Letter of the Minister General to
Bishop John Jukes
On the occasion of his
50th Anniversary of Ordination
to the Priesthood




July 11, 2002


Dear Bishop John, dear confrere,


Although previous commitments prevent me from traveling to England to participate in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of your ordination to the priesthood July 19 at The Friars in Aylesford, in spirit I join you and all present to give thanks to God for the grace of your vocation and for all the good you have so commendably accomplished as friar, priest and Bishop..


In 1948 you responded to Godís plan for you and you made your profession of vows in our Conventual  Franciscan Order. You were sent to Rome for clerical studies. While in Italy you visited Assisi and at the tomb of St. Francis prayed that he help you follow his Gospel way of life. You were ordained priest July 19, 1952 in St. Anthonyís Church,  Mossley Hill, England. 


Appointed cleric master, you guided candidates in our Franciscan way of life. You served as parish priest a number of years. Eager to renew our Franciscan scholarly inheritance, you succeeded in founding at Canterbury the Centre of Franciscan Studies, officially recognized by the University of Kent in 1976. Elected Minister Provincial of England in 1979, you constantly encouraged the friars to renew their life and ministry in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.


Pope John Paul II appointed you titular Bishop of Strathearn, auxiliary of London, and you were ordained Bishop January 30, 1980. In the extensive territory from Sussex to the Channel where you exercised your Episcopal ministry, you constantly urged pastors to be in close touch with their flock, a service you exemplified in your visits to parishes and people under your care. You became very well informed in matters of education and social justice touching problems of labor and often gave important addresses in national conferences and meetings on these subjects.


When you reached the age of 75 you submitted your resignation from your Episcopal office. In your zeal, however, to minister to the faithful and serve the Church, you offered your services to the Bishop of Aberdeen and accepted to be pastor of St. Margaretís Church in Huntly, Scotland.


With Archbishop Michael Bowen and the Bishops of the Episcopal Conferences of Great Britain, with the priests of the archdiocese you served for 20 years, with the friars of the Province and of the Order, I rejoice with you and give thanks to God for your faithful ministry, for  your testimony to our Seraphic Father St. Francis. Ad multos annos!


Fraternally yours,


Fr. Joachim A. Giermek

Minister General

© OFMConv Communications Office - Rome