Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., a founding member of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal died Dec. 13 in Manhattan. He was 75 and had been battling cancer.
Born in Woodbury, New Jersey, he entered the Capuchin Friars in 1959. He professed perpetual vows in 1963 and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in 1967.
He was one of eight Capuchin Friars to attempt a reform of the order but ended up starting a new community. In 1987, the men established a friary in the South Bronx. The community since has grown to 130 members and 14 friaries in the United States, Central America, and Europe.
Cardinal John O’Connor and the Archdiocese of New York gave formal recognition to the community in 1999. Just last year it received recognition from the Vatican as a “religious institute of pontifical right”.
A popular preacher, author and spiritual director, Father Apostoli’s works include “Fatima for Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope”, “When God Asks for an Undivided Heart: Choosing Celibacy in Love and Freedom”, “Following Mary to Jesus”, and “Walk Humbly With Your God.”
Father Apostoli was a frequent presence on Eternal World Television Network, where he hosted the TV special “Our Lady of Fatima and the First Saturday Devotion.” He also hosted “Sunday Night Prime” on EWTN.
Father Apostoli served as a teacher, spiritual director, novice master and community superior. He was a professor of spiritual theology at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers and vice postulator of the cause for canonization of Archbishop Sheen. In 2011 he was the featured speaker at a Forum sponsored by The Tablet on the life of Archbishop Sheen.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Dec. 20 at St. Casimir Church, Yonkers. The presider and homilist was Father Luke Mary, C.F.R..