The Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province are making plans to vacate St. Patrick's Friary on Seymour Street in Larkinville next year.
The friars plan to leave the more than 100-year-old friary by June 30, 2017, according to Father Kevin Mullen, OFM, the provincial minister, or CEO, of the community of friars.
All ministerial activities on this site will conclude by the end of June next year, after which the buildings — a four-story friary, a three-car garage and a ranch-style house used for St. Francis Boys Club — and property will be available for purchase, Father Mullen said. The provincial administration made its decision to sell for two reasons. The cost of maintaining the friary, which was built in 1892, had become prohibitive, and the number of people living in the building is shrinking.
Two friars are moving this summer to new assignments, which will reduce the friar community in Buffalo to four members, Father Mullen said.
The four remaining friars have expressed a strong desire to stay in Buffalo to work among the poor and marginalized. The friars are in conversation with Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo to identify appropriate living space and ministries.
The Franciscans have served this Western York city since the middle of the 19th century. They have staffed several parishes — beginning with St. Patrick Church in 1858 — and have worked with lay partners-in-ministry to provide assistance to the Western New York region through a food pantry, a thrift shop and by organizing a values-centered summer day camp for children. The friars also offer prayer services and assist at local schools, among other activities.
Holy Name Province is the largest of seven entities in the United States belonging to the Order of Friars Minor. With ministries in 12 states along the East Coast, its nearly 300 Catholic priests and brothers serve in colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and a wide variety of social ministries, as well as in overseas missions.
The Order, founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi, commemorated its 800th anniversary in 2009. Today, St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, remains one of the most widely known saints, revered for his affection for nature and care for creation.
Information about Holy Name Province can be found on www.hnp.org. News about the friars and their ministries can be found on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province.