Welcome Newly Professed at Immaculate Conception

All smiles!

Pictured here are Stephanie Russo, OFS, Formation Director, newly professed John Maynes, OFS, newly professed Lisa Bechtel, OFS, Amanda Jamnicky, OFS, Minister and newly professed Jeremy Cherelli, OFS. Please keep Mike Stanek in your prayers.  Mike was scheduled to be professed also, but was hospitalized last night.


Summer Session in Loretto – July 6 – 9, 2017

“Multiculturalism and Diversity: Who is My Neighbor?”

This Summer Session is open to all who would like to attend. Check out the attached flyer for more information on this great opportunity to spend a few days with Seculars from across the country and participate in this timely topic. Seminar flyer 2017

St. Katharine Drexel Region Chapter of Elections

Secular Franciscans from all corners of the SKD Region gathered at the beautiful St. Francis Retreat House in Easton for a Chapter of Election. After much prayerful preparation and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, representatives from the local fraternities and the regional leadership elected a new Regional Executive Council:

  • Minister: Kate Kleinert, OFS
  • Vice Minister: Gretchen Bienkowski, OFS
  • Formation Director: Rose Viragh, OFS
  • Secretary: Frank Urso, OFS
  • Treasurer: Stephanie Wiecer, OFS
  • Councillor at Large: Lee Potts, OFS
  • Councillor at Large: Ted Bienkowski, OFS

Our Spiritual Assistants Bro. Larry Hilferty, TOR and Fr. Francis Sariego, OFM Cap. automatically continue as members of the Regional Executive Council.

Many thanks to NAFRA Executive Council representative Mary Stronach, OFS who oversaw and lead the actual election process and to our beloved Brother Larry for serving as Ecclesiastical Witness and for providing his thoughts about Franciscan leadership.

Thanks, also, to the outgoing Committee members for their years of leadership and hard work: Mattie Ward, OFS; Madge Peroni, OFS; Kathy Agosto, OFS; and David Misilewich, OFS. Your many contributions are greatly appreciate.

Please be sure to hold the members of the new Executive Council in prayer, especially as they begin their three-year term of service to every member of the Region and to Order in general.

Change in Leadership

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Sts. Francis and Clare,

PEACE to each of your hearts!

12087783_934144886639976_1461072468912585684_oIt has become necessary for me to resign as Minister to St. Katharine Drexel Regional Fraternity as a result of our National Chapter of Elections held yesterday, October 17, at which time I was elected National Secretary. Please pray for me and for the other members of our National Executive Council: Jan Parker, OFS, Minister, Mary Bittner, OFS, Vice-Minister, Jerry Rousseau, OFS, Treasurer, Mary Frances Charsky, OFS, Councillor, Joan Geiger, OFS, Councillor, Awilda Guadalupe, OFS, Councillor, Mary Stronach, OFS, International Councillor, and Bro. Bob Brady, OFM. Our Regional Vice-Minister, Kate Kleinert, OFS, has assumed the Minister’s position.

I cannot tell you what a joy it has been for me to serve you as your Regional Minister over these past 8-1/2 years. I will continue to hold each of you in my heart. Let us pray for each other as we work together for the benefit of our Order.

Blessings, every good, and much, much love,

Photos from Katharine Drexel Regional Gathering

Bob Stronach, OFS was kind enough to take a bunch of really terrific photographs during our Regional Gathering and Pastorial Visit last May/June. An online photo album can be found at https://plus.google.com/photos/106227871221867854071/albums/6019617272046068913.


For your continued prayers, penance and reflection (a message from our Nation Minister, Tom Bello, OFS)

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

PEACE to each of your hearts! Following is a message from our brother and National Minister, Deacon Tom Bello, OFS. The situation is urgent; the need for prayer, fasting and reflection continues. Please … do what you can.

Blessings, every good, and much love,

Beloved National Family,

May the Lord bring us all Peace. I write to share this email with you and two recent posts about our brother James Foley to ask for your continued prayers, penance and reflection, and not to promote any form of retribution or “holy war.”

Mr. Ganni who sent me last night the following email below is from Mosul, studied in Baghdad, and now lives in Quebec. He writes to make us aware, if we are not already, that Catholics, Christians and others, both personally and institutionally, are being systematically destroyed in our time in Iraq and other places in the world.

In this context, not to ignore any of the many others who have been killed, it has been reported by the family of James Foley that Pope Francis called them and referred to him as a “martyr.” » Click to continue reading “For your continued prayers, penance and reflection (a message from our Nation Minister, Tom Bello, OFS)” »

Chapter of Mats Reminder - St. John Neumann Fraternity


Wednesday, August 20, 2014. 7:00 PM.
Grounds of Neumann University behind Our Lady of Angels Convent.

Chapter of Mats celebrating that first such gathering over eight centuries ago. Come to hear first-hand accounts of the event, eat food that would have been served, and enjoy the fellowship of your Franciscan brothers and sisters of the St. Katharine Drexel Region.

Many thanks for your generous response to the original invitation. Didn’t RSVP? Don’t worry. All are welcome. Just bring yourself, and hopefully fellow members of your local chapter.

Questions? Email Sandy Kushner at jksgk@verizon.net.


Beloved National Family,

Through the plea and example (included below) of a Regional Minister who has asked to remain anonymous, working under the principle of “do good and disappear,” please join together, as her local fraternities are doing in her entire Region, in a nationwide effort to put this world’s recent turmoil more in the Lord’s hands by our concerted prayers and penance over three days starting this Friday, August 1st. Whatever you can do to bring more of our sisters and brothers into this effort of prayers and penance, please do so.

Friday, August 1st, the first day of Prayers and Penance, is, of course, First Friday, which may always be a day devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Friday is also, even outside of Lent, a traditional day of Penance. As we all know, what is Penance for one may not work or even be medically advisable for some, but fasting and/or abstinence, going to Mass, praying the Stations of the Cross, doing extra prayers to the Sacred Heart are all recommended on this first day.