance. Unpublished Manuscript, Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1947.
7 Kiley, p. 95.
8 Quinn, p. 263.
9 Kiley, p. 95.
the diocese. Loretto was chosen as the site for the new establishment because it included
a parish school in need of teachers (established in 1800 by Prince Demetrius Gallizin),
land available for farming and cultivation, and the possibility for expansion. Along with
the incredible tasks of expanding the school, establishing a religious community in the
town, and preparing the land for crops, the brothers were also involved in fund raising
for the starving people in Western Ireland.
1848 the superior of the brothers, "Brother Giles, along with a number of the
brothers, were to draw up a rule of government and write a petition to be sent to Rome
enabling the Brothers to pass from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Tuam, Ireland, to
that of the Bishop of Pittsburgh." 10 In the same year the foundation for St.
Francis Academy, which would eventually become St. Francis College, was begun with Bishop
O'Connor officiating at the ceremony which laid the cornerstone.
establishments in Pennsylvania included St. Paul's School and St. Peter's School in
Pittsburgh, a farm and school for boys in New Bedford, and an orphanage in Cameron's
Bottom (a little town not far from Loretto). As the school in Loretto expanded, these
other apostolates were gradually turned over to others or abandoned. According to a census
taken in 1850 there were twenty-three brothers stationed in Loretto: twenty-one from
Ireland, one from Belgium and one from England. "Ten of the brothers listed their
profession as teachers and the remainder were occupied in various jobs such as farmers,
carpenters, shoemaker or tailor. " 11
in 1858 the bishop of Brooklyn in New York, Bishop John Laughlin, invited the brothers
into the diocese again to work in the educational apostolate.
was done and the community increased until 1900 it had 125 professed Brothers working in
the cause of Christian education. They had charge of fourteen parish schools for boys, a
college, two high schools, and a novitiate house situated at Centerport, Long Island. 12
the early part of the 1880's the bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul in Minnesota, Bishop
John Ireland, approached the brothers with the same request that his two brother bishops
in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn had made years before. He too had a need for a solid community
of religious to work in the educational apostolate of the diocese. Once again the brothers
responded to the request of the bishop and the need of the Church in the US. "In or
about 1882 ... the Brooklyn brothers opened a school for Indian boys at Clontarf. ... From
it sprang the community of Spalding, Nebraska, in the diocese of Omaha. " 13 Through much sacrifice and
hard work the brothers managed to keep the school in Clontarf running as a viable
1894 they were forced to close the institution. Up to that time the Federal Government had
paid for the education of the Indian boys, but when this subsidy was withdrawn, they could
not carry on. 14
page 246 footnotes:
10 Kiley, p. 97
11 Kiley, p. 99
12 Doyle p. 59
13 Doyle p.59
14 Doyle p. 59
the guidance of Bro. Joseph Fielding, the brothers moved from Minnesota and established a
school for boys in Spalding, Nebraska. Although this community was never very large,
having a maximum of seven religious, their hard work and dedication laid the foundation of
a successful apostolate.
the turn of the century there were three main groups of Irish brothers working in the
United States: Loretto, Brooklyn and Spalding. Each of these communities was connected
with the community in Ireland, actively involved in the education of boys, and under the
jurisdiction of their local diocesan bishops.
with the Third Order Regular
their ministry in the United States continued the brothers were increasingly faced with
the need for a stronger connection with the Franciscan family. Part of this need arose
from the fact that at least some of the priests that were appointed by the bishops to look
after the sacramental needs of the brothers were ignorant about religious life, which at
times occasioned misunderstanding and resentment. Another aspect arose from the desire of
some of the brothers to pursue study for ordained ministry in the Church. To do this they
were forced to either leave their communities and join another or find a diocese. Lastly,
the brothers saw the benefit in having ordained members in the communities to help in the
overall ministry to the boys in their schools.
first of the communities to petition for union with the Third Order Regular was the
community in Brooklyn. Under the direction of Bros. Raphael Breheny and Linus Lynch, who
at first tried to reorganize the community under the authority of the bishop, an official
request was made in 1906 to the General, Most Rev. Angelo deMattia. However, the bishop of
Brooklyn was against the proposed union and actively worked to block it. As a result,
"the question of the incorporation of the Brooklyn community in the Order was
consigned to the archives......" 15
November 20th of the same year the movement for union continued with the Spalding
community sending its request for incorporation to the general, Fr. DeMattia.
Bishop of Omaha, the Most Reverend Richard Scannell, wrote a letter giving his consent and
the Very Reverend Bernard Galvin, parish priest of Spalding, also sent a letter in which
he praised the movement. On December 8, 1906, the Father General signed the decree of
union of the Spalding community with the Order and petitioned Pope Pius X, January 12,
1907, to grant faculties to establish the Third Order Regular in the diocese of Omaha and
to receive the solemn profession of the religious there who had completed the third year
of simple vows. On the 12th of January the favor was granted. For the execution of the
Venerable Rescript the Father General sent the Very Reverend Stanislaus Dujmovic,
definitor general from the province of Dalmatia, to America accompanied by Father Catalini
of the Umbro Picena province. 16
papal approbation of the union, with the blessing of Pope Pius X, was officially dated
November 29, 1907.
15 Doyle, p. 61.
16 Doyle, p. 62.
the union of the Spalding brothers with the Order was approved, the brothers in Brooklyn
who felt a strong desire to be part of the incorporation left New York in the spring of
1907 and joined their fellow friars in Nebraska. Apparently the first to leave was Bro.
