The Friary, Oxford
The original Greyfriars church and friary was founded by the Greyfriars in 1224, but was suppressed during the Reformation in the 16th century.
Some time later, the Capuchin branch of the Franciscans established a friary in Oxford, known as St Anselm's, which was recognised by the University as a House of Studies in 1910. In 1919, the Capuchin Franciscans moved to the current site on the Iffley Road - first naming it Grosseteste House after the first Head of the original Greyfriars, and on completion of the present building in 1930 they decided to adopt the name Greyfriars.
The Conventual Frianciscans (Greyfriars) returned to Oxford in September 2013, originally in Holton near Wheatley, where they established a House of Formation. The purpose of the formation house was to be a place of study, prayer, and fraternity for all of the friars in formation. After a novitiate year in the United States, the friars will usually begin their studies at Blackfriars Hall in Oxford and take up residence at the Formation House. In July 2014 the formation community relocated to Cowley and took up residence in the former convent of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor (Anglican).
There are currently six men in simple vows, two in solemn vows, four postulants, as well as a formator and a priest in residence at The Friary Formation House. Whilst in formation the men are required to pray the liturgy of the hours together, engage in local apastolic work within the community, and commit to their studies for priestly ordination, or equivalant training for brotherhood. The spirit in the house is one of Franciscan fraternity and brotherly love, as well as being the location for our 'Come & See' weekends for men discerning their vocation to religious life.
The Friary, St.Mary's Road, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 1RU
Tel. 01865 682632
Father Gerard Mary Toman OFM Conv. (Formator)
Fr. Gerard Mary is the Guardian and Rector of the Conventual Friary in Oxford. He recently returned from Rome where he obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology. Before that, Fr. Gerard Mary had been ministering, for almost two years, as one of the Shrine Priests at England’s National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham. In addition to his daily responsibilities in the Oxford Friary, Fr. Gerard Mary is the Custodial Delegate for the Militia Immaculata (a worldwide Marian evangelisation movement, founded by St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe and other Conventual Friars in 1917), and the title of his Licentiate Thesis was “The Immaculate Conception and the Will of Mary in the writings of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe.” Fr. Gerard Mary is the current editor of ‘The Golden Thread’ – the Greyfriars’ online Marian magazine - and he continues to enjoy writing on Mariological and Franciscan themes.
Father Jarosław Zachariasz OFM Conv. (Formator)
Friar Jarosław comes from the Conventual Franciscan Province of Krakow Poland where he has just finished eight years as the Provincial Minister of that Province.
He has had experience of Pastoral Ministry in Germany, as well as serving the Order on the international level on the staff of the General Curia, the Friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome.
Friar John Paul OFM Conv.
Br. John Paul is from Leeds, England. Before becoming a Franciscan Friar, he worked in various roles in the banking sector. He was also helping out as a volunteer that involved him working with the homeless and other vulnerable people of society. When in India, Br John Paul developed a great love for the poor and experienced a calling from God to discern religious life. After reading the biography of St Francis, he joined the Franciscan Conventuals. Br John Paul maintains his great love for the poor. He enjoys reading, sports and music. Consecrated to Our Lady, Br John Paul hopes that through his witness as a Franciscan friar, he can bring people closer to God and his Holy Church.
Friar Peter George OFM Conv.
Br. Peter George is from Galway, Ireland. He worked as a schoolteacher for several years in Malaysia and the UK. He has also worked as an examiner and as a factory operative. Teaching Catechism in Kuala Lumpur deepened his faith life and caused him to begin discerning a vocation. His devotion to St. Joseph of Cupertino was a deciding factor for him in joining the Conventuals. Br. Peter George enjoys reading, history, trivia, choir, and theatre, and he has occasionally drawn illustrations for a Franciscan publication.