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Pilgrimage to Fatima & Lourdes with Barcelona

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The grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes in France has had 66 Catholic Church approved miracles attributed to it in the 150 years since 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous was visited by visions of the Virgin Mary on that spot.

The grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes in France has had 66 Catholic Church approved miracles attributed to it in the 150 years since 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous was visited by visions of the Virgin Mary on that spot.

Pilgrimage to Fatima & Lourdes with Barcelona
November 1 – 10, 2015
(Book now and Save $200)

 

Barcelona

Barcelona

Highlights…
Fatima, Aljustrel, Valinhos, Santarem, Cathedral of Burgos, Monastery of Santa Maria Real de las Huelgas, Lourdes, Grotto of Massabielle, Carcassone, Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia.

Special presentation on:
Tuesday, April 7 at 6:00 pm
St. Anthony Shrine Hall
5000 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45223

A representative from Collette Vacations will be on hand to answer all your questions and concerns.  Meet Fr. Carl Langenderfer, OFM, and others considering the trip and then decide if this is the tour for you.  You are under no obligation.

Please rsvp by emailing friarworks@franciscan.org or calling 513-721-4700 X 3219.

If you do not live in Cincinnati or can’t make the presentation, sign up for the on line presentation.  It will be Wednesday, April 8, 6:30pm EST at  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6383787965563215362

For more information and details about this trip, click on https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/656544#.VLVW5NgtHeI

If you prefer a printed brochure, call Colleen or Marilyn at 513-721-4700 or email friarworks@franciscan.org and we’ll get it out to your right away.

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

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Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM

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Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM, greets Pope John Paul II in 1989

Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM, greets Pope John Paul II in 1989

Not everyone can say they have met Popes and Saints

 

Though quite humble about it, Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM has photos of himself with Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, and even Blessed Mother Teresa. He will tell you in his gentle voice that they are “group pictures” taken when he worked in Rome, adding, “One is of Pope John Paul II washing my dirty feet in a Holy Thursday service.”

Pope John Paul II washing the feet of Fr. Cyprian

Pope John Paul II washing the feet of Fr. Cyprian

“Pope John the XXIII told me not to feel confined in an office as Curia Treasurer counting numbers all day. He understood because he too was a Bishop’s secretary when he was younger”. The Holy Father commiserated with Fr. Cyprian. The Pope was that sensitive to his visitors.

“I would pick up Mother Teresa from the airport and we would talk about business. I would preach at her six Missionaries of Charity houses in Rome and hear the confessions of her novices every week”.

Fr. Cyprian is resident Chaplain Emeritus of the Archbishop Leibold Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Cincinnati. At 91, he has had a rich life salted with service to scholars, saints and sinners.

Fr. Cyprian began life as the son of a high-end tailor who was trained in New York. His mother was a homemaker. He had two brothers and one sister. In the early grade school years, he attended public elementary school and in the second grade was taught by none other than Miss Margaret Potter… my mother-in-law. Miss Potter was so impressed by his intelligence and goodness, she went to his First Holy Communion and followed him through to his Ordination as a Franciscan. Miss Potter’s eldest son Bob Queenan (my husband) said “Mom often held him up as the example of what kind of kids we should be.” In rebuttal, Fr. Cyprian said, “She must not have really known me.”

Fr. Cyprian with two nuns of the Lateran community, Mother Teresa, and a Maltese seminarian.

Fr. Cyprian with two nuns of the Lateran community, Mother Teresa, and a Maltese seminarian.

Life was good until the depression when his dad lost everything and needed to start fresh. “Life was different then, but we didn’t suffer from hunger. Our faith stayed as the center of our lives.” He became acquainted with the Franciscans when he attended Roger Bacon High School and transferred to St. Francis Seminary. From there he followed the educational and spiritual tract of the Friars until his ordination in 1951. The first six years of his 64 as a priest, he served as Associate Pastor in Illinois parishes.

In 1957, he was called to Rome to serve as the Assistant Treasurer and Secretary to the Minister General of the Franciscan Curia. “It took me all three years to learn Italian.” which was on-the-job and in casual conversations. The one thing that did not take long was to learn how to order his favorite gelato.

Upon completing his tenure there, he was called back to the States where he became Asst. Novice Director at St. Anthony’s Friary for a year. From 1961- 63 he was assigned to Duns Scotus, MI, as Master of Brothers, Director of Tertiary Brothers, Rector of Chapel and also taught at Mercy College.

Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM, sits with two nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM, sits with two nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Fr. Cyprian’s reputation of competence preceded him and he was again called to the Eternal City to be General Treasurer of the Franciscan Curia, this time working there for four years. During those Italian years he traveled extensively on business. From the General Curia Fr. Cyprian was sent to Florence, Italy for four years. He was assigned as Director of St. Bonaventure College, a research institution and was also Superior of the House. After that assignment was completed, he became the Treasurer of St. Leonard College in Centerville, OH and also was an Instructor for a year. Cincinnati was his next call, serving one year as Guardian at St. Anthony’s and Director of Brothers and 13 years as Director of Communications.

Fr. Cyprian was once more asked to return to Rome for five more years as the American/Italian speaking Confessor at St. John Lateran Church. “Only the good go to Confession,” he said. “It was just four hours a day.” His official title there was Penitentiary. All those years in Italy were really enjoyable for me,” he confided. When he returned to the States for the last time, he was Pastor for 10 years at St. Paul the Apostle in Calumet, MI.

Being “retired” is a misnomer. Fr. Cyprian’s days are full saying daily masses, preaching at the Little Sisters, being present to dying residents, counseling retirees, helping new residents adjust, and still driving 140 miles monthly to a prayer group in Madison, Indiana. He knows the name of every resident (100+) all the Sisters and workers at the home, so don’t believe him when he says he thinks his memory is slipping.

Joanne M. Queenan

Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM, directly behind and to the left of Pope John Paul II

Fr. Cyprian Berens, OFM, directly behind and to the left of Pope John Paul II

 

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Our Everyday Heroes

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DeaconDeacon Fred Morris and his wife Madge are long time residents of Savanna la Mar.  For the past four years Deacon Fred and Madge have been totally dedicated to the people of the small sugar plantation congregation of St Mark Roman Catholic Church in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, Jamaica.

Deacon leads the Sunday liturgy on alternating Sundays when Fr. Max Langenderfer, OFM, celebrates the Eucharist at St Joseph Church in Savannah la Mar.  Madge is the constant companion of Deacon Fred and helps teach the St Mark children as well as assisting with the Readings during the Sunday liturgies.  Deacon knows the local community well especially the Catholic shut-ins.  He and Sr. Provencia regularly visit the shut-ins with Holy Communion and food packages.  Deacon is active in whatever functions the parish council organizes and is often the backbone of parish activites especially the yearly HARVEST.

Jamaica Deacon oversees many of the maintenance activities for the church.  On two occasions when more than 200 panes of window louver glass were broken by vandals, Deacon took the lead in cleaning up the damage and repairing some of the broken panes.

He organized the repair of the collapsing floors in some shut-ins houses.  Deacon Fred’s simple, humble dedication and spirit of service to the people of Grange Hill is an inspiration to all of us in the Catholic parishes of Westmoreland.

Keep up with St. Joseph Church in Savannah La Mar on their Face Book page.

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St. Anthony heard my prayer

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Wonder if St. Anthony hears your prayers?
Dorothy knows he does.

 

Hearing aid found in gum boxEnclosed is a check in thanksgiving for St. Anthony’s help.

I misplaced one of my hearing aids. I looked everywhere for it to no avail.  I prayed to St. Anthony for his help in finding it as I really need it to hear my husband who is an invalid.

St. Anthony guided me right to the location where it was.  I looked inside a gum box and there it was at the bottom of the box.

Thank you St. Anthony

Dorothy

 

St. AnthonyWe’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.  Use our Contact Page or Email: shrine@franciscan.org or Call Colleen Cushard at: 513-721-4700.  Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page.  You can donate to St. Anthony Bread or any of our ministries at our Donation Page.

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In loving memory: Fr. Bernardin Schneider, OFM

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Fr. Bernardin Schneider, OFM

Fr. Bernardin Schneider, OFM

When word got out that Fr. Bernardin (Bernie) Schneider, OFM, was in danger of death, the friars and sisters next door to where he lived and many friends visited him one after another.  He was greatly loved and admired by countless people, and he went through his last hours on earth in the company of many, many fervent prayers. Those prayers came from hearts filled with gratitude for all he had meant to them.  Fr. Bernie died on January 8, 2015 at the age of 97.

