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NewsNotes: January 19, 2018

Roshan Commissioned for Papua New Guinea

Rohan0Prgrm    We had quite a turnout for our Christmas Party on Friday, January 5th. St. Catherine of Siena Parish and its pastor, Fr. Steve Neff, hosted us and a "band" of dueling pianos (actually, electronic keyboards) provided entertaining moments of song and 'background' music. The band realized that, once they started Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville," they had a group of impressive singers in their 'congregation.'

    Of course, the evening began with our Christmas Evening Prayer which included the commissioning service for Roshan Anthonypillai who'll be serving with the friars in the Custody of St. Michael the Archangel. It seems appropriate that the celebration took place on the eve of what is still the Feast of the Epiphany for much of our Catholic world. Roshan let us know that he'll be leaving the US from Washington, DC, next Wednesday, January 24th. His first stop will be in Hawaii where he'll be with Anil Gonsalves, whose helping out there right now. Anil, from the Province of St. Bonaventure (Maharashtra, India), is our Jubilee scholar studying at Baltimore's Loyala University. On February 1st, Roshan flies to Sydney, Australia for a 5-day visit beforre arriving in Port Moresby, SI, PNG,  on February 7th. Our prayers go with him.

Roshan1a Roshan2a


From PNG: Journeys & Bridges

PNG Sisters    Mendi bishop Don Lippert alerted us to the departure of two pillars of ministry in the Diocese. As Frank Yacobi alerted us this month, Sr. Lukas & Sr. Gaudentia are returning to Switzerland after 50 years of selfless service there. Sr. Gaudentia is "Mother" of Catholic Health Services, and Sr. Lukas had been a dedicated educator, formator & pastoral worker. Don wrote: "It will take years and years for us to forget both of you for the great things that you have done. You are leaving big vacuums in our Diocese. None will fill those vacuums. Your simplicity, kindness, humility and love for God and His people have been a great example to us. May God bless both of you and keep you in good health. Safe journey back to your beautiful country, Switzerland."

PNG SistersLippert

    It's safe to say, given the context of the next story, that they've been great bridge-builders in bringing the Gospel and building communities of care and compassion in their 5 decades of ministry.

    Meanwhile friar-archbishop Steve Reichart wrote of the collapse of an important bridge to Madang. On Friday, January 5th, he posted: "This morning a section of the SP Bridge over the Banap River on the North Coast Road collapsed under the weight of a flatbed truck carrying a large excavator headed for Bogia. No one was injured and the truck with its cargo is clinging to the bridge and can possibly be saved. Won't be easy though as you can see.

PNG Bridge1a PNG BridgeA

    "Br. Michael Thom, Br. Mathias [Dua] and Br. Thomas [Choi] were on their way to Madang and Malala to stay a few days with Fr. Jerome (Korean Mission Society). Just before they arrived, the bridge, pictured below, collapsed. Local people have quickly come forward to provide passage across the river to make a little money and provide an essential service. Never a dull moment here. Many vehicles are stuck on the wrong side of this bridge and will probably have to wait a long time for the brige to be rebuilt. Disaster for everyone living on the North Coast Road. Meanwhile local people are providing ferry service by canoe for K4 [$1.25] per person."

    You can see an article on the incident here, blaming the collapse on the government's Department of Works. "Since the collapse of the bridge," according to One PNG, "the traveling public, especially those from Bogia, parts of Sumkar and Middle Ramu, and Angoram in East Sepik who frequent Madang town to sell betelnut, have been paying extra money to cross the Surumarang Bridge with their loads."

Michael Thom posted these photos and captions of their "Perfect Joy" moment:
"All the boys get on a dingy.  The bridge to Malala is broken now.”

MichaelThom Crossing 01 08


"Br. Thomas Choi chewing betelnet at the Walium market.  Bad boy!”

PNG Choi WallumMarket

Martin Luther King "Service Day" in Kensington

MLK Day    Martin Luther King Day has become known as a "day of service," to which our former presidents witnessed during their terms of office. The MLK event in Philadelphia was sponsored by the Office for Black Catholics of the Archdiocese, promoted by our own Richard Owens. Three high schools were involved in the day of service, and the Office selected the Capuchin Evangelization Center as one of the volunteer sites. Our friars at the Padre Pio Center in Kensington (Philly),  Andrew McCarty and Ross Henley, were joined by the students of Cardinal O'Hara High School's Community Service Corps on Monday's rememberance. They served a meal and prayed with "neighbors in the street." Andrew accompanied the photos with this: "It was a powerful experience! Credit to Charlie Wieners, moderator of the Community Service Corps, for the photos."

    In the photos, we see Andew leading the prayer before the meal, a back-sided view of Ross as they loaded the vans for transport and members of the corps serving the meal as they gathered prayer intentions from the men and women they encountered.




MLKDay0a MLKDay0

Herman in the news

    The St. Fidelis Alumni pages alerted followers to two events that took place on the property of Summit Academy, the location of former St. Fidelis HS & College.  The first was a fire in the "welding shop behind the academy" during the evening of New Year's Day.


    It was reported by the Butler Eagle, and to most alumni checking in, it appears to be the former workshop of our beloved confrere Sigmund Dengg (+1996) and his cohorts. I'm fairly sure I once saw a cow being slaughtered in that building, but memories are not always reliable. In any case, another alumnus was prompted to post memories of Sigmund's gang from a yearbook of the early '70s.

HermanSigmundWorkers HermanWorkers

   Within a week (January 7), former friar Jim Gutowski alerted the group that Summit Academy was back in the news because of a truck which had gotten stuck in the pond owned by the Academy. Of course, that's "The Pond," to many of us. The driver, from the Herman area, said that "he and a couple friends parked in the lot and were going to walk over to the pavilion on the other side of the pond [i.e., The Pavilion], when he pulled too far forward and the front wheels of his GMC Sierra broke through the ice." The Butler Eagle reported that "after about two hours Sunday morning, two tow trucks from Sarver Automotive managed to get the vehicle free. State police said he faces a traffic citation, and a hefty tow bill, for the incident."


Royal Families

    A number of photos have been posted which would be of interest to many of you, especially if you're not on Facebook and missed them.

    Orlando Reyes (Harrisburg), Urbano Vázquez (DC) and Manuel Avilés (PR's Centro Capuchino) posted pictures of their Epiphany "Kings Day" - La Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Magos. In fact, Orlando had quite a few of them.

