Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

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FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE RENEWAL – Statement on Pontifical Recognition

Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Community Office
420 East 156th Street
Bronx, New York  10455

718-402-8255  Fax: 718-402-5556


For Immediate Release

December 8, 2016


Contact: Br. Angelus Montgomery, CFR: 914-965-8143



With gratitude to the Most High God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Francis, and with heartfelt appreciation to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Franciscans of the Renewal rejoice on this day, December 8, 2016, for having received notice from Rome in being granted recognition as a religious institute of pontifical right. The decree was signed by his Eminence, João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and his Archbishop Secretary, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, on 13 June 2016, Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal were founded in 1987, in the Archdiocese of New York, when eight American Capuchins desired a form of Franciscan life dedicated specifically to service of the poor and evangelization. The group was established as an institute of diocesan right by Cardinal John O’Connor in 1999. Currently, there are about 100 perpetually professed members of the institute serving in 10 dioceses and archdioceses, in six countries, committed to the mission of serving the poor and most vulnerable, and passionately preaching the Gospel in the New Evangelization.

The Holy See describes the Institute’s charism: “After the manner of St. Francis of Assisi, the friars seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, as a prophetic witness that life is a pilgrimage to the Father, of faith, hope, and love of God and neighbor, made possible by the Holy Spirit. They participate in Christ’s renewal of all things through their prayer, fraternal life, service of the poor, and evangelization, as a complement to the work of those whose mission is to serve parochially.”

Fr. John Paul Ouellette, the General Servant (superior), expressed his thoughts: “After having been nurtured so faithfully by the Archdiocese of New York throughout these years, most recently in the person of His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and now receiving this confirmation of our charism of renewal from our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we now commit ourselves ever more urgently and zealously to the living out of our consecrated life, in faithful prayer, devoted fraternity, and service to the most poor and needy among us. Please pray with us in praise and gratitude to God, on this special occasion, for his continued blessings on our Community and His Church.”


A Prayer at Election Time

Please join the friars in daily praying for the USA at this time:

A Prayer At Election Time

O Lord, Our Just and Loving Father,

We thank you for the precious gift of Human Life

That is greatly threatened by the Culture of Death.

Aware of the dangers we are now facing,

We ask that You guide us in electing the leaders

Our nation truly needs:

-Leaders with the wisdom to discern your providential plan,

-Leaders who understand the weakness of the human condition,

-Leaders who counsel our citizens to respect the rule of law,

-Leaders with the fortitude to face their opponents with grace,

-Leaders with knowledge of our Constitution and of natural rights,

-Leaders whose piety makes them aware of their own limitations,

-And leaders whose reverential fear informs their moral judgment.

We pray that the inalienable rights

To life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,

Promised by our founders,

May be preserved, protected, and defended for all,

Especially the most vulnerable members of our society.

Almighty and Merciful God,

Sustain us in our struggle to live in peace

As one nation under God. Amen.

Summer 2016 Needs

Dear Friends,

On behalf of all the CFR priests and brothers, I thank you very much for your generosity by sending donations and in-kind donations such as: coffee, clothing, etc…

We have two very urgent needs:

1. Good used cars. Many of our cars are from the 1990s or early 2000s with high mileage and in need of more expensive repairs. So please, if you are planning to get a newer car, consider donating your car to us. The good Lord will bless you abundantly!

2. Building repairs. We have been using five buildings of the former St. Adalbert Parish in the South Bronx for 29 years. These buildings are owned by the Archdiocese of New York, and our agreement is that we pay no rent, but are responsible for all repairs, maintenance, utilities, and insurance.

We use these buildings for serving the poor and to live. The old school building is mainly used by St. Francis Youth Center. St. Anthony’s Free Medical Clinic, Corazon Puro, CFR General Offices and dorm rooms take up other parts of the building.

The former rectory, St. Crispin Friary, and former convent, Our Lady of the Angels Friary, house the friars who take care of the merged St. Padre Pio and St. Anthony’s Shelters, work in the Youth Center, CFR Office and the Free Clinic. St. Adalbert Church is used for community celebrations, ordinations and final vows, for a weekly Mass for the homeless, for Masses with the neighborhood youth etc. The last building is St. Anthony’s Shelter for Renewal. It is a six story homeless shelter that has one floor for the volunteers (men discerning to join our community who work at the shelter); the other floors house the homeless. During a recent violent rain storm a part of the concrete patching an upper section of the Youth center came crashing down. Thank God no one was hurt.