Raphael Breheny, who for many years had worked for the union of the Brooklyn community
with the Order. Following his lead,
the end of the month of July, some twenty-three brothers left Brooklyn and under the
direction of Brother Linus took their way to Spalding where they arrived in good time and
were received by Brother William Osbelt, the superior of the house, Father Stanislaus
Dujmovic, the General Delegate, and Brother Raphael Breheny. 17
The Spalding community, now officially part of the
Order, increased to 30 friars. "Relying heavily on the teaching abilities of the
Brothers from Brooklyn, the fraternity opened Spalding College with fifty boys in January
of 1908. " 18
The last community to apply for incorporation into the
Order was the fraternity in Loretto. On December 29, 1907, and with the approval of Bishop
Eugene A. Garvey, the bishop of Altoona 19, the brothers petitioned Rome for union. The
union was supported by the General who then approached the Holy See for the necessary
permissions. On May 22, 1908, the Holy Father, Pope Pius X, approved the incorporation of
the Loretto brothers with the Third Order Regular and the General was given the required
faculties to oversee the process. Further permission was given to accept into Solemn Vows
those brothers who had completed three years in Simple Vows and to open a house of
novitiate in Loretto. The General and the General Curia "affected the union on May
28, 1908". 20
To oversee the union of the Loretto fraternity with
the Order, the General appointed as his delegate Fr. Jerome Zazzara, a doctor in Sacred
Theology, and Fr. Anthony Balestieri as Novice Master. Bro. Raphael Breheny, along with
three other friars from Spalding, also traveled to Loretto to help with the incorporation.
As a result of the union, the Order in the United States swelled to fifty-four friars with
twenty-eight in Spalding and twenty-six in Loretto.
the Spalding and Loretto communities joined the Third Order Regular, several of the
Brothers immediately began studies for the priesthood. Victor Brown studied in Rome and
was the first American ordained as a priest of the Third Order Regular on July 14, 1910.
Angelus Laughlin and Leopold Campion were ordained in Loretto on July 25, 1910, and Linus
Lynch and Raphael Breheny were ordained in Spalding on August 10, 1910. 21
At the request of Bishop Garvey, Fr. Jerome in
November of 1909 accepted St. Anthony Parish in Johnstown as a permanent apostolate of the
friars and Fr. Anthony Balestieri was appointed Pastor. "The significance of St.
Anthony's is that it became the third house of the friars in America
17 Doyle, p. 62.
18Thomas Matts, "The Franciscans in Loretto 1900 - 1925, in Bicentenial History of
Loretto, Pennsylvania, 1976, ed. by Joseph J. Bentivegna, Ebensburg, PA: Damian Printing
Co., 1976, p. 130.
19 A diocese which was at first part of the Pittsburgh diocese.
20 Matts, p. 130.
21 Matts, P. 131.
this satisfied a requirement for the formation of an autonomous American province. 22 In December of 1909 Fr.
Jerome also accepted the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Altoona from the bishop and
himself took on the role of pastor. Both of the parishes had large immigrant Italian
populations and the presence of Frs. Jerome and Anthony was a true blessing to the diocese
which was trying to meet the needs of these parishioners.
July 20, 1910, Fr. Angelo deMattia, the Minster General through the whole process of the
various attempts at union, requested the Holy See to approve the establishment of an
autonomous province in the United States. The petition was granted by the Sacred
Congregation of Religious on August 2, 1910, the Feast of the Portiuncula. The new
American province was officially erected on September 25, 1910, and was commended to the
patronage of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The General appointed the following friars to
guide the newly established province:
Reverend Jerome Zazzara - Provincial
Brother William Osbelt - Custos Provincial
Reverend Rapheal Breheny - 1st Definitor
Brother Angelus Laughlin - 2nd Definitor
Brother Leopold Campion - 3rd Definitor
Brother Aloysius Gilmartin - 4th Definitor
province at this time was involved in the teaching apostolates in Spalding and Loretto and
the two parishes in Johnstown and Altoona. It is significant to note that right from the
beginning of the new American province there was a presence both in the educational and in
the parochial apostolates. As the Third Order had done for the centuries, the friars in
the United States were striving to meet the needs of the their local church. However, this
diversity of apostolates also caused tension in the newly-formed provincial structure.
early years of the province were important in that they helped consolidate the identity of
the Order in the hearts and minds of the friars. There was also a an important shift in
the community from a diocesan congregation made up of brothers into what would eventually
become a predominantly clerical province. These years also saw the expansion of St.
Francis College and the introduction of seminary courses for the friars and, somewhat
later, for the diocese.
first classes in theology were offered in 1910 and were taught by Frs. Jerome Zazzara,
Anthony Balestieri, and John P.M. Doyle, who had recently joined the community.
1911 a full course of studies in theology was set up and cycle courses were offered. In
September, 1912, Bishop Garvey of Altoona sent the seminarians of his diocese to Saint
Francis for their theological studies, and this marks the official birth of Saint Francis
Seminary. The academic year 1912-13 opened with twenty-two students in theology. 23
22 Matts, p. 131.
23 Matts, p. 132.
Francis Seminary continued to provide a solid theological training for the friars, and for
a number of dioceses, until the 1978-79 academic year. Trinity College in Sioux City,
Iowa, was also founded during the early period of the province. Fr. Jerome Zazzara proved
to be an able administrator and zealous priest throughout these developments.
first election in Sacred Heart Province, held during the General Visitation in June and
July of 1913, and presided over by the General, Fr. Pius Dujmovic, Fr. Raphael Breheny was
council was composed of Fathers Angelus Laughlin, Linus Lynch, Victor Brown and John P.M.
Doyle. Father Jerome Zazzara was elected Custos of the province. 24
ill health forced Fr. Raphael to resign after three years of his five-year term and Fr.
Francis Smyth took over provincial responsibilities until the new chapter in 1918.
and the Birth of the
Immaculate Conception Province
chapter of 1918 proved to be a very stormy affair and laid the groundwork for what would
eventually cause a split in the province and the establishment of a new American province.
Since the General could not be present for the chapter, Fr. Victor Brown was appointed as
the General's delegate and presided over the proceedings. Fr. Victor decided that, since
the Italian friars were still officially members of their respective provinces in Italy,
they could not have passive voice in the chapter. These friars, along with some of the
vocals at the chapter, refused to accept the election of Fr. Louis Donahue as provincial.
