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Capuchin College: 100 Years to Celebrate

CapCollege LOGO     In early September, friars and friends of our friary, "Capuchin College" (St. Francis Friary),  kicked-off  the celebration of the Centenary - it's been 100 years since the building and dedication of the house where friars throughout this "century" of years have lived and studied. The house was, and still is, dedicated to the formation of friars who have completed their novitiate year. That's the year when men don the Capuchin habit and discern their decision to take their first vows in our Capuchin way of live. Capuchin College is the next destination, where the friars live, study and minister, pursuing professional studies for their lives as friars. Many of them are students of the Theology faculty at Catholic University of America, and various friars live and work there as a support to fraternal life in preparation for priestly ministry. 

    Through September and October, a number of events are taking place to celebrate and remember . . .

CapColllegeCentenary 01       The centennial celebration began with a Mass in early September, celebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC, Donald Wuerl,  a long-time friend and and visitor to the Capuchins, whose life and work begun in Pittsburgh, PA, forged our ties. He's pictured at left, greeting by Guardian Paul Dresslern, OFM Cap., and our brother Bill Gillum, OFM Cap., both on the post-novitiate formation team (Br. Jim Froehlich, OFM Cap., is on the far left, but it's unclear exactly what he's doing!).

     Along with Cardinal Wuerl to celebrate the day was the US Apostolic Nuncio of the Vatican, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who resides in the nation's capitol as well (the friars are seen here greeting them as they arrived).

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    In Cardinal Wuerl's homily for the occasion, the Ordinary spoke of his impressions and memories of many times he spent in the friary. Among those memories, he offered these with a smile:

My introduction to the Capuchin commitment to simplicity of life and self-imposed poverty took the form of grapefruit wedges. When I asked why there were grapefruit wedges served at breakfast, lunch and supper in the form of breakfast fruit, lunch dessert and supper salad, I was told how cases of various perfectly good fruit products can be purchased at a dime on the dollar from those then-existent railroad warehouses where damaged containers were auctioned off.

Another memory is of those basement rooms where we worked from morning until evening long before air conditioning, but this was reflective of the whole house and the Capuchin spirit of embracing the cross – even in little ways.

And finally and most significantly was my appreciation of the spirit of Saint Francis that permeated this building.

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See all of the photos from the September celebration in Br. Matt Hindelang's album
which can be seen by clicking the above photo or by browsing here.

     The next celebration for the friars and friends who have been residents and friends
of Capuchin College over the years is schedule in October.
See the Friends of Capuchin College on Facebook for more details.


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Capuchin Friars  ♦  Province of St. Augustine  ♦  220—37th Street  ♦  Pittsburgh, PA 15201  ♦  (412) 682-6011