In October 2023, nine men were appointed to serve as the first Provincial Council of the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During the next three years, they will focus on helping the friars embrace a Franciscan culture of encounter and renewal. Get to know the Provincial Council in this video series.
Provincial Minister Br. Larry Hayes, OFM
From a young age, Br. Larry knew that he wanted to be part of a religious community – a family. Getting to know friars across the U.S., Cuba, Puerto Rico and Jamaica through the process to create one province has been enriching for him.
He is conscious that the friars – and the Church – must continue to show how they are relevant in the lives of everyday people. “The challenge for us is to live the Gospel in a coherent way, in a convincing way, in a public way, in a visible way – to live Gospel joy and Gospel values in a way that attracts others.”
He shares how he thinks that the friars can respond to the world today in this video.
Provincial Vicar Br. Mark Soehner, OFM
Br. Mark is passionate about helping people to understand how much they are loved by God.
“The main challenge is to connect our real life with our experience of God,” said Br. Mark. “Some people think of God as remote, but he is crazy about us. We are so swimming in God that it’s sometimes hard to be aware of it.”
Learn more about his hopes for helping people to experience God in this video.
Provincial Councilor Br. John Eaton, OFM
Before assuming his role, Br. John did pastoral work, taught English, math, and music, and worked as an electrician, a bus driver, and a coach.
“The challenge for us is to lay a foundation for a province we hope will endure,” Br. John said. “It is daunting, but I’m excited to be part of that effort.”
Listen to this video interview to hear more about Br. John’s four decades of service to the people of God.
Provincial Councilor Br. Erick López, OFM
Before becoming a Provincial Councilor, Br. Erick served as director of novices in Santa Barbara, California. He loves to spread the Word and understands what St. Francis knew about Christ's love for the world.
“I saw (the friars) so natural, so loving, so tender, so humble,” Brother Erik said of his introduction to Franciscan life. (It was) “The way they treated each other, the way they treated people. I just fell in love with them.”
Learn more about Br. Erick's life in this video interview.
Provincial Councilor Br. Roger Lopez, OFM
Prior to assuming his role as Councilor, Br. Roger taught at Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He seeks a deeper understanding of his surrender to Jesus Christ.
“The invitation for us as friars is ‘how do we walk with people amid the culture, inviting them into something beautiful? Into something good?” Br. Roger said. “To be with the culture – not above, not against – but in service to it.”
Learn how this former firefighter values his brothers in Christ in this video interview.
Provincial Councilor Br. Sam Nasada, OFM
Br. Sam has been associate pastor in several large multicultural parishes. He connects life's reality, and experiences in the world, with divine power. He sees a God who gives us space to be human and frustrated by things in this world.
“How can we make ourselves relevant, especially for this generation?” Br. Sam asks. “They might ask, ‘Why do I need to attend church?’ ‘Why do I need to have faith?’ Or to connect with the Franciscans?”
Discover his answers in his video interview.
Provincial Councilor Br. Rommel Pérez Flores, OFM
Br. Rommel is committed to helping Franciscans connect with youth and recognizes the challenges of reaching young people in today’s world, especially the importance of impacting their lives.
“That drives me, showing the Franciscan side of being so close to another person,” Br. Rommel said. “Accompanying, listening, and growing with them. Often, it’s not about giving answers; it’s about walking alongside.” Discover ways Br. Rommel implements Franciscan values in his life in this video.
Provincial Councilor Br. José Rodríguez, OFM
Br. José has served as a member of the Order’s Executive Council for Missions and Evangelization and enjoys mission work. He believes Franciscans must work together in the newly formed province.
“Every day, I try to be the best friar I can be,” Br. José said. “I don’t try to reinvent the wheel or discover something entirely new. … Instead, I try to do new things in my life.” Want to know how Brother José lives the Gospel in everyday life?
Check out his video interview here.
Provincial Councilor Br. Ed Tlucek, OFM
Before being appointed to the Council, Br. Ed served as a Councilor of the legacy Assumption BVM Provence and as a pastor in Waterford, Wis. He seeks to renew his life and that of the Council through caring for others.
“The hope is, we can be bridge builders in the process of renewal, bringing people together,” Br. Ed said.
Learn more about his journey in this interview.