Preaching Ministry

Over 150 years of service in New York and New England

Capuchin friars of the Province of St. Mary have brought gospel witness in word and deed to the people of New York, New England and beyond for over 150 years. While grounded in direct ministry to the poor, the friars have also dedicated themselves to speaking in simple, direct and vivid words that help to bring the gospel alive for people living amid the hectic pace and complex world of the 21st century.


Fr. Michael Connolly, O.F.M. Cap.

Fr. Michael has been conducting 12 step spirituality retreats for over 20 years. The most popular among these is the Matt Talbot Retreat. A Matt Talbot Retreat offers an opportunity for recovering alcoholics to seek a stronger spiritual experience and to enhance their sober way of life. These retreats are open to all religious beliefs, all ages, and all walks of life. There are retreats for men, women, and married couples. Most major retreat centers offer these retreats.

Michael also offers preached and guided recovery retreats for anyone in recovery from addictions other than alcoholism and including alcoholism. These retreats focus on different themes of recovery and are usually designed around the need of the group.

Phone: 914 715 9271

Fr. Thomas Franks, O.F.M. Cap.

Thomas holds a BA in Philosophy & Psychology from Fordham University and earned a M.Div. degree from Weston School of Theology.  He has also pursued post-graduate studies in the fields of liturgy and sacramental theology – areas in which he possesses considerable skill. Thomas’ areas of specialization lie in preaching on liturgy, its dynamics and ministries, the impact of liturgy on our developing understanding of Church and the sacraments of the Catholic tradition, especially the Eucharist.  He has been actively involved in the Padre Pio Prayer Group and offers days of prayer and informational sessions on the life and ministry of Padre Pio and his application to our own spiritual life. Thomas also offers Days of Recollection and retreats.

Phone: (917) 601-6469

Br. Lake Herman, O.F.M. Cap.

Lake has earned his M. Div. from Weston School of Theology, including training in Spiritual Direction from the Center of Religious Development in Cambridge, MA.   He is currently ministering in the formation of the young friars in Boston and has ministered in the Capuchin Youth & Family Ministries program located in Garrison, NY for several years. CYFM offers a wide array of programs designed to meet the needs of youth, young adults and entire families in the challenges associated with living Christian faith.  Lake’s preaching expertise is focused especially on youth and the faith formation of young adults.  He is skilled in preaching associated with the RCIA program and in the training and development of young Christian leaders.  He loves sharing his Franciscan charism.

Fr. Erik Lenhart, O.F.M. Cap.

Fr. Erik Lenhart was born in Hagerstown, MD. CYFM was his first encounter with the Capuchins, when he was a cadet at West Point (USMA). He was a CapCorps Volunteer from 2003-04, and joined the order in 2008. Fr. Erik was ordained in 2015 after finishing studies at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Prior to his appointment as chaplain at CYFM he served as Parochial Vicar at St. Pius X in Middletown, CT.  He also taught preaching and moral theology at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He enjoys playing piano, writing musicals, hiking, and tennis. He also writes for National Catholic Reporter.  

Phone: 845-424-4403 x 225

Fr. Gerard Mulvey, O.F.M. Cap.

Gerard was awarded a M.Div. after studying at Maryknoll School of Theology and Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall.  He has gone to Bolivia to study the Spanish language and the local culture. Gerard has served in various capacities of parochial ministry, including as pastor. Gerard sees preaching as an opportunity to share the gift of God’s Word and the Mysteries of the Faith with people from all walks of life, and as a chance to invite people to deepen their relationship with Jesus and the Church. Gerard’s interests and experience includes presentations on peace, justice and ecology; Secular Franciscan spirituality; exploration of various books of Scripture and spirituality; general Franciscan themes and Eastern Christianity; and retreats oriented to religious communities.

Fr. Fred Nickle, O.F.M. Cap.

Fr. Fred Nickle has ministered as chaplain at CYFM since September of 2002. He also ministered at CYFM from 1981 to 1985. He entered the Capuchin Order on August 31, 1957, and was ordained to the priesthood on November 13, 1965. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Masters in Divinity in Theology. He has also ministered as Assistant Novice Master for five years, Guardian of the House of Philosophy for five years, served as Pastor in two separate parishes for a total of thirteen years and spent two years in a House of Prayer Community.  

Phone: 845-424-3609 x 234

Fr. Jack Rathschmidt, O.F.M. Cap.

Fr. Jack Rathschmidt has been a Capuchin friar for 56 years and a priest for 48 years. In addition to his philosophy and theology studies prior to ordination, Fr. Jack also earned an M.Th. Degree with a major in Spiritual Direction from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Fordham University. Fr Jack has spoken in more than 60 dioceses in the United States, Asia and Africa, and led more than a hundred retreats, parish missions and workshops around the world.

Fr. Jack publishes a daily blog, and is the co-author with Gaynell Cronin of Rituals for Home and Parish. (Paulist, 1996),The Blessing Candles (St. Anthony, 2000), Nurturing Today’s Children, (Liguori, 2002), and Doorways to Holiness, (Paulist Press in 2006).

Phone: (914) 761 3008