Kings 01 CentroPR 3Kings Kings 02 Urbano 3Kings
The kings at Centro Capuchino (l) and in DC (r)

Kings 03 Orlando 3Kings2 Kings 04 Orlando 3Kings3

Kings 05 Orlando 3Kings4 Kings 06 Orlando 3Kings5
The clusters of Kings in Harrisburg

        Keon Tu spent time during the holidays with his mom, Teresa, and posted a selfie with her on New Year's Day with "Greetings from St. Ann's Church and may God bless you and family a peaceful and joyful 2018!" A few days later (January 4th), he also posted a picture of him and his mom during a visit with affiliate Martha Novelly, celebrating her lowering indication numbers as she and her body continue to struggle with cancer. "As you see in the attached picture," Keon wrote, "our Scientist Martha loves to do data analysis. She drew a comparison diagram of CA-125 (Ovarian Cancer Tumor Markers)." We're all for the lower numbers' graph, Martha, and continue to keep you in our hearts and prayers.

Keon Mom Keon Mom Martha 

    Saúl Soriano got some lovely shots with his (expanding) family during the holidays. He had a lovely caption to one of the shots: "Family: where life begins and love never ends."

SaulSoriano family SaulSoriano friend

    Phil Bernier sent along a photo of the friars gathered with Mark Schenk and the family of  Novice Mike Herlihy who were visiting during the Christmas season. Phil referred to a pointed comment that accompanied the last group picture of the novices: "Look Petch.... no church doors! This photo was actually not taken outside the chapel doors." Progress, Phil! Let's keep going, because I do sense a "chapel" theme here . . .

NovitiateChristmas Herlihy2a

NovitiateChristmas Herlihy

    The novices & staff gathered with the Conventual and OFM counterparts for their Epiphany celebration . . .


     In Philly, Matthew Palkowski blessed a house with Andrew and Ross.

Pio HouseBlessing0w Pio HouseBlessing2w

Pio HouseBlessing

. . . and Ross also spent some time with the Henley family during the season.

HenleyFamilyThe Henley clan: John, Rachel, Zachary Everett, Ross, Debbie, David, Paul and Kristen (Henley) Everett

How's your skulk doing?

SKULKofFRIARS Chaucer2    A confrere posted this article from a book entitled Unkindness of Ravens: A Book of Collective Nouns, by Chloe Rhodes. The entry had to do with a collective word used for a group or cluster of friars in the middle ages. With the title of "A Skulk of friars," here's a brief excerpt:

    "Friars were roaming priests who had no monastery, but who could nonetheless administer the sacraments including baptism, matrimony, Holy Communion, the hearing of confession and granting of penance . . . Popular attitudes towards friars are revealed in Chaucer's characterization of Hubert the Friar in his Canterbury Tales. He describes him as a lecherous rogue, spending more time with women than with the sick or needy. "In towns he knew the taverns, every one / And every good host and each barmaid too / Better than begging lepers, these he knew.

    "[Friars] share a gSKULKofFRIARS Chaucerroup name with foxes and thieves (a "skulk"), and as Chaucer suggests, many were simply tricksters using the cloak of religion to con people into giving them money. The fact that they were not attached to a monastery or church probably added to the appropriateness of the word ‘skulk’ since they had to loiter in places where they could most readily take advantage of the guilty consciences in need of absolution."

    Oh well, perceptions are everything . . .

Ainsi Soient-Ils - Our name in vain . . .

Churchmen1a    There's a TV series being promoted by Netflix which may be creating some confusion for viewers and maybe some of your parishioners. The series offers a number of seasons of the French TV drama entited "Ainsi soient-ils." The title is a play on the phrase often used for "Amen" in French (Ainsi soit-il -- literally translated as "so be it," or "may it be so"). In the series' plural rendering, it is translated "So be they" or "So may they be," a clever play on words.
    The drama is about "five young men from very different backgrounds and with different motivations for The Churchmen header 2leaving the lives they’ve known in order to train for the priesthood at Paris’ historic Capuchin Seminary." Well, from what I understand, there's no Capuchin to be seen, and the name, "The Capuchin Seminary," is a fictional creation where the seminarians of the Paris Archdiocese study for the priesthood. Other religious Orders and their seminaries have been known similarly in Europe (think "Greyfriars Hall") whether friars or monks actually have a presence there any longer or not.
    Who knows what it will do for our public relations (I haven't seen it)?  Here's the promo for the series. It's called The Churchmen in English, by the way - a lot less creative, IMHO . . . . From what I understand, there is never a Capuchin or a Capuchin habit sighted. 'Talk about taking "our name in vain!" But it may be a blessing that no habits appear.

The Annals: Revisiting 1976

    I arrived at St. Conrad's this month and have been acclimatizing myself and catching up on projects that have been on the back burner. In the meantime, I'm finding it a blessing to have a complete collection of our Provincial Annals in the dining room. In the next few NewsNotes, I thought I'd share with you things that may pique your interest and can give us a "peek" into the lives of our friars' chronicled past.

    This time around, I'm posting a colloquy on the "Pastor-Associate Relationship" which took place in February 1976. The meeting attempted to address tensions of pastors and their young confreres in the midst of a widening and, for some, painful "generational gap." It appears as though tensions between the young and the old were escalating, and there was a felt need for dialogue.

father depaul     In the presentations, you'll be able to see this reflection of Pastor DePaul Ripko (+2016): "We were told in formation, 'The first five years, keep your ears open and your mouth shut.' I think that’s very good advice. You can learn a lot from older men. They may not have the knowledge at the tip of their fingers, but they have experience."

    And you'll read legendary pastor, Lawrence Wiest (+1992) lament: "I’m beginning to be suspicious that our training is prejudicial to pastors and even the priesthood. That may sound like a pretty wild statement. But I think there isn’t the proper respect for the priesthood instilled in these young men. It was instilled in us . . . Someone said to me recently, 'When you go to Washington, you’ll notice a big change in the young men being turned out nowadays.' That’s an understatement if I ever heard one."

    Of course, young "associates" like our brothers Lou Petruha and Jonathan Williams get their chance for rebuttal and clarification (sorry, Lou and Jonathan - it's public record? But you both did a great job!). You can read and/or download the PDF of a unique, and difficult, "Parishmen's Meeting." Happy reading . . . and for those interested in films instead, there's always the 1980 play/1984 movie  . . . .


NewsNotes: December 31, 2017


Br. Mauro Jöhri's Christmas Greeting 2017

    Have you seen the General Minister's Christmas Greeting to us? Here's the Video from the Curia Website - you should be able to see the Subtitles for the English Translation. If the subtitles don't appear, check the settings in the bottom right (SettingsSymbol).

Roshan Celebrates with Childhood Classmates

    On December 17, Roshan Anthonypillai got a chance to visit in Toronto Canada, where he met a "few classmates at St. Peter’s and St. Patrick’s Colleges" there. Roshan also had the opportunity to celebrate a Mass for Children at our Lady of Good Health, a Tamil parish in Toronto, in the afternoon. Soon after the Mass, all "batch mates" and SPC "old boys" had a small gathering at the church hall.

