Local parishioner makes permanent profession to the Secular Franciscan Order

Father Bob Simon with Baldino

JOHN BALDINO, OFS, right, who is retreat leader and CCD teacher at SS. Anthony and Rocco Parish, Dunmore, is shown with Rev. Robert Simon, left, who concelebrated Holy Mass as Baldino make his lifelong profession to the Secular Franciscan Order recently.

Alongside three other candidates for profession, and surrounded by friends and relatives who have supported him throughout his life and in his formation, John Baldino, OFS, made his lifelong profession to the Secular Franciscan Order on Sunday, Feb. 21. The profession took place during Holy Mass in the Chapel at St. Joseph Oblates Center, Pittston, at 1:30 p.m. This is where members of St. Joseph Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order gather in community each month.

Rev. Jerome Wolbert, OFM celebrated the Mass with co-celebrants Rev. Robert Simon and Rev. Gerald Gurka. Rachel Baldino, wife of newly-professed John Baldino, OFS, served as leader of song with Linda Houck of Holy Family Parish as organist and director of music.

Council and professed members of St. Joseph Fraternity, and priests of the Diocese of Scranton were among those assembled at the chapel, where the Baldino and three others vowed to live the remainder of their lives by the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. The Rule calls brothers and sisters of the Order to live the Holy Gospel, bringing it to life each day, and leading by example.

Baldino entered formation with the Secular Franciscans in 2013, two years after completing one year of priestly formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He left seminary knowing the priesthood was not his calling, and continued to discern God’s will for him.

“The journey will continue,” Baldino said about his profession to the Order. “I am eagerly awaiting more opportunities to serve my local fraternity, the Secular Franciscan Order, and God’s people. I am blessed to have been called, and ready to accept the work and the challenges that come with responding to this call.”

Post-profession, Baldino will continue his career in media and follow his profession promise to live the Gospel life. He will evangelize by example in his family life, his work, and his apostolate service focusing on the virtues of holiness, humility, and charity.

John, a native of Carbondale, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts: Broadcast Production and Digital Media from Marywood University, and is near completion of a Master of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies: Philosophy and Media Communications at Excelsior College.

John is a consecrated member of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Militia of the Immaculata, and maintains an active ministry in the Catholic Church. He is a CCD teacher and retreat leader at SS. Anthony & Rocco Parish in Dunmore. Additionally, John serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Master of Liturgical Ceremonies, spiritual minister to the sick and dying, and presider at wake and grave-site services. He is also digital media producer and outreach advisor for the Religious Teachers Filippini, a pontifical institute of Catholic Sisters.

The Secular Franciscan Order (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis) is a branch of the world-wide Franciscan Family. Members are single and married. Some are diocesan clergy. They work, worship, and play in the communities in which they live. The Order was established by St. Francis of Assisi more than 800 years ago. Its purpose is to bring the Gospel to life where members live and where they work. Members look for practical ways to embrace the gospel in their lives and try to help others to do likewise.

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