The FFHL announces a new Chairman of the Board of Trustees

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The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land (FFHL) welcomes the newly elected Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm to serve as the new Custos of the Holy Land and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the FFHL.

Fr. Patton, ofm new Chairman of the FFHL Board of Trustees

His experience and devotion to the Franciscan mission will be a great asset to the Foundation and those it serves in the Holy Land.

The Custody of the Holy Land announced on May 20, 2016 that the General Definitor of the Friars Minor, with the consent of the Holy See, elected Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm as the new Custos of the Holy Land. He will succeed Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, who had held the position since 2004.

Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm was born in Vigo Meano, Italy on December 23rd, 1963. He belongs to the Franciscan Province of St. Anthony in Italy. In addition to his native Italian, he is fluent in English and Spanish.

He made his first religious profession on September 7th, 1983 and his solemn profession on October 4th, 1986. He was ordained to the ministerial priesthood on May 26th, 1989. In 1993 he earned a Licentiate in Communication Sciences at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.

He has served in various capacities in his province and also within the Order. Some of his leadership roles include:

  •     Secretary General of the General Chapters
  •     Visitor General
  •     Minister Provincial of St. Vigilium (Trent, Italy)
  •     President of the Conference of Provincial Ministers of Italy and Albania (COMPI)

As the Chairman of the FFHL Board of Trustees, Fr. Patton, ofm will provide leadership to the Board of Trustees and its Officers and help oversee its mission.

FFHL President Fr. Peter Vasko, ofm praised Fr. Patton’s past servant roles as a leader.

“We humbly welcome Fr. Francesco Patton as Chariman to the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land Board of Trustees,” said Vasko. “His experience and devotion to the Franciscan mission will be a great asset to the Foundation and those it serves in the Holy Land.”

Since the 13th century, the Franciscans have had a presence in the Holy Land and Middle East. The Custos of the Holy Land, on behalf of the Catholic Church, cares for and guards the sacred spaces where Jesus lived and the early church was built.

The Custos also serves the resident Catholic community in the Holy Land and is the point of contact for the Greek-Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, to maintain the customary Status Quo law that governs the relationship between the various churches.

The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land (FFHL) is a worldwide ecumenical organization based in the United States, operating under the auspices of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. The principal purpose of the FFHL is to help stem the Christian exodus from the Holy Land. For more information about the FFHL contact Breanna Holder at media(at)ffhl(dot)org or visit its website at http://www.ffhl.org.

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Breanna Holder
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Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land
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