Email To a Friend

About to be ordained, three friars are taking

A leap of faith

 

PHOTO BY FRANK JASPER, OFMSaturday is a big day for Roger Lopez, Colin King and Clifford Hennings. BY TONI CASHNELLI

After Saturday, life will never be the same.

And that’s just fine with three young friars who understand the impact of ordination.

June 11 at St. Clement Church, Deacons Clifford Hennings and Roger Lopez will become priests. Colin King will be ordained to the Diaconate. They have shared so much in their journeys as friars, it seems fitting that they share this transformative moment.

For Br. Colin, “There’s a certain amount of the unknown, walking into the future. I don’t quite know what to expect. There’s a lot of excitement, joy.”

Br. Clifford’s year as a deacon has been “very helpful in preparing me for this.” In church, “People presume [I have] a certain authority to solve issues or give answers.” At a young adult retreat he led, “I felt blessed people wanted to have that connection. I shared something with that group you wouldn’t do in any other setting.” Baptisms have been incredible. “I love it. Everybody’s excited to be there and all dressed up.”

Moreover, “They help you learn to be able to manage chaos. You become more comfortable with leadership and presiding.”

Choosing ordinationClifford took a swipe at painting during the walking pilgrimage through Virginia in 2009.

In the past year Br. Roger has noticed “my relationship has changed with the community at church. It’s not better or worse, just different. It’s given me a wonderful opportunity; people open their hearts quicker. I try to go out of my way to find out how they’re doing. What I found is that people responded to that with great affection. It’s powerful but humbling. I realize in those moments I represent the Church.”

Along with excitement, Colin says, “There’s also a certain amount of fear. What does this new expression of Franciscanism mean to me? As a friar, it’s somewhat private. As a deacon or priest, it’s a public reality.”

Ordination was a decision Roger did not take lightly. “When I entered I had an image of priests. Being a Friar Minor clouds everything – what I do, how to spend my time. It really did call me into examining my whole life. I fell in love with the friars and realized this is the life I want to live, fashioned by our minority. With this as the primary lens, priesthood comes out of the lens of minority to serve. It’s a great gift that I can serve as a priest as a Friar Minor. It will enable me to approach people and ministry in a different way because it’s connected with our father, St. Francis. That’s the gift we can give the Church.”

Clifford’s discernment was incremental. “In small steps, I’m getting closer” to the priesthood. A former altar server, “I started the process at 20, working at a burger place while I was in college. I was in formation in my 20s while other friends were getting married and having kids.” Over the years, “I had great formators who encouraged me. That’s very helpful.”

Roger taking a rest break during the walking pilgrimage.Finding their way

In his former life Colin was a special ed teacher. After he joined the friars, “I wondered, what does it mean to be a Franciscan who is a priest? It was really my experience in Jamaica [during his time in the province] that confirmed for me the call to ordination. I kept waiting for a blinding light, a blaring trumpet” to show the way. Instead, “Friars helped me discern,” especially Fr. Jim Bok and Max Langenderfer.

Last year during his CPE training at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Colin sat with patients and families during “some of the most profound moments in their lives” as they experienced healing and reconciliation. “To me that’s very attractive.”

Roger taking a rest break during the walking pilgrimage.“The human connection” is what drew Clifford to serve. “It has to do with relationships: ‘Love one another as I love you,’” whether that leads to a life in retreat ministry or chaplaincy, two appealing options. In July Clifford will become the parochial vicar at St. Monica-St. George Parish & Newman Center. “It’s a good parish. I’ll have a good network of support with the friars in Cincinnati.”

Roger is joining the faculty at Roger Bacon High School. “I felt called to education before I went to Bacon” during his year in the province, he says. “It’s like the artist who has the gift of painting, so they paint. The reality is that God has given me that gift, to be a teacher.”

Colin will prepare for his ordination to the priesthood, scheduled for next summer. And after that, he’ll do what he’s always done. “Trust God. God will let you know. Just keep walking through open doors.”

Adventures in BecomingWe live in a culture of DOING, of accomplishment and achievement by the work of our hands, a style of living that asks the questions, “Where do you work?” and “What is your job?”  Gospel living, on the other hand, moves us to ask the questions, “Who are you?” and “Can we get to know one another?”The privilege of retirement is not merely a monthly check from the Charitable Trust Fund of St. John the Baptist Province and the absence of a parochial, office, or teaching assignment.  It is rather a new adventure into BECOMING who God made us to be without the accompanying anxiety and stress of a corporate agenda and its sometimes aggravating expectations.  It is important to note, I believe, that DOING and BECOMING do not stand in opposition to one another, but rather in contrast, for we live in a both/and world. We find wholeness and health (and holiness) in the balance of these two components of human life.  Again, because of the conditioning by our culture, the DOING seems to be at times an overwhelming force that positions us apart from BEING – from being prayerful, playful, fraternal, and above all from being other-person focused.– Fr. Dennet Jung, OFMfor the Senior Friars Committee 

Pope inspires, encourages priests

FROM TOP: Luis in St. Peter’s Square; Richard and Robert with a visitor from Jamaica; Robert prays a decade of the Rosary with Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella.“Heavens, it was wonderful,” Fr. Robert Seay says of last week’s Jubilee for Priests June 1-3 in Rome. “It was a revelation to me. I saw the universality of the Church.”