Bernie was a legend, respected around the world for translating the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into a critical annotated Japanese edition.  The impact of the translation in evangelization cannot be measured.  Bernie was very instrumental in making the word of God alive and meaningful to the hearts and lives of many Japanese people.

Fr. Bernardin’s wake and funeral took place at St. Anthony Seminary in Tokyo on Jan. 12 and 13.  The small church where Bernie had spent so many long hours in prayer was filled to overflowing at his wake. Fr. Michael Yuzawa, his guardian, conducted the liturgy.

There were many friars (almost all of our Japanese members had Bernie as their Scripture professor during theology) and many sisters.  In far larger numbers, were lay people.  He was one of the original promoters of the Charismatic Renewal and was close to many people through the Holy Spirit seminars he conducted and the prayer groups he animated.

The liturgy began with a description of Bernie’s life, and his last years of suffering after a disastrous fall.  After that came a series of scripture readings with a meditation, hymn and prayer for each.

The wake was concluded by offering of flowers.  It is a beautiful and very impressive part of the Japanese wake liturgy.  People line up and come forward, receive a flower from the undertaker’s staff, bow two-by-two to the deceased in his casket and his large photo in front of it, place their flower on a long table, stem towards the deceased, make a silent prayer, bow again and give place to the next two.  All is done very reverently, and slowly.  When the first 100 flowers ran out, those on the table were collected and passed to the next 100 people to offer.

On January 24, at the St. Anthony Shrine Chapel in Cincinnati, Fr. Ric Schneider, OFM, his brother and the baby in the Schneider family presided at a memorial Mass for Bernie.  “He was a great brother of mine, a wonderful friar and a phenomenal scholar.  There were so many areas in which he excelled.  He was a man of deep faith and obedience.  He was a great guy, a great brother, a wonderful godfather and friar,” said Fr. Ric.

May you rest in the loving arms of the Lord, Fr. Bernie.  We miss you.

Pope John Paul II meets the four Schneider brothers, all Franciscan priests: Aquinas, Bernardin, Ric, and Chris.

Pope John Paul II meets the four Schneider brothers, all Franciscan priests: Aquinas, Bernardin, Ric, and Chris.

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“We both thought to pray to St. Anthony!”

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St. Anthony

 They say, “Two heads are better than one”

and so are two prayers to St. Anthony!

Last winter, on our way to Texas, the vertical wheelchair lift on our van malfunctioned.  It was no wonder after driving through snow and ice on rough roads. We stopped north of Memphis for the night.

Our son, Joe, had to operate the lift manually in order to get my husband out of the van.  When he tried to close the doors, however, a screw was missing.  It was night; a freezing rain was falling, and the van was dark.  We were searching under the seats, near the doors, and outside the van when we both thought to pray to St. Anthony.

While Joe tried to secure the door to the van, he suggested I look in the plastic pocket on the front door.  I thought it was unlikely, given the location of the lift door on the side and the van and the pocket on the front passenger door, but I did as Joe said (like Peter casting the net as Jesus suggested.)

There was the missing screw!  Thank you St. Anthony!

— Rosalie in Michigan

St. Anthony of PaduaWe’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.  Use our Contact Page or Email: shrine@franciscan.org or Call Colleen Cushard at: 513-721-4700.  Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page.  You can donate to St. Anthony Bread or any of our ministries at our Donation Page.

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Songs from the heart – Br. Bob Lucero, OFM

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Br. Bob Lucero

  The most fitting memorial was music

Br. Bob Lucero, OFM, understood the power of music.  It can soothe, inspire, enlighten, energize, and even heal. All of this was obvious at the funeral Mass for Bob when members of the May Festival Chorus stood up to sing. The impact of such music is indescribable. It fills your heart; it stirs your soul.

This happened to Bob whenever he sang with the Chorus. And it happened to his family, friends and friars who gathered at St. Clement Church on Dec. 31 to share their grief at his passing. Beyond the heartfelt tributes and eloquent homily, it was the glorious music that gave them solace and, in the absence of a coffin, a sense of closure.

Br. BobIt was a different kind of funeral, with a box of ashes on a pedestal and a holiday backdrop, a field of red and white poinsettias and Christmas trees strung with white and blue lights. Even with some distance between Bob’s death and this service – he died Dec. 20 – emotions were still raw. This wasn’t fair. He was a youthful 64. He had been through this battle before, fighting his cancer with grace and good humor.