Roshan2 Roshan1a

 Roshan3  Roshan4

    Roshan's commissioning for ministry in PNG will happen this Friday at the Evening Prayer that begins our Provincial Christmas gathering.

Padre Pio Center's Christmas Extravaganza


     Below is a Youtube video showing highlights from the Christmas Extravaganza we mentioned in the last NewsNotes. It took place on December 3rd in the Frankfort section of Philly.  Andrew McCarty reports that "it was a tremendous, Spirit-filled day, with food, carols, and activities.  The turnout, despite the snow (about 75 people throughout the day), was "tremendous," as was the feedback from  attendees.  It was the first-time that some had been inside a "church" in years, and it was also a reunion, of sorts, for neighbors who had fallen out of touch. Andrew noted: "All the food was donated by various people in the community, and our new youth group made decorations and the gingerbread cookies which children decorated.  God is good!" Thanks to Ross and his helpmates, you can sing along . . .

Padre Pio Center Honors "Day of the Homeless"

    Phil Geliebter, the OFS Episcopal Deacon who ministers to the people of Frankford in Philly (in the 'selfie' in the previous account), shared a video of the Philadelphia's commemoration Homeless Memorial Day, "remembering your neighbors who have died homeless in the past year. [It] takes place each year on the longest night of the year." Philly's even happened in Thomas Plaine Plaza, and accompanying the video, Phil noted "Blair Jordan, my Franciscan Brothers Ross Henley, Andrew McCarty and I attended the 2017 service this evening. And Br. Andrew even got interviewed by KYW News radio! . . . It struck us as they read aloud the names of those that died in the last year that there were many listed as 'unknown.' No one should die homeless, alone and unknown. Lord, have mercy and move us to action." Here's the direct link if you don't see it below. If you are not a member, just click on "not now" when they ask you to sign in.

Homeless Memorial Day necrology for the past year.

Posted by Phil Geliebter on Thursday, December 21, 2017

St. Ambrose Continues to Make Disciples

     In early December, St. Ambrose had another session of their series on Discipleship. Pastor Paul Zabrowski headed this one. Entitled "Saints and Sinners," Paul outlined the role of nature and grace in our universal call to holiness. The sessions have been well attended, and continued reaction from participants is positive.

 AMB Disciple01  AMB Disciple0o

AMB Disciple02  AMB Disciple04

Christmas Moments

    There are a few "christmasy" things that happened in December, and these are among the things I was able to find:

    Bob Toomey's 75th Birthday was celebrated with  due festivities on December 13th in Cleveland. In the group photo, you'll see Brian Stacy, Bridget McIntyre, Bob, Cap Corps' Sam Braun ('15-'16) and Rachel Kroner '17-'18, along with Chad Stacy (Cap Corps director Margaret McIntyre's husband - no relation to Brian?) and CapCorps' Andrew Markus ('17-'18) in the front row. They had dinner at the home of Margaret's mom, followed by their Christmas carol sing-along.

XMAS 03 Toomey75a1  XMAS 04 Toomey75c1

    Two of our friaries published photos of the Christmas Cards . . . (gotta love how Cap College's card had to be redone to photoshop missing friars into the mix) . . .

XMAS 01 PadrePioFriary

XMAS 02 CapCollege cARD2

XMAS 02 CapCollege cARD

    . . . St. Conrad Friary in Allison Park, PA, celebrated their Christmas get-together, and Francisco Lopez bid a fond and grateful farewell for his six-month residency before returning to Capuchin College in January.


LOPEZ 03 03 LOPEZXMS Friary  LOPEZ 04 04 LOPEZXMS Mangiatoia

LOPEZ 11 11 LOPEZXMS RyanCubera LOPEZ 10 10 LOPEZXMS Yacobi

The Provincial Staff at St. Conrad's had their own festive Dinner . . .

LOPEZ 08 08 LOPEZXMS ProvincialOfficeDinner

    Though not entirely "christmasy," Francisco did give us our first glimpse of the "new" SMA offices on Butler Street . . . Despite the street reflection, the window dispays are striking . . .

SMA 01

SMA 02  SMA 03

SMA 05     SMA 04

Ray Ronan and Bill Graham both ended up with "moments,"
and one of them got to pose with Santa . . .

Santa with bray in kumin1  SeanKellerWithBillGraham

    Mike Joyce's mom was able to spend some time with her grandchildren at Christmas: "Christmas came early for my mother in the gift of a surprise visit from her three great-grandsons (r-l): William, Michael and Patrick. Not bearing gold, frankincense or myrrh, they gave her much joy, excitement and happiness as they attended the home’s holiday party and passed out cake to the residents." And Mike changed his profile picture, though I can't honestly know how to caption this one . . .

XMAS 06 JoyceMom Grandkids  XMAS 05 Joyce Candles

    Mark Pattock posted a photo of his children's Mass for Christmas . . .

XMAS 07 Pattock withKids

Puerto Rico's Friars posted some photos of
their "Greccio" celebration at Centro Capuchino . . .

PR Greccio PR Greccio3

PR Greccio2

    . . . and shared their Christmas greeting on Facebook . . . .


¡Feliz Navidad!

¡Paz y Bien! Los Frailes Capuchinos les deseamos una... #FelizNavidad2017 #YoSoyCapuchino

Posted by YoSoyCapuchino on Sunday, December 24, 2017
Direct link to Facebook if you don't see it above .
Again, if you are not a member, just click on "not now"
when they ask you to sign in.

    A Video of Kip Ledger's "Shepherd's Carol" appeared online, thanks to a man named Charles Sackett. Kip recorded the song which is included in the album Capuchin: Folds of Time. It's lovely, and it's great to know it got a wider audience through the Facebook post. If you've never heard it, here's the video. The MP3 file is available on request . . . .

The Christmas Season is here, the True Story of Christmas by Brother Kip Ledger.

Posted by Charles Sackett on Saturday, December 16, 2017
Direct link to Facebook if you don't see it above.
Again, if you are not a member, just click on "not now"
when they ask you to sign in.

SGRPope Francis: Future and Past Gems

    Vatican spokesman Greg Burke announced the pastoral visit of Pope Francis on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Padre Pio's experience of the stigmata and the 50th anniverary of his death in 2018. The Pope will travel to Pietrelcina and to San Giovanni Rotondo on March 17, 2018. He'll make a pastoral visit to Pietrelcina (Benevento), his family home, and then the Holy Father will go to San Giovanni Rotondo to venerate the tomb of one of the ‘Icons of Mercy' and model confessors of Jubilee Year.


