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October 22 - Neal Mahaffey

Neal Mahaffey

The young Neal Mahaffey was a student at the Gregorian University in Rome at the outbreak of World War II. Forced by the political situation to return to the United States, he was awarded a doctoral degree in scholastic philosophy at a later date through a special arrangement for completing the requirements at St. Louis University.
For 24 years, as director of clerics and lector of philosophy (1940-48 in Victoria KS; 1948-1964 in Herman PA), he nurtured the spiritual and intellectual growth of scores of friars. For the rest of his life, until stricken with Alzheimer's disease, he remained an avid reader and a keen scholar, especially in matters related to Sacred Scripture.

Many of Neal's observations were prefaced by: "I don't really know much, but it seems to me..." This humble beginning was generally followed by a statement worth noting. He was never impatient with those who disagreed with him but he did expect them to base their opinions on facts and to reach conclusions logically. One of his favorite conversational strategies was the deliberate proposal and vigorous defense of erroneous statements in order to challenge others to clarify their thinking. At the same time he worried that he might have offended his challenger and often would later remark, "I hope he knew I wasn't really being serious."

It was indicative of his humility and shyness that when the Golden Jubilee of his ordination was approaching that it was only through the insistence of the guardian that Neal agreed to any kind of public celebration of the milestone.

Although Neal's shyness was legendary, his compassion for others overcame his reticence. He was loved and respected by all who knew him as a pastor or as the chaplain of a retirement community, hospital and nursing home. Far past the age when most people have retired, Neal was as generous with his time and energy as he was with his insights. Neal belonged to the Province of St. Conrad, and on this day in 1995, he died at the age of 84 at Hays KS.

Fr. DeSales Young, 1920-2017

DeSales250     Our brother, Fr. DeSales Young, OFM Cap., made his transitus to the Lord on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Vincentian de Marillac in Pittsburgh, PA. At 96, DeSales was the "Senior friar" of our Province - a distinction for which, among many distinctions, he was both grateful and proud.

     Born July 15, 1920, and named Arthur Francis, Jr., at his baptism, the future Capuchin was the second of six children born to Arthur and Lenora (Lippold) Young in Cumberland, MD. The Youngs were active members of Ss. Peter & Paul Parish there and friends to many of the friars of Ss. Peter & Paul "Monastery," one of the earliest established fraternities of our St. Augustine Province. The Young family would have two sons who would become Capuchin friars.

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Fr. Bonaventure Stefun, 1928-2017

BonaStefun1          When people would ask our brother friar, Bonaventure Stefun, OFM Cap., how he was doing, he was famous for always responding "Terrific," accompanied by those eyes which told you he would make it be so. Our brother returned to the Lord on March 4, 2017, in Pittsburgh at the age of 88, and we know that it was a 'terrific' experience for him, something he had been waiting and hoping for.

     Born in New Kensington, PA, on September 22, 1928, to John and Anna (Kovolik) Stefun, he was given the name "Joseph" at his baptism. One of nine Stefun children, he was to be the last surviving sibling. Preceding him in death were his sisters Anna, Barbara (Stanley), Mary (Schuler) and Elizabeth (Reedy); and his brothers Andrew, John, George and Raymond. Numerous nephews and nieces mourn his passing among whom is his nephew and fellow Capuchin friar Emett Schuler, OFM Cap., of our Capuchin College fraternity in Washington, DC.


Fr. John Carey, 1929-2017

Carey John     Our brother, Fr. John Carey, OFM Cap., made his transitus to eternal life on April 3, 2017, in Saxonburg, PA. He was 88.

     Born on February 23, 1929, to Joseph and Sarah (Furlong) Carey in Providence, RI, he was given the name Charles at baptism. He attended Assumption Parish Elementary School in Providence, and, in 1943, he enrolled in Columban Prep School in Silver Creek, NY.

     In 1946, Charles was invested with the Capuchin habit in the then British Custody of New England and was given the name John. After his profession of vows, he attended St. Lawrence Seminary College in Milton, MA, graduating in 1950. When the Custody of New England was incorporated into the New York/New England St. Mary Province, he was sent to Capuchin College in Washington, DC, for theological studies and eventually asked to become a member of our Province of St. Augustine.


Rejoice With Us! (2013-2016)

       During our Provincial Chapter 2016, on Tuesday, May 31, the friars take time to remember our brothers who made their transitus to New Life in the past three years since our last gathering.In our hearts & prayers are also our parents and our Affiliates who have found their homes in the Merciful hands of our Lord.

“So let no one be my friend, I pray, that pities me;
t is joy he must share with me. Rejoice with me.”
'Legenda Versificata' of Henri d'Avranches

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Capuchin Franciscan Vocation Office   ♦  Rafael Anguiano-Rodriguez, OFM Cap.  ♦  (888)  2 OFMCAP or (888) 263-6227