Some face a life-threatening illness with denial or withdrawal. Bob faced cancer with the same curiosity and candor that defined the rest of life.  He studied it; he even joked about it. Hours after collapsing at a May Festival Chorus concert in March of 2005, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Before his emergency surgery, he said, “I asked if they could put in a special chip to help me learn Russian” for an upcoming concert. In the years that followed he shared his progress and setbacks in thoughtful, expansive e-mails. Never did he ask, “Why me?”

‘The patience of Bob’

With cancer always in the background, “We never heard him complain,” said Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM, who lived with Bob more than nine years at St. Clare Friary. “I have come to think the expression, ‘the patience of Job’ could well be, ‘the patience of Bob’.  Bob was one of the most patient and generous people I will probably ever know.”

Br. Bob in front of Music Hall

Br. Bob in front of Music Hall

Fr. David Kohut, OFM, found “a community of loving brothers” eight years ago when he moved to Cincinnati. “Among them was Bob.  I admired a man with such dogged determination for perfection and a desire to reach out to people. I know Bob had many loves: the province he loved and joined as a young boy; the Church; his love of music and the desire to entertain many thousands of people in his 43 years with the May Festival Chorus. The time I spent with this man I will cherish greatly for the rest of my life.”

Raised in New Mexico, Bob was always around friars. “The Franciscan charism touched our family,” said brother Marcos, here with siblings Eloy, Henry and Gene.  “My brother, Robert Florentino Lucero, was a faithful Franciscan who worked every day to live the example of St. Francis.”

Bob was eulogized in text and photos on trifold boards labeled “Loving”, “Brother”, “Humble”, “Friend”, and “Generous”.  What they couldn’t convey was his mischievous nature. As novitiate classmates, Br. Jerry Beetz, OFM, said, “He and I always got in trouble together. One 4th of July we got in trouble for making noise.”  When their superior canceled festivities as punishment, Bob and Jerry climbed onto the roof of the Shrine Hall building. “Bob reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of firecrackers and sparklers. Then he sang ‘Happy Birthday, America’ in his beautiful tenor voice. Sure, he was a great singer, a great perfectionist, but he had a devilish side.”

Finding God in beauty

Bob’s passion for music dominated the remembrance of his life. Celebrant Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, welcomed Bob’s relatives, “his many colleagues and co-workers and friends from the May Festival Chorus” who filled the pews to the right of the altar. Several weeks ago when medical options were exhausted, Jeff asked Bob about his funeral wishes. “I said, ‘Don’t you think it would be great to have some of the May Festival Chorus with us?’ He lit up.”

Lucero, 3 Tenors 300 x 200Music was just one of the things that brought Bob joy, according to homilist Fr. Jeremy Harrington, OFM, a mentor at St. Anthony Messenger Press (now Franciscan Media). “He enjoyed them here and will enjoy them forever.” Years ago in Assisi, “Bob was moved during a visit to the tomb of Francis. One evening he took a blanket and backpack and walked up Mt. Subasio by himself where he could sleep under the stars. It was important to have time to think, to pray” in the footsteps of Francis. “It says a lot about Bob, about how he followed Christ, and his appreciation for beauty. Francis found God in beauty and so did Bob.  Bob had an eye, a heart and an ear for beauty.

“He loved to sing in the Chorus. During rehearsals Bob was always in such great spirits.” The son of music-loving parents, as a child he went to bed humming classical tunes. Even in his final days, Bob was wired for sound with Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius a constant companion at chemo.

“Bob grew up in a Franciscan atmosphere,” Jeremy said, “baptized at the Cathedral in Santa Fe staffed by Franciscans. He went to St. Francis Grade School and St. Francis High School; he made the long journey from Santa Fe to Cincinnati.” There he was inspired by music teacher Aubert Grieser, “who was enthusiasm itself.”

Faithful friends

Br. Bob in 1979

Br. Bob in 1979

For 39 years Bob’s ministerial niche was SAMP, first as an assistant editor, later as a production manager.  “He led many of us from electric typewriters to the computer world to the digital world,” Jeremy said. But his most important role was as Brother Bob, “positive, joyful, quick-witted, a confidante, a mentor,” nearby whenever he was needed. That kindness was reciprocated by coworkers during his recovery in 2005. “It was wonderful how they supported him” in every aspect of his care, especially his loyal friend, Sandy Digman. When cancer returned, she and Bob’s former colleagues attended to his every need.

