Catholic Franciscan Volunteer Service Experience for Post-Graduate Young Adults| Costa Rica & New York


Alexander (A.J.) LaPoint – Director

Friar Rick and A.J.

Friar Rick and A.J.

A.J. was born and raised in Plattsburgh, New York.  After attending Siena College where he received a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Creative Arts and a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Mathematics, A.J. spent time working in theatre and higher education before joining FrancisCorps in the summer of 2008.  While with FrancisCorps, A.J. worked at the Assumption Food Pantry and Franciscan Northside Ministries.

After FrancisCorps, A.J. spent time as a Postulant with the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province in Boston, M.A., he was a Resident Hall Director at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and then completed his Masters of the Arts degree in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Catholic University Leadership at Boston College.  After completing his MA, A.J. worked as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at Mount Saint Mary College.  A.J. rejoins FrancisCorps, thrilled and excited to lend his experience and skills to help FrancisCorps continue to be the fantastic and life changing experience it is!

Johanna Cajina – Associate Director

Johanna was born in Managua, Nicaragua, but considers Silver Spring, Maryland, her hometown. After attending The Catholic University of America where she received two Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Hispanic Studies as well as two minors in History and Latin American and Latino Studies, Johanna became part of FrancisCorps17. She served at Niño con Cariño, a home for young girls with limited economic opportunities, located in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Passionate about social justice and immigration, she returned to Costa Rica after completing her year of service to work for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as a research analyst and translator. Also in Costa Rica, she further pursued her interests in ecumenism and ecclesiology by attending La Universidad Teológica de América Central. Grateful for the opportunity to join FrancisCorps as the Associate Director, Johanna is most looking forward to sharing her FC experience with current and prospective volunteers as well as exploring her new neighborhood of Syracuse, New York.

Friar Richard Riccioli, OFM Conv. – Chaplain

Friar Rick was born in Montréal, Québec and raised in the city’s south shore suburb of Brossard.  He professed his vows as a Franciscan Friar in 1983 and was ordained a priest in 1990.  The ministries in which he was served include: vocation director, formation director, magazine editor and parish priest. He has also been part of the Friar’s leadership council in Canada.  Friar Rick’s education includes a Master of Divinity degree from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, DC and a Master of Science degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Maryland.

Friar Rick has been on the board of directors of various not-for-profit organizations in Toronto, Ontario serving homeless women, creating opportunities for independent living for people with disabilities and providing specialized addiction services for people with HIV. He has also taught Pastoral Counseling at the Toronto School of Theology in the University of Toronto.

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