NEW YORK – The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR) confirmed on December 13 that Father Andrew Apostoli had passed away at the age of 75. Father Apostoli had been battling cancer during the past months.
“In the past month, Fr. Andrew’s health declined rapidly. We are profoundly grateful that he was able to spend his final days surrounded by his CFR family, ” the community wrote in an update published on their website. “He lived this final chapter of his life preparing to meet the Lord prayerfully, humbly, and joyfully offering himself to Jesus through Mary as a devoted Franciscan priest and religious. Not unlike Blessed Solanus Casey and Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. Andrew humbly lived the authentic Franciscan ideal, providing witness to the joy of living the gospel in a world so desperately in need of Jesus Christ and his unconditional love. We beseech the Lord this day that the treasure of Fr. Andrew’s preaching, writing, and fraternal witness continue to sustain the charism of renewal that he and his confreres began over three decades ago. Join with us in praying for the repose of the soul of Fr. Andrew, for his family, and the CFR Community as we mourn his loss and give thanks to God for the gift he was to the Church and the world.”
Fr. Andrew entered the Capuchin Friars in 1959 at the age of seventeen. He professed perpetual vows in 1963 and was ordained to the priesthood by Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on March 16, 1967.
He was a founding member of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The order was founded in 1987 by a group of eight Capuchin friars. During his fifty years a priest, Father Andrew was known for his missionary zeal and devotion to Our Lady. Along with the community for Franciscan men, Father Andrew also founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. They are a group of women who devote their lives to serving the poor.
Fr. John Paul Ouellette, General Servant of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, wrote about Father Andrew’s life as a priest and a Franciscan. “Fr. Andrew conformed his life to Christ’s. As a priest, he was led by his relationship with the Holy Spirit, Our Lady, and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and continually worked towards the renewal of the priesthood. As a Franciscan, St. Francis was the clear inspiration for his humility,
humor, and his simplicity in word and deed. Fr. Andrew’s faithfulness and joy urge us to live the joy found in the Gospel.”
Fr. Andrew was a familiar face on EWTN, hosting “Sunday Night Prime”. In addition to his work with EWTN, Father Andrew was also the Vice Postulator of the cause for the canonization of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
He is known for his writings as well, which include titles like “Following Mary to Jesus” and “When God Asks for an Undivided Heart.”
The CFR community prays for the repose of the soul of Fr. Andrew, for his family, and for his religious community as they mourn losing him on this earth and thank God for the blessing he was to the church. Details for Fr. Andrew’s wake and funeral can be found at the Franciscan’s website.