Tag Archives: Franciscan

Keeping the mission in front us

Fr Herald CFR.jpegMissions to help people find their true humanity and to know the mercy of Christ and friends, always needs our personal attention: friendship, prayers & study and financial assistance. Can I get you thinking about the foreign missions by personally undertaking some work to know the good work of missionaries and the work of the Holy Spirit? 

Consider this blog post a seed planted: make a plan to go to the missions for period of time (even for a week), support a project with friendly letters, human contact and financial support and most certainly with your prayer to the Saints Francis Xavier, Therese of Lisieux and Josephine Bahkita for their intercession before God’s throne.

In all the consider you make, perhaps you may want to pray the Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Feeling a call to serve as a missionary in the Sudan, one of Africa’s incredibly poor countries, Father Herald Joseph Brock, CFR asked his superiors if he could serve the Church in Sudan. With tremendous generosity of the Friars of the Renewal and friends, Father Herald is rocking on… Father Herald writes a blog, “CFR Sudan Mission,” to keep friends engaged in his projects.

Making donations to the Franciscan Mission Outreach –CFR Sudan Mission can be done here. Last September I made a plea for help for the Mission.

Luigi Padovese murdered by Turk

Luigi Padovese.jpgBishop Luigi Padovese, OFM Cap, 63, was murdered today at about 1pm local time by his driver who it is claimed had psychological problems and history of violent outbreaks was supposedly a convert to Christianity but some news agencies are naming the driver a Muslim. At the moment no one is claiming political motivation for the murder.

Bishop Padovese was born at Milan, Italy and a member of the Capuchin Franciscan order. He was ordained a priest for nearly 37 years and a bishop for 5.5 years. He was the Vicar Apostolic in Anatolia.

Bishop Padovese was to meet Pope Benedict XVI with other Middle East bishops in Cyprus to receive the Instumentum laboris, the working document for the forthcoming Synod of Bishops, scheduled to meet in October.

The Minister General of the Capuchins posted this brief bio for Bishop Luigi.

The BBC story noted here and Spero News here.

May God grant mercy Bishop Luigi Padovese mercy and may his memory be eternal.

Where are you?

Creation of Eve Michelangelo2.jpg

very first question that God asks man in the Bible is, where are you?  “The Lord called to the man, and
said to him, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)  It is not a question that demands sophisticated answers nor
are there multiple answers to this question. Rather, it is a question of concern from a loving
father and the only demand placed upon this question is that one answers
truthfully, even if the truth exposes something to us that highlights our selfishness
and our need for God.

Before God asked Adam this question Adam had committed a
sin by disobeying God’s commandment and ate from the tree God had forbidden him
to eat from. Adam had forgotten
about God’s love and choose to place his own will and desires over the will and
desires of God. Now Adam, ashamed
and afraid (which is always the fruit of sin) tries to hide from God because he
realizes something dramatic has occurred in his relationship with the Lord. The Lord simply asks him, Adam, where
are you?

This question, as old as the Bible itself, God continues to ask us
today. Throughout our lives,
throughout each day, and often several times a day, God is continually asking
us, “My son or my daughter, where are you?  In other words, where is your heart right now?  Is it tired, frustrated, angry?  Is it overwhelmed by the demands of
life?  Is it engrossed in selfish
activities?  Is it immersed in lust,
pride, envy, jealousy, etc?  Is it
distracted by the things of this world?

When the Lord asks us this question it
is an invitation from him to turn our eyes away from the many distractions we
often promote and to turn our eyes once again towards Him. It is our Father, gentle tapping us on
the shoulder and calling us back to Him. 
Rather than living in future events, or reliving past wounds over and
over again it is an invitation to experience God in the present moment, the
only place where we can be guaranteed to encounter God.

Brother Jeremiah Myriam
Shryock, CFR, a Fourth Year Seminary Student Saint Joseph’s Seminary-Dunwoodie,
Yonkers, NY. Brother Jeremiah was ordained a deacon on May 29, 2010 with three
other Franciscan Friars of the Renewal by the Most Reverend Manual Cruz, an
auxiliary bishop of Newark. A poem of Brother Jeremiah’s, “After Eden,”  
was published here.