    We started with a greeting from our Minister General, but we'll frame things with the Holy Father. We're not sure you had the opportunity to view the Holy Father's TED Talk this year. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is the non-profit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short talks. Having the Pope give one of the talks was unprecedented. The Pope reminds us that none of us is an autonomous and independent ‘I’: “We can only build the future by standing together, including everyone.” Have a blessed New Year . . .


    These final photos are just some that struck me in the last few weeks. They were posted, at one time or another, by one of our brothers. My favorite is the first: a painting by Henry Owassa Tanner. It depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary teaching her Son, Jesus, the Scriptures. May 2018 be a year where we too can cherish the Word made Flesh, and those who've allowed us to experience Him.

XMAS 14 MaryTeachingJesusSS XMAS 13 ChristmasNativity

XMAS 11 NativityPhotoRahn XMAS 12 JohnEvangelist

NewsNotes: December 2, 2017

PRRelief01Lending Hands and Voices
to our brothers in Puerto Rico

    Provincial Minister Tom Betz was recently in Puerto Rico to visit the friars and to enourage them in their work for the people of the island. These are his recollections:

    When I arrived in San Juan I could immediately see some damage but not much.  And when I went to Old San Juan and saw the bars and restaurants open and the cruise ships in the harbor I wondered if the hurricane damage was as bad as we have been told.  There are places where the damage is minimal. There are some places with electricity as before.  But as I traveled throughout the island, I saw terrible damage and I wonder how Puerto Rico will ever recover.

PRRelief04    Everywhere there are downed power lines and fallen telephone and electric poles.  The majority of the island is still without power and there is no end in sight.  Many people do not have water.  Everywhere there are crews working on the power lines but the extent of the damage is staggering. It will take many more months before power is restored to the entire island.

    The hurricane's high winds destroyed many roofs.  I saw blue tarps covering lots of damaged roofs.  But from what I saw, there was more damage from flooding than from high winds.  In the Utuado and Aguada areas (where we Capuchins staff parishes) there was much flooding.

PRRelief15    I am so proud of what the friars are doing to help the people.  In Aguada, Ponce and Utuado the friars and parish volunteers are going to every house to take a census of need.  Then volunteers from the parishes deliver food, water, lanterns, tarps to cover roofs. The parishes sponsor medical clinics and hot meals.  Utuado is a vast area with many hidden roads winding through the mountains and the church representatives visit every home. The visits are to every home, not just church members.  There are follow up visits to assure that needs are being met.

PRRelief13     The friars receive food, water and other supplies from Caritas (Catholic Charities) and many other aid agencies. Some food, tarps, lanterns and other supplies have been purchased from money given by the Province's benefactors, especially through the Seraphic Mass Association.

    Many homes were damaged by water and many people lost all of their furniture--beds, chairs, couches, stoves, refrigerators.  The friars plan to buy some furniture to help people return to their homes when electrical power is restored.  I visited the homes of elderly people living alone who don't have one item of furniture undamaged in their homes.  FEMA offers only loans and many of the poor elderly can't repay loans so they can't get help.  The purchase of household furniture will be one of the major uses of the Province's donations.

    The hard work of the friars and the parishioners is amazing.  I am pleased that we have been able to offer financial help because of our benefactors.

PRRelief03 PRRelief02

PRRelief05 PRRelief07

PRRelief08 PRRelief09 PRRelief10

PRRelief11 PRRelief06__________________________

     There are two short videos made for "giving Tuesday" by Tom (in English) and by our Cardinal Sean O'Malley (in Spanish) which you may want to see here:


Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2017 Had a Dream

RobertoColonOrtiz MissUniverse      Also from Puerto Rico is the meeting of Roberto Colón Ortiz with Danna Hernandez (left), who competed in the recent Miss Universe pageant as Miss Puerto Rico. The website introducing Danna cites that she "has been working tirelessly on her health and wellbeing initiative by visiting schools around the island after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. She has put all her efforts towards recovery missions with the Red Cross, of which she is an active member."  

RobertoColonOrtiz MissUniverse2      Roberto posted this pic of Danna with the caption "Ahhhh no. Claro que una pic con la MUPR 2017... Éxito hoy y a traer la corona..." as he wished her well in the competition. I was impressed with her message to the people of her homeland:

     "I want to thank you for the life that allowed me to get here, grateful always for my family that dreamed the dream with me, for a working team that became family - and for my fellow Puerto Ricans who already made me feel like its queen. [It was they] who gave me the possibility to dream and visualize my goals. We have the ability to make [our dreams] a reality if we believe in them. Tonight I leave Puerto Rico in the hands of God the Father, and I dedicate [this moment] to you. I'm ready!"


    Finally, as we announced previously, José David Maldonado was ordained by our brother Cardinal Sean on November 25th. We received some shots from the ordination to share . . .

OrdntnMaldonado1 OrdntnMaldonado3 OrdntnMaldonado4





Brothers' Think Tank Meets


    Above is a group photo from the Brothers' Think Tank which met at Daylesford Abbey, outside of Philadelphia , PA, on November 29-30. John Pavlik, through the CMSM, spearheaded this venture beginning in 2012 to promote the vocation of a Religious Brother. This was their 11th meeting since 2012.

    The original idea of celebrating a Year of Consecrated Life came from this committee, as well as the celebration of Religious Brothers Day on May 1, which has been added to the church calendar here in the USA. The proposal for the celebration was submitted in the Year of Consecrated Life by John Pavlik to two Cardinals, who submitted it to the Holy Father.

RBC    Last year, you may remember, the Brothers Think Tank held it's first symposium at Notre Dame University, which was a huge success and now plans are being made for the next symposium some time after 2020. The committee also drafted a document on the Formation of Religious Brothers. This is not a mandatory document like the PPF, but gives mixed communities a template with which they can adapt to better aid them in their training programs for Brothers which, with the changing roles of Religious Brothers, can be challenging. This document can be attained from CMSM and will soon be available through the RFC (Religious Formation Conference) and the NRVC (National Religious Vocation Conference). The two Sisters in the photo represent both these conferences.

Statistics Galore for 2016

StatsCover     On November 30, the General Curia published the status of our Capuchin Franciscan fraternity for the year 2016. There is a seeming maze of data which has been admirably presented thanks to our brother Damian Pereira of the Tamil Nadu Province who spearheads StatsChartthe office of Statistics for the Order. As Damian writes: "This statistical overview of the Order offers us a glimpse of some of the trends we are experiencing. Numbers do not tell the whole story, but they can sometimes help us understand some of the situations that influence the decisions of the General Council."

    If you have patience, you can sit through this "silent video" made from a Power Point presentation. But, I've made a PDF of the following presentation here where you can see the graphs and notes that accompany the video for quicker reading. The commentary that accompanies the slides is in this file. The comments are insightful and can provide some good dinner table discussions.

