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

From Mark: Visitor from the east

From Mark: Visitor from the east

I was waiting in the cell phone lot, checking emails, when I received the call that I had been waiting for: Fr. Larry Hayes, OFM, had arrived and was now at the B2 area for pick up! Our recent days together allowed some time for Larry, our new Provincial-elect, and...

From Mark: A new adventure

From Mark: A new adventure

The past couple of weeks have been somewhat of a roller coaster ride as I was named to a new role as Vicar Provincial-elect in the new Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in October. I am really honored by the trust of our fraternity and General Council to assume this...

God is with us always from Fr. Mark

God is with us always from Fr. Mark

(Editor’s Note: This is Provincial Minister Mark Soehner’s homily from the SJB Province Mass of Thanksgiving, June 16, 2023, in its entirety. He draws his reflection from Matthew's Gospel quoted below.) The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which...



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