FRONT ROYAL, Virginia [August 12, 2014] – Father Frank Papa, S.O.L.T., J.C.D., has begun a new apostolate as resident chaplain with Loving Arms, a faith-based assisted living and retirement community in Front Royal, Virginia. Father Papa was formerly the resident priest and chaplain for Human Life International, a grassroots pro-life and pro-family Catholic organization. The beloved priest, known for his Catholic orthodoxy, spent almost ten years compassionately serving HLI and the Catholic community of Front Royal.
Before Father Papa’s ordination in 1989, the Bristol, Connecticut native spent 25 years working in youth ministry. He founded Teens Inc. in 1963, which grew to serve more than 500 young men. In 1968, he established and operated Teen Homes, a 10-year mission that housed and raised young men struggling from broken homes.
After he earned a Doctorate in Canon Law from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, he taught at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT, where he met Father James H. Flanagan. It was the personal influence of Father Flanagan, founder of S.O.L.T. (The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity), that led to Father Papa’s vocational discernment and eventual ordination. Prior to 2004, he served as parish priest for a number of churches including Immaculate Conception Church, now a Minor Basilica, in Waterbury, CT.
Father Papa’s apostolate at HLI has been an active one: administering Sacraments to staff, speaking at regional and national homeschooling conferences for Seton Home Study School, assisting various parishes in the Arlington diocese, appearing on EWTN and other television and radio shows, and authoring numerous articles and two books: Love, Dating, and Marriage: A Marriage Preparation Guide and Teenage Guide for Confession.
According to Father Papa, serving HLI as chaplain was a wonderful apostolate. “There was no mincing of words or watering down the Faith,” he said. “HLI’s apostolate is one in which the Catholic teaching is spoken straightforwardly in truth.”
In speaking of his fondest memories at HLI, Father Papa takes great delight serving the community.
“It was a most moving experience celebrating Mass for the first time in the St. Michael Chapel at HLI headquarters, seeing all these large families inside the chapel. It has been a privilege serving where the Catholic faith is taught and lived,” he said.
Looking forward to his new apostolate, Father Papa recognizes that his current medical needs require more attention, but he says, “This new role will afford me the opportunity to continue my priestly ministry. I’ve got the best of everything – it’s unbelievable!” he added. “I am most grateful for the staff at HLI, especially Father Boquet [president of HLI]; their support has been absolutely marvelous.”
In response to Father Papa’s announcement, Father Boquet said, “Father Papa has been a tremendous blessing and gift to HLI all these years. We will miss his presence, but he will remain with us in spirit and united with us in prayer.”
About Human Life International: For the Glory of God and defense of Life, Faith and Family. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international grassroots pro-life and pro-family organization, with affiliates and associates in over 80 countries on six continents.