On Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. the friars of the Conventual Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Consolation in the USA celebrated and dedicated the new expansion made to their San Damiano Friary in San Antonio, Texas.
The Minister General, Carlos TROVARELLI, traveled from Rome to join them. Others present included the Most Reverend Gustavo GARCÍA-SILLER, Archbishop of San Antonio; the Assistant General for the Conventual Franciscan Federation (CFF), Friar Jude WINKLER; the Minister Provincial of the Province of Zambia, Friar Ferena LAMBE; the Minister Provincial of the Province of Mexico, Friar Mario CASTRO MARTÍNEZ; and the Minister Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation in the USA, Friar Wayne HELLMANN. Community leaders and supporters were also on hand to celebrate this dream becoming a reality.
This new expansion will be used for the formation and education of friars of the Franciscan families in different countries around the world. Currently, it is being used for the formation of friars from the United States and Mexico. Friars from the OFM family are participating as well. After their formation, the friars will work as pastors, retreat directors, campus ministers, chaplains, and will serve in many other capacities across a wide range of ministries to those in need.
Friar Wayne Hellmann stated: “The Church in the United States has become more intercultural, more representative of the reality of our global human family. This new addition to the Franciscan formation fraternity allows us to share more fully in this new reality.”
In the 1970s, the friars chose San Antonio, Texas, to establish a House of Studies. San Antonio offers educational opportunities at several Catholic and private colleges and universities. Many friars study at the Oblate School of Theology in preparation for the priesthood or other pastoral ministries.
The new expansion provides twelve bedrooms with a shared bathroom and shower between each bedroom. There is a laundry room on the second floor and a large living room measuring 735 square feet (68 square meters), where the friars can gather for recreation, seminars, and other fraternity-building activities.