    The raw data for 2016 without graphs, can be viewed here.


Sanctoral1New Capuchin Sanctoral

    You may also want to check out the introduction of a new publication of the Capuchin Sanctoral, an updated collection of the lives of our Capuchin Saints and Blesseds. The book, to the best of my knowledge, is only in Italian, but they have some great artwork that's being shared on the website announcing the book's publication.



Blessed Solanus Redux

Baltimore2    On Sunday, November 26, the Archdiocese of Baltimore officially celebrated and honored the life and holiness of our brother Solanus Casey in a Mass celebrated at our own St. Ambrose Parish with Archbishop William Lori as presider. Baltimore's Catholic Review published an article on the event here.

    The paper published these three photos taken by the author of the article, Emily Rosenthal, of the Review staff. You can see the women of the Cameroonian Soldality of the Blessed Virgin participating in the Gospel procession  (below right).

      Also (below left), this is not a picture of the newest and youngest friar of the Province. Gerald Brown, 17, a parishioner of Baltimore1St. Ambrose from Randallstown, is pictured here enacting a dramatization of Father Solanus’ life. Gerald researched, wrote and performed the dramatization. He's wearing Roman Kozacheson's habit - it fit him perfectly. Paul Zaborowski, pastor, had worked with Gerald in the development of the drama which took place during the Mass, Baltimore3 Gregand it's reported that there were gasps in the congregation as Gerald walked down the aisle in silence to mount the pulpit. His mother, on seeing Gerald in the Capuchin habit, broke into tears. Hopefully, they were tears of joy?

    Meanwhile, on November 19, prior to the event, Paul was interviewed on the Archdiocesan radio program hosted by WCBM AM Radio 680. The interview can be heard on SoundCloud here or below. The great takeaway quote? For my money, it's "This is Capuchin. This is what we do."


SolanusDetroitNews    The Province of St. Joseph has published a special commemorative edition of their newsletter, re:CAP , to remember the fraternal bonds celebrated at the Beatification.

    AND, for those still reading, the homily by Cardinal Angelo Amato from the celebration is online at Salt and Light TV's website.

The Franciscan Moment
with Pope Francis Redux

    These photos were also published on the Order's website -- they'll probably appear in the next BICI, but just in case, these are from the meeting with Pope Francis in November.

OFM PFrancis01OFM PFrancis02

OFM PFrancis03 OFM PFrancis04

OFM PFrancis05 OFM PFrancis06

OFM PFrancis07 OFM PFrancis08

Dennis Reports in . . .

    . . . from Egypt. There were no captions supplied, but we assume that Dennis Klemash was visiting Egypt and not expelled from Saudi Arabia. Still, it could be tough telling Egypt from Saudi Arabia except for the background - the pyramids behind you are real and not fake, right, Dennis?

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ElSalvadorMartyrs    As re:Caps reminded us, today we too remember our confreres who are natives of El Salvador, as well as our brother priests working in El Salvador from the Cleveland Diocese, pausing to remember the heroic women martyred on this day 37 years ago. Many Borromeo alumni priests have spent considerable years of their own ministries among the people of El Salvador. On December 2, 1980, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, was beaten, raped, and murdered along with three fellow missionaries — Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and laywoman Jean Donovan — by members of the military of El Salvador.

    The four churchwomen were savagely brutalized and killed for spreading the good news and teaching people to read and pray. Guardsmen stopped the four women's vehicle after they left the airport in Managua, Nicaragua. They were taken to a relatively isolated spot where they were beaten, raped and murdered by the soldiers. Let's remember these women in the hope that their legacy will inspire all of us to work for those who suffer persecution and whose governments are so threatened by the freedom and goodness that the truth of the Gospel dares to announce. At the same time, we rejoice in the courage of these four great women who were undaunted in their love for the people. Like Bl. Stanley Rother, whose death followed their deaths within seven months, their dedication would not allow threats and intimidation to stifle that love. Dorothy, Ita, Maura and Jean, pray for us . . .

     Finally, we have a few more shots of the St. Augustine Plaza monument. It was bigger than I thought and more than a plaque . . . no explanations were sent with the photos, but it looks quite impressive . . .





NewsNotes: December 17, 2017

Congratulations to Roshan & Reynaldo

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    From Matt's collection in the Provincial Gallery, it appears that the Ordination of Roshan Anthonypillai and Reynaldo Frías-Santana went off without a hitch. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, PA, was the ordaining prelate. Here are some other photos posted on Facebookof the signing of the documents with our Provincial Minster in the St. Augustine Friary chapel and, on the following day, of the friars before/after their "first Masses," celebrated by Roshan at the home of the Passionist Nuns in Carrick (Pittsburgh), PA, and by Reynaldo in Harrisburg, PA.

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     Both men will be headed to our Custodies: Reynaldo will minister in Utuado, PR, to assist one of the areas most damaged by the recent hurricane, and Roshan will be serving in Papua New Guinea.

At the Novitiate in "Not-so-sunny" California

    Puerto Rican friars José Ángel Torres, Minister (Custos), and Ramón Negrón(First Councilor) flew out to California after the Ordinations in Pittsburgh, PA, to visit with Novice Ricardo Tardí-Hernández of the Custody. While there, Ramón took a shot of the friars together.

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PR Flavian0    While at the novitiate, Ramón also took these photos of the funeral of California friar Flavian Welstead (right) which was celebrated on Wednesday, December 13, at Old Mission Santa Ines, in Santa Ynez, CA (why the two are spelled differently, I have no idea).  Flavian was a former Development Director for the Province of Our Lady of the Angels and his last assignment was as parochial vicar to the very busy St. Francis Parish in Burlingame, CA. He will be missed. Flavian, they tell me, was a great practical joker, which explains the stream of toilet paper which decorated his casket throughout the journey from Burlingame to Santa Ynez and to the burial site in the friars' plot on the site of the novitiate property - the toilet paper remained intact.

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    The funeral for Flavian was celebrated without electricity - no lights or mics - at Mission  Santa Ines. A power outage in the region was the culprit. The fires continue to do a lot of damage in the area of Sta. Barbara, and we have some shots from last week of the effects of the "Thomas fire," now ranked the third most severe fire in California's history. The photos show the "ash" that falls onto the cars and the roads when the winds blow from the fire sites and the photo of the sun was taken at 10am in the morning - sadly, there's not a cloud in the sky, and the ability to capture the sun on camera was enabled only by the smoke blocking much of its light.


