Supporting the Friars

"Rebuild my House": Our Lady of the Angels Province in the 21st Century

One day in 1205 St. Francis stopped to reflect and pray in the crumbling chapel of St. Damian, down the hill from Assisi. There, in a mystical experience, he heard Christ speak from the cross, and to give the direction, "Francis, go and rebuild my house, which as you can see is falling into ruins." He took this charge literally, and began to rebuild the very structure in which he had prayed.

The strange behavior of this favored son of Assisi brought more than a few laughs and much ridicule. But it also attracted others from the town and the surrounding area who appreciated what this gallant young man was trying to accomplish. They joined him in repairing churches, and slowly came to realize that their service should extend to others who had special needs, like the lepers who were abandoned to fend for themselves.

Over eight hundred years ago, St. Francis of Assisi heard the Lord call him to a life of ministry. That one moment in a tiny dilapidated chapel would change the world. Today, young men still hear that call - and answer it. As we friars continue into the 21st century, we ask you to come and help us 'rebuild' the Lord's house, and reinvigorate the Church's mission with the spirit of St. Francis.

The Our Lady of the Angels Province, USA

The Franciscan Friars Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province form a part of the Franciscan family founded by St. Francis of Assisi, who lived from 1182 to 1226. St. Francis saw his Friars in terms of a fraternity of brothers. Hence, the title "Friar" (brother) best suits the Franciscans.

The first Conventual Friars arrived in the United States in 1852 to help serve the increasing immigrant population. They ministered first in Texas and later in the northeastern United States.

Today, over one hundred years later, the Province of Our Lady of the Angels is thriving. Our ministries are now as varied as the ministry of the Church itself. Currently, the over 200 friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province minister in numerous American (arch)dioceses in 11 states along the eastern seaboard, as well as Canada, England, Ireland, Rome, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Japan, and in the Order's central administration in Rome, and at the Order's Sacred Convent, the friary and Basilica in Assisi where St. Francis is buried. Our friars serve in parishes, high schools and colleges, hospitals and nursing homes, and military chaplaincies. Our friars serve in urban and suburban settings, and in foreign missions. Whatever his talents and abilities, a Friar offers them for the common good of the community and the Church.

Yet we cannot go alone. Companions have always accompanied the friars on our journey - and today is no different. As we continue the Franciscan tradition into our second century in the United States, we ask you - our Companions of St. Anthony - to join us.