From Fr. John
Franciscan Charities
St. Anthony Bread
3140 Meramec Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
Phone: (314) 655-0530
Fax:     (314) 655-0562
Province of the Sacred Heart
Hermitage near Assisi

From Fr. John

Interprovincial Postulancy Begins

by Fr. John Eaton, OFM on 09/16/17

Interprovincial Postulancy Program Begins in Maryland


By Matt Ryan and Joshua Tagoylo


Earlier this year, the seven provincial ministers of the United States announced the creation of an interprovincial postulancy program. The new program, which began last month, is located at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md. Below, two postulants share an update on the first few weeks in the program.


On Wednesday, Aug. 23, we were blessed to have 16 postulants enter the first interprovincial postulancy program for the Order of Friars Minor in the United States. Their names, ages, hometowns and provinces are:


Andrew Aldrich, 26, of Mishawaka, Ind. – Assumption BVM Province

Andrew Dinegar, 51, of New York City – St. Barbara Province

Ian Grant, 33, of Bergen County, New Jersey – Holy Name Province

Chase Lopez, 27, of Storm Lake, Iowa – Holy Name Province

Matt Lorch, 40, of Indianapolis – Holy Name Province

Rafael Ozoude, 22, of Lagos, Nigeria – St. John the Baptist Province

Daniel Mayer, 24, of Houma, La. – Sacred Heart Province

Salvador Mejia, 47, of Acambaro, Mexico – St. Barbara Province

Loren Moreno, 33, of New York City – Holy Name Province

John Neuffer, 33, of Durham, N.C. – Holy Name Province

Richard Phillip, 40, of Camden, N.J. – Holy Name Province

Carlos Portillo, 32, of San Vicente, El Salvador – Holy Name Province

Matt Ryan, 46, of Covington, Ky. – St. John the Baptist Province

Josh Tagoylo, 24, of Hayward, Calif. – St. Barbara Province

Nhan Ton, 40, of Saigon, Vietnam – Sacred Heart Province

Steven Young, 29, of Canton, Mass. – Holy Name Province


As you can see, we have men from a diverse group of of ages, heritages, and provinces. God is good! After orientation, we took part in an in-house compass retreat, where we opened up to each other and reflected on the directions our lives are taking. That weekend, with openness, we joined the friars at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City to witness the Aug. 26 solemn vows of Brothers Casey Cole, OFM, and Ramoncito Razon, OFM, of Holy Name Province. The solemn profession of our brothers before the Franciscan community, including our General Minister, was a poignant way to mark so many fresh beginnings.


On Aug. 31, Fr. Mark Schoener, OFM, the provincial minister of St. John the Baptist Province, was the celebrant for a welcome Mass at Holy Name College, officially marking the beginning of the United States’s first interprovincial OFM postulancy program. Members of the formation team presented each postulant with a Tau cross that was handmade by novice Luis Rosado of Holy Name Province.

The Secretaries of Formation – Martin Ibarra, OFM, (of St. Barbara Province), Carl Langenderfer, OFM, (of St. John the Baptist), Ralph Parthie, OFM, (Sacred Heart), and Kim Studwell, OFM, (Assumption BVM) – as well as friars from Holy Name Province – including members of the Holy Name College and St. Camillus Parish friar communities – all joined in the Eucharist and ceremony. They were followed by a festive social and dinner.


The postulants look forward to a fruitful year of discernment and service.


Matt Ryan, of St. John the Baptist Province, and Joshua Tagoylo, of St. Barbara Province, are members of the 2017-18 postulant class.

Pictures from Kienge

by Fr. John Eaton, OFM on 05/24/17

When the electricity and the internet are working at the same time in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the friars are able to send us emails about our projects. Friar Jean-Marie Mufeji managed to send a couple of pictures of people using the new well in the village of Kienge. I understand that Fr. Damien Isabel was able to arrange a visit to both Mulenga and Kienge to ask villagers how the wells will affect their lives. I'm waiting to hear. 



Article on Our Well Project

by Fr. John Eaton, OFM on 04/30/17

Joe Kenny at the St. Louis Review recently published a follow-up article on our project to dig wells in the DRC.

Here is the link for the article:

Please pass this information and the link along to others who might be interested in what the Franciscans are doing.

Thanks!  And thanks to Joe Kenny and the wonderful folks at the Review.
Fr. John Eaton, OFM
Director, Franciscan Charities

2nd Well: Kienge, DRC

by Fr. John Eaton, OFM on 04/29/17

Friar Jean-Marie Mufeji has informed us that the second well has been completed in the village of Kienge, Democratic Republic of Congo. 


He writes:


Rev. Father John Eaton, it is through you that we want to reach the team of the Development Office of your Franciscan Province, so that you can relay our thanks to all our benefactors.


Indeed, your financial aid us allowed us to drill a well in our village of Kienge.  The well has produced many good fruits!  The potable water flows already in our village; it will reduce significantly the water-borne diseases that are endemic in our area and will considerably improve the painful life for our moms and young girls.


Our sincere thanks.


Friar Jean-Marie Mufeji, OFM



See the pictures at:



Kienge, DRC



To donate to this effort to bring clean drinking water to the people of Africa:


Year of Mercy Project

Franciscan Charities

3140 Meramec St.

St. Louis, MO 63118-4399


Or donate online at this site.

You can take the girl out of the country...

by Fr. John Eaton, OFM on 04/29/17

What sets the food pantry at St. Anthony Church in St. Louis apart from almost any other food pantry in the country?  Besides the usual offerings of food and clothing, the St. Anthony pantry also offers seedlings of tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants so families can grow their own vegetables at home.


Sr. Connie Probst, OSF, the director of the food pantry, hails from the Illinois farm country around Effingham.  She has turned to urban farming as a way to assist our neighbors.


Recently, Sr. Connie's father, Gene, was in town to help with the transplanting.  On April 27, students from St. Frances Cabrini School volunteered to assist with additional transplanting.


To assist the St. Francis Food Pantry, please send donations to:


Food Pantry

c/o Franciscan Charities

3140 Meramec St.

St. Louis, MO  63118-4399