Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vatican Honors Secular Franciscan

Betty Frank
Betty Frank, OFS
UTICA, NY -- Betty Frank, OFS, was professed into the Secular Franciscan Order in 1949 at then-St. Joseph's Church. Since then, she has been immersed in the life of the parish (now St. Joseph-St. Patrick) and the Syracuse Diocese, leaving a spiritual handprint like few others, noted Fr. Richard Dellos, pastor. It has not gone unnoticed by the Vatican, Father Dellos added, because Pope Benedict XVI has conferred on her the Pontifical Cross, "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice," the highest honor the pope can bestow upon a lay person.

Syracuse Bishop Robert J. Cunningham presented the medal to Betty Frank on Feb. 3 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

And on Sunday, Feb. 10, St. Joseph-St. Patrick celebrated the honor bestowed on one of its own with Solemn Vespers in the church and a public reception immediately following in the parish center. (Click here to see photos.)

Father Dellos offered a few examples of Betty's impact. She co-founded the 24-hour Adoration Chapel at the church, recruiting over 300 people to take turns praying around the clock. She helped bring the Divine Mercy Sunday devotion to the parish, attracting annual speakers. She diligently supported the cause for Mother Marianne Cope's sainthood, including forming the Mother Marianne Prayer Group and helping to establish the Mother Marianne Shrine at the parish. She has represented the parish at Syracuse Diocese meetings, and she was present at the Vatican for both the beatification and canonization of Mother Marianne (Franciscan missionary to the lepers of Molokai), who herself was a parishioner of the Utica church.

Betty is a member of St. Joseph Fraternity in the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Region.