June 12, 2009

Franciscan Father Michael Perry is elected vicar general of order

Franciscan Father Michael PerryFranciscan Father Michael Perry, a native of Indianapolis and provincial minister of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis, was elected vicar general of the worldwide Order of Friars Minor during the 187th general chapter meeting on June 5 in Assisi, Italy.

He was elected on the first ballot with 103 out of 152 votes cast by delegates.

The international gathering also marked the 800th anniversary of the beginning of the Franciscan Order in 1209.

Father Michael was born in 1954 in Indianapolis. He entered the order in 1977, professed his solemn vows in 1981 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1982.

He ministered for 10 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a pastor, educator and director of development projects.

In 2002, he earned a doctorate in religious anthropology from the Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

He also has served the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Franciscans International and Catholic Relief Services.

“I feel like I did when I was elected provincial,” he said. “… While it is easy for me to invite others to step out into the deep, God and the brothers today are now calling me to do the same in a new way.” †

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