Speedfaithing

It’s fun, it’s fast, and it may promote peace

BY TONI CASHNELLI

The intolerance that pervades our world has evolved over thousands of years.

What if we sat down for a few minutes with people of other faiths and aired our perceptions and prejudices? Would we then understand what it means to be a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew?

NEWMAN CENTER PHOTOSSpeedfaithing at UC: Ready, set, start relating!“It seemed they were making friends” at the Speedfaithing event.It could happen. It DID happen April 6 when religious communities at the University of Cincinnati came together for an evening of “Speedfaithing”. Think speed dating, in which eligible singles move from one prospect to another, chatting until a bell or buzzer sends them on to the next partner.

At the Speedfaithing event the conversation, limited to five minutes with each person, did more than scratch the surface. “There was a lot of energy, very relational, a positive atmosphere,” says Sr. Leslie Keener, CDP, a Campus Minister and one of the organizers. Now planning next year’s programs, she’s hoping to expand the idea this fall. “We had to promise the students we would do another event that wasn’t timed so they could have another conversation.”

Al Hirt, OFMInteraction is key to understanding, says Fr. Al Hirt, pastor of St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center at UC. “Given the distrust and lack of knowledge of religions beyond our own, small events like this bring together a variety of people who get a chance to touch a little bit of what makes each of us tick spiritually.” But this isn’t their only outreach effort. “Our parish also hosted an Iftar dinner a few weeks ago (when Muslims break fast during Ramadan) which is another opportunity to simply meet one another in what I call the ‘sacrament of relationship.’”

Sr. Leslie Keener, CDPThe Speedfaithing concept, borrowed from Xavier University, was suggested by Paula Harlan, Campus Minister at UC’s Hillel Jewish Student Center. “Paula asked if I would be interested in doing that with her,” says Leslie, who responded, “Oh gosh, yes, that sounds so interesting.” The timing seemed perfect in a national atmosphere of interfaith tension sparked by acts of terrorism and fanned by political campaigns.

“We invited other campus ministries to help out,” so Muslim Chaplain Amina Darwish and Hillel’s Director, Sharon Stern, also signed on. “We advertised within various ministries, put it on Facebook and my bulletin,” says Leslie. The word went out to a professor of religious studies at UC, who encouraged students to attend the Speedfaithing event for extra credit.

“We found a room near the baseball stadium and set up a long table for kosher pizza and other food. We didn’t put chairs in the rest of the room, just chairs in groups of two spread throughout.” The day of the event, about 40 curious students showed up.

“We told them, ‘Try to sit with somebody you don’t know,’ and then they changed and sat with somebody they hadn’t talked with.” By the time the event ended, “It seemed they were making friends and meeting people they really liked and wanted to get to know,” Leslie says. “The thing was, the students were so excited they got annoyed every time we rang the bell; they rolled their eyes” in exasperation. “They didn’t like being interrupted.”

As an experiment in interfaith dialogue, “It was pretty cool.”

In any language, God“In every language, embedded in every sacred text, the Divine is everywhere and everything – sometimes hidden, sometimes obvious, always present.” That’s how the Song and Spirit Institute for Peace introduced its latest video, One God Chant, on YouTube. Check out its beautiful message at: youtube.com.

Brady Lecture explores ‘lost’ life of Francis

BY FR. PAT MCCLOSKEY, OFM

Alex Kratz, Pat McCloskey, Jeff Scheeler, Dominic Monti of HN Province, St. Bonaventure President Sr. Margaret Carney, Dr. Joshua Benson (Catholic University teacher) and David Couturier, OFM Cap, Executive Director, Franciscan InstituteFr. Jeff Scheeler, Fr. Alex Kratz and I were present on July 14 to hear Professor Jacques Dalarun deliver the 12th annual Ignatius Brady Lecture at St. Bonaventure University.

Dalarun spoke about his newest book, The Rediscovered Life of St. Francis of Assisi. This text written for friars dates to 1230-‘39 (the generalate of Brother Elias) and seeks to condense the Vita Prima (1229) while adding new material (about 60%), especially about miracles connected to St. Francis. Celano’s The Memorial of the Desire of a Soul (Vita Secunda) was completed in 1247.

