Witnessing simply to Jesus Christ as a joyful presence of hope and salvation to all
The Capuchin Order you see today started long, long ago.
The seeds of the Capuchin Order were planted in 1525 when a Franciscan priest from the Marche region of Italy, Matteo da Bascio, was convinced that the Franciscans of his time were not what Saint Francis had imagined. He wished to return to the original lifestyle, as practiced by Saint Francis – living in solitude and penance, preaching the Gospel, and serving people in their material needs.
His superiors tried to suppress these new notions, forcing Matteo and his companions to hide from the authorities who wanted to arrest them for abandoning their religious obligations. Matteo and his companions found refuge with the Camaldolese monks. The friars subsequently adopted the Camaldolese custom of wearing an untrimmed beard and a hood similar to theirs. The friars’ nickname (cappuccino) derives from this characteristic hood.
In 1528, the friars obtained the approval of Pope Clement VII to live as a hermit and to go about preaching to the poor. This permission was granted to the first friars and those who would join them in their desire to live by the most literal observance possible of the Rule of St. Francis. The original group grew in number after other like-minded friars, inspired by their example, came to live their way of life.
In 1574, Pope Gregory XIII allowed the Order to settle in “France and all other parts of the world and to erect houses, places, Custodies and Provinces,” thereby authorizing its diffusion outside Italy. In the 16th century, the Capuchins numbered about 14,000 friars, with nearly 1,000 friaries.
Fast forward to the twentieth century…
The Capuchins continued their work of evangelization by sending brothers to open new communities in several missionary countries. The Provinces in North America, in particular, participated in this missionary zeal.
They established communities in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula, in Mexico and the Central American countries of Honduras and Nicaragua, New Zealand, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and many others. The Capuchins remain one of the largest and most widespread Orders in the Catholic Church today.
As Capuchin Franciscans, we follow Saint 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.
We are involved in a variety of ministries focused on bringing the Gospel to God’s people. Our ministry work includes hospital chaplaincy, prison ministry, community outreach, campus ministry, and evangelization.
Why Our Lady of Angels?
One of the various titles of the Virgin Mary is Our Lady, Queen of Angels. When St. Francis founded the Friars Minor, he located the center of activity for the Order in a little church near Assisi dedicated to Our Lady of Angels. This humble chapel became the root and home of the Franciscan movement. Ever since then, Franciscans have invoked our Lady’s help under this name.
When the Irish Capuchin Friars came to America, they named their first parish in Hermiston, Oregon after Our Lady of Angels. They did the same with one of their first parishes in California at Burlingame. It seemed only right, then, to name Our Lady of Angels the patroness of the new province of Capuchins in Western America in 1979.
Meet the Friars
Fr. Joseph Seraphin Dederick, OFM Cap
Fr. Hai Ho, OFM Cap
Iwancio, OFM Cap
Br. Tran Vu, OFM Cap
Fr. Hung Nguyen, OFM Cap
Join the Brotherhood
Interested in becoming a part of the Order? We’re here to support you in your discernment.