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Meet the Friars

Fr. Marvin Bearis, OFM Cap. Email Icon

Fr. Marvin was born and raised in Ewa Beach, HI. He is one of five children born to Ben and Carmen Bearis, who both immigrated to America from the Philippines. Fr. Marvin grew up knowing the Capuchin Franciscans through his hometown parish where they served as pastors for almost 20 years. Fr. Marvin started discerning religious life in his sophomore year of college at the University of Hawaii in 1998. After graduating college, he made the decision to enter religious life in the fall of 2000 as a postulant through the custody of Guam and Hawaii. He then went to an interprovincial novitiate from 2001-2002 in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin where he got to know many of the friars from the Province of St. Mary. He made his final vows in 2006 and got ordained as a priest in June 2009 in Honolulu, HI. Fr. Marvin's first assignment was serving as the Chaplain/religion teacher/Campus minister for three years at an all-boys high school called Damien Memorial. From 2012-2015, Fr. Marvin served as the chaplain/volunteer coordinator for Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries in Garrison, NY. In 2015, Fr. Marvin left New York to serve as the pastor of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Agana Hts., Guam. He was then asked to become the vocation director for the Province of St. Mary from 2017-2023.

Br. Brian Champoux, OFM Cap. Email Icon

Growing up in Springfield, Mass, Brother Brian is one of six children. At the age of 18 he started his six-month postulancy at St. Pius X Friary here in Middletown in February of 1968. After the provincial chapter of 1981, Fr. Don Bosco Duquette, the new provincial, assigned Brother Brian to Guam. In Guam he served as a formation director and as a teacher. Brother Brian is presently a volunteer at Saint John Paul II School.

Fr. Ernest Bedard, OFM Cap. Email Icon

Fr. Ernie grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. He entered the Capuchin order in 2002, and completed his undergraduate studies at Emmanuel College in Boston. He then went on to earn both his M. Div. and Th.M. at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2012. Following ordination, Fr. Ernie served as a parochial vicar at several parishes in Manhattan including the Church of the Good Shepherd in Inwood, St. John the Baptist on W 30th Street, and Holy Cross Church on 42nd Street. He then served for a year and a half at St. Joseph Church in New Paltz, NY. Fr. Ernie arrived here at Saint Pius X in April of 2019 to live in residence at the friary, and then became a part of the parish staff as Parochial Vicar in 2020. Without question, Fr. Ernie is very happy to be here. As a New England native, he feels very much at home. In addition to his service here on the parish staff, Fr. Ernie serves as the Faithful Friar for the Bishop McFarland Assembly of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. He also was appointed as a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis in September of 2020. As a Missionary of Mercy, he has been given faculties to absolve sins normally reserved to the Holy See. He also often will speak about the topic of Mercy in his homilies. In his free time, Fr. Ernie enjoys both baseball and hockey, and loves his time at Hammonasset Beach in Southern Connecticut.

Fr. Matthias Wesnofske, OFM Cap.

Fr. Matthias Wesnofske came to our parish after having served six years at St. Joseph's Church in East Patchogue, NY. Fr. Matthias was born in 1941, and is originally from New Hyde Park, Long Island, NY. After grammar school, he entered the Capuchin Prep-Seminary in Garrison, NY. Following his graduation, he entered the Capuchin Novitiate in Milton, MA. He made his profession of vows in 1960, and then went on to study philosophy and earned a BA in NH. After completing graduated studies and earning both an M. Div and an M.TH., he was ordained on November 11, 1967. In addition to his theological studies, Fr. Matthias earned a Masters Degree in Education of the Deaf from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. He completed some of his student teaching at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, and subsequently taught at the Cleary School for the Deaf in Ronkonkoma NY after earning his degree. Following his work there, he served in a number of ministries, including formation work as an Assistant Novice Master for three years in Milton, MA and Garrison NY, and as a hospital chaplain for five years. In 1987 to 1991, he served as guardian of the Capuchin Community and on the parish staff at Our Lady of Sorrows in Manhattan. In 1991, he was transferred to St. John's Church in Manhattan where he lived and served for 18 years. In addition to these ministries, he also served as the National Capuchin Spiritual Assistant for six years, and the Provincial Spiritual Assistant to the Secular Franciscans since 1993. Now in residence here at Saint Pius, he is enjoying retirement while also offering pastoral assistance to our parish.