Feast Day: May 21, Canonized: June 20, 1982

Born Peter Fioretti, this Italian saint's pious parents taught him how to be holy. People in his hometown of Viterbo called him "the little saint."

After his father died, his uncle got him work as a cobbler's apprentice. While an expert at this trade, Peter decided to join the Capuchins at age 25. He took the name of Crispin, and showed himself capable of handling all physical hardships while maintaining a solid spiritual life. When epidemics broke out nearby, he cared for the sick. He visited prisons daily to ensure that prisoners had enough food and that the guards weren't abusing them. He also helped these gentlemen repent, thereby saving many souls.

Occasionally, people left babies at the friary's orphanage. Crispin lovingly raised these foundlings, and when they left, he got them work and kept in touch with them. He hassled merchants who overcharged or underpaid workers. He persuaded lenders to forgive debts. Because of this, many thought him a saint, but just as many saw in him a nosy busybody.

Crispin was humorous. Asked why he went bareheaded, he responded, "An ass doesn't wear a hat!" After Crispin was transferred to Rome, Pope Clement XI would visit him just for laughs. He died of pneumonia at the age of 82.


Pontifical Good Friday Collection, April 19

Every year on Good Friday, a collection is taken up in Catholic Churches to support the work of the Franciscans working in the Holy Land. Christians there rely heavily on the help that comes to them during this special day in the Church and our life of faith.

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is the home of a worldwide Commissariat of Friars Minor and monasteries who function as bridges between the Holy Land and Christians all over the world. The Commissariat offices here at the Monastery in Washington, D.C. coordinate the vital support for the work of the Franciscans who work in the Holy Land.

The Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land have the unique responsibility of caring for the Holy Places as well as caring for the Christians living in the Holy Land. It is vital that we care for the Christians living in the Holy Land in order to maintain a Christian presence in a land that is filled with a majority Islamic and Jewish population.

Faith, Memory & Culture — The Holy Places
Holy Land Franciscans staff and maintain the Holy places and shrines. This enables those who live in the Holy Land and those who visit to deepen their faith and their spiritual and cultural connection to Salvation history.

Social & Charitable Activities
In order to assist Christians to remain in the Holy Land, including the poor and young couples, the Custody builds thousands of residential units. Additionally, they build senior care facilities. Medical assistance is provided for the needy.

Educational & Scientific Activities
The Franciscans operate and support schools open to all, regardless of religion or nationality. They provide scholarships for students to prepare them to get jobs and remain in the Holy Land as part of living Catholic communities. Funds are distributed to young men studying to become Franciscan priests or brothers. Finally, Franciscan archaeologists pursue ongoing research at the Holy Places discovering historical artifacts.

Pastoral Activities
The Franciscans provide pastoral care in 29 parishes in the Holy Land offering Worship, Christian Formation, youth and family programs.

Liturgical, Ecumenical and Communications Programs
The Franciscan Media Center tells the story of the Holy Land through multimedia distributed throughout the world in more than seven languages. The friars organize Liturgical Celebrations for the local Christians and Pilgrims and share with other Christian communities in the Holy Land in ongoing Ecumenical cooperation.


Fr. James Lawrence Cleary was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 31, 1937 the son of Hugh X. Cleary and Madonna U. Magers. He entered the Capuchin Order on September 4, 1964 at Santa Ynez, CA. He was ordained a Catholic priest on September 5, 1970 at St. Bede the Venerable Church in La Cañada-Flintridge, CA.

He was an alumnus of St. Francis High School Class of '55 and St. Mary’s College in Moraga. He served in the U.S. Army from 1961-1963. He then received a Master of Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 1970. After his ordination Fr. James was sent to Our Lady of Angels Church in Hermiston, OR to serve as associate pastor. He was a teacher at St. Francis High School in La Cañada-Flintridge, CA. He was Pastor at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Church in Los Angeles, CA. He was elected definitor 1979-1982. He was Guardian of San Buenaventura Friary in San Francisco, CA. He was Vicar at San Lorenzo Friary in Santa Ynez, CA. He was Pastor at Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, CA. He was Director of Postulants at San Buenaventura Friary in San Francisco. Afterwards he served as a chaplain at St. Francis Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. He retired at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Church in Los Angeles and then received care at St. John of God Care Center in Los Angeles and then at Mercy Care Center in Oakland. He died of heart failure at Alta Bates Summit Hospital in Oakland, CA on January 15, 2019.

Fr. Jim was known by his brothers as a man of prayer and good humor. He was skilled not only at pastoral work but with his hands. He had a deep faith. Fr. Jim continued to help out as best he could even as his medical problems increased. He handled the consequences of his condition with patience, even though at time his disabilities wore on him. Fr. Jim was always friendly and loved to receive visitors and keep in touch with his Capuchin brothers, family members, and many friends he made throughout his life. He was a compassionate man who treated everyone with kindness.

His mother, father and sister Theresa have gone before him but he is survived by his siblings: Hugh Joseph, John Francis, Mary Jeanne, Jerome, Madonna, Marian and Regina.