As a result, the chapter ended with Fr. Louis claiming the title of Minister Provincial
and Fr. Francis Smyth holding on to his title as Commissary Provincial.
matter was carried to Rome and the Sacred Congregation decreed that for the sake of peace
in the province a new chapter should be held under the presidency of a friar from another
province. (July 1, 1919) The same Sacred Congregation directed that the Italian Fathers
should formally declare their intention to be incorporated in the province of the Sacred
Heart in America and be excardinated from their provinces in Italy. 25
Arnaldo Rigo, who was later elected Minister General, was appointed as the General's
delegate and president of the chapter that was held in the convent of the Most Blessed
Trinity in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1919. Fr. Louis was once again elected as provincial.
However, as a result of deepseated dissatisfaction, a petition was made by the Italian
friars, along with a number of supporters, for the establishment of a separate
commissariat. After the petition was voted upon and approved by the chapter, Fr. Arnaldo
returned to Rome and presented the request to the General.
It was discussed in the General Curia and
approved, and a petition was presented to the Sacred Congregation of Religious which on
January 22, 1920, authorized the Father General to erect the Commissariat and to name the
Commissary, having first received the consultative vote of all the friars. 26
Page 250 footnotes:
24 Doyle, Appendix, p. 1.
25 Doyle, p. 64.
26 Doyle, p. 64.
On March 25, 1920, the General erected the new
American commissariat. The commissary at first numbered twelve friars, including Fr.
Jerome Zazzara, who was appointed Commissary Provincial, and houses in Johnstown and
Altoona. The commissariat was given the status of province by the General, Fr. Dujmovic,
on August, 25, 1925. At this time it consisted of thirteen friars (five Italians and eight
Americans) and included houses in Johnstown, Altoona, Barnesboro and Hollidaysburg. Fr.
Jerome Zazzara was elected as the first provincial of the new American province dedicated
to Immaculate Conception of Mary.
who has had the pleasure and challenge of being a part of a provincial chapter can readily
imagine the forces that were at work in the chapters of 1918 and 1919, and which led to
the division of a relatively new province. From the perspective of the 1990's it's
tempting to try to assess the various dynamics that were at work in these confrontations.
It's also easy to try to place the blame on one side or the other with an attempt to
identify those friars or influences that caused the split. However, in the final analysis,
this kind of investigation into the past is not very helpful. The facts seem to point to
two groups of friars both of which were deeply convinced of the rightness of their
position. As with anything else, the situation has to be judged on what it produced. In
this case, the events of 1918 to 1925 produced two American provinces which were both
interested in serving the needs of the people of the people of God and the local church.
the establishment of the Commissariat of the Immaculate Conception in 1920, Fr. Louis
Donahue worked towards a consolidation of the now smaller province, the houses were
"reduced to three by the formation of the Commissariat." 27 He was also
instrumental in inviting friars from the Spanish province to accept mission work in Waco,
Texas, a move which would eventually lead to the establishment of a permanent TOR presence
in Texas and Mexico. St. Francis College received its official charter as a school of
higher education during the tenure of Fr. Louis on December 19, 1920. Fr. Benedict
English, then president of the college, considered the charter to be the high-point of his
work at the institution. "The charter sparked an immediate rise in the enrollment ...
as well as the expansion of the curriculum and the faculty. " 28
Fr. Louis as Minister Provincial in 1924 was Fr. John P.M. Doyle, one of the most notable
friars in the history of Sacred Heart Province. John Patrick Mary Doyle was born in
Ireland but he was raised in Brooklyn, New York, where his family had settled in 1881. He
attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn, an institution staffed by the Irish Franciscan
brothers, and he graduated in 1897 with high honors. After graduation he applied to, and
was accepted in, the Diocese of Brooklyn as a candidate for the priesthood. John was sent
to Rome where he completed his theological studies at the North American College and was
ordained in 1901. Fr. Doyle's first assignment was a post of assistant pastor. Shortly
after, however, he was allowed to accept the chair of philosophy at Saint Francis College
in Brooklyn. For two years he also served as chaplain of that institution. In 1907 he
returned to parish ministry. 29
Fr. Doyle was a close friend of both Bro. Linus and Bro. Raphael during their time
together in Brooklyn and was an ardent supporter of the union of the community with the
Third Order Regular. After giving the matter much prayerful consideration, and after
receiving the necessary permissions from his bishop, Fr. Doyle traveled to Loretto in 1910
where he was accepted into the novitiate.
27 Doyle, Appendix, p. 2.
28 Matts, p. 136.
29 Matts, p. 131.
Father Doyle's coming to Loretto was an asset in many ways. As an educator he
contributed his scholarship in theology and philosophy to the development of these areas
in the curriculum of Saint Francis College. He was later to hold all the major
administrative posts of the College, as well as serving the Province of the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus in several major capacities. He held the office of Minister Provincial for
a thirteen year tenure and served as Novice Master for many years. 30
Doyle's term as provincial proved to be very important and formative for the province. St.
Francis Seminary, which he had helped establish with Fr. Jerome and Fr. Anthony, grew to
eighty-five students and the curriculum was expanded. During his provincialate, he
continued to act as Rector of the Seminary and taught courses in theology and philosophy.
Due to the increased need for staffing at the expanding St. Francis College, Trinity
College in Sioux City, Iowa, was closed in 1932 and the friars transferred to Loretto.
"Fr. Doyle was able to bring back to Loretto the sum of $50,000, a substantial amount
in those days, for the continuance of the work of the Sacred Heart Province." 31 During his tenure he oversaw
the building of Schwab Hall at St. Francis College, named after the illustrious
businessman, alumnus, and benefactor, Charles M. Schwab. He also saw the erection of Doyle
Hall, financed by the Alumni on the occasion of his silver jubilee, and Raymond Hall in
which he housed the novitiate; he also had the entire front of the Main building renewed
and beautified ... 32
1929 Fr. Doyle also accepted St. Wilfred Parish in Woonsocket, South Dakota, and the
parish of St. Ann in Geddes as apostolates of the province, both located in the Diocese of
Sioux City. In the midst of all his other duties he found time to write and publish four
books, two each on theology and philosophy, translate into English the Rule and
Constitutions of Third Order Regular Rule, publish the Ceremonial of the Order, and write
a number of articles on the history of the Order. He was instrumental in establishing
yearly retreats for priests, in the foundation of a layman's retreat league in the early
twenties, and in the establishment of the Secular Franciscan Order in Pennsylvania.
