About our Friars

Conventual Franciscan Friars of the St. Anthony of Padua Province began serving the parish in 1981. On May 1, 2014, the Saint Anthony of Padua Province merged with the Immaculate Conception Province; both provinces were geographically located on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The new merged province, under the title of “Our Lady of the Angels” became the heir to the work and ministry of the friars of the two former provinces. Most Holy Trinity–St. Mary is now home to friars of the new province.

Want to Learn More about Our Friars?

The friars of Most Holy Trinity — St. Mary live a communal life according to the Rule of St. Francis and the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor, Conventual. The friars desire to live together “as a family.” They share their Franciscan life and spirituality by praying together and recreating together, by having common meals and by supporting one another in their respective ministries.

Are you interested in learning more about the life of our friars? Are you interested in becoming a Conventual Franciscan Friar? Please visit the web site of the Conventual vocation directors of the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland at: www.franciscans.org

You may reach our province vocation director at the following address, phone number and email:

Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.
190 Bedford Ave. #306
Brooklyn NY 11249 USA
Tel: 1-718-510-5822
See also the following web address:

Frs. Darek, Timothy, Santo and Russell were assigned to the friary together between 2006 and 2009.

Our Friars

The Conventual Franciscan Friars of the Our Lady of the Angels Province (and formerly of the St. Anthony of Padua Province and the Immaculate Conception Province), now headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, began serving Most Holy Trinity Parish in early 1981 while Fr. William Vaskas was the pastor. Fr. Vaskas, a diocesan priest who had been the parish’s pastor since 1968, welcomed the youthful enthusiasm and needed help the friars brought. The first to come to Most Holy Trinity were Fr. Anthony Lesniak, OFM Conv., Fr. Ronald Roll, OFM Conv and Fr. Julio Martinez, OFM Conv.; these friars served as parochial vicars to Fr. Vaskas.

Fr. Vaskas retired at the end of 1981 and was succeeded by Fr. Robert Kennedy, who sadly died less than a month after becoming pastor in January of 1982. Fr. John McGuirl was called upon to step in as the parish administrator after the untimely death of Fr. Kennedy. Fr. McGuirl served for less than two years; then the friars took over the administration of the parish. In August of 1984 Fr. Francis Lombardo, OFM Conv. came to Trinity and became the parish’s first Franciscan pastor.

Frs. Timothy, Santo and Mietek were assigned together at the parish and resided in the Most Holy Trinity Friary until August of 2014

After the creation of the Our Lady of the Angels Province in May of 2014, and the Friars’ Chapter that year, the staff of our parish changed.  Fr. Pedro DeOliveira, +Fr. Justin Biase and Fr. Mietek Wilk became the newest members of the staff of parish friars until August 2018.  Fr. José Guadalupe Matus, Fr. Gabriel Scasino and Fr. Tomasz Ryba became the newest members of the staff of parish friars until August 2019.  At the current time,  Fr. Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, Fr. Tomasz Ryba and Fr. Nader Ata are the new members of the staff of parish friars.

In residence at Most Holy Trinity-St Mary is Friar Russell Governale.

Friars Who Have Lived at Trinity

The following friars have ministered and/or lived at Most Holy Trinity since the community first arrived in 1981 (in the order they came):

Friars Anthony Lesniak, Ronald Roll, Julio Martinez, Ken Ward, Ross Syracuse, Larry Thorton, Edwin (Christopher) Lucas, Francis Lombardo, Dennis Grumsey, Michael Dean, Thomas Merrill, Russell Governale, Fred Wise, Stephen McMichael, Sam Savage, Jose Eduardo Medeiros, Vincent Imhof, Santo Cricchio, Timothy Dore, Edwin Mendez, Vincent Vivian, Joseph Kerwin, Michael Mendola, Marcel Sokalski, Pedro de Oliveira, Vincent Rubino, Edgar Ramirez, Michael Toczek, Darek Barna, Mietek Wilk, Michael Lasky, Nick Spano and Greg Spuhler.

A number of seminarian friars have also lived and ministered in the parish during the summer-times over the years

Thank you friars!