THE CAPUCHIN FRIARS
Sts Peter and Paul’s Parish is under the pastoral care of the Capuchin Friars. The local fraternity is currently composed of four friars.
Br Michael O’Dwyer OFM Cap is the leader of the local Capuchin fraternity of South Melbourne and is in charge of the Open House. The parish priest of Sts Peter & Paul’s Catholic community is Fr Gary Devery OFM Cap. Br Christopher Maher OFM Cap is a transitional deacon preparing for ordination to the priesthood towards the end of 2022. He is working with Fr Gary in the parish as well as completing his formal studies. Fr Bernard Moraski OFM Cap works in various ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Melbourne, particularly with the Charismatic communities, with various language groups, particularly, Italians and Spanish speaking Catholics.
The Capuchin friars are one of the largest men’s Religious Orders in the Church, with about 10,500 friars in over 100 countries. The Capuchins are officially called the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin: ‘Friars Minor’ meaning ‘Lesser Brothers’.
We strive to love and serve Christ with something of the desire and burning love of our Seraphic Father Francis – ‘seraphic’ alluding to Francis’ fiery/burning love for Christ that led him to such a union with Jesus that for the last two years of his life he bore the sacred wounds of the stigmata.
St Francis began a new way of religious life for the friars that was different to monks and to Orders founded to meet a specific apostolic need. Whilst monks were enclosed in a monastery, the friars’ cloister is the world – we are not enclosed. And whilst there are many Orders founded to do a specific kind of work, we were founded firstly to live the Gospel and then to express this concretely in a variety of different kinds of work, but with a special attentiveness towards the poor and marginalised – those who are considered of little value by our society. Traditionally, Capuchins have always been willing to take on those ministries and needs that no one else has wanted to do.