Once we inspected all the buildings, professional engineers gave us an estimate for each building’s exterior walls, roof repairs and/or church steeple. The total minimum cost to repair what is essentially necessary is close to $1,500,000 (One million five hundred thousand dollars). Some funds are already available, but we need your help. Br. Peter has the engineer reports and a breakdown of costs for each building. For ways that you could help us visit our webpage, or contact Br. Peter directly at St. Crispin Friary: 718-665-2441 or at St. Anthony’s Shelter: 718-993-5161.

Yours in Christ,

Br. John Joseph Brice, CFR

May 2016 Ordinations

Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to Ordain Six to the Diaconate

Please pray for the following brothers who will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Peter Byrne at St. Crispin Friary in the South Bronx on May 23, 2016:

Br. John Mary Johannssen, C.F.R.

Br. Justin Jesusmaria Alarcon, C.F.R.

Br. Giles Maria Barrie, C.F.R.

Br. Tansi Mary Ibisi, C.F.R.

Br. Roch Mary Greiner, C.F.R.

Br. Stephen Marie Dufrene, C.F.R.


Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to Ordain Five to the Priesthood

Please pray for the following brothers who will be ordained to the Priesthood, along with their New York classmates, by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan at 9 AM at St. Patrick's Cathedral on May 28, 2016:

Rev. Br. Antonio Diez de Medina, C.F.R,

Rev. Br. Dismas Kline, C.F.R.

Rev. Br. Innocent Montgomery, C.F.R.

Rev. Br. Bernardino Soukup, C.F.R.

Rev. Br. Xavier Meiergerd, C.F.R.

The first Mass will be on Sunday, May 29th, at 10 AM at St. Crispin Friary in the South Bronx.

(back row) Br. Justin, Br. Tansi, Br. Stephen, Br. John-Mary, Br. Roch, Br. Giles
(front row) Br. Xavier, Br. Bernardino, Br. Antonio, Br. Dismas, Br. Innocent

FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE RENEWAL – Statement on the Supreme Court Decision

Statement on the Supreme Court Decision | Same Sex Marriage Ruling

“Grace Abounds”…Romans 5:20

In the midst of present day moral confusion and the cultural attack on the Christian way of life in the United States and around the world, there is a real temptation to discouragement and even despair. As the news continues to report the “victory lap” that is being taken by those who offer a different way of understanding marriage and sexuality, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal find great hope in the powerful presence of God at work in the countless couples, families, and individuals who are heroically faithful to the Gospel and the truth of marriage and sexuality according to God’s design. We also find great hope in those individuals who experience same sex attraction and have made the free, heroic and self-sacrificing choice to live the virtue of chastity in a culture where the alternative is in fact much easier and socially celebrated.

There are many questions being asked about the way forward for the Church as she faces the stark reality of these present day challenges and trials. As we have heard echoed over the past few days from the Bishops in the United States and from those who speak in fidelity with the Church and her teaching, Christ is the answer. Jesus who is the Truth (John 14:6) is our refuge, strength, consolation, and way forward. His Grace abounds in the midst of temptation, confusion, and darkness. His love is our response, the powerful statement that must be made to those who agree with the Church and also for those who disagree.  In a time where a misguided compassion seems to dictate that true love and true religion not only should accept the sinner but also the sin, we with great respect and humility, boldly call for a renewed courageous witness among all Catholics, Christians and people of good will. This witness, modeled by Jesus, doesn’t tire of loving and showing genuine compassion to our brothers and sisters who experience same sex attraction and who are caught up in the challenges and difficulties of the current cultural crisis. However, at the same time we urge an ever more courageous proclamation of the truth of marriage and God’s beautiful plan for human sexuality.

In this pressing time, we pray for the intercession of our late founder Fr. Benedict Groeschel and his dear friend Fr. John Harvey, who was the founder of Courage, an outreach to those who experience same sex attraction and strive to freely choose to live a chaste way of life ( We are inspired by their fidelity and commitment to the truth of the Church and the Gospel.

Statement by Courge Internatinal

Statement by the USCCB