What is the CNSA?

The Conference of National Spiritual Assistants is the four spiritual assistants, one from each friar obedience (Order of Friars Minor, OFM Capuchin, OFM Conventual, and Third Order Regular), who provide assistance to the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States. The CNSA is responsible for guiding all the spiritual assistants of the OFS in the United States. The President-in-Turn of the CNSA, who serves for two years, is a member of the National Executive Council of the National Fraternity.

CNSA Friars and Support Staff

Fr. John DeLaRiva, OFM Cap.

  • CNSA President-in-Turn
  • Born (in February of 1961) and raised in Orange County, California.
  • Joined the Capuchin Franciscans in 1989 at the age of 29.
  • Professed Final Vows in 1996, and ordained a Priest in 1999.
  • Ministries have focused on Parish work, Chaplaincy for Hospitals, High Schools, and Jails.
  • Previous assignment was as Rector of the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi located in San Francisco, CA.
  • Email:  papajcali@gmail.com

Fr. Christopher Panagoplos, T.O.R.

  • CNSA Vice President-in-Turn
  • Provincial Spiritual Assistant, Immaculate Conception Province, T.O.R.
  • Regional Spiritual Assistant, Lady Poverty Region
  • Member of the Franciscan Family Forum Core Team
  • Email:  XtoferTOR@aol.com

Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. 

  • Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv, of Our Lady of the Angels Province, is originally from Poland, and has been a missionary to Kenya and Tanzania and also served as Vocation Director, Retreat Director, Postulant Director, and Parish Priest.  Fr. Marek has worked with Secular Franciscans for many years.
  • His last ministry before joining the CNSA was Vice Director of Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, CA.
  • Email: OFS-National@olaprovince.org

Fr. Jerome Wolbert, OFM 

  • Provincial Spiritual Assistant, and member of the Council of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (OFM) Province
  • Email: jeromeofm@gmail.com

Miriam Kennedy, OFS

  • CNSA Secretary
  • Contact for Visitations and Establishment Documents
  • National Database and Website Committee Member
  • Secretary, Franciscan Family Forum
  • Editor, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Region Newsletter, “The Herald”
  • Local Fraternity Formation Team member
  • Local Spiritual Assistant
  • Email:  mekofs@gmail.com

Mary Frances Charsky, OFS

Franciscan Family Forum

Vision:  To offer a life-giving heartbeat of encouragement, support, and information to the whole Franciscan Family in the United States, through a model of fraternal unity and collaboration.

Mission:  The Franciscan Family Forum seeks to sustain the life-giving union of the Franciscan family by building relationships and offering assistance through dialogue to address the contemporary challenges that we face in living the Gospel life.

Franciscan Family Forum Introductory Announcement