A Rosary will be prayed at 10:30 am on Saturday February 9, 2019 at Old Mission Santa Ines, 1760 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA. A Funeral Mass will immediately follow at 11:00 am. Followed by burial at San Lorenzo Friary, 1802 Sky Drive, Santa Ynez, CA. Reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that you may consider making a donation in memory of Fr. James Cleary to Capuchin Franciscan Order, 1345 Cortez Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010.


Pope Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of Medan, Indonesia presented by Most Rev. Anicetus Bongsu Sinaga, OFM Cap., and appointed as metropolitan archbishop Br. Kornelius Sipayung, OFMCap, until now Provincial Minister of Medan.

Br. Kornelius Sipayung, OFM Cap. was born on August 26, 1970 in Bandar Hinalang-Kabanjahe, North Sumatra, in the Archdiocese of Medan. After attending the Christus Sacerdos minor seminary in Pematangsiantar, he studied philosophy and theology at the St. John school there. He professed perpetual vows on August 22, 1998 and was ordained priest on December 11, 1999.

From 1999 to 2002, Br. Kornelius was pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption in Kabanjahe, Medan. From 2002 to 2005 he studied for the licentiate in dogmatic theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, during which time he also studied English in Brisbane, Australia. For the next ten years Br. Kornelius served as formator of Capuchin seminarians in Pamatangsiantar and taught various disciplines at the St. John school there. From 2012 to 2015 he served as guardian at Pamatangsiantar and Vice Provincial Minister of Medan. Since 2015 he has served as Provincial Minister, having been reelected for the 2018 to 2021 triennium.

Br. Kornelius was also a member of the collaborating group of Indonesian Capuchins, which brought together the two Provinces of Medan and Pontianak, as well as the Custodies of Sibolga and Nias. He was also part of the Pacific-Asia Capuchin Conference (PACC). At the national level, Br. Kornelius is a member of the theological commission of the bishops' conference. At the diocesan level, he is a member of the presbyteral council and serves as an administrator for the Harapan Jaya Foundation and Catholic Charities.


ROME - When storm clouds gather and the Catholic Church is tossed by the scandalous behavior of some of its members, Catholics must repeat what St. Francis of Assisi repeated: "God is and that suffices," the preacher of the papal household told Pope Francis and his aides.

"Let us also learn to repeat these simple words to ourselves when, in the Church or in our lives, we find ourselves in circumstances similar to those of (St.) Francis, and many clouds will disperse," said Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa on Dec. 7.

The preacher of the papal household leads the pope and Roman Curia officials in a spiritual reflection on most Fridays of Advent and Lent. For his 2018 Advent reflections, Cantalamessa said he would "set aside every other theme and any reference to current problems" and focus on each individual's need for a personal relationship with God.

"We know from experience that an authentic personal relationship with God is the first requirement in dealing with all the situations and problems that come up without us losing our peace and patience," said the 84-year-old Cantalamessa.

At the suggestion of Pope Francis, Cantalamessa will lead a retreat for the bishops of the United States Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago as they continue to discuss and discern ways to handle the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

For the theme of his Advent reflections at the Vatican, the Capuchin chose a verse from Psalm 42: "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."

"People today are passionate in searching for signs of the existence of intelligent beings on other planets," which is "legitimate and understandable," he told the pope and Curia officials. "Few, however, search for and study the signs of the Living Being who has created the universe, who entered into its history, and who lives in it."

Yet while "we have the real Living One in our midst," he said, "we overlook him to search for hypothetical beings who, in the best of cases, could do very little for us and certainly could not save us from death."

A fundamental fact for those who believe in God is not only that he exists, Cantalamessa said, but that he lives and continually seeks a relationship with the human beings he created.

Many Christians see Jesus' remark "Seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" as a promise that Jesus will give them everything they ask for, and then are "perplexed because we see this rarely happens," he said.

But the basic promise is "Seek me and you will find me; knock and I will open the door," Cantalamessa said. "He promises to give himself, above and beyond the small things we ask of him, and this promise is always infallibly kept. Whoever seeks him finds him; he will open to whoever knocks, and once someone has found him, everything else is secondary."

According to a Franciscan scholar, he said, St. Francis was comforted and went around repeating to himself, "God is and that suffices! God is and that suffices!" Cindy Wooden Catholic News Services, Dec. 7, 2018.

Mission Statement

As Capuchin Franciscans we follow St. Francis of Assisi as brothers, living the Gospel in prayer, fraternity and ministry, witnessing simply to Jesus Christ and the Church as a joyful presence of hope and salvation to all, especially to those most in need.

Guiding Principles

PRAYER - Rooted in our Capuchin contemplative tradition and expressed in many forms

As followers of St. Francis, desiring to be conformed more perfectly to the crucified and risen Christ

FRATERNITY - Rooted in mutual love, humble reverence and respect for one another and for all people

We Capuchins are friars minor, rooted in mutual love, humble reverence and respect for one another and for all people.

MINORITY - Following the meek and humble Christ and sharing our joy as lesser brothers by walking with people of every social condition

As brothers of St. Francis, we faithfully follow the meek and humble Christ.