    On Saturday (16), Phil Bernier updated us with some photos from Santa Barbara, southeast of Santa Ynez, where the fires have been heading: "Strong winds fanned the fire again. One photo is from a shopping plaza in Santa Barbara. When the Starbucks closes, you know things are dicey! The other is from inside of Mission Santa Barbara [the former retreat center for the California OFMs and now the location of their inter-Provincial novitiate program]. The Friars are staying away from the Mission which is closed for the weekend. The Poor Clares down the street left earlier in the week. The latest estimate have the fires burning until January 6 ..Epiphany!! Pray for those in harm's way and for the firefighters."

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Joe  & Mark Pattock & Celtic Thunder

    It's obviously the Christmas season when Herman friars Joe Day and Mark Pattock head down to Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall to catch the group Celtic Thunder singing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra - and take a selfie, to boot. It happened on Tuesday, December 12.

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    Also last week, we notice that the children of St. Joseph Parish in Cabot, PA, celebrated their Christmas pageant in the church. OK, Joe and Mark: which one had more Christmas spirit?

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Padre Pio Prayer Center Hails Lucy in the Dark

    On Wednesday, December 13, a Mass honored St. Lucy and also celebrated the anniversary of the 1981 rebuilding of the St. Joachim worship site which the Pio Center uses for their ministry in the Frankford area of Philly.  From the Facebook video below, you can see that they  made a joyful noise in the bitter cold -- caroling on Church Street, just before snow began to fall.

Philly PioCenter    The video comes from a small, local newspaper called The Frankford Gazette, run by a friend and neighbor, Bob Smiley. On their website, they publish the Mass schedule for St. Joachim's and other important news events and  issues that face the neighborhood. I found some of the local issues to be pretty informative about life in the area.

    We're anxiously awaiting photos from the their Christmas Extravaganza which happened yesterday (Saturday, Dec 16). The sidewalk was shoveled and the hall was decorated. From 11am-3pm. there was food, live music and activities for both children and adults. Thanks to Andrew McCarty for giving us the heads up about the events.


The General Curia's Tech Presence

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he latest BICI you received last week introduced us to many options for content and information on the General website. The website posted all the options for interactions and media here. For those involved in webwork or publications of parish bulletins and the like, you may find useful the newly introduced collection of saints and Capuchin artwork which is up on Google+. It's shared there for all to see, to download and to use. I grabbed a few examples here:

St. Fidelis Sigmaringen and St. Veronica Giuliani

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    Pictures from the Capuchin publication of the Fioretti are also available. This one is St. Anthony of Padua preaching to the fish:


The Saint and the Sultan Video on PBS

SultainSaint2     If you missed the promos on PBS stations (and if you miss PBS in general), you might want to know that on Tuesday, Dec. 26, at 8pm (EST), the network will begin airing a one-hour documentary/action film entitled The Saint and the Sultan. Directed and written by Alex Kronemer, and narrated by Jeremy Irons, the film tells the story of Francis' encounter with the Sultan of Egypt on the battlefields of the Crusades in Damietta. The promo material reads:

    The Crusades resulted in four generations of escalating conflict that was directed at Muslims, Sultan FrancisOfAssisiJews, Orthodox Christians in the East, and eventually other Western Europeans. The conflict seemed to have no end until Francis of Assisi took one of the bravest risks in the history of peacemaking by crossing enemy lines to meet with the Sultan. The Sultan responded with one of the greatest humanitarian acts in the history of warfare by saving the Crusaders from starvation after the flooding of the Nile trapped their army of 50,000. Based on new research and scholarship about that fateful meeting, The Sultan and The Saint tells one of the great, lost stories from history as two men of faith fought against a century of war and distrust in a search for mutual respect and common ground.

    The films webpage also has informative texts on the life of Francis of Assisi and of Al-Malik al-Kamil, the Sultan. I thought you might want to have a new picture of St. Francis for the second decade of the 21st century (right).

    Here's the trailer to the upcoming showing . . .

Is a US-born Secular Franciscan next?

GreeleyIcon     In the Texas Catholic Herald, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, TX, there is an article on Julia Greeley, the American-born Secular Franciscan known as "Denver's Angel of Charity" for her loving and compassionate service. Born into slavery, Julia dedicated her life to the relief of suffering, animated by hter devotion to the Sacred Heart.

GreelleyBurkey     There's a Life Story of this Servant of God online, and you or your OFS community members can also check out our brother Blaine Burkey's book, In Secret Service of the Sacred Heart: The Life and Virtues of Julia Greeley, on sale at Amazon. You can also order it by mail at the Julia Greeley Guild website. Noted iconographer Vivian Imbruglia rendered the the official icon - for an explanation, see this article. 

Don & Colman are
'Where the Missionary Church is Growing'

    On Facebook, our brother bishop Don Lippert shared this post of Thomas Posul, a seminarian for Mendi (?) at the Urbanianum University in Rome, who wrote:

    While Praying with Pope Francis for Peace in South Sudan and the Republic of Congo at the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, I came across this picture in a booklet. The message below reads: "In Papua New Guinea, Bishop Lippert of the Diocese of Mendi (Papua New Guinea), prays to Our Lady that she might bring peace to the region and might help him in the evangelization of the indigenous peoples."


    The headline of the page reads: "There, where the Missionary Church grows, Our Lady is present."

    Also thanks to Don, from a post of November 28, we discovered that our friars of the custody gathered in Mendi for workshop on Non-Violence presented by Sister Rosella Lasi, MFIC . . .

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    . . . and the cyber-connected Ordinary also posted an article on his website entitled "Upper Mendi Shines"-- accompanied by our Colman Studeny to various celebrations in the region, Don recently visited the region with stops in Mogul's Saint Joseph Primary School and for the blessing of the new Saint Patrick Church at the outstation at Nene. Don writes that "Colman came and obviously he was the Superstar.  He is so loved there... and it is obvious that his heart will always be with those folks." From the blog article, he offered this:


    "Fr Colman had served as parish priest of St Joseph Parish for forty-seven years.... yes, that's forty-seven years!  Fr Colman knows everyone, and everyone knows Fr Colman.  Countless people crowded around him to shake his hand and hear his kind voice again.  He encouraged the people to be strong in their faith and told them that Upper Mendi was his home.  It is clear that his heart is with the people whom he served for almost a half century... and the tears in the eyes of men, women and children as he said good-bye is eloquent testimony of their love for him (Fr Colman now serves on the formation team at Padre Pio Capuchin Friary in Madang)."

Memory Lane

    Joe Tuscan was given an original Christmas card of our brother David Dressman (+ 9/24/1994), a former PNG missionary. Dated "Christmas 1972," it has some nice original artwork which David created for the recipient.

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    St. Fidelis alumni Bernie Stock posted his official certificate for having made a Project Probe in 1977. It's hard to know exactly how to describe a "Project Probe" - I guess you had to be there. But, for sure, two of our current friars look about 40 years younger in the photo below. Oh yeah, they were . . .

