About Us

Franciscans of Fort Lauderdale


Father Joe

Father Joe, OSF
Father Joe is originally from Brooklyn, NY where he ministered in various schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn – mainly in the areas of Junior High classes of religion and social studies. During these years he made his first contact with the Franciscans within the framework of the Brooklyn community as a professed member. All of his 12 years in the classroom were as a lay teacher. He was also the first male principal in the San Diego diocese of an elementary academy where he ministered for three years as a Brother of Charity. Fr. Joe was ordained an Old Catholic priest in Kew Gardens, NY. He has been in south Florida since ’89 and is presently the pastor ofThe Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to this ministry he is also the lead chaplain at Memorial-Pembroke Hospital as well as ministering in three retirement residences. The local community is also involved in working with our four-legged companions – serving as chaplains to the Humane Society of Broward County as well as to Holly Dogs, a greyhound rescue service from various dog race tracks. This ministry is also enhanced by association with the Miami Marlins when they sponsor Bark at the Park when fans bring their dogs to a game. It’s a great way to incorporate faith commitments into the every day lives of those with whom we are privileged to extend our ministry.

Father Vincent

Father Vincent Treglio, OSF
Fr. VIncent was born in New Jersey and lived there until after high school when he entered the Alexian Brothers, a hospital order of Brothers. He stayed with them until he felt called to Ordination to the Priesthood. After finishing college at Seton Hall University in South Orange NJ, he started theology at Darlington Seminary. Fr. Vinnie then joined the Benedictine's, St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown NJ and was ordained on June 10, 1978. After eight years at the Abbey, he moved into the Diocese of Paterson, NJ and worked in parishes and High Schools until '97 when an opportunity opened here in FL with Vitas Hospice. He has served as chaplain and Manager of Bereavement Services with Vitas for almost 17 years. He is still with the company working part time. He received his M.Div from St. John's Un. in Collegeville, MN and his Ed.S. in Administration/ Supervision from Seton Hall University, So. Orange NJ. Fr. Vinnie is the Director of Formation and Education for the brothers.

Father Peter

Father Peter

Father Peter was born in Cuba and emigrated to the US when he was four years old. He lived in New York and New Jersey, and considers himself to be a "Jersey boy" even though he has lived in Florida on and off since 1965. He graduated from Miami Senior High School and attended Florida State University (and is a staunch Seminole). He has a BS in psychology/pre-med. Fr. Peter went to medical school in the Dominican Republic and did his psychiatry residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. His psychiatric profession has taken him to different parts of the States. The responded to God's call when he entered the Order of Friars Minor, Holy Name Province, where he served as a simply professed friar and attended Washington Theological Union. He transferred to the Archdiocese of Miami and attended St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fl. Fr Peter's spiritual journey led him to be ordained for CACINA in 2002, and finally returned home in 2017. He continues to work as a psychiatrist and works for a community mental health center in North Miami, Fl, which serves mostly chronically mentally ill persons of lower socio-economic status. He lives with his two furry brothers, Br. Leo who is a Pekingese dog and Dignity (Diggy) an orange tabby ca

