Collection: Br. Juniper Capece, OFM

ARTIST: Br. Robert Lentz, OFM


Juniper was born into an Italian immigrant family in Vineland, New Jersey. When he was 17 years old, he entered the Franciscan Order and was trained as a tailor. He made habits for the friars of Holy Name Province for more than 56 years. In his last years he made rosaries for patients in military hospitals near Washington, D.C.

More importantly, Juniper helped form hundreds of young men who came to the Franciscan Order to become brothers or priests. Although he had a famous sense of humor, he was also the confidant to whom countless friars brought their woes. He was a man of deep prayer who spent hours alone at his work, and later, at the end of his life, simply sitting in his old car in the friary parking lot, smoking his pipe and reciting the rosary. For many years he suffered from ill health. He died peacefully, from cancer, on November 3, 2012.

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Brother Juniper Capece OFM

(Anthony Capece)

Brother Juniper who served as the tailor and habit-maker for the Franciscans' Holy Name Province, died Nov 3, 2012 at the Sanctuary at Holy Cross hospice care center in Burtonsville MD. He was 80.

A native of Vineland NJ, Anthony was born April 14, 1932 to Vincenzo & Arminda (Romano) Capece. He was baptized at Sacred Heart Church in Vineland, where he attended schools.

He was received into the Order on Aug 11, 1951 in Paterson NJ, receiving the religious name of Juniper. He professed his temporary vows on Aug 13, 1952 in Paterson and his final vows on Aug 17, 1955 at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany NY.

Juniper served as the provincial tailor and habit maker for 56 years. Between 1952 and 1983, he resided in Loundonville NY, Rye Beach NH, New York City, and Allegany NY.

In 1983, he was assigned to Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford NJ, where he served from 1992 to 1996 as vicar of the friar community. On July 16, 1996, he transferred to Holy Name College in Silver Spring MD, and retired from making habits on Dec. 4, 2009.

Although he no longer made habits, Juniper created rosary beads that are now in the hands of countless marines, sailors, soldiers and their family members who came to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda MD.

Brother Capece was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Frank & Ralph Capece; and sister, Josephine (Capece) Confalone. He was survived by his sister, Catherine (Capece) Henderson; brother-in-law, Anthony Confalone; and nephews, Gregory Henderson, Lawrence Henderson, Victor Confalone, Frank Capece, Vincent Capece and Matthew Capece.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Nov 9 at St Camillus Church in Silver Spring MD. Graveside service and interment took place the next day at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa NJ.