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  • Writer's pictureJohn Baldino, OFS, MALS

Secular Franciscan Order Appoints Local Leadership Council

LAFLIN, Pa. – Secular Franciscans in greater Scranton/Wilkes Barre have a new leadership team. On June 25, Kate Kleinhart, OFS, Regional Minister of the Order’s St. Katherine Drexel Region appointed a new leadership council to St. Joseph Fraternity. They are the following:

Minister and Formation Director. Jim Gaffney, OFS, MS. Professed to the Secular Franciscan Order in 2006, Gaffney has served as council secretary, formation director, and minister. He holds a Master of Science degree in Manpower Personal Training Analysis from Unites States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Vice Minister. Atty. Henry Blake, OFS. Blake is a retired attorney and longtime professed member of the Order. He has served St. Joseph Fraternity as Vice Minister in the past.

Secretary. John Baldino, OFS, MALS. Professed in 2016, Baldino is one of the newest members of the Order. He serves as Philosophy and Communications faculty at Lackawanna College in Scranton and holds a Master of Arts Liberal Studies in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Excelsior College in Albany.

Treasurer. Edward G Schirra, OFS, CPA. Another new member of the Secular Franciscan Order, Schirra

was professed in 2016. He is a certified public accountant and serves as Assistant Professor of Accounting at Albright College. He earned an MBA with a concentration in Health Care System Management from DeSales University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Scranton, a Jesuit University.

In addition to their council positions, Baldino and Schirra will assist in formation of new and current members of St. Joseph Fraternity. The Fraternity will continue to make digital strides with its new website,, and will actively reach out to those discerning a vocation. The new council plans to lead the fraternity in engaging youth, feeding the hungry, and fulfilling the spiritual needs of the people each member encounters.

Left to Right: Schirra, Burke, Kleinhart, Gaffney, Baldino.

About the Secular Franciscan Order

The Secular Franciscan Order (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis) is a branch of the world-wide Franciscan Family. Professed brothers and sisters 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 the brothers and sisters live and work. Members look for practical ways to embrace the gospel in their lives and try to help others to do the same.

The St. Joseph Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order is a community of men and women, single and married, living and working in various counties of northeastern Pennsylvania. Most of the brothers’ and sisters’ individual service to the Church happens in the northeast part of the state as well. The fraternity gathers in community for prayer and fellowship on the third Sunday of each month.

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