Robert, Frs. Don Miller, Luis Aponte-Merced and Richard Goodin joined more than 6,000 priests and seminarians at the three-day gathering inspired by the Jubilee Year of Mercy. For Luis, “It was a moving and wonderful experience sharing with priests from all over the world and receiving the reflections on mercy from Pope Francis and concelebrating with him.”

Richard represented English-speaking American priests in greeting the Pope when he celebrated Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart in St. Peter’s Square. Friday night, Robert helped close the event by praying a decade of the Rosary.

A highlight for all was the retreat for priests the Pope preached at the Papal Basilicas of Rome, appearing in person at each basilica at some point while his meditations were simulcast at the other venues. As Don wrote on Facebook, “4:00 p.m. was our turn to host the Pope in person [at St. Paul Outside the Walls]. Needless to say, the place erupted when he walked in. Now these are all priests and seminarians from around the world and we behaved like a bunch of kids at a rock concert. He is a magnetic figure.”

 

  Healthy aging doesn’t just happenTry these five healthy aging tips:1. Get a checkup regularly with blood work to talk to your doctor about nutrients that your body may be lacking, such as Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin B12.2. Create a plan how you will improve your diet and get what is recommended.  It is a good idea to take omega-3 fatty acids while following a healthy diet.3. Focus on can, NOT cannot, and fill your plate with foods that will help you meet your nutritional goal instead of restricting yourself.  Challenge yourself to make every bite packed with nutrients.4. Mind the gaps of nutrition by supplementing with a multivitamin and minerals along with the omega-3 fatty acids if you feel you aren’t getting the required nutrition.5. Make food fun by eating a variety of healthy foods.  For those who live near a farmer’s market, take a nice walk and fill your basket with colorful fruits and vegetables that you can snack on and enjoy between meals. Go ahead and try something new on your plate!– Michelle Viacava, RN

California welcomes OFM 49ersPHOTOS BY CHARLES TALLEY, OFMLeft, Loren and Richard: Sun got in their eyes; center, Mingling at San Damiano; right, Bill Farris in Danville.(Thanks to Charles Talley, Communications Director for St. Barbara Province, who provided this briefing and photos on the FIT gathering in Danville, Calif.)Seven friars from each of the seven Franciscan (OFM) provinces in the United States (hereafter known as the OFM 49ers) are gathering for an historic interprovincial meeting June 6-9 at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, Calif.  Hosted by the Saint Barbara Province, this is the first of four such meetings to be held this summer as part of the nationwide process headed by FIT (Franciscan Interprovincial Team), aimed at inspiring interprovincial collaboration and cooperation.  The meetings are intended to help friars to get to know each other better on a personal level and to share their experiences, dreams, and hopes for Franciscan life.  Upcoming meetings will be held in Albuquerque, Chicago, and at Siena College, New York.  Welcome, Brothers!The SJB representatives are:June 6-9, Danville, Calif.:Michael Charron, OFM; Loren Connell, OFM; David Crank, OFM; Bill Farris, OFM; Richard Goodin, OFM; Joe Hund, OFM; Phil Robinette, OFMJune 13-16, Loudonville, N.Y.:Jerry Beetz, OFM; Bob Bruno, OFM; Al Hirt, OFM;  Al Mascia, OFM; Pat McCloskey, OFM; Scott Obrecht, OFMJune 20-23, Albuquerque, N.M.:Henry Beck, OFM; Norbert Bertram, OFM; Bruce Hausfeld, OFM; Bryant Hausfeld, OFM; Carl Langenderfer, OFM; Chris Meyer, OFM; Larry Zurek, OFMJuly 18-21, Chicago, Ill.:Kenn Beetz, OFM; Jim Bok, OFM ; Mark Gehret, OFM; Mark Hudak, OFM; David Kohut, OFM; Gene Mayer, OFM 

PHOTO BY AL MASCIA, OFMVisiting Detroit, Pakistani friars Gul Shahzad and David Masih helped with outreach.