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    . . . and there followed on the Alumni Facebook page, a series of vintage postcards sent by students from St. Fidelis. The first, I'm told, was sent to our brother Emett Schuler's parents. It doesn't mention who precisely wrote it back in 1956, but the author got "the Spirit of St. Louis in the cereal this morning." All we know is that it was sent to Emett's parent's address, and the news could be considered earthshattering only if you had gone to St. Fidelis.



    The oldest card posted is from 1907 - and note the post office's correction of the address from "Pittsburgh" to "New Derry, PA." Things were less complicated before zip codes? And it looks like the postage was HALF the price of what it would be 50 years later in the previous card. Highway robbery!



This card photo for Christmas
seemed provocative and timely . . .


. . . and the DC Cat of Urbano Vázquez is now, apparently, substituting as Urbano's official Canon, praying the office in the place of the busy parochial vicar.

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NewsNotes: November 25, 2017

BlessedSolanus201701Blessed Solanus Casey:
The Field Hospital in Detroit is open

        On Saturday, November 18, 350+ Capuchin Brothers gathered in Ford Field, Detroit, MI, to witness the fruits of the labors of our brother Solanus Casey, OFM Cap., as 71,000 people came together to celebrate this humble man's holy life and example.  An example that we are called to live today, as Capuchin's and people of faith from every walk of life.  Doing what Solanus did, simple things that have great and lasting impact in lives:  listening, consoling, teaching and accompanying.

BlessedSolanus201712       Many of those present in the city came together on Friday evening for Evening Prayer and appetizers in one of Detroit's Capuchin Soup Kitchens, and then were transported to the other Capuchin Soup Kitchen for dinner. The joyous occasion of Solanus' beatification was made even more joyous by the presence of so many Capuchins.

    Speaking to the assembled friars during Vespers, the General Minister, Mauro Jöhri, spoke of how Solanus Casey modeled the Capuchin charism for us. While he never traveled to a distant land, he embodied the missionary spirit by welcoming and accepting everyone who came to him, in the same way that Jesus welcomed all the sick, the suffering and even sinners. Although this is the first beatification of an American Capuchin, Mauro reminded us, it should not be the last. The Mauro SolanusLetterpath to holiness taken by Solanus is open to all of us, and now that sixty years have passed since his death, it is time for others to follow his lead. Even if we have done nothing up until now, let us begin again, brothers! In Solanus' simple acts, God worked marvelous deeds through him and will keep pouring out his love through generous hands and hearts! Blessed Solanus, pray for us!

    You can read all of the General Minister's letter on the Beatification of our brother Solanus here.

    I've also collected a number of photos from our friars on a separate webpage. You can the slide show on this page.


    There was also an article in USA Today on the event, and they included the following video (you may have to bear a 15 second commercial):

SOLANUS DetroitCapuchins    In the conclusion of the beatification Mass, Detroit's Archbishop Allen Vigneron, had a message for the US Apostolic Nuncio, Christophe Pierre, who was present for the celebration:  "Your Eminence, when next you speak with our beloved Holy Father Pope Francis, please let him know that we are grateful beyond measure that he has judged our beloved Fr. Solanus worthy of the rank of Blessed. Assure His Holiness of our filial affection and loyalty. And tell him that we are committed anew to imitate Blessed Solanus by witnessing to the good news of Christ’s mercy. . . The field hospital of mercy is open here in Detroit!”

    From an article published the week before in the Michigan Catholic, it appears that the hospital has actually been open for quite some time: How the Capuchins continue o serve in Detroit. You might want to check it out.

Celebrating the 175th Anniversary in Herman

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         Congratulations to the men and women of St. Mary Parish in Herman, PA, and to our brothers who are serving the parish led by pastor Ward Stakem and by parochial vicar  Mark Pattock. The parish celebrated its anniversary on Sunday, November 19. The parish's foundation actually pre-dates the establishment HermanAnniv2017 02of the Pittsburgh Diocese. The first settlers in "Summit" traveled to the German St. Peter Parish in Butler for Mass, taking "an entire day with provisions just to get to Mass." A cornerstone for the first church was laid in 1842, and the first resident pastor assigned in 1846. To the surprise of a few, it's reported that there was "endless strife between priests and people," which prompted then Bishop Domenec to offer the parish to the recently arrived Capuchin friars from Bavaria. In fact, the first Capuchin pastor was Matthew Hau, one of our Province's founders. By 1954, with the razing of the century's old building, the present PUGConference05church was dedicated in 1955. The pictures include a shot of Dorothy Schnur (left), the oldest parishioner, who is credited with beginning the famous Lenten Friday fish fries, still an annual undertaking for the community.

    Parishioner Derek Spahn, who related the history of the parish, wrote: "We have a story like no parish in this diocese and it is my hope that that story is never forgotten and will continue to be written. We will continue to pray and rely on each other to face the next chapter in our long history. In the book from the parish’s 100th anniversary it ends with this thought. 'May they, together with all of the other priests and faithful, once associated with St. Mary’s, and now resting with Christ in the sleep of peace in our cemetery or elsewhere, be our advocates at the throne of God for a continuance of His protection and Blessings!' ”

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Postulants at Graymoor, NY

    From Kip Ledger at Padre Pio Friary in Philadelphia: "Here is the group photo of the inter-Franciscan gathering at Graymoor - Presenter Clare D'Auria, OSF, of Aston, PA, was fantastic. She led the candidates on the process of Franciscan Discernment. There were about 70 participants (formandi and formators), in attendance. The next presenter is John Petrikovic, OFM Cap., next November!!!"

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The Cardinal and Moisés

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    More pictures and details have emerged about the Sacred Heart Annual Gala held on Saturday, November 11. Provincial Tom Betz let us know that the new cardinal from El Salvador, Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, also attended. He told the people that, when a new cardinal goes to the Consistory, he takes one priest (and only one) as his companion and secretary.  He chose Moisés for that role, and Moisés was, in fact, his secretary for the Consistory.  He says that he chose Moisés because he reflects what the cardinal believes to be essential in a priest: someone who is utterly committed to the people with a heart for the poor.  Tom wrote that: "His praise of Moisés and of Sacred Heart Parish was effusive and really encouraging." The Cardinal serves as Auxiliary Bishop to the Diocese of San Salvador.

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Looking to the Future Together: Beyond Ite Vos

IteVos2017 01    Over 100 friars from the three branches of the Franciscan First Order converged in a spirit of fraternity and joy at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago on November 4, 2017, to attend “Looking to the Future Together: Beyond Ite Vos.” This Franciscan Study Day was convened at the behest of the OFM English Speaking Conference after Pope Francis urged friars to work together for an “authentic and profound reconciliation” of the three branches of the first Order in the hopes that such unity would renew the power of the spirit of Francis and Clare in the modern world. The day was organized by Friars Joseph Rozansky OFM, Michael Kolodziej OFM Conv., and John Celichowski OFM Cap.