Doyle left the office of Provincial in 1937 with the province in very good condition. Both
St. Francis College and Seminary had expanded during his tenure and both were financially
sound. The province had accepted more parochial work and was making a welcomed
contribution to the spiritual well-being of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese.
May of 1937 Fr. Eugene T. George was elected to the office of Minister Provincial. Fr.
Doyle continued in the new provincial administration as Custos and Frs. John Sullivan,
Paul Veigle, William Hagerty and Edward Caraher were elected as Definitors.
Eugene, along with the able assistance of Fr. Bernard Cuskelly, established a house of
advanced studies for the Province in Washington, DC. "The Most Reverend Michael J.
Curley, Archbishop of Baltimore, gave his consent to the foundation of the house of
studies in his letter of
30 Matts, pp. 131-132.
31 Blase Dixon, "The Loretto Franciscans 1925 - 1976, " in Bicentennial History
of Loretto, Pennsylvania, 1976, ed. by Joseph J. Bentivegna, Ebensburg, PA: Damin Printing
Co., 1976, p. 146.
32 Doyle, Appendix, p. 3.
17, 1937... 33 The house was first located
on Manchester Lane, but was later moved to a piece of property purchased from the
Benedictines at 4715 Sargent Road. The establishment of the house in Washington, DC,
provided a site where students who had graduated from St. Francis Seminary could pursue
post graduate degrees at Catholic University and take advantage of other educational
opportunities available in the nation's capital.
of the most important events during the tenure of Fr. Eugene was the establishment of the
mission to India. In 1937 Fr. Giovanni Parisi, then Minister Provincial, expressed a
desire that the Order be more actively involved in foreign missions. Fr. Giovanni went so
far as to write an article for the Analecta "deploring the fact that there were no
foreign missions manned by Third Order Franciscans" 34 The provincial responded to
the General's challenge and offered the services of the province in behalf of the mission
endeavor. The Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, in consultation with
the general, appointed part of the mission field of Patna, India, "amongst the Santal
Paraganas, lying to the north of the Ganges river and south of Nepal" to the
province. 35 A number of friars responded to the
provincial's request for volunteers for the mission in India and eventually four were
chosen as the first group to travel to Patna. These included Frs. William Schreder,
Gabriel Stephens, Aquinas T. Lieb, and Bro. Ivan Manganello. This initial group,
accompanied by the provincial, traveled to Rome in September of 1938 and then on to India
in November of the same year. The first Mass was celebrated in Bhagalpur on December 8,
the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, just two days after the friars reached India. Two
years later, a second group of friars left Los Angeles by ship on January 4, 1940, and
arrived in New Delhi in February.
first mission station turned over to the Franciscans was at Bhagalpur, a city of some
85,000 souls on the banks of the famed Ganges River. This was to be the headquarters of
mission activity and the spring-board for moves into the Santal Paraganas. The mission
effort was blessed by God and on February 19, 1940, eight more friars arrived from Loretto
to continue the great work already begun. 36
friars were: Patrick Boland, Martin Brodhead, Maurice Buckley, William Frank, Robert
Herzer, Urban McGarry, Mark Santucci, and Hugh Schleif. Of this group, all were still
seminarians (in theology) except Mark Santucci. Several were ordained in 1941 and the
remainder the next year all in India. While in India Fr. Eugene also founded the mission
magazine The Call of India as a vehicle for communication and fund raising.
mission has proved to be a very successful endeavor for the province and Order. The
dedication and zeal of the friars laid the foundation for what would eventually become the
autonomous Province of St. Thomas the Apostle, established in 1971 by the General, Fr.
Louis Secondo. It has also given to the church a bishop, Bishop Urban McGarry. On May 10,
1965 he was ordained as the first bishop of Bhagalpur, India, where (as of this writing in
July of 1993) he still resides.
Fr. Eugene was in India, Fr. Doyle once again took over the leadership of the province.
Two new houses of the province were opened in the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina: St.
Egbert in Morehead City and St. Catherine in Tarboro, both parish apostolates.
33 Doyle, Appendix, p. 3.
34 Dixon, p. 150.
35 Doyle, Appendix, p. 4.
36 Dixon, p. 151.
Eugene George was succeeded in office by Fr. Benedict Determann in 1940, who served in the
capacity of Minister Provincial for five years. Fr. Benedict's term was served during the
years of the Second World War, which made communication with the Order in Rome very
difficult and at times all but impossible.
war itself was bad enough but Mussolini further complicated matters by allying himself
with Hitler's Germany changing the status of Italy from that of friendly nation in World
War I to that of an enemy nation in World War II. 37
Benedict and the province were thus left cut off from Rome and on their own during this
five year period.
Benedict was faced with the greatest disaster in the province's history. On the morning of
Friday October, 30, 1942, Old Main on the campus of St. Francis College was destroyed by
fire. This building, which had been gradually expanded since its foundation in 1848,
contained the chapel, monastery, seminary, dormitory, library, kitchen and food supplies.
All were destroyed by the fire which, according to published reports of the time, was of
"undetermined origin. " Thanks to an early alarm given by Bro. Joseph Fielding
(who had risen early to say his morning prayers) the approximately 125 priests,
seminarians, teachers and students asleep in the building when the fire started, fled to
safety."38 Five friars, including Frs. Bernardine Dillon, Benedict English, Charles
Ginocchio, George Wuenschel, and Bro. Aloysius Gilmartin, were rescued by volunteer
firemen from second and third floor windows.
friars and students of St. Francis College and Seminary owe a tremendous debt of gratitude
to the people of Loretto and Cambria County in Pennsylvania. For five days after the fire,
the American Red Cross from Loretto and Cresson provided meals.
this initial period the Franciscan conununity took over the running of the kitchen which
had been set up in the parish hall of St. Michael's Parish in Loretto. Local housewives
kept their ovens going day and night as they baked bread and other food for not only the
friars but also for the seminarians and regular students of the college. Gifts were made
of pillow cases and sheets. Others contributed razor blades, hats, coats and almost every
conceivable necessity. Orders of priests and nuns from all over the country sent donations
of clothing and money. 39
Franciscans in Loretto had for nearly a hundred years tried to respond to the needs of the
people in this little town in the Allegheny Mountain range. They now became the recipients
of the necessities of life and the affection of the people they tried so hard to serve.
aftermath of the fire left St. Francis College, which also included St. Francis Prep.
