Six US OFM Provinces Vote to Recommend One New Province

On May 30, 2018, the friars of each of the six provinces in the United States voted at meetings in their communities to support the formation of one new organization. It will comprise the almost 1,000 friars belonging to the six provinces and will be headquartered in a yet-to-be-determined location.

The Franciscan friars of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province (based in Franklin, Wisc.), Holy Name Province (headquartered on 31st Street in New York City), Our Lady of Guadalupe Province (Albuquerque, N.M.), Sacred Heart Province (St. Louis, Mo.), St. Barbara Province (Oakland, Calif.), and St. John the Baptist Province (Cincinnati, Ohio) have been in dialogue about unifying their communities since 2012.

The reconfiguration will not happen immediately. The next step in the process is to obtain approval to unify from the Order’s Minister General, Br. Michael A. Perry. Should he decide that such a reconfiguration would be helpful to Franciscan life and ministry, he will appoint a delegate to visit the friars in the U.S. If his delegate’s report is favorable, it is expected that the process of reconfiguration will move forward.

Meanwhile, the process is continuing as issues of canon and civil law are resolved. Franciscan leaders expect that the new province will be officially formed in late 2022 or early 2023.

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Image: Provincial Ministers of the six Provinces with the Minister General, Michael A. Perry and Definitor General, Caoimhín O’ Laoide, at the 2017 Fall Meeting.