Franciscan Friars and their roles at Stritch

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3:00:00 PM

Chances are you’ve seen them around campus. Maybe you’ve exchanged greetings in the hallway or attended Mass in the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel. But do you really know Stritch’s Franciscan Friars and how they serve our community?

Stritch has a campus presence of three Franciscan priests; Father Jim Gannon, OFM, Father Hilary Brzezinski, OFM, and Father Joachim Studwell, OFM, as well as Brother Justin Kwietniewski, OFM,

Father Jim, who has been at Stritch for seven years, attributes the Friars’ increased visibility on campus to Stritch President Dr. James Loftus.

“Last year, Dr. Loftus began working to raise up the Franciscan presence, of both the Sisters and Friars, here on campus,” said Father Jim.

As a result of these conversations, the Friars now live in the rectory of nearby
St. Eugene parish. The close proximity offers the Friars more time on campus.

Each Friar has specific areas of focus. Father Jim is the vice president for Mission and Identity. Father Hilary serves as part-time campus priest and chaplain at Clement Manor in Greenfield. Father Joachim also serves as part-time campus priest and works closely with the St. Clare Center for Catholic Life. Brother Justin offers his administrative talents to campus programs including Mission and Identity and Campus Ministry.

In addition to their individual responsibilities, the Friars collectively support the ministry and legacy of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.

“The Sisters are truly the reason that we are all here,” said Father Jim, referring to the entire Stritch community.

The Sisters and Friars collaborate regularly on projects such as new employee orientations to Our Franciscan Heritage and the Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC).

Another shared objective, and one that Father Jim emphasizes, is the Friars’ relationship with students, staff, and faculty.

“If I could tell them one thing, it would be that we are here for them all day, every day,” said Father Jim.

He went on to explain that at least two of the Friars are on campus each day. They enjoy getting to know students, staff, and faculty and are happy to talk about life, spiritual growth, the Franciscan order, and just about anything else.

So, please feel free to contact any of the Friars. They would love to get to know you!


Father Jim Gannon, OFM
Office: Bonaventure Hall 1124
(414) 410-4151

Father Hilary Brzezinski, OFM
Office: Bonaventure Hall 1118
(414) 410-4572

Father Joachim Studwell, OFM
Office: Bonaventure Hall 1118
(414) 410-4572

Brother Justin Kwietniewski, OFM
Office: Bonaventure Hall 1118
(414) 410-4572