"And when the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what I ought to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the form of the holy Gospel...  And those who came to take this life upon themselves gave to the poor all that they might have and they were content with one tunic, patched within and without ... with a cord and breeches, and we wished for no more."

The Testament of St. Francis



Ambrose Cristobal SSF

Brother Ambrose made life profession in 2017.  He lives and works at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul in Los Angeles.  He assists with bookkeeping, and in the retreat center of the Diocese of Los Angeles where he is sexton in residence.  He is also engaged in the ministry of St. Mary’s, Mariposa, and is active in Asian-American ministries and interfaith dialogue.  


Antonio SSF

A priest from the diocese of Tokyo, Antonio made his first profession in 1975 in Europe and transferred to the Province of the Americas in 1981. He has served in San Francisco, Long Island, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He now lives in Los Angeles where he is active at All Saints' Church and is a frequent volunteer at Little Tokyo Service Center, and Keiro Senior Health Care Center.


Clark Berge SSF

Brother Clark Berge is currently on three year "loan" to the European Province, where he is serving as Guardian at Hillfield Friary in Dorset, England. He was professed in 1993, and recently completed ten years of service for the Society worldwide as Minister General.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for Franciscans International, an avid runner, and author of two books.


Columba SSF

Columba was noviced on September 14, 2019. Before joining us, he taught writing, philosophy, and literature to university students in America and Iraq. He is a chaplain at an AIDS hospice and a member of Grace Cathedral’s prison ministry team. He visits and corresponds with death row prisoners. He is drawn to Bonaventure’s trinitarian theology.


Damien  Joseph SSF

Damien was professed in 2017 and has lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and NYC houses. He assists in the parish office, homelessness ministry, and weekday eucharists at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in NYC.  He serves as Provincial Secretary.  He is also an Emergency Medical Technician. He has two adult sons and two young granddaughters.


Desmond Alban SSF

Des joined SSF in the European Province in 1993 and came to America in 2016. He previously served as Novice Guardian and as Provincial Secretary in Europe.   He was a member of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s College of Evangelists. He enjoys music, particularly liturgical singing, and occasionally writes hymns or poems.


James Nathaniel SSF

James Nathaniel was clothed a novice on November 1, 2017. He taught high school Social Studies in Indiana before joining us. He is active in the Church of the Advent of Christ the King, and is training as a hospital chaplain and a spiritual director. He also serves as the Sacristan at San Damiano, looking after the chapel and its appointments.


Jude SSF

Jude has lived at San Damiano Friary since he transferred from the European Province in 1997. He served 12 years as Minister Provincial.  He is a Jungian Analyst, spiritual director,  consultant for San Francisco Night Ministry, and associate priest at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King. He repairs and restores old clocks, and operates "Pax et Bonum Press" on the Friaries 100+ year-old letter presses.


Leo Anthony SSF

 A Canadian from St. John, New Brunswick Leo joined SSF in 1972 in Brisbane, Australia. He has lived as a Brother in Australia, New Zealand, the UK.  Leo came to the Province of the Americas in 2005 and lived at our former houses in Port Jefferson, NY and Berkeley, CA prior to coming to his present home in San Francisco, where he continues to be active in the daily life and prayer of the house.


Robert Hugh SSF

Ordained in the Church of England, Robert joined SSF there in 1964. He often reminds us that he came to the US in 1967 for a 'short-term exchange visit of a year or so!'  He served as Novice Guardian and Minister Provincial, and in a teaching and retreat ministry throughout the US and beyond.  He has recently celebrated 50 years in Profession  and 60 years as a priest.


Thomas SSF

A native Californian, Thomas came to us in 2016.  He is a writer and artist. He has extensive experience in youth ministry and international missions. He is active in the ministries of the Church of St Mary the Virgin in NYC, and is training to be a spiritual director.  He is currently studying iconography with the resident iconographer at St. Mary's.


Desmond Alban SSF

Minister Provincial

Des was elected Minister Provincial for the Americas in 2017, and re-elected in 2020.  His bio is above.  The Minister Provincial has administrative and pastoral leadership responsibility for all the Brothers and houses of the Province.  The Minister is elected for a three year term, and may be re-elected twice.


Christopher John SSF

Minister General

Christopher John was elected Minister General for SSF in 2017.  As Minister General, he has leadership responsibilities for the First Order Brothers worldwide.  Christopher John hails from New Zealand, and lives in Australia when he's not traveling the world.  The Minister General is elected for a term of six years, and may be re-elected for an additional four years.


Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick

Bishop Protector

Bishop Robert has served as Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii since 2007.  He was elected Protector for the Province of the Americas in 2017.  As Protector, he serves as a consultant to the Society, and as a liaison between the community and the Episcopal Church USA. The Bishop Protector is elected to a term of six years, and may serve an unlimited number of terms

You may also want to learn about the places where we serve.


+ May our holy father Francis pray to the Lord that we may have the grace to observe the Gospel with greater devotion.  Amen.

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