Father Paul

Father Paul is the newest priest to join the CACINA clergy of the parish of Saints Francis & Clare. Until now, throughout his professional life, he was known as Pastor Paul. Pastor Paul was a Lutheran Pastor for 59 years until the Lord called him to a new ministry…and a new title!
He was born in the German neighborhood of Ridgewood, Queens, NY. His family moved to Cambria Heights, Queens, where Fr. Paul went to PS 147 public elementary school. After that he took bus and train every day (thanks to the NYC Transportation System) to attend Brooklyn Technical High School, intending at that time to become an electrical engineer. During these years he became very active in his local church which played a big part in Fr. Paul becoming a divinity student and a Lutheran Pastor.
The decision having been made to seek ordination, Fr. Paul attended Wittenburg Lutheran University in Springfield, Ohio, followed by three years of divinity studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was ordained soon after graduation in 1959 in his hometown in Queens, NY.
Fr. Paul served at the following four congregations in the metropolitan New York area, totaling 35 years of active ministry: St. John’s Lutheran Church (Assistant Pastor) in Merrick; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburgh/Brooklyn; Grace & St. Paul’s Church, Manhattan; and Trinity Lutheran Church in Middle Village. Note 1: During his pastorate at St. Paul’s Church in Brooklyn, NY, Fr. Paul received a scholarship from Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, to attend a special semester for American clergy at Mansfield College/Oxford University, Oxford, UK. This program was overseen and directed by Princeton Seminary. His academic focus was Advanced Post-Graduate Studies in Biblical Scholarship. Note 2: During his pastorate at Trinity Church in Middle Village, NY, Fr. Paul earned a Master’s degree in Gerontology. He had grown interested in ministry to the elderly which fed into his upcoming career in hospice ministry. He also, during this time, studied psychotherapy for two years with Albert Ellis at the Institute of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, receiving Advanced Certification. (The school is now known as the Albert Ellis Institute)’
In 1994, following his family’s trail south, Fr. Paul relocated to South Florida in Port St. Lucie. There he was employed in two part-time positions: Adjunct Instructor at Indian River Community College in Gerontology and Bereavement Counselor at the Hospice of Martin & St. Lucie. He soon became a Chaplain/Spiritual Counselor there and supervisor of bereavement group programs.
Continuing his journey south to keep pace with his family’s Florida travels, he accepted the position of Chaplain/Spiritual Care Counselor at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton, a position he occupied for 12 years. He served as co-chair of the Bio-Ethics Committee and worked with the hospice public relations department, taking the hospice message to local institutions and facilities. In 2010, Fr. Paul’s co-workers elected him to receive a Peer Recognition Award in celebration of National Nurses Week.
Fr. Paul got a taste of wanderlust along the way and moved to Palm Springs, CA. He worked part-time at the Betty Ford Center in near-by Rancho Mirage as a recovery counselor. His focus was on residents working their way through the the initial Five Steps of the AA program. He found this work challenging and satisfying, his eyes opening wide to a whole other world.
The summer heat was wicked in Palm Springs and Fr. Paul found himself missing his family and friends on the Atlantic coast. He was hot and homesick, so back to Florida he came. Hospice by the Sea called him to work at Hollywood Memorial Hospital in the Palliative Care program, but after a while he returned to hospice chaplaincy. Until retirement.
After Fr. Paul retired from hospice ministry, he served for several years as Interim-Pastor in the greater Fort Lauderdale community: First Lutheran Church, downtown Fort Lauderdale, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Sunrise, and St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Pompano Beach. He is now happy and content to serve in any way he’s needed as an Ordained Priest of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America on the clergy roster of the parish of Saints Francis & Clare where all are truly welcome.
And, yes, as Fr. Paul likes to say, you really can teach an old dog new tricks. He’s one, after all, and he promises not to bark or bite!


Brother Richard

Brother Richard Smith
Brother Richard was born in Brooklyn New York. His mother was Italian, His father was Irish.He was raised Roman Catholic and belonged to the parish of St Catherine of Alexandria where he received the sacraments of initiation.
Brother Richard escaped the northern winters by moving to Ft. Lauderdale in 2003. and began attending services at Holy Angels Church in Wilton Manners which is where he met the brothers of The Franciscans of Ft Lauderdale. Brother Richard is not sure if the brothers chose him or he chose the brothers but for their influence he joined the order and became one of the founding brothers for the parish of Sts Francis and Claire

Brother John

Brother John

Brother John Chandler, OSF
Br. John was born on April 16, 1946 in Compton. CA, and raised in New Jersey. After high school he worked in the floor covering industry, and in 1970 he was married for 28 years. John has one daughter and three grandchildren. In the early 1980's , John went to college for respiratory therapy and in 1990 became a Registered Respiratory Therapist and worked in local area hospitals. He moved to Boynton Beach, Florida in 2001. He discovered the Parish of Saint Francis and Clare in Fort Lauderdale in 2010, and after becoming a member of the parish soon decided to become a Brother in the Franciscans of Fort Lauderdale. John serves as the sacristan of the church, and works as a chaplain at Pembroke Memorial Hospital.