In December a friar brother wrote to Bob, “Jesus is going to be there to welcome you with open arms.”  And, Jeremy predicted, “If he isn’t already, Bob soon will be singing with the choirs of angels.”  On this day, angels could not have outdone the May Festival Chorus. What Wondrous Love Is This? Was transcendent, so moving and appropriate that listeners sat motionless, awed by its beauty.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on.

They sang with warmth, with heart, with soul. They sang for Bob, one of their own.

From the SJB News Notes

The Cincinnati May Festival Chorus sings at the funeral Mass of Br. Bob Lucero, OFM.    Br. Bob sang in the choir for 43 years.

The Cincinnati May Festival Chorus sings at the funeral Mass of Br. Bob Lucero, OFM. Br. Bob sang in the choir for 43 years.

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“Hi, St. Anthony – It’s me, Carole… again!”

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Do you frequently ask for St. Anthony’s help?  Then you and Carole have a lot in common.

Wallet
I can’t begin to count the number of lost items that St. Anthony has found for me!

Once, when my daughter lost her wallet at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I prayed to St. Anthony. It was returned to her the next day by the person who found it – with everything in it!

Recently, I lost my hearing aid at my daughter’s home. After a few days of searching, I prayed fervently to St. Anthony one night, and the next morning when I put on a pair of shorts, there it was in a back pocket!

This week, I lost my credit card. I needed it to purchase a plane ticket to visit my daughter in New York. I searched my home for three days. Again, after praying to this wonderful saint, there it was – in front of my eyes. He truly is a miracle-worker.

Often, my prayer starts with, “Hi, St. Anthony – it’s me, Carole… again!”

I am so grateful to St. Anthony for his intercession

Carole
from Sonora, CA

St. AnthonyWe’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.  Use our Contact Page or Email: shrine@franciscan.org or Call Colleen Cushard at: 513-721-4700.  Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page.  You can donate to St. Anthony Bread or any of our ministries at our Donation Page.

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Three stories of St. Anthony

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Need to find willpower?
St. Anthony gives you strength.

no smokingMy name is Tracy and I want to share my story with you.  I am not a religious person (I wasn’t.)  I was a smoker for over 35 years and I wanted to quit, (have tried before.)  My partner always prayed to St. Anthony whenever she lost something and it would be found, so I prayed to St. Anthony to help me find the strength to quit,…  I quit on Veteran’s Day, and only used the patch for 5 days and have been nicotine free since.

Thank you St. Anthony,

–Tracy in Rhode Island

Need Guidance?
13 is profound.

13 It was 1958 in US Army in Germany. I prayed to St. Anthony to help me in guidance for my military service. He answered my prayer and I was able to become a novice in the computer field which served me throughout my civilian life.

Also, in 2013 I developed vocal cord cancer. again through his intersession I am now cancer free. Finally, the number 13 has had a profound effect giving me direction always.

–Joe

Need a smile?
St. Anthony can provide.

Franciscan smile

Sometimes I think St. Anthony hides things so I can continue to support the Franciscans.  :)

Thanks,

–Joan in Virginia

 

St AnthonyWe’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.  Use our Contact Page or Email: shrine@franciscan.org or Call Colleen Cushard at: 513-721-4700.  Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page. Light a candle for your Christmas Prayer.

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Friars Club

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Building Futures with Fun, Faith, and Fitness

Friars Club

The Friars Club impacts children in a positive way. Friars Club provides organized athletics (basketball, baseball and volleyball) for 700 boys and girls ages 5-17.  All programs focus on values of respect, responsibility, good-sportsmanship, leadership and conflict resolution. These programs are athletic in nature but academic in purpose, resulting in long lasting fun memories, teaching positive life skills.

Friars’ instruction and guidance builds healthy bodies, minds and spirits by bolstering self-esteem and self-discipline, while at the same time, reinforcing positive behavior and addressing nutritional needs.

Friars Club broke ground on its new facility located on the campus of Roger Bacon High School in October 2013 and opened its doors in September of 2014.

Check out our video to learn more.

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