The Mount de Sales and surrounding Middle Georgia communities were introduced to the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province in 2015 with the arrival of Fr. Frank Critch and Fr. Bill McIntyre who served the St. Peter Claver Church and School communities. Fr. Frank Critch was also assigned as chaplain of MDS and it was he who made the phrase “God is Good, all the time” and “All the time, God is Good” part of the every day vernacular of MDS.
For the past five years, MDS has been blessed with the presence of at least one Franciscan Friar on campus. Under Fr. John Coughlin’s spiritual guidance and with leadership from the World Language teachers, MDS introduced a Latin and Spanish Mass for students enrolled in those subjects. MDS students now have the opportunity to serve at the Franciscan Inn in Pennsylvania as a mission trip. Fr. Casey Cole is the newest friar to guide MDS students, and he moved to Macon this summer from his last assignment at UGA (which happened to be with Fr. Frank!).
June 2020 marked a significant milestone for the friars as they reorganized their fraternities-in-mission (FIMs) and withdrew from nine communities in order to maintain true to the Franciscan charism of living and ministering as brothers in community. In 1985, there were 708 friars working in the Holy Name Province; in 2002, there were 443; and today, there are only 120.
What does this mean for the Middle Georgia community? There are now five friars living amongst us! Fr. Steven Pavagnano and Fr. Pat Tuttle serve Holy Spirit Catholic Church and you can read more about them here. Fr. Bill continues to serve St. Peter Claver along with Fr. Casey Cole and Fr. Rodolfo Cabrera.
There are many ways you can learn more about our friars. Father Casey has an online presence with Breaking in the Habit. Fr. Pat has a YouTube channel and we have several blog posts and reflections from Fr. Frank and Fr. John.
Welcome to Macon!
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Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.