Brother Chris

Br. Christopher was born in Georgia and lived there until 2001 when we moved to Missouri. In 2010, Christopher attended Eden theological Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity degree. While in seminary, Christopher discovered chaplaincy and began the process of completing chaplain residency so that he could work as a full time chaplain. Christopher currently works with Vitas Hospice and enjoys this sacred work. Christopher loves Christian Church history and studies it during his free time. He is currently in process of becoming a priest in CACINA.


Mission statement:

We, the family of the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare are a Catholic, Christian community that reaches to all God's people by providing a living witness to all called from various and diverse backgrounds - all are welcome to the table of Jesus. As followers of Francis, we we are called to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of every person as God's gift to us. In the spirit of Franciscan joy , we go forth to proclaim the Good News - using words if necessary.

We want to welcome the entire community enjoy the warmth and love of our parish by participating in the sacramental life of the Church; especially who have been turned away by others.

As members of the Body of Jesus Christ and inspired by Francis of Assisi, we the Parish of Sts. Francis and Clare, seek Jesus incarnate in all of God's creation especially in our brothers and sisters.
As followers of Francis & Clare, we are called to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of every person as God's gift to us. In the spirit of Franciscan joy, we go forth to proclaim the Good News of God's love, using words, if necessary.
Our theology is Trinitarian; our polity includes --- Bishop, Priest, Laity.


at the Humane Society

What is the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare  We are a collection of individual Catholic faith communities bound together by covenant. The Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare is not under or subject to the jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome; though we recognize the bishop of Rome as one of the many experiences of the Apostolic church. We are guided by a Presiding Bishop as well as other diocesan bishops who are elected from the clergy by the clergy and laity of each Community.

What is the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare understanding of clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy was not a requirement until 1274.  CACINA holds clerical celibacy as a charism for those who wish to practice that virtue. We uphold the teaching of Jesus allowing individuals to respond to God’s call and therefore, marriage and ordination are not mutually exclusive.

Does the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare support the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood and why?   In the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare, women are encouraged to respond to a genuine vocation and to participate in all levels of ministry – lay or ordained. As St. Paul writes: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male nor female, all are one in Christ Jesus.”

What is the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare understanding of same-gender sexual relationships? We are an open and affirming communion recognizing the value and dignity of every person, in our God given diversity. We promote the education and development of the People of God in their understanding of the diversity of their sisters and brothers. All sexual relationships are to be guided by the Christian moral principles of love and fidelity. We uphold the ideal of committed relationships blessed by the sacred rites of the Church. We believe that all questions of sexual morality are best addressed through pastoral care and counsel.

Who is the governing authority within the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare? The people of the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare are the governing authority. Our Constitutional document was ratified by both clergy and lay persons present at our 2003 Convocation. The Constitution establishes a polity structure including a House Laity, a House of Pastor and an Episcopal Council – all possessing roles of decision-making and leadership in governing the Communion.

Please, pray with us as we make this journey together as Local Church in communion with our sisters and brothers of the Church universal.

Who we are?

We are Christian...Because we strive to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ
We are Catholic...Because we believe in the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist on our Altar.
We are all God's Children...Because we live in Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
We are a group of women and men from many Catholic backgrounds, histories, traditions, and ways of life who follow Christ in Francis' teachings. We pray for God's creation: we live simply; we take care of each other as a community and reach out to anyone who may need us. We serve in a special way the gospel "poor in spirit"- those who feel displaced and disenfrancished from their prayer community of birth. Maybe, like our brother Francis, together we can tame the wolf of the world prowling among us, the wolf, whose name is Hate.


baptize both children and adults

Services available at the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare
We perform marriages at our church or a location special to you. We work with you to make this the beautiful and blessed event that it is intended to be.
We officiate at funerals and memorial services, making this sacred time meaningful to those who both mourn and celebrate the passing on of our loved ones.
We graciously baptize both children and adults and welcome them into God’s family.
We offer the rite of reconciliation, as well as all the other sacraments.
A special mission is the blessing of animals and grief counseling for those who have to say goodbye to their long time companions.