The new text is 1/8 of a larger book bought by the National Library of France in 2015. The book appears to be a preaching manual with Francis’ Admonitions, selections from the sermon notes of Anthony of Padua and other material; it dates to 15th century in central Italy.

The Brady lectures are funded by an endowment given to the Franciscan Institute by St. John the Baptist Province in 2002. Ignatius Brady taught at the Franciscan Institute in the 1950s and during summer sessions in the 1970s. The first lecture was given in November 2004; for scheduling reasons, no lecture was given in 2015.

The Rediscovered Life’s Latin text was translated into English by Professor Timothy Johnson of Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. The book is available through www.franciscanpublications.com.

Drink up! You know you need it

PHOTO BY FLICKROur current heat wave reminds us how important it is to stay hydrated. Your body depends on water to survive and every cell, tissue, and organ needs water to work correctly.  For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints.  Water is necessary for good overall health.

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take action.  Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.  Most people have been told to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water (8 ounces each) every day, a reasonable goal.  However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated.  If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine to see if it stays colorless or light yellow.  Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.

Some tips for staying hydrated:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you.  Purchasing bottle water is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.  Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add a slice of lemon or lime.
  • Try carbonated water if you like the feel and taste of carbonation instead of soda.
  • Drink water before, during, and after a workout, even a walk.
  • When you’re hungry, drink water.  Thirst is often confused with hunger and true hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.  Some research suggests drinking water can help you feel full.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, set up a schedule.  Drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed.  Or drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant.  It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free!

Remember to stay hydrated in winter as well as warmer seasons. Water is your best option, but other drinks and foods can help as well.  Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water you get each day.  Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables and in soup broths.

Have fun trying new and exciting ways to drink water and it will become part of your routine and lifestyle!

–Your Province Nurse,

Michelle Viacava, RN

WATCH FOR SIGNS

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Decrease in urine or darker than usual
  • Dry mouth and extreme thirst
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheaded

MORE BENEFITS

Other reasons why we need to stay hydrated:

  • Energy: It gives more energy to increase metabolism and ability to exercise efficiently.
  • Digestion: Drinking plenty of liquids help dilute secretions and digestive juices in order to help the digestive process and to have less indigestion
  • Regularity: Liquids help to keep you from getting constipated which causes body wide toxicity and inflammation.
  • Blood pressure: If we don’t drink enough, our blood becomes thicker and increases our blood pressure.
  • Skin health: Water keeps your skin elastic and less dry.
  • Kidney and urinary health: When we don’t drink enough liquid, our kidneys struggle to flush toxins from our bodies and cause infections.

PHOTOS BY DAVID CRANK, OFMNew Orleans Poor Clares send Mark Gehret off with a blessing.Louisiana friars at the parkDavid Crank was welcomed.

