During 2022, friars from the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow) now working in the United States have reorganized a number of their presences and ministries. The friary in Rockford, Illinois has been suppressed and the friary in Rock Island, Illinois has been erected.

On Sunday, November 13, 2022, the Minister Provincial of the Province of Cracow, Friar Marian GOŁĄB, blessed the new friary in Rock Island where the friars will be living and working. The following day he visited the curia of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, where he met with the Vicar General and the Bishop Emeritus, who invited the confreres from Cracow to serve in the Diocese.
The current Bishop of Peoria, the Most Reverend Louis TYLKA, recently addressed a letter to the faithful of the three parishes that the Order will serve and publically thanked the friars for accepting the invitation. “I am most confident that the presence of the Conventual Franciscans will enrich the life of faith among the people of Rock Island. I am also grateful for the continued presence of the Franciscans serving our local Church.”
Two Conventual Franciscans, Friars Piotr SARNICKI and Witold ADAMCZYK, are leading three parishes in Rock Island: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Pius X.
At the request of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Rockford, Friar Mieczysław WIT will remain in the suppressed friary until June of 2023, the end of the pastoral year.
The second friary belonging to the Province of Cracow is located in Algonquin, Illinois.
The decision to reorganize the presences and ministry of the friars of the Province of Cracow was made two years ago, during the Ordinary Provincial Chapter. In the spring of 2022, the friars of the Province of Cracow received permission to erect the new friary in Rock Island from the Chapter of the Province of St. Bonaventure in the USA, the Diocese of Peoria and by the government of the Order. The decree of the Minister Provincial, Friar Marian GOŁĄB, to erect the St. Pius X Friary in Rock Island went into effect on August 2, 2022, the feast of St. Mary of the Angels.
There are currently sixteen friars from the Province of Cracow living and working in the United States. They are located at twelve presences in seven states: Algonquin, Libertyville, Rock Island and Rockford, Illinois; Burlington, North Carolina; Chicopee and Holyoke, Massachusetts; Ellicott City, Maryland; El Paso and San Antonio, Texas; New Britain, Connecticut; and Brooklyn – New York City, New York.

Friar Jan Maria SZEWEK