Identical Twin Friars Laid to Rest

June 9, 2011 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Identical Twin Friars Laid to Rest

June 9, 2011 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM EDT

Olean, NY (WKBW)

At the request of their family, the identical twins will be buried together on the friars’ hill of St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany, across the street from the place they lived for 40 years: St. Bonaventure University.

The twin Franciscan friars died June 1 — Julian in the morning, Adrian in the evening — in a St. Petersburg, Fla., hospital. They were originally scheduled to be buried in Florida, but only a wake on Sunday and the funeral Mass on Monday were held there.

After the Mass, their bodies were flown to Buffalo and transported to Allegany, where a wake service will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the St. Bonaventure University Chapel on campus. A prayer service will follow at the chapel; Fr. Peter Schneible, O.F.M., who lived with the Riesters at the St. Bonaventure Friary for more than 20 years, will serve as the homilist. The Very Rev. John O'Connor, O.F.M., will preside at the wake.

The Riesters went to seminary at St. Bonaventure from 1951-1956, and lived there as gardeners, handymen and chauffeurs from 1973-2008 before retiring to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg.

The story has generated remarkable attention around the world. Yahoo!News views alone of the story are roughly 10 million, where 2,800 people posted responses to the story. Facebook Shares of the story, just off Yahoo!, are over 50,000. Thousands of media outlets — some as far away as New Zealand, Fiji, China, The Netherlands, Chile and South Africa — have picked up the story. A Brazilian TV network (Globo TV) arrives today and is attending the services. EWN reporter Ed Reilly is on location and will have a full report tonight.