Gabriel Robert Scasino takes the Franciscan Conventual habit

the Conventual habit2.jpgYesterday morning (May 8) my friend Gabriel Scasino was invested in the habit of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (OFMConv) at Saint Bonaventure Friary (Forestville, MD) during Lauds. His Minister Provincial, Father Justin Blase, presided at Lauds, blessed the habit, and then invested Gabriel with the Habit. Father Justin then celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Friar Gabriel belongs to the Immaculate Conception Province.

So you may ask, What is the habit all about? The habit is the religious garment of the person who takes the evangelical counsels (poverty, chastity, obedience). It is a sign (used here in the religious/philosophical sense) of something deeper than the person wearing the garment and it is a sign and symbol of Christ and the Church. As a point of comparison, diocesan priests would wear a cassock or a 

Gabriel dons the Conventual habit May 8 2010.jpg

clerical shirt of some sort. Nevertheless, most religious orders of men and women have a habit, usually some stylized clothing of a former era, though some sisters and priests may wear secular clothing because the founder didn’t specify a habit because of the era in which the congregation was founded (e.g., Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity) or like Saint Ignatius of Loyola who told his disciples to dress as the respectable priests of the day. Orders like the Benedictines, Carmelites, Augustinians, Dominicans and the Franciscans have a habit to identify themselves as living as the poor: simple attire. The habit is a witness to someone greater than me; and believe it or not, the habit often opens more doors to Christ than one might realize because many people recognize a habit as a garment that expresses virtue.
The use of the habit may depend on the context in which the religious is living and working. In some cases color and type of fabric may be relative. However, what is clear is that the habit is not optional; it is not circus clothing, it is not for dress-up. The habit ought to help the person wearing it to take into account his or her life in Christ, preaching the Gospel and living the vows.

Gabriel takes the capuce.jpg

So, for my purposes here, let me quote from the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual we learn what the habit means for the Conventual Franciscan in relatively direct terms:
The religious habit of the friars, the sign of our consecration and of our community and a witness to poverty, must be simple and modest, poor and becoming. It consists of a black tunic with a capuche and a white cord. In certain places, for a reasonable cause approved by the Minister General with the consent of his definitory, the grey habit may be worn.

According to custom, it is laudable to wear –suspended from the cord– the Franciscan crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The friars must wear the habit of the Order. The Minister General, however, for particular reason and as long as these last may permit another form of dress (97; emphasis mine).

Provincial gives the Pax.jpg

As you can see from these photos, Friar Gabriel and his conferes are wearing the grey habit, which the other Conventual provinces around the world are beginning to adopt as it is seen as the more authentic habit of the Conventual Franciscans.
Friar Gabriel Robert Scasino and I are from the same town, when to the same high school and our home parish is the same, though Gabriel is much younger than I am. He was a Conventual Franciscan for 7 years has been out for about 7 years and has been mercifully and graciously been re-admitted to the same.

Gabriel Scasino & postulants May 8 2010.jpg

Beginning next week Friar Gabriel will spend 3 months in Assisi, Italy, doing a Franciscan course of study with the aim of putting him in touch with the Franciscan way of life by locating himself at the heart of Franciscan life.
Friar Gabriel will make a profession of temporary vows on the feast of Saint Joseph Cupertino, September 18.
May God grant Friar Gabriel many years as a Conventual Friar.

Daniel Sulmasy: Franciscan Friar-Doctor-Ethicist appointed Presidential post

Br Daniel Sulmasy.jpgNot long ago President Obama appointed Franciscan Brother Daniel Sulmasy, MD, to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. He’s universally well-received for his competence, compassion and humor. Oh, yes, the President did appoint a Catholic, a religious and a pro-life member to the commission.

Brother Daniel is a professed member of the Order of Friars Minor of the Holy Name Province and he’s a friend and collaborator with Communion and Liberation. He spoke at the first annual New York Encounter in January, 2010.
Until last year he worked here in NYC until he took a job at the University of Chicago.

The National Catholic Register ran an article on Brother Daniel.
An interview with Brother Daniel, “Doctor and Brother” by Joan Frawley Desmond
The Franciscan announcement.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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