June 9, 2024 - Blessed Sacrament Fraternity Chapter of Elections

Blessings of peace and all good!

On June 9, 2024, Jennifer Drees, OFS (Regional Formation Director) presided at the Chapter of Elections for Blessed Sacrament Fraternity in Whiting, NJ.  The ecclesial witness was Br. Noel Danielewicz, OFM Conv, the delegate for Fr. Francis Sariego, OFM Cap.

With great joy, we announce the next Executive Council for this fraternity for the next three years:

Minister Rose Viragh, OFS Returning
Vice-Minister Tiffany Menendez, OFS Returning
Secretary Mira Welnowska, OFS Returning
Treasurer Margaret Garvin, OFS Returning
Formation Director Maureen Fantauzzo, OFS Returning
Councilor-at-Large Theresa Langan, OFS Newly Elected
Councilor-at-Large Frank Wagner, OFS Newly Elected

Left to right: Br. Noel Danielewicz, OFM Conv (Ecclesial Witness); Tiffany Menendez, OFS (Vice-Minister); Margaret Garvin, OFS (Treasurer); Rose Viragh, OFS (Minister); Theresa Langan, OFS (Councilor-at-Large); Mira Welnowska, OFS (Secretary); Frank Wagner, OFS (Councilor-at-Large); Maureen Fantauzzo, OFS (Formation Director); and Jennifer Drees, OFS (SKD Regional Formation Director and Election Presider)

May God bless these willing and dedicated servant leaders with the Holy Spirit’s gifts to serve their fraternity and the Secular Franciscan Order with great courage and perseverance!  We thank the five members of this fraternity who have returned to Council to serve their brothers and sisters, and we welcome the two new councilors-at-large into their new responsibilities of animating and guiding their fraternity with devotion to the holy Gospel!

St. Francis Fraternity (Easton) Chapter of Elections – March 17, 2024

Greetings to all from St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, PA, where St. Francis Fraternity held a Chapter of Elections on St. Patrick’s Day.  The fraternity had 100% attendance, with 21 members present to cast their votes.


With great joy, we introduce the new servant leaders of this fraternity:

Minister Mark Shedden,, OFS
Vice-Minister Andrea Olock, OFS
Secretary Joan Hilstolsky, OFS
Treasurer Stephen Puccino, OFS
Formation Director Rosemary Rossner, OFS
Councilor-at-Large Thomas Coleca, OFS
Councilor-at-Large Mandy Gero, OFS
Presider Teresa Redder, OFS

St. Katharine Drexel Regional Minister

Ecclesial Witness Fr. Loren Connell, OFM (Delegate)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Province

Secretary of Elections Rosemary Rossner, OFS
Tellers of Election Thomas Coleca, OFS

Malia Dillard, OFS

Top row (l-r): Br. Loren Connell, OFM (Spiritual Asst), Rosemary Rossner, OFS (Formation Director), Tom Coleca, OFS (Councilor-at-Large), Mandy Gero, OFS (Councilor-at-Large), Steve Puccino, OFS (Treasurer)

Bottom row: Andrea Olock, OFS (Vice-Minister), Mark Shedden, OFS (Minister), & Teresa Redder, OFS (SKD Regional Minister)

Not available for the photos: Joan Hilstolsky, OFS (Secretary)

May God bless the outgoing council members for their long and dedicated service and may the Holy Spirit animate the new leadership council to serve the Lord with gladness for the next three years with fidelity and humility!


Spirit of St. Francis Chapter of Elections-June 18, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters of Saint Katharine Drexel Regional Fraternity,

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

In preparation for their Chapter of Elections, Jerry Sanvardine, OFS (Minister) told me that the fraternity planned to attend the 9:30 AM Mass at St. Anthony Church because Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish had this announcement in their Corpus Christi Sunday bulletin:

“ON THE HORIZON—OUR PATRONAL FEAST WEEKEND OF JUNE 17-18 SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA We shall be honoring the co-patron of our parish at all Masses the weekend of June 17-18. While the actual feast day is Tuesday, June 13, liturgical law permits that a patronal feast may be observed on the nearest weekend. This permits a greater and more solemn celebration of our parish feast day. The faithful will be able to venerate St. Anthony’s relic at the conclusion of Mass. The usual weekday Masses will be celebrated on June 13.”

This Mass was offered for the intentions of Spirit of St. Francis Fraternity.

