On July 21, 2021, Gunnar Davison. a parishioner of Santa Maria in Orinda, received the habit of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the Bronx, New York. He will now be known as Brother Joshua Mary.

The CFR Franciscans serve the poor and preach the Gospel in the Diocese of Oakland from San Junipero Serra Friary in East Oakland.

As reported in March 2021 by California Catholic Daily, the Friars of the Renewal were able to accept the invitation of Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, who offered them a former convent at St. Bernard Parish in Oakland about a year ago.

Bishop Barber named the new friary for San Junipero Serra.

“As Franciscans, we feel we’re coming to a land that’s home for us,” Father Luke said. “The way was forged by our forbearers.”

Franciscans have a long history in the Diocese of Oakland. The first Mass in what would become the diocese was celebrated in 1772 by Father Juan Crespi; a quarter-century later, friars established Mission San Jose.

Today Franciscan friars serve at St. Elizabeth Parish in Oakland and Conventual Franciscans serve at St. Paul Parish in San Pablo, Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley and St. Jarlath Parish and the chancery in Oakland. Capuchin Franciscan Friars have a house of studies in Berkeley.

Although the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will make their home at the parish, they do not administer a parish. Their call is to evangelize and serve the materially poor.

The above comes from a recent story by the Diocese of Oakland.