School for Boys and St. Francis Seminary, all but decimated. The one saving factor of the
tragedy was that no lives were lost and the friars energetically set about the work of
rebuilding what had been destroyed. Fortunately a large piece of property across the
street from the college had been purchased
37 Dixon, p. 152.
38 The Johnstown Tribune, Friday, October 20, 1942, as quoted by Dixon, p. 152.
39 Dixon, p. 154.
group of benefactors, known as the "Friends of St. Francis." This property,
"The Schwab Estate," had previously been owned by Charles Schwab and contained a
number of buildings that could easily house the various departments of the school on a
housed part of the college. For a time it was the site of St. Francis Preparatory School
until that institution moved to Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. It had a glorious period as
the seminary facility of the Franciscan Friars... 40
hard times of the early forties proved in the long run to be a galvanizing force in the
province. The friars, under the able leadership of Fr. Benedict and Fr. John Sullivan, the
President of St. 'Francis College, pulled together, -and through much hard work and
devotion rebuilt what was lost. These difficult events also proved to be very difficult
for the provincial, Fr. Benedict, who wished to step down from his office before the end
of his five-year term. However, the war still prevented detailed communication with the
General and Fr. Benedict was obliged to serve out his term.
John Boccella was elected Minister Provincial in March of 1945 during a visitation
conducted by Fr. Michael Vidal, a friar from the Spanish province. Fr. Michael at the time
was the superior of the Spanish friars in America. Fr. John was installed as Provincial on
April 12, 1945, in Raymond Hall on the campus of St. Francis College. Since the General
had charged the new Provincial to continue and increase the support to the Indian
Missions, Fr. John appointed Fr. Eugene George as superior of the Mission House in Loretto
and chief fund raiser for the missionary endeavor. He also restructured the Indian Mission
and appointed Fr. Patrick Boland as the first commissary provincial of the now dependent
commissariat. These steps laid the foundation of the process for the establishment of the
Province of St. Thomas the Apostle.
John also set about the task of continuing the rebuilding of the college and seminary that
had begun with his predecessor, Fr. Benedict. In order to provide for the religious life
of the friars, the first task was the building of a new centrally located monastery.
were drawn up for the construction of a new monastery. The projected cost was over one
million dollars. At the time (1945) post war inflation had hit the country and the nation
was finding it difficult to readjust to a peace-time economy Every effort was made to get
the necessary funds. 41
were dispatched to various dioceses to make appeals for the restoration of the monastery
and for the continued rebuilding of what had been destroyed by the fire. "Fr. Bocella
personally approached many bishops for permission to take up collections in their
dioceses." 42 He also inaugurated needed economic reforms in the province and made it
much more financially efficient and sound.
the economic policies of Fr. John were very successful and in 1946, with the approval of
the Bishop of Harrisburg, Bishop George L. Leech, a sixty-acre estate was purchased in
Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and St. Francis Prep. School was relocated to this site. The
friars of the province continued to serve this apostolate, which included dorm facilities
for the students, until 1989 when declining enrollment forced its closure.
40 Dixon, p. 154.
41 Dixon, p. 155.
42 Dixon, p. 155.
in 1946, the Bishop of Steubenville, Ohio, Bishop John King Mussio, requested the
provincial to send friars to his diocese in order to open a college. The bishop needed a
religious community to provide higher education to the students of the diocese and the
area surrounding Steubenville. Fr. John appointed Fr. Daniel Egan to oversee the
establishment of a college and Fr. Daniel and a small group of friars left for Ohio. The
College of Steubenville opened on December 10, 1947, with a freshman class of over two
first foundation of the college was in the Knights of Pythias Building at 420 Washington
Street in the downtown area of the city of Steubenville. "As enrollment grew, other
buildings were bought or leased, until it became evident that proper expansion required
enough land for a permanent campus. In 1953, the Friars purchased a 40 acre tract on a
site overlooking the city of Steubenville. " 43 In the fall of 1961
the college moved to the new campus on the bluffs above the Ohio River. Today the campus
encompasses 100 acres with 11 buildings.
the years the college had managed to hold its own and attract a sufficient number of
students to remain a viable institution. However, in the early 70s, with a decreasing
enrollment, the school was facing an economic crisis. Fr. Michael Scanlan, who had
previously served the school as dean and was the past rector of St. Francis Seminary, was
charged with the task of establishing a new and viable direction for the college. Fr.
Michael first addressed himself to the spiritual condition and Christian identity of the
school. Priority was given to campus ministry and the spiritual needs of the staff and
student population, a priority which is still in place at the university. Households,
based on Christian principles and peer support, were introduced into the dorms and the
school saw a decreased involvement in national fraternities. The collegiate basketball
program was also disbanded for financial reasons and in order to give more emphasis to
Christian living and solid scholastic study. Throughout these early years of change the
college become more and more active in, and eventually identified with, the Charismatic
Movement in the United States.
The next area that was
addressed was the academic life of the school. The college had always had a fine
reputation in academics. However, there was now a concerted effort made to strengthen the
various faculties of the school. The focus was to ensure that the Christian principles
that were such an integral part of campus ministry and dorm life would be interwoven into
the academic life. As part of the program to strengthen its academic standing, the school
requested the state of Ohio to change its charter from College to University. This was
granted in 1980 and the school has become known as the Franciscan University of
Steubenville, the second of only three Franciscan Universities in the United States. 44
school now offers a number of bachelor's degrees as well as master's degrees in theology
and Christian ministry, educational administration, counseling, philosophy, and business
administration. It is also very involved in training for evangelistic outreach and runs a
successful program of summer conferences in Christian leadership, evangelization,
scripture study, and youth ministry, as well as a yearly conference for priests and
this time of change and redirection at the University, the school first saw a dip in its
enrollment numbers and then a steady climb. As a result it has been able to take on some
major building projects. These include a new library, named for Pope John Paul II, a large
sports complex, a replica of the Portiuncula, a new campus design along with a different
road layout, an outdoor path
43 1992-1993 Catalog, Franciscan University of Steubenville, p. 9.