  • During their stay at Duns Scotus Friary in Berkley, Mich., Pakistani friars David Masih and Gul Shahzad hit the road in Song and Spirit’s Care’avan, dishing out soup in downtown Detroit. Back in Cincinnati, they will visit area ministries before attending Saturday’s ordination.
  • Congratulations to the staff of St. Anthony Messenger magazine, which picked up nine awards from the Catholic Press Association – including four first places – June 3 at the 2016 Catholic Media Conference in St. Louis, Mo. Read more at: Messenger. Franciscan Media also brought home 14 awards in CPA’s book contest.
  • In the June edition of the Catholic Telegraph, Roger Bacon grad Sam Hoefling said his high school experience “basically formed who I am today,” particularly the values instilled by the friars. (See Catholic Telegraph.) The class of 2016: “You have a friend in St. Francis.”Members of RB’s Class of 2016 gathered for photos on Friday, June 3, before the 88th Commencement Ceremony. The caption for the Facebook photo reads: “Remember, don’t be afraid to sail into the unknown, you have a friend in St. Francis, and always be ‘humble and kind.’”
  • Saturday, Oct. 15, all Religious marking a jubilee in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are invited to a celebration (11 a.m. Mass/lunch) at the Cincinnati Notre Dame motherhouse. “Invitations from AOC will come in August, but if anyone wants to put it on their calendar and go, please let me know,” Jeff Scheeler says.
  • Last weekend a neighboring parish paid tribute to the departing friars of St. Mary’s in Bloomington, Ill. The bulletin of Epiphany Catholic Church featured a photo of Pastor Ric Schneider and the note, “Thank you, Franciscan brothers, for your exuberant service and witness!” Inside were photos of Ric, Fr. Neri Greskoviak, Br. Kevin Duckson, a recap of the May 29 going-away celebration for the friars of St. Mary’s and a piece on the origins of the Franciscan Order. June 16 Ric returns to Bloomington to be honored as one of 2016’s History Makers by the McLean County Museum of History at its annual fund-raising gala.

 

Pastor Ric Schneider: There were tears and hugs.For 135 years, since 1881, 128 friars have lived or ministered at St. Mary’s Parish in Bloomington, Ill.  (Stop a minute, and reread those numbers.)   By all accounts, those are astonishing statistics! The numbers only hint at the history of our ministry and presence, or as Ric Schneider likes to say, the “action on Jackson” instigated by the friars for so many years!   So it was sad when I joined the obviously much loved Ric, Kevin Duckson and Neri Greskoviak for our final weekend liturgies on June 4 and 5.

On behalf of the Province, I blessed and presented a large San Damiano cross as a sign of our gratitude for the privilege of serving there, and as a symbol of our ongoing Franciscan connection.  There were lots of tears and hugs, but a sense of understanding as well. Though I did not contribute to the numbers, among the myriad of feelings, I felt pride and a sense of connection with the pastoral commitment and zeal of the brothers who served there, most of whom I never knew.  There is a Franciscan legacy there.  I think the Franciscan spirit will remain and continue to inspire the action at 527 W. Jackson, St., Bloomington, thanks to Ric, Kevin, and Neri, and the 125 friars who preceded them.

 

– Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM

 

Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

ARCHIVES

PHOTO BY FRANK JASPER, OFMSaturday is a big day for Roger Lopez, Colin King and Clifford Hennings. BY TONI CASHNELLI

California welcomes OFM 49ersPHOTOS BY CHARLES TALLEY, OFMLeft, Loren and Richard: Sun got in their eyes; center, Mingling at San Damiano; right, Bill Farris in Danville.(Thanks to Charles Talley, Communications Director for St. Barbara Province, who provided this briefing and photos on the FIT gathering in Danville, Calif.)Seven friars from each of the seven Franciscan (OFM) provinces in the United States (hereafter known as the OFM 49ers) are gathering for an historic interprovincial meeting June 6-9 at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, Calif.  Hosted by the Saint Barbara Province, this is the first of four such meetings to be held this summer as part of the nationwide process headed by FIT (Franciscan Interprovincial Team), aimed at inspiring interprovincial collaboration and cooperation.  The meetings are intended to help friars to get to know each other better on a personal level and to share their experiences, dreams, and hopes for Franciscan life.  Upcoming meetings will be held in Albuquerque, Chicago, and at Siena College, New York.  Welcome, Brothers!The SJB representatives are:June 6-9, Danville, Calif.:Michael Charron, OFM; Loren Connell, OFM; David Crank, OFM; Bill Farris, OFM; Richard Goodin, OFM; Joe Hund, OFM; Phil Robinette, OFMJune 13-16, Loudonville, N.Y.:Jerry Beetz, OFM; Bob Bruno, OFM; Al Hirt, OFM;  Al Mascia, OFM; Pat McCloskey, OFM; Scott Obrecht, OFMJune 20-23, Albuquerque, N.M.:Henry Beck, OFM; Norbert Bertram, OFM; Bruce Hausfeld, OFM; Bryant Hausfeld, OFM; Carl Langenderfer, OFM; Chris Meyer, OFM; Larry Zurek, OFMJuly 18-21, Chicago, Ill.:Kenn Beetz, OFM; Jim Bok, OFM ; Mark Gehret, OFM; Mark Hudak, OFM; David Kohut, OFM; Gene Mayer, OFM 

Pastor Ric Schneider: There were tears and hugs.For 135 years, since 1881, 128 friars have lived or ministered at St. Mary’s Parish in Bloomington, Ill.  (Stop a minute, and reread those numbers.)   By all accounts, those are astonishing statistics! The numbers only hint at the history of our ministry and presence, or as Ric Schneider likes to say, the “action on Jackson” instigated by the friars for so many years!   So it was sad when I joined the obviously much loved Ric, Kevin Duckson and Neri Greskoviak for our final weekend liturgies on June 4 and 5.