By Eileen Connelly, OSU 

Friars, family and friends came from across the United States and Puerto Rico to celebrate the ordination of Brothers Jason Damon, OFM, and Luis Manuel Rosado, OFM, on May 4 at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Archbishop Roberto González, OFM, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, presided at the joyful liturgy, with Provincial Minister Br. Larry Hayes, OFM, and Brothers Michael Johnson, OFM, Joseph Rozansky, OFM, and Brian Jordan, OFM, pastor of St. Camillus, concelebrating.  

The Mass began with dozens of friars processing into the church, joined by the congregation in singing “O God Beyond All Praising,” reflecting gratitude and wonder for God’s abundant blessings.  

It was a celebration of two men who are quite different, yet are brothers deeply connected by a shared love for God and his people, and Franciscan life. 


A permanent deacon, four priests and an archbishop stand before an altar and smile at the camera

Brothers Henry Fulmer, Joseph Rozansky, Jason Damon, Archbishop Roberto González, Luis Manuel Rosado and Provincial Minister Larry Hayes. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran, OFM)

Franciscan friars stand in the pews of a church and look toward the altar

Friars in attendance at the joyful liturgy. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran)

Two friars lie prostrate on the floor of a church.

Brothers Luis Manuel Rosado and Jason Damon prostrate themselves before the altar. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran)

Br. Jason’s call to ministry 

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Br. Jason is the oldest of three children. He met the friars as a student at St. Bonaventure University, saying, “I was attracted to their spirit and their overall vision that God is good. Their incarnational spirituality really spoke to me. I’ve always loved and appreciated nature, so a spirituality that reverences and celebrates that is also very meaningful. The idea of a life dedicated to helping others and structured around prayer and fraternity also appealed to me.”   

He entered the postulancy shortly after graduation in 2016 and most recently served in campus ministry at Villa Maria College in Buffalo, providing programming to help a diverse student population grow in faith and connect with others through reflection and service.  

As a transitional deacon, he also assists with liturgical and pastoral ministry at St. Columba-St. Brigid Parish in Buffalo.  

For Br. Jason, the call to priestly ministry is “a witness to a life that’s devoted entirely to Christ, a life lived selflessly, and that is important in our Church today and in society as a whole. It can be a prophetic vocation if we live it well, intentionally and unselfishly.” 

Br. Luis’ inspired journey 

Originally from Puerto Rico, Br. Luis is one of seven children. He graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1992 and worked as a state trooper in his home country for several years as part of a unit that dealt with drugs and firearms trafficking.  

After moving to the United States, Br. Luis spent 19 years as a paramedic at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Although his work was fulfilling, a year spent volunteering in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake transformed his perspective on life.  

“It was my first time recognizing the real, faithful Christ among the lives of the poor,” he explained. “This really shook up my life. I found myself asking, ‘Why am I here?’ and that really started the process of discernment. 

“I also met some friars in Haiti and was very inspired by their belief in Jesus and in the Church, their sensitivity for the poor and the beautiful community life they had created,” he added. 

When he returned to Newark, he continued to think about religious life. When he reached out to the friars at St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, he received a warm welcome to join them in prayer.  

Drawn to their ministry in the diverse Latino and Filipino faith community, Br. Luis responded to God’s call after a varied career. Both he and Br. Jason made temporary vows on Aug. 6, 2018, and professed solemn vows and were ordained to the diaconate in August 2023. 

As ordination approached, Br. Luis said, “The priesthood is such a grace. It is a vocation to be of service to God’s people. It’s not just our vocation. It’s a vocation for them, and I hope we can help people recognize the face of God. I would tell others in discernment to not be afraid, to allow God to change their lives, because saying ‘yes’ to him is the best decision I have ever made.”  


A friar-priest hugs his aunt with a tearfully joyful look on his face.