44 The other two include the University of St. Bonaventure in New York, and Quincy
University in Illinois. Both of these schools are administered by the O.F.M.s.
for the Stations of the Cross,
and a monument in honor of all the deaths that have occurred as a result of abortion in
the US. The university is now faced with the enviable problem of finding enough housing to
fit the ever-increasing enrollment.
though great attention was given to the establishment of St. Francis Prep in Spring Grove,
and the College of Steubenville in Ohio, Fr. John Boccella also worked to strengthen the
physical plant and academic programs offered by St. Francis College and Seminary. Along
with the able assistance of Fr. Adrian Veigle, who would some twenty years later be
ordained a bishop in Brazil, Raymond Hall was renovated to house a modern kitchen and
dining facility, classrooms were added, and much work and attention was given to the
living situation of both the religious and diocesan seminarians. The diocesan students
were placed in the large stone building, called "the Schwab mansion," now
renamed Alvernia Hall and the friars were housed in Bonaventure Hall, the first house that
Charles Schwab occupied in Loretto. The estate itself, which contained Alvernia Hall,
Bonaventure Hall, a number of gate houses, and other buildings (including three
greenhouses and a large formal garden), was named after the birthplace of St. Francis and
given the name Mt. Assisi Monastery.
province was honored during the ninety-ninth General Chapter of the Order when, on July
16, 1947, Fr. John Boccella was elected as the one hundred and third Minister General, the
youngest in the history of the Order. 45 For the third time Fr. John
P.M. Doyle, who was then the Custos, took over the responsibilities of the provincial
office until the next election. Fr. John Bocella was to hold the office of Minister
General for eighteen years. After his tenure as General, he was consecrated bishop on
April 17, 1968, and given the Archdiocese of Izmir, Turkey.
see has few Catholics but is of great historic interest since within its confines there
are two shrines of special interest to all Christians, that of Ephesus and that of Tarsus,
the birthplace of St. Paul. 46
Generalate of Fr. John, whose story belongs more properly to a history of the Order,
proved to be a decisive one for the Order. Among his other achievements he initiated a
process of dialogue among male Third Order communities that eventually led to the
establishment of ongoing communication between the fraternities. This helped lay the
foundation for the union of the French province with the Order and provided a framework
which contributed to the establishment of international federations of Third Order
Franciscans. Also, since the time of Fr. John, the General of the Third Order Regular has
been included in the Conference of the Four Ministers General of the Franciscan Orders
along with the Generals of the Order of Friars Minor, Order of Friars Minor Conventual,
and Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. A detailed history and assessment of this time period
has yet to be done.
John Sullivan took over the provincial leadership a short time after Fr. John Bocella left
for Rome. He had previously served the province as president of the college in Loretto.
"It was his proud boast that during all of the years that he was president of St.
Francis College no one had ever been turned away for lack of funds." 47 Fr. John Sullivan continued
his connection with the college and St. Francis continued on the road to full recovery.
Doyle, Appendix, p. 6.
46 Dixon, p. 155.
47 Dixon, p. 157.
and June of 1952 proved to be very trying and sad months for the province. On May 17 Fr.
Bernardine Dillon, a long time member of the province, died. Five days later, the
provincial, Fr. John Sullivan, also died before the end of his provincial term. Finally,
two weeks later Fr. John P.M. Doyle, an ever-present force in the province, also passed
away. With Fr. John's death a significant and formative period, a time some refer to as
the "Doyle Era," became part of history.
Adrian Veigle, the Custos of the province, took over the provincial government after the
death of Fr. John P.M. Doyle, and would later be elected to two further terms. This was a
time of great expansion at St. Francis College and a new building project was inaugurated.
At the request of the Bishop of Philadelphia, John Cardinal O'Hara, the province accepted
educational work in the archdiocese. In the fall of 1953 the friars lived on 13th Street
in Center City and then later, perhaps in 1954, opened two houses: St. Pius X Friary on
Carpenter Lane, and St. Louis Friary in Chestnut Hill.
friars taught in many schools in Philadelphia before they became centralized in one
school. Among the schools in which these friars served were Roman Catholic, Bishop Neuman,
St. Thomas More and Fr. Judge. 48
province's presence in the Fairless Hills schools began in September of 1957 when friars
became members of the faculty at Bishop Egan High School, then a coed institution with
boys and girls in separate sections of the same building. Later this building became
Bishop Conwell High School for Girls and the boys were transferred to the newly built
Bishop Egan High School on Wistar Road. In 1958 the friars took over the administration
and staffing this school, part of the Catholic school system of the Archdiocese. Until
1993 the high school was an all boy's, school. However, a recent amalgamation of the
school with Bishop Conwell has now made the school coed. It has also required that the
friars share the duties of administration and teaching with other religious communities
and laity. The merged school, now called Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, is located at
the former Bishop Egan High School.
of the main projects of Fr. Adrian was the building a much larger St. Francis Seminary in
Loretto. This building opened its doors in 1962 and was able to house over two hundred
students, among this number included religious and diocesan seminarians from various
communities and dioceses, as well as TOR friars. In its history the seminary faculty
boasted some illustrious professors. Among these were Anthony Bauza of the Immaculate
Conception Province in Spain, Frs. Bernard Seigle and Augustine Donegan, the former a
noted canon lawyer and the latter an excellent theology professor, and Fr. Roland Faley, a
contributor to the Jerome Bible Commentary and, more recently, to the New Jerome Biblical
Commentary. Both Frs. Bernard and Augustine were honored by the General in 1979 with the
title of Magister Ordinis (Master of the Order). Fr. Bernard had previously been honored
by Pope Paul VI in 1973 when he was appointed as a consultor to the Pontifical Commission
for the Revision of the Oriental Code of Canon Law.