"I’m interested in going to church but don’t know where to start?"
Getting started with anything new is never easy.
One option would be to go to church with someone you know who does go. You could sit with them and they could help you by explaining what happens and so on. Perhaps they might introduce you to some others who are there.
If you’d rather go on your own then just plan to arrive five to ten minutes before the starting time. If you are feeling shy you can sit near the back or ask the greeter to seat you and you will often be introduced to a couple of people around you.
It’s also good if you’re new to a church to say hello to people you’ve never met before. Churches can be very friendly places and most folks are only too glad to be of help or to answer any questions that you might have.

The Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare seeks to actively engage all people in the celebrations of life and community in the Catholic tradition. We take seriously the freedom of faith and conscience of the individual. We strive to be an inviting and participatory Church, open to diversity, accompanying people in their life journey, a gathering of communities that is constantly being renewed, a Church that offers a home and protection, where each person can receive and live out their faith without fear. Our decisions are made by laity, clergy and bishop working together. Our faith is celebrated together, rooted in tradition, open to the future. We warmly encourage you to look at our many resources so that you may better understand our household of faith.

How is the Parish of Sts. Francis & Clare catholic? We uphold our catholic tradition with respect to the following principles: The teaching and person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Scriptures, the Nicene Creed, the Sacramental and Liturgical traditions and Apostolic Succession. We share a common theology and liturgical tradition. Our deacons, priests and bishops participate in the same historic Apostolic Succession as do the Roman, Eastern Orthodox and other Apostolic Churches and we share the same historical developments of Western Christianity. We trace our modern roots to the emergence of the Old Catholic movement which began in 1870 as a response to the First Vatican Council’s pronouncement of Papal Infallibility. We recognize that the body of Christ, the Universal Church, includes all baptized Christians regardless of denominational affiliation. We are actively engaged in promoting Christian unity. We recognize the presence of the Spirit at work throughout the world in the faith experiences of other religions. We affirm the divine presence in every human heart, believing that all people are beloved of God. Therefore, we seek mutual understanding and respect with those of other religions through dialogue and we seek mutual cooperation in the endeavor for peace and justice in our world.   

Bishop Ronald Stephens visited our Parish on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of January

Community of St. Francis, Omaha, NE

Associate Members of the Franciscans of Fort Lauderdale

Brother Jason in Ft Lauderdale

Parish of Sts. Francis and Clare

The Franciscans of Fort Lauderdale
Fr. Joe, OSF - pastor

Marilyn Francis & Paul Vermette - lay representatives

Catholic Apostolic Church in North America

Bishop Ronald Stephens - bishop ordinary

Bishop Ronald Stephens

Meet our bishop

Bishop Ronald Stephens visited our Parish on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of January.

Bishop Ronald Stephens

Bishop Ron Stephens was ordained late in life after a busy career of raising a family, teaching, administrating schools, directing plays and being involved in parish work. Originally from Windsor, Ontario, he has been a United States since 2000. He belongs to the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America with active parishes predominately on the east coast of the United States. After ordination he was appointed pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Warrenton, VA. In the United States he has taught and administered at all levels from Grade 1 to University, and continues to teach on a modified schedule. Since none of these clergy are paid, they all need to have incomes from some other source - an idea of Bishop Carlos Duarte-Costa, the founder, who felt that his priests should be closer to the people and leading lives similar to theirs - meaning that they have day jobs to support themselves. Other differences can be found on the CACINA website.

Bishop Ronald

In 2013 Fr. Ron became Bishop Ron and is now the auxiliary Bishop of Holy Trinity Diocese. His love of teaching inspires what he tries to do in his weekly homilies, many of which he has shared with other priests and lay persons around the globe, and has received excellent feedback. The idea for a series of books - one for each of the Cycles of the Church Year - has become a reality with the first volume of Teaching the Sundays, Year A. He is presently at work on the other two volumes.

Books by Bishop Ron

RONALD WILBERT STEPHENS was consecrated Bishop in the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America on September 14, 2013 at the Saviour Lutheran Church in Warrenton, Virginia by Anthony Francis Santore, Diocesan Bishop, Diocese of the Holy Trinity and Presiding Bishop of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America assisted by Carl Gregory Purvensas-Smith, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of the Holy Trinity of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America and Willard Earl Schultz, Presiding Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America.

Link to the web site of CACINA