    After a powerful prayer service developed by friars in formation, Friar Dominic Monti OFM (right) began the session with “The IteVos2017 04History and Context of Ite Vos,” placing the papal bull, which formally divided the First Order into the first two separate obediences, into its historical and cultural context. In doing so, he brought to light the common values of fraternity, minority, conversion, and mission that the branches share. This set the stage for “Common Franciscan Values,” during which Friar Regis Armstrong IteVos2017 03OFM Cap. (left), highlighted the ways in which St. Francis of Assisi was open to the revelation of the Lord when dealing with his brothers. Regis also commented on Francis’s use of John 17:11 - “May they be one, as we are one” - in the Early Documents. Then, Friar Jude Winkler OFM Conv. (right below) rounded out the morning with “Common Franciscan Projects,” by raising up some of the inter-obediential work that is already being done in the Order, including IteVos2017 02Franciscans International, the Franciscan Action Network, the consolidation of the Antonionum and Seraphicum in Rome, inter-obediential intentional communities in various countries and coordinated Formation programs in places like California and Zambia.

    While working on the Early Documents, Rege Armstrong came to the realization that what the text taught him about the Franciscan charism was being lived out in the experience of working on the texts with an inter-obediential team. This was also the case during the Ite Vos study day, as Friar John Aherne OFM reports in his article on the US Franciscans Website. "In learning and discussing that which divided us," he writes, "we wound up celebrating that which unites us and put ourselves on the path of even greater unity."

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Christian Housing Had a Beginning

Kuppe0        Frank Yacobi has already sent out the news that a monument was dedicated on the site of St. Augustine Plaze, the premier contruction for Christian Housing Inc. of which Paul Kuppe was the first Executive Director from 1972-1977. You may want to learn more about Christians Housing and its profound effect in the lives of so many in the Pittsburgh area.

Kuppe2    Two Catholic laymen who were friends to the friars, Frank and Edward Schneider, initiated the idea of transforming unused church properties into sites for low-income adult housing. Paul was serving at St. Augustine Parish in Lawrenceville and had an interest in the potential benefits of urban development for the elderly and poor. His MSW from Chicago's Loyola University laid some ground work for his skills which had a strong influence in advancing the idea of parish-sponsored housing. These men quickly gained support from Pittsburgh's Auxiliary Bishop Anthony G. Bosco. Support and confirmation of the timeliness of the idea came through a survey conducted at St. Augustine’s Parish by two Millvale Franciscan Sisters, Coleman Conroy, OSF, and Veronica Marie Phillips, OSF. These six individuals formed Christian Housing, Inc., and their sweat and determination have resulted in the 22 low income high-rise buildings for the elderly in Western PA which Paul mentioned. It would never have happened without them - and a lot of sweating.

International Moments

Pope Francis:
"Be minor. May God keep and nurture your minority."

Mauro Pope    Yesterday, November 23, Pope Francis addressed delegates of the Franciscan family gathered for a private audience in Rome and challenged us to "Be Minor." You can read about the encounter here.In part, he said:

    Today – as we know – this sister and mother [Earth] rebels because she feels mistreated. Faced with the global degradation of the environment, I ask you as sons of the Poverello to engage in dialogue with all creation, giving your voice to praise the Creator, and as Saint Francis did, take particular care over this, overcoming any economic calculation or irrational romanticism. Collaborate with various initiatives for the care of our common home, always remembering the close relationship there is between the poor and the fragility of the planet, between economics, development, care for creation and the option for the poor.
    Dear brothers, I renew Saint Francis’ request: be minor. May God keep and nurture your minority.

Australia Chapter 2017
    Our brother bishop Don Lippert served as President of the recent Provincial Chapter of Australia. From the pictures that emerged from their time together, you can see that Don made his way to the burial site of our Province's Rudolf Blockinger. After he was expelled from China where he was serving as a missionary, he remained with our brothers in Australia, hoping one day to return. As you saw from Frank Yacobi's notice a few weeks ago, Gerard Dempsey was elected as Provincial Minister. Gerard served on the novitiate staff for a number of years, both in Allison Park and in Santa Ynez.

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General Chapter Video and Preparation Committee
    The commission for the planning and execution of our General Chapter in September, 2018, met for the first time in September, and Communications Directory Paweł Teperski has prepared the following video record of the meeting. You may recognize our brother Bobby Barbato of the California Province, former Assisitant Novice Director, who represents the English-speaking world.

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PUGConference02     Tommy Piolata was in Rome the week of November 12 for a three day conference, entitled: "Deus summe cognoscibilis: L'attualità teologica di San Bonaventura." Tommy wrote: "In honor of St. Bonaventure's 800th birthday, some of the Roman colleges organized this international conference. Our very own, Bill Henn, delivered an excellent paper on Bonaventure's ecclesiology. The Lord blessed the conference, to be sure, and I felt blessed to be there. I had the great honor of meeting scholars from around the world, establishing connections, and getting a first hand experience of the Pontificia Università Gregoriana."

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    We're hoping that Tommy had the time to take our brother Bill out to dinner. The Collegio produced a couple of shots from the celebration of Bill's November birthday . . . 

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     Reynaldo Frías wantes to thank the friars for their prayers and support.  As he readies for his ordination in a few weeks, he received his US resident's Green Card. Congratulations, brother!

There are a couple of events coming up . . .

      Our brother José David Maldonado of the Custody of St. John the Baptist will be ordained on Saturday, November 25 (tomorrow or today as some of you read this). He'll be ordained at St. Anthony of Padua Church in San Juan by our brother Cardinal Sean O'Malley. His pictures on Facebook indicate that he's flying high . . .


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     And are you ready for the Borromeo Classic that's coming up next Friday, December 1, at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe. The Saint Mary Seminarians take on the Borromeo Seminarians in a contest which is sure to gain attention. We're not yet sure exactly what the "contest" will involve, but by the looks of the logo, it's a basketball game. We're rooting for Borromeo . . . . aren't we? Admission is free.

     We have a few shots from Thanksgiving pictures in Herman and Harrisburg, PA -- as well as one shot of our brother Carlos Reyes trying to get a Christmas tree into a car?

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And for those who missed it, here is a shot of
a very noticeable empty lot on Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Click the photo for a larger rendering . . .



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Capuchin Franciscan Vocation Office   ♦  Rafael Anguiano-Rodriguez, OFM Cap.  ♦  (888)  2 OFMCAP or (888) 263-6227