seminary became the focal point of service to the nuns of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese by
the inauguration of a monthly community day for religious communities of women serving in
the diocese. This began November 5, 1967. 49
with a solid theological training, the seminarians were also required to be involved in
practical ministerial outreach. This included such programs as:
48 Dixon, p. 160.
49 Dixon, p. 161.
the Johnstown Community Action Center, Ebensburg and
Cresson State Homes for the Handicapped Children, Homes for the Aged, Ebensburg Detention
Home, Hospital Visitation, Loretto Boy Scouts, Hollidaysburg County Prison, Orphan Homes,
and the Big Brothers program of Blair County. 50
enrollment, due in part to a trend among bishops in the US to send their seminarians to
larger theological schools, forced the closure of the seminary in 1979. The building was
sold to the federal government five years later. It now serves as a medium security
federal prison. The friar students were first transferred to Toronto, Canada, where they
received their theological training at St. Michael's College and Regis College, both part
of the University of Toronto. Since 1990 the friars have been a part of the theological
program at WTU, Washington Theological Union, in Washington, D.C., a school sponsored by
and for religious. In addition to the M.Div. degree the school also offers a M.A. in
theology and various sabbatical and continuing education programs for religious men and
women, and the laity. This is the only theological school in North America where
Conventuals, OFM's, Capuchins, and TOR's study together. The TOR friars reside in a house
not far from the location of the first house of the TORs from Sacred Heart Province in
missionary zeal of the province did not end with India. In the early 1960s the province
was once again called upon to work in the missionary apostolate. During the provincialate
of Fr. Adrian the province accepted a new missionary outreach in Brazil. As their brothers
did over thirty years previously, the friars once again responded to the needs of the
church and left for the missions. The first missionaries were Frs. Marcellus Smith, Miles
Ryan, and Robert Sisk who were accompanied to Manaus in the state of Amazonas by Fr. Kevin
Keelan, the minister provincial, in August of 1962. In December of the same year, Frs.
Carlo Napoli, Roger Chunta and Victor Gall joined the others. Fr. Joseph Glancy arrived in
early 1963. Eventually houses were established in Manaus, Borba, Nova Linda, and other
towns along the upper Amazon. Fr. Adrian himself joined this missionary endeavor and he is
still living in the country he came to love so much. He was ordained titular bishop of
Gigthi and prelate of Borba, Brazil on June 9, 1966 and served the Brazilian church with
the same kind of devotion and expertise with which he had served the province.
provincials that have followed Fr. Adrian oversaw, among other things, the continued
development and expansion of St. Francis College in Loretto. With its connection with St.
Francis Academy, the first school the early Irish brothers established, this is the oldest
continuous apostolate in the province. The current president of the college, Fr. Christian
Oravec, has been president for over half of the past thirty years (as of this writing
seventeen years and counting). Along with its basic degree progams in a number of areas,
most notably in business and education, the college also offers a number of masters
degrees. Among these include M.A. programs in pastoral ministry, education, and personnel
administration/industrial relations, medical science (physician assistant), and a
newly-established masters in business administration. It also administers a very
successful continuing education department that has been a welcome addition to the
Altoona-Johnstown area. The college has recently successfully finished a major capital
campaign and is in the process of expanding its athletics complex. One major academic
development has been the restructuring of the general studies program, featuring a
redesigned core curriculum which emphasizes the connections among disciplines, the goals
of Franciscan higher education, and service to the community. The enrollment at the
college is currently at a point where the building of new dorms is being seriously
Franciscan character of the school is enhanced by the presence of the Dorothy Day Center
on the campus. The center is a vital force in the community providing needed fuel,
50 Dixon, p. 162.
food assistance for the poor in an economically depressed area. This outreach demonstrates
the continued awareness of the college community and the province that social outreach to
those in need is an integral part of Franciscan service.
Last Thirty Years
can been seen by this brief historical sketch, the central apostolate of Sacred Heart
Province has been, and to a certain extent still is, its educational outreach. This is
represented today in the province's continued involvement in St. Francis College in
Loretto, Pennsylvania, the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, and Conwell-Egan
Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. However, the province has not
restricted itself to educational institutions.
In the 1950s, and apparently for only a short period of time, the province was
involved in rural parishes in Kentucky. In the late 1960s, during the provincial
administration of Fr. Columba Devlin, friars from Sacred Heart Province also accepted two
parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese in Pennsylvania. "A friary was established at St.
Agnes Parish in Pittsburgh, December 1, 1969. The first group of Franciscans to enter this
new apostolate [served] as hospital chaplains at colleges" and at a prison. 51 The
second parish staffed by the friars was St. John the Evangelist on the South Side of the
city in the fall of 1971. Due to an extensive restructuring of the diocese in recent
years, St. John's has been closed and St. Agnes was returned to the diocese which used the
rectory for six diocesan priests who were chaplains at the university hospitals. The
parish was closed on October 3, 1993. After the closing of the Parish of St. John some
friars stayed in Pittsburgh and continued their work as hospital chaplains and retreat
directors. The most recent apostolate that has developed in the diocese is the acceptance
of St. Keiran's Parish, a new church in the Lawrenceville area. There are also plans to
move the provincial offices back to the city.
1978 the province accepted a parish and a hospital chaplaincy in the Miami Diocese in
Florida. In 1986 the province moved its parish work from Miami and accepted two parishes
in St. Petersburg Diocese in Florida: Our Lady of Grace Church, St. Petersburg, and St.
Patrick Church, Tampa. It also accepted limited work in the diocesan high school.
