May 21 was a day of celebration for our Province as friars from throughout the eastern Coast gathered at Holy Name of Jesus Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for the ordination of Cidouane Joseph, OFM, and Erick Lopez, OFM. For both men, this joyful event was “an opportunity to extend Christ’s love, compassion and healing to the people whom we have been called to serve.”
Presiding at the 11 a.m. Mass was Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C. He was assisted by Provincial Minister Fr. John O’Connor, OFM, Provincial Vicar Fr. Dominic Monti, OFM, and Fr. Thomas Conway, OFM, director of post-novitiate formation.
Family and friends of the newly-ordained priests participated in the celebration. They were joined by parishioners of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., and St. Camillus in Silver Spring, Md., where both men have served.
For me, the occasion reflected the rich cultural traditions of both friars being ordained. The scripture readings and music were in French, French Creole, and Spanish, and Cardinal McCarrick directed his remarks in Erick and Cid’s native languages. It was a wonderful representation of the internationality of the Franciscan Order, as well as the cultural diversity of the friars of Holy Name Province.
Here’s a look at our newly-ordained priests:
Fr. Cidouane Joseph, OFM
Cid, 44, was born and raised in Haiti. After earning a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Grand Seminaire Notre Dame, he came to the United States in 2002. Cid came to know the friars through his work with the Haitian community at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Manhattan. He said, “I was able to see firsthand what the friars were, the way they ministered to the people, and how they were brothers to one another.”
Cid received a master’s degree in pastoral studies from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., in 2009, and has completed a hospital chaplain residency year at Georgetown University Hospital. He will return to Holy Name of Jesus Church as parochial vicar and hopes to continue his work in hospital chaplaincy. Reflecting on his new role, Cid said, “I look forward to being a priest. It is satisfying because when you give, you also receive.”
Fr. Erick Lopez, OFM
A native of Cuba, Erick holds a bachelor’s degree in radiochemistry from the Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares de Ciudad de la Habana. He converted to Catholicism at age 21 when he and his family got to know the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Colombia. After moving to the United States in 1999 and settling in Hialeah, Fla., Erick became acquainted with several friars involved in Holy Name Province’s Ministry of the Word.
Erick, 38, earned a master’s degree in divinity this spring from Washington Theological Union and will serve as parochial vicar of St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md. Regarding his upcoming assignment, he said, “I have been involved in parish ministry and liked it very much. I want to be present to people as the people in my life have been present to me.” He may join the Ministry of the Word team.