  • There was a lot to discuss July 11-13 when Louisiana friars gathered at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park in St. Martinville, La.: They reviewed a Praesidium update, welcomed Br. David Crank to New Orleans and said goodbye to Br. Mark Gehret, heading to Mississippi. “We missed Giovanni and Andre,” David says. “A good time was had by all and we agreed this place [a park cabin] served our needs well with expectations of returning again.”
  • Fr. Robert Seay talked about the forces that shaped our “fractured society” in a July 10 interview in The [Lafayette] Daily Advertiser about the recent shootings of African-American males and police officers. “It’s a symptom of a greater evil in a fractured society,” he said. “In this fractured society, most human beings, especially in America, feel the need to be superior.… We can deny that and say, ‘Oh, I don’t feel that way.’ But I think we all want to be superior over most people.” How do we heal? According to reporter Dominick Cross, “Seay said people need to come together ‘and look at the real cause’ of these issues and put in some serious work and dialogue.” Read more at www.theadvertiser.com
  • Yesterday in Chicago, Fr. Jim Bok connected with future missionary Saleem Amir from Pakistan. “Very nice man,” Jim says. “He is in Waterford, Wis., doing mission appeals for the General Secretariat of the Missions (in Rome).  He came here today to hook up with me and arrived just as I finished lunch.” Also on hand, John Hardin, former provincial of St. Barbara Province, and Jimmy Zammit, the Economo Generale of the Order back when Jim was involved with the development office at the Curia.  “Was great to see him after many years,” Jim says. “After bellies were full Saleem and I had a nice get-together!  He will head back to Pakistan to begin the preparations for coming to Jamaica. He will head to Cincinnati in early October to complete his process for going to Jamaica.”
  • Sometimes “treadmill” means a tiring routine. Not in this case. At Franciscan Media, a treadmill helps the creative juices flow when Fr. Pat McCloskey is on his computer. “It gives me a little more PHOTO BY TAMMY MONJARASPat McCloskey multi-tasking at Franciscan Mediaexercise each day; it even comes with a built-in fan!” Pat says. Staffer Katie Carroll started it, says Pat. “The treadmill I am using was given to SAMP by Friars Club when it closed down the facility on McMillan Street.”
  • Fr. Bruce Hausfeld shared this story. Yesterday when his brother Bryant celebrated Mass at St. Charles, a diocesan parish in Albuquerque, N.M., a man approached him and asked for help: food, money and a ride to the bus station. Bryant treated him to McDonald’s, took him to the bus and handed him a few dollars. Bryant was sure he had seen the last of this guy. Today the secretary at St. Charles called Bryant with a message from the man, whose name is Mike Johnson. “I called just to thank you for treating me at Mass like Jesus would,” Mike said. “I appreciate the food, compassion and kindness you have shown me.” Goes to show, you never know.
  • A picnic, dancing, face painting, entertainment, a Polka Mass and Tricky Tray raffle: Where else could you find all that fun packed into one afternoon but at St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, Pa.? The annual Franciscan Family Day starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, with Mass, featuring the Changing Times Quartet. They’re praying for good weather.

 

Jerry Beetz with Ellen Salmi and Joshua van CleefThis past weekend we celebrated departure ceremonies at Holy Cross in Jackson, Ky., and Church of the Good Shepherd in nearby Campton.  I joined Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, of Lexington, Br. Jerry Beetz and Fr. Reynolds Garland.  It was clear to me that these brothers are deeply loved by the people they have served.  On July 31, I will join Bishop Stowe, Fr. Mike Chowning and Br. Mike Dubec at Mother of Good Counsel in Hazard.  I anticipate that this ceremony will be equally difficult.

The silver lining in this sadness may be the evolution of the Franciscan presence in the area.  Joshua van Cleef, a former temporarily professed friar, and his soon to be wife Ellen Salmi will live and serve as Pastoral Directors  in Jackson and be part of a team serving the area with Glenmary priests, a permanent deacon, and a retired diocesan priest.

Pat Riestenberg, a recent Province affiliate, will continue to serve in Hazard.  The Oldenburg Sisters will continue to serve in Campton.

 

– Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM

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Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

ARCHIVES

Jerry Beetz with Ellen Salmi and Joshua van CleefThis past weekend we celebrated departure ceremonies at Holy Cross in Jackson, Ky., and Church of the Good Shepherd in nearby Campton.  I joined Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, of Lexington, Br. Jerry Beetz and Fr. Reynolds Garland.  It was clear to me that these brothers are deeply loved by the people they have served.  On July 31, I will join Bishop Stowe, Fr. Mike Chowning and Br. Mike Dubec at Mother of Good Counsel in Hazard.  I anticipate that this ceremony will be equally difficult.

Speedfaithing

It’s fun, it’s fast, and it may promote peace

PHOTO BY FLICKROur current heat wave reminds us how important it is to stay hydrated. Your body depends on water to survive and every cell, tissue, and organ needs water to work correctly.  For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints.  Water is necessary for good overall health.

Speedfaithing

It’s fun, it’s fast, and
it may promote peace