Who We Are

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. Our province is only a small part of a great movement of women and men, filled with a passion for the Gospel, keeping the spirit of St. Francis alive all over the world.

He was a saint for all times.

Why We Love Francis 

He preached peace in an era when life without war was unthinkable. He embraced the poor while others treated them with scorn. And he allied himself with nature centuries before humanity understood its connection to every living thing.

Friar Ministry

Some friars, like Fr. Roger Lopez, OFM, teach in high schools, forming the next generation of Catholic Christians. This “day in the life” video follows him as he balances life as an educator and priest, living in a prayerful community of Franciscans.

Friar Flashback

At St. Francis Seminary in the 1960s, young friars in formation pulled their own weight, making shoes and habits, cooking, cleaning, building and repairing, grooming the grounds while they also went to school.

Our Heritage

In 1844, a call to aid immigrants took friars 4,700 miles from their home in the Tyrolean Alps to a frontier city on the Ohio River. There they laid the foundations for the wide-ranging ministries of St. John the Baptist Province.

Back row: Fr. Bob Bruno, Fr. Roger Lopez, Br. John Barker and Fr. Page Polk
Front row: Provincial Minister Mark Soehner and Provincial Vicar William Farris



Provincial Minister 
Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM
Provincial Vicar 
Fr. William Farris, OFM
Provincial Councilors 
Br. John Barker, OFM
Fr. Bob Bruno, OFM
Fr. Roger Lopez, OFM
Fr. Page Polk, OFM

Reflections from our friars.

Friar Voices Blog

A transition for Br. Ed

A transition for Br. Ed

Tuesday, Aug. 8, the feast of St. Dominic, was a sad day at St. Francis Friary and Retreat House, Easton, Pennsylvania. Friday, Aug. 11, the feast of Saint Clare, was a momentous day at Saint Anthony Friary, Butler, New Jersey. After 52 years, our brother, Ed Skutka, ...

From Mark: Transformative revitalization

From Mark: Transformative revitalization

The recent meeting of the “new Council-Elect” reminded me of a line that I heard from the actor who plays Jesus in the “The Chosen” video series. He says to townspeople who witness one of his miracles, “Get used to different.”    But there’s also an old saying that...

Solanus Casey musical update

Solanus Casey musical update

“And he may be celebrated annually on the 30th of July in the places and ways established by law.”    Archbishop Allen Vigneron, local ordinary of the Archdiocese of Detroit, read those words of Pope Francis regarding Solanus Casey, OFM Cap., on the occasion of his...



Help us continue to serve the poor, care for the retired friars and our men in formation.