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Franciscan Ministry
Two Friars Ordained to the Priesthood

They come from different generations, different backgrounds. But the two friars ordained to the priesthood May 4 at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, are united by a shared vision of Franciscan ministry with a special concern for the need for sacramental ministry.

Fr. Jason Damon, OFM, and Fr. Luis Manuel Rosado Colombani, OFM, were ordained by Bishop Roberto Gonzalez, OFM, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, after a long road of discernment and study.

The archbishop described the men as “ordained to the ministerial priesthood during an era of change in the history of the world.” He urged them to “be priests that strive not merely to preserve the

status quo, but rather to bring new energy, new joy, in a new way with the gifts of the Spirit.”

Fr. Jason, 30, is a native of South Wales, New York, a community near Buffalo. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University, where he first encountered the Franciscans. He entered the community in 2016 and professed solemn vows in 2023.

The Franciscans appealed to him because they offer “a life of service and a sense of fraternity and brotherhood.” Franciscan spirituality, he says, sees “the plan of God in everything,” something he found through the life of Francis of Assisi.

He’s ministered in parishes in Raleigh North Carolina; Gary, Indiana, and at the St. Francis Inn, an agency which serves the poor in Philadelphia. He also worked in campus ministry at Siena College in Loudonville, New York.

Along with studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Fr. Jason says he feels his training has served him well. He was attracted by sacramental ministry because, he says, it provides “the power of God in the most vulnerable moments” to those seeking consolation and support.

His parents and three surviving grandparents attended the ordination, as well as his brother and sister.

Fr. Jason first entered the Franciscans through the Holy Name Province, which operated largely in the Eastern U.S. Now he is ordained for the Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, which takes in the entire country.

“The scope of the ministry is a lot broader,” he says, as friars are now available to serve throughout the United States. He sees it as something to look forward to, as he will begin his priesthood ministry as parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish in Joliet, Illinois.

Fr. Luis’ name recognizes his joint Latino and Italian heritage. At 51, he is older than most newly ordained priests. He entered the Franciscans in 2016 and also professed solemn vows in 2023.

Born in Fort Dix, New Jersey, at a time when his late father was serving in the military, Fr. Luis spent much of his life in Puerto Rico, where he worked as a state trooper. He also served as a paramedic at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. He is one of seven children. His life was transformed when he worked with Caritas International on earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010. There he saw how Franciscans responded to the crisis and was inspired to pursue fulltime ministry.

He sees the Franciscan charism as a way to serve among the poor and the 

vulnerable. “In the world right now there’s a lot of indifference,” he says. “Franciscans are for empathy to the people who are most in need.”

During his training for the priesthood, he studied at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, where he ministered to Latino migrants.

He was inspired to become a priest as he saw the need for ordained ministry in the growing Latino community. “There are not enough priests speaking Spanish,” he says, adding, “It’s important for me to be ordained because people need the care. The work of the priest is the work of the people.”

Fr. Luis will begin his ministry of priesthood at St. Peter Claver Church in Macon, Georgia, a community with a large Latino immigrant population.

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