did you know
Flags will fly high Aug. 6, when Jamaica celebrates its 52nd Independence Day.
Why those colors? Black stands for strength and creativity, yellow for sunshine, green for lush vegetation.

SJB friars have served in Jamaica since 2000.

friar facts
The communal dining hall of the friars.

Ah, the summer time!  It’s a time for swimming and hiking and being outside and just being lazy.

I recently returned from a week visiting my sister, Ruth, and her family, some friars and friends.  It was great to ignore the alarm clock, the telephone, and the e-mail for a week and spend time with friends and nature.

One highlight was a concert of Voices Without Borders at Cross in the Woods in Indian River, Mich.  It featured choirs of young people from around the world coming together to celebrate music and dance and the joy of being united across borders and cultures and languages.  I especially enjoyed the Yip’s Children’s Choir from Hong Kong.  Their colorful costumes, their music and their dancing communicated their joy at sharing their cultural heritage.  The Mariachi Del Ray, from Kingville, Texas, proved that the U.S.A. has a rich musical and cultural heritage, too.

I returned from vacation inspired and relaxed.  I hope all of you can enjoy our rich Franciscan heritage on our website.  Welcome, Friends!

--Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM
Vicar Provincial

Inspired by the life of St. Francis
The 170 friars of St. John the Baptist Province (SJB) are members of the Order of Friars Minor, a Franciscan brotherhood inspired by the 13th-century example of St. Francis of Assisi. We serve the Catholic Church as brothers and priests, devoting our lives to the search for God in a communal life of poverty, prayer, and service to others.
Globally, the Order is divided into geographic areas known as "provinces." Most of the Friars from SJB province, which has its headquarters in Cincinnati, live and work in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas and Jamaica. Others serve in New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri and Washington, D.C. Individual friars presently minister around the world in Kenya, Japan and the Philippines.
We serve as parish and campus ministers; as hospital, military and prison chaplains; as counselors; as educators and administrators in high schools, colleges and our formation program; as preachers and retreat directors in evangelization efforts; as directors of anti-poverty programs; as skilled craftsmen and in support services; as writers and communicators; and as missionaries—all ways of spreading the Good News.