Heart Province extended its presence in the southern part of the United States when in
1979 Bro. Paul McMullen worked as a parochial minister in the Diocese of Ft. Worth, Texas,
at St. John's Parish. After serving in other parishes, the province, in response to the
need of the bishop, staffed St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Fort Worth in 1981, and then
St. Andrew's Parish in the same city. Frs. Warren Murphy and Carl Szura, followed closely
by Frs. Vernard Moffit and David Kraeger, were the first priest friars sent to this new
apostolic field. Several years later the province accepted the direction of St. Maria
Goretti Parish, Arlington, in the same diocese. These three parishes, along with a
sustained presence in hospital ministry, represent a tremendous ministerial presence of
the Third Order Regular in Texas, and it has been an enriching experience for the
province. In the same year Fr. Louis McIntire was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Church in
1986 the province accepted two parishes in the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese in West
Virginia: Assumption Church, Keyser, and in St. Francis Xavier Church, Moundsville. With
the acceptance of these two parishes the province's commitment to the parish apostolate
swelled to fifteen. These include:
51 Dixon, p. 162.
|Church of the Assumption
Holy Trinity Church
Our Lady of Grace Church
OurLady of Mt. Carmel Church
Our Lady of the Valley
Sacred Heart Church
St. Andrew Church
St. Francis Xavier Church
St. John Church
St. Joseph Church
St. Maria Goretti Church
St. Matthew Parish
St. Patrick Church
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
St. Thomas the Apostle Church
|Keyser, West Virginia
St. Petersburg, Florida
Spring Grove, Pennsylvania
Fort Worth, Texas
Moundsville, West Virginia
Plankinton, South Dakota
DeSmet, South Dakota
Fort Worth, Texas
Among its apostolic endeavors the province has time and time again tried to
respond to the spiritual needs of the friars and those of the people it serves. In 1971
friars opened a house of prayer in Coden, Alabama, an experiment that lasted only four
years. However, the desire for a permanent presence in a house of prayer did not die. Fr.
Ronald Mohnickey, accompanied by Fr. Salvator Stefula and Bro. Sean Mary-Fitzwater,
established a Retiro house in Butler, Pennsylvania, in 1976. In 1978 the house was moved
to Boston, Virginia, and continued in operation until 1983. The Retiro provided a place
for either brief or long periods of contemplative prayer for friars in active ministry.
province was also involved in retreat ministry at Sacred Heart Monastery in Winchester,
Virginia. The house was used as the novitiate of the province from November 1961 to 1986.
However, in the mid 1970s, due to smaller novitiate classes, it was decided that the house
could easily accomodate both the novitiate and a retreat ministry. When the province
collaborated with the Immaculate Conception Province in a ' joint novitiate in 1986,
Sacred Heart Monastery became a full time retreat center. The province continued this
ministry until 1990 when the house was renovated to house elderly members of the province
and those friars in need of medical care.
year 1977 saw the election of Fr. Roland Faley as Minister General of the Order. He had
previously been elected as Procurator General in 1971. During his twelve years in Rome Fr.
Roland was instrumental in initiating the process which led to the new Third Order Regular
Rule. He also oversaw the incorporation into the Order of the diocesan communities:
Franciscan Familiar's of St. Francis, in the Marianhill Diocese in South Africa, and of
the Franciscan Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul in Sri Lanka. Two friars from the United
States, Fr. Dunstan Sisk, from the province of the Sacred Heart, and Fr. Cyprian Mercieca,
from the province of the Immaculate Conception were sent to South Africa to assist with
the merger. After leaving office Fr. Roland served as the executive director of the
Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the United States. He now resides in Austin,
Texas, where is working with the spiritual renewal of the diocese and as director of
continuing education for clergy and religious. He has written a scriptural commentary on
the Sunday readings. This book is scheduled to be published by Paulist Press in the early
part of 1994.
history of Sacred Heart Province is an ongoing story. The previous pages have attempted to
list some of the more significant events in what will, God willing, be only the opening
chapter in a long history of service to the people of God. Unfortunately, when a brief
history such as this is written the events portrayed often overshadow the personalities of
the friars who were a part of those events. How does one capture on paper the wonderful,
prayerful, witty, and at times eccentric characters of these friars, friars like Fr. Bruno
Currier, who died shortly after his ordination in his early thirties and is considered by
many a saint; Fr. Regis O'Brien, whose preaching style and tremendous dedication was known
by all the friars in the province; Fr. Austin Hovan, short in stature, but who was gifted
with an orator's voice and fine intelligence; Bro. Amadeus Kroeger, a true example of
Franciscan hospitality and wit; Fr. Columba Devlin, a most capable administrator and a
Franciscan in the best sense of the word; and so many others. The history of the province
is, in the final analysis, the story of their lives and dedication. They have done their
part, May the Lord show us what is ours to do.
|Very Rev. Fr. Jerome Zazzara
Very Rev. Fr. Raphael Breheny
Very Rev. Fr. Louis P. Donahue
Very Rev. Fr. John P.M. Doyle
Very Rev. Fr. Eugene T. George
Very Rev. Fr. Benedict Determan
Very Rev. Fr. John H. Boccella
Very Rev. Fr. John P.M. Doyle
Very Rev. Fr. John Sullivan
Very Rev. Fr. Adrian Veigle
Very Rev. Fr. Kevin Keelan
Very Rev. Fr. Jude Gleason
Very Rev. Fr. Columba Devlin
Very Rev. Fr. Edmond Carroll
Very Rev. Fr. Dennis Sullivan
Very Rev. Fr. Jordan Hite
Very Rev. Fr. Edmund Carroll
|1910 - 1913
1913 - 1916
1918 - 1924
1924 - 1937
1937 - 1940
1940 - 1945
1945 - 1947
1947 - 1948
1948 - 1952
1952 - 1962
1962 - 1966
1966 - 1969
1969 - 1976
1976 - 1984
1984 - 1992
1992 - 1995
List of Generals
|Most Rev. John Bochella
||1947 - 1965
|Most Rev. Roland Faley
||1977 - 1983
|His Excellency Urban McGarry
|His Excellency Adrian Viegle
|His Excellency John Bocella
||1968 - 1992
J. Higgins, TOR
Catalog. Franciscan University of Steubenville
Joseph J., ed. Bicentennial Commemorative History of Loretto, Pennsylvania.
Ebensburg, PA: Damin Printing Co., 1976.
John P.M. History of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance.
Unpublished Manuscript, Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1947.
Archives, Sacred Heart Province; especially a time line of important dates provided by the
Provincial Archivist, Bro. Michael Tripka, TOR.
Patrick. "The Third Order Regular of St. Francis in Ireland." Analecta TOR.
vol XXIV, 153, 1993.