Pam Stout, OFS (Regional Secretary), and Jeff Redder, OFS (Regional Councilor-at-large) accompanied me to the elections.  With great joy, I announce the results of the Chapter of Elections held on June 18, 2023 for Spirit of St. Francis Fraternity in Hamilton, NJ:

Name Position Helpful Info
Jerry Sanvardine, OFS Minister Reelected
Mike Sabol, OFS Vice Minister Reelected
Christine Muszynski, OFS Secretary New
Joe Campos, OFS Treasurer Reelected
Sue Campos, OFS Formation Director New (previous secretary)
Joanne Sanvardine, OFS Councilor Reelected

(Seated l-r): Pam Stout (SKD Secretary), Sue Campos (Formation Director), Teresa Redder (SKD Minister), Joanne Sanvardine (Councilor), Christine Muszynski (Secretary)

(Standing l-r): Joe Campos (Treasurer), Jerry Sanvardine (Minister), Mike Sabol (Vice Minister), Msgr John Dermond (Spiritual Asst & Ecclesial Witness), & Jeff Redder (SKD Councilor)

Note: Jerry made the beautiful Tau cross that Teresa is holding.  One of these Tau crosses was on each table of the gathering area and a wonderful reminder of our profession commitment.

The fraternity also joyfully celebrated the birthdays of Jean Fell (June 11th) and Sue Campos (June 16th).

May God continue to bless these faithful servant leaders and the fraternity that they serve with peace, goodness, and joy!

Peace and all good,


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Immaculate Conception Fraternity Chapter of Elections (June 11, 2023)

Brothers and sisters,

I joyfully announce the results of the Chapter of Elections held in Norristown, PA, on June 11, 2023 for Immaculate Conception Fraternity:

Name Position Helpful Info
Amanda Jamnicky, OFS Minister Reelected to 3rd term
Stephanie Russo, OFS Vice Minister New

(previous formation director)

Maria Innocenti, OFS Secretary New

(previous vice minister)

Jeremy Cherelli, OFS Treasurer Reelected
Lisa Bechtel, OFS Formation Director New

(previous secretary)

Mike Stanek, OFS Councilor New
Iliana Mendez, OFS Councilor Reelected

Let us keep these servant leaders in our prayers!

Peace and all good,

Teresa Redder, OFS

Seated (left to right):  Amanda Jamnicky (Minister), Lisa Bechtel (Formation Director), & Maria Innocenti (Secretary)

Standing (left to right):  Stephanie Russo (Vice Minister), Jeremy Cherelli (Treasurer), Iliana Mendez (Councilor), Mike Stanek (Councilor), and Teresa Redder (Regional Minister)

Regional Election Results

Dear brothers and sisters, may the peace of the Lord be with you!  I announce the following people have been elected to Regional positions:
Kate Kleinert, OFS – Minister
Gretchen Bienkowski, OFS – Vice Minister
Justin Carisio, OFS – Formation Director
Teresa Redder, OFS  Secretary
Frank Urso, OFS- Treasurer
Cindy Louden, OFS – Councillor at Large
Ted Bienkowski, OFS – Councillor at Large
Please keep the newly elected Council in your prayers as we prepare to serve you for the next three years!

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.

Regional Elections - Prayer for Leadership

In order to prepare for our regional council elections taking place in March, please begin praying this prayer for leadership:


Give us, O God, leaders whose hearts are large enough to match the breadth of our own souls and give us souls strong enough to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek more than our own enhancement — though enhancement we hope for — more than security for our own plans and vision — though security we need — more than satisfaction for our own selfish wants — though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose and follow the leader who will work with other leaders to bring Your will to the agenda and help us to fulfill it.

Give us leaders who lead us to virtue without seeking to impose their own version of virtue on others.

Give us leaders who will provide for the advancement of our Order without dictating to others to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves to choose as leaders those who can tell strength from power, growth from greed, leadership from dominance, and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God, to open our hearts to learn from those to whom you speak in different tongues and to respect the life and words of those to whom you entrusted the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God, give us the vision as Secular Franciscans to know where holy leadership truly lies, to pursue it diligently, to ask it to respect the integrity of every person in the entire Order.

We ask these things, Great God, with minds open to your word and hearts that trust in your eternal care.


Adapted by Fr. Kevin Queally, TOR from “Prayer for Leadership” Published by Pax Christi USA