Br. Luis Manuel Rosado shares an emotional hug with his Aunt Nilda. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran)

A newly ordained priest kneels for a blessing from a friar

Br. Larry Ford lays hands on Br. Jason Damon. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran)

A friar-priest gives Communion to a guest at the ordination

Br. Luis Manuel Rosado distributes Communion. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran)

A friar-priest receives a hug from another friar.

Br. Jason Damon is joyfully embraced by one of his brothers. (Photo courtesy of Br. Octavio Duran)

‘A day of profound joy and gratitude’ 

As he began his homily, Archbishop González affirmed the emotions the candidates for ordination were experiencing, saying, “We have gathered in joy for the ordination of two new priests who will serve the Church and the people of God as members of the newly founded Province of our Lady of Guadalupe and of the Order of Friars Minor. This is a day of profound joy and gratitude, especially for you, Luis Manuel and Jason.” 

He welcomed those gathered, especially their family members, including Br. Jason’s parents, Dan and Debbie, and Br. Luis’ Aunt Nilda, siblings and many cousins. The archbishop also offered prayers for Br. Luis’ dearly departed father Luis and mother Ida, who was unable to attend the Mass due to health issues.  

“Luis Manuel and Jason, you are ordained to the ministerial priesthood during a change of era in the history of the world. Strive to be priests that strive not merely to preserve the status quo, but rather to bring new energy, new joy, in a new way with the gifts of the Spirit given to you today,” he urged.  

“Ordination as a priest is not a personal achievement, but the risen Lord’s gift, given to you for the life of the world, a world wounded in so many ways and thus in need of healing, profound healing. May you, Jason and Luis Manuel, live your ministry with humility and compassion. Refrain from celebrating yourself. Celebrate only Christ in his passion, death and resurrection." 

Archbishop González concluded with an exhortation from Pope Francis, saying, “Strive to bring to your people a small share of the infinite love and mercy of God. May your intimacy with the Lord make you more humble, give you a greater sense of solidarity, more joy and a greater awareness of what is essential in life,” in addition to being lovers of the cross, attentive to the poor, witnesses to peace and prophets of hope in our times.  

In his remarks before the Mass ended, Br. Larry Hayes said to Brothers Jason and Luis, “Thank for your yes to the Lord. Thank you for your yes to the Order. Thank you for your yes to the people of God in the image of Jesus.”  

He also thanked their families for “the gift of their sons,” and expressed gratitude to all of the friars who have been formators for “Jason and Louis throughout the years, both those who worked in initial formation, and also those who in any way have touched the lives of Jason and Luis and helped form them by your lives, by your witness, by your love of the Gospel, by how you live each day.” 

Reacting to the day’s events, Br. Jason said, “The liturgy was beautiful. I’m so grateful that so many people in my life were present. The entire Rite of Ordination was incredibly powerful. During the Election of the Candidates, to turn around and see so many people from different times of my life applaud Luis and I, giving their heartfelt approval for what was about to happen, was really moving.  

"Also, to kneel before my brothers and have them place their hands on my head, knowing that they are the hands of my mentors, brothers and friends, was a special moment as well. More than anything, I feel really grateful and excited to start this next chapter of my Franciscan life.” 

Br. Luis acknowledged that his feelings of gratitude and joy are too overwhelming to describe. 

“In addition to the grace of the priestly order, the Lord has taken me here,” he said, adding that “the act of consecration where one becomes in persona Christi” was especially meaningful for him. 

New assignments

The newly ordained friars will soon be heading to new assignments: Br. Luis to St. Peter Claver Parish in Macon, Georgia, and Br. Jason to St. John the Baptist Parish in Joliet, Illinois.  

“I am most looking forward to serving the people of God,” Br. Luis said, in addition to helping welcome, engage and strengthen the sense of community among the parish’s Latino members.  

”I'm excited to celebrate Mass again,” added Br. Jason. “Just to be a sacramental minister is such a privilege and honor, and I'm really blessed to walk with the people of God in this new capacity.”  

Is God calling you or someone you know to become a Franciscan friar? Our vocation office is hear to answer your questions. Begin your Franciscan journey by contacting us today.