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,

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