This weekend, Fr. Dan is representing the friars and the Sacred Heart community at the ordination of Brother Michael Reyes, OFM, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. Michael is an amazing artist who has trained and practiced in his own work, but with the friars has expanded his portfolio to include the creation of icons. Michael was blessed to train under Brother Robert Lentz, OFM, one of the leading iconographers in the United States. Sometime after June 2017, Brother Michael will pursue a Masters in Fine Arts.
In the time before beginning studies, Brother Michael asked that he be able to go to a parish in order to begin his life of priestly ministry – and he asked to come to Sacred Heart. The friar community is very excited to welcome Brother Michael to our local fraternity, and we know that you will love Michael when you meet him. After ordination, Father Michael should arrive here on or about February 8th .
Fr. Michael grew up in a multicultural environment. His mother is Chinese and his father is Spanish-Filipino. He jokes, that growing up, he often got confused as to what language to use or speak. “My family migrated from the Philippines to the US (New Jersey) when I was 16. So, I am part Jersey-an too.” Michael graduated from Berkeley College in NYC and began working in the city.
His first exposure with the Holy Name Province Friars was through the breadline ministry in NYC. While walking from Madison Square Garden subway station towards his office on 5th Ave, he noticed a very long line of people beside the church. At the end of the line were friars handing out food. The joy from the friars and the people was so captivating. “I started coming to St. Francis Church the day after that.” In time, he came to know the friars at St. Francis in Manhattan and entered as a Franciscan postulant in 2008.
“I had very diverse summer internships: St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany NY, St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, MA, Holy Name Church, New York, NY. One summer, I had the chance to attend an intensive course in graphic design at Parsons New School of Design in New York City. At the end of the summer, I was able to showcase some of my finished pieces at the school’s gallery.”
His mother, who is a self-taught artist, was his first art teacher. “I remember spending long hours in her studio as a kid, rather than playing outside with my other siblings (lol).” Michael’s art is very diverse. “I enjoy painting huge abstract pieces to small detailed landscapes. Lately, I have been doing some graphic/ digital art as well, designing logos and book covers.”
So, there will be one more friar on the sidewalk on Sunday mornings. Come early February, look for Fr. Michael and give him a warm, Sacred Heart welcome.