MEMBERS

Fr. Joseph Cuellar, fhs

Community Servant

Fr. Joseph Cuellar, fhs comes to the community from New York City. Early in his life he participated in a Cursillo spiritual retreat, which made a profound impact on his life. It confirmed feelings in him for a religious vocation, and where he felt the Lord leading him. He left behind a successful Wall Street career to follow a path in the religious life. Fr Joseph has completed studies with Long Island University and at Villanova University. He also completed studies with the St John Vianney Theological Seminary of the Old Catholic Church.

He was previously a professed member of the Franciscans of the Atonement and The Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians Friars) within the Roman Catholic Church. Presently, Fr. Joseph is a priest within the Diocese of Florida, where he serves as Pastor of Sacred Heart Franciscan Community & Outreach in Port St. Lucie, FL. In addition to his role as pastor, Fr. Joseph is heavily involved in community/county outreach. He is committee chairman for the St. Lucie County Health Department HIV/AIDS Prevention Planning Group, Drug Free - St. Lucie, and represents clergy and faith communities for St. Lucie County, bringing awareness to Human Trafficking. He also is involved with Treasure Coast Hospice for St. Lucie County, and local soup kitchen ministries.  And is very active in interfaith ecumenical work within the county.

Fr. Joseph is the facilitator of Healing Hearts Bereavement Ministry; a ministry within Sacred Heart Franciscan Community. He is working actively to promote vocations to our Community in St. Lucie County.  Fr. Joseph, fhs, is a founding member of the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit and presently serves as the Community Servant.
 

Sr. Barbara Cuellar, fhs

Sr. Barbara Cuellar, fhs grew up and lived her life in Kenilworth, NJ, before moving to Port St. Lucie, FL, almost 10 years ago. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from Kean College in Elementary Education.  She is retired from teaching, after having been a teacher for thirty years in early education, including some time teaching children with Cerebral Palsy. Following her retirement from teaching, Sr. Barbara went to work for Walmart, where she has been an employee for many years.

 

While in Kenilworth, Sr. Barbara was a life-long parishioner of St. Theresa's Catholic Church. having been very active as a Eucharistic Minister, visiting the homebound and nursing homes, the Rosary Society and the Catholic Daughters organizations.  She completed a three years study with the Archdiocese of Newark, with a certificate in the (CFM) Christian Foundations for Ministry Program.  Having had an aunt who was a Dominican Sister, helped nurture the feelings she had for a religious vocation.

 

Currently, she lives in Port St. Lucie, FL, and is an active member in ministry with Sacred Heart Franciscan Community & Outreach. She is helping to promote vocations to the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit on the Treasure Coast. Also, Sr. Barbara is very active within the community in prayer ministry, and makes the habit rosaries for the Order.
 

Sr. Linda Ritchie, fhs

Local Guardian, Tampa Bay Community

Sr. Linda Ritchie, fhs comes to us from Vermont with a long history of Catholic upbringing, first and foremost from her parents, then in parochial school taught by the Sisters of Mercy, who instilled a love of education and faith. After high school she went to nurses training at a Catholic hospital realizing that the profession was a calling to serve. She is still nursing and celebrated her 50th year this year doing surgeries.

 

She has 1 son in Florida and 2 grandchildren, who have graced her with 6  beautiful great grandchildren living in Vermont.

 

As she got closer to retirement she decided it was time to follow her childhood dream of religious life. She found her faith family at Holy Spirit Church SCC,  where she is active in the choir and gave some years to the parish council and treasury.  She also ministers by visiting the sick, home-bound and hospitalized.

 

Sr. Linda feels that the Franciscan life will offer her the opportunity to grow deeper in her faith in simplicity and love.   Sr. Linda, currently serves as Guardian of the Tampa Community.

Fr. Daniel Antle, fhs

Local Guardian, Fort Myers/Cape Coral Community

Fr. Daniel Antle, FHS, . Ministers in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area. He comes to us from Chicago and currently resides in Cape Coral, FL with his wife Carole. Fr. Antle has a wealth of knowledge having earned degrees in Theology and Psychology.  

Fr. Daniel, has worked for 22 years as a therapist and chaplain in Hospice Ministry in Ft. Myers, FL. Cuurently, is promoting Franciscan vocations in his area and hopes to begin soon building a Franciscans of the Holy Spirit local community.

Br. Tom Weems, fhs

​Br. Tom Weems, was born in New Mexico and raised in Central Florida. He spent the last 30 years in Port Charlotte Florida before recently moving to Clearwater Florida. He has two daughters and a son. 

His first career was a Firefighter/EMT. He is now in a second career of Information Technology as a System Administrator.  He graduated from Charlotte Fire Academy and is a State Certified Firefighter. Has a  Diploma from Edison College in Emergency Medical Technology. He went back to college and got a Technical Degree from Southwest Florida College in Network Engineering and Database Administration and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Security Specialist. 

Br. Tom attends Holy Spirit SCC and is active as an Acolyte and Eucharistic Minister.  He also assists in a Homeless Shelter Ministry in Safety Harbor. 

Br. Will Bracey, fhs

Br. Will Bracey was born August 08, 1955 in Fairbanks, Alaska.  My father was in the Air Force, therefore we lived in several locations when I was a very young.  During my early childhood, we settled in southeast Louisiana so that is what I call "home". 

After graduating from Amite High School, not knowing the protocol, I wanted to be a Monk.  All during high school, that was my dream. My goal was to live a Christian life by joining a monastery.  I felt there would be no judgement and unconditional love unlike my junior high and high school years.  Only being 17 years old when I graduated, I needed parental consent and support which unfortunately I did not get.  My monastic dreams were crushed and I moved forward and attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  After college, I immediately went to work for BellSouth/AT&T where I worked and retired as an IT Project Manager with 31 years of service.

As a young adult, I attended church on a regular basis and knew that I was called to dedicate my life to service all other living beings. There was always this burning desire to take a leap in faith and follow my passion.  What a blessing for me to finally get to follow my calling and my dream by being a Franciscan Brother of Holy Spirit. 

 

On a personal note, I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with my loving partner of 15 years.

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2018 Novices

<Left to Right> New Professed Sr. Louise Lavalla, fhs and Br. Mike Sullivan, fhs (Here with Fr. Joseph, fhs)