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Care Pax — Creative Service at its Finest

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Care Pax

What do a small, Catholic bookstore,
an inner city Episcopal church, a suburban Buddhist temple, a reform Jewish synagogue and a Muslim community center have in common?

~

Care for their neighbors – that’s what.

~

HomelessA program created by Song and Spirit Institute for Peace in Berkley, Michigan, called CarePax has each of these institutions agreeing to host a CarePax barrel.  Each barrel contains at least 35 individually-packaged CarePax, which include a warm hat, gloves, hand and toe warmers, a pair of new socks, a snack and a list of metro Detroit area resources for the needy and homeless in the region. At locations around Detroit, you can pick up one of these and then offer it to a homeless person you see or someone holding a sign asking for help.

Items that fill the CarePax are donated by diverse individuals and groups throughout the Detroit area. Many of the warm items – including hats and scarves – have been made by hand. HatPax is one such item. This pattern for a simple, sewn fleece hat has been picked up by creative sewers all over town. Some people work on their own with scraps of fleece they have lying around. Others gather in groups, pool resources and make dozens of hats in one sitting!

Care PaxA group from Troy, Michigan, has gotten together twice to make HatPax. The first time they had a group of about ten friends, scissors, patterns, multiple sewing machines and a mound of bright-colored fleece. That first session provided more than 40 hats in one evening and everyone had a grand time. When one of the group members brought the hats over to the Outreach room at Song and Spirit, they noticed that there were big gaps on the shelves that held the dark colored hats and asked Brother Al the reason for that.

“Well,” he replied, “A lot of people who live on the street – or even just spend a lot of time walking around the streets at all hours – don’t want to call attention to themselves. When we go to a shelter or do outreach directly to folks on the streets, we’ve discovered that – when given a choice – the majority choose darker colors like grey, black, brown, navy, or camouflage patterns. They seem to want to blend into their surroundings. It’s a safety issue.”

Care PaxThe next time the group got together they had the same great time – making over 50 hats in the dark colors they now KNEW were most needed by the people they would serve! It was as if – somehow – knowing a little more about what the recipient really would like or would choose for themselves, was a great motivator for these creative volunteers.

Brother Al says they are currently working on changing out the CarePax for Spring and Summer to include different items to coincide with the weather.  These would include things such as rain ponchos, baseball caps, moist towelettes, chapstik and the other non-weather related items.

For more information contact Song & Spirit Institute for Peace.

To download the pattern to make the hats visit HatPax.

 

Br. AlBro. Al Mascia, OFM, is a Franciscan Friar of the St. John the Baptist Province. The Franciscan heritage is a veritable treasure trove of poetic, imaginative and lyrical ways of preaching and living the Gospel. As Brother Al travels from place to place singing old melodies as well as his own story-songs, he has the joy of ministering as did his Franciscan ancestors of old when they went about as ioculatores Domini, or minstrels of God! In this way, he stays wonderfully connected to an ancient spiritual narrative. Brother Al is currently in residence at the newly re-established Duns Scotus Friary at the Song and Spirit Institute for Peace.

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Fr. Larry Zurek, OFM

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”Parish Ministry has been my blessing.”

Fr. LarryFr. Larry Zurek, reflects on his career as a parish priest, as he prepares to leave his 11 years work in Peoria, Ill serving two inner city parishes, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s.  Fr. Larry has loved and invested himself in pastoral work for more than half of his life, serving five parishes full time and several others with Sacramental Ministry in 30 years as Pastor or Associate Pastor.  Associate Pastor, Fr. Luis Aponte-Merced is also leaving after ten years there.

Savoring the sweet memories of being so close to his congregation, Fr. Larry believes two legacies of his tenure are leaving a beautiful church to worship in and a place for people to give their hearts and minds to God.  (View photos of the renovation)  On his watch he also saw to the major renovation of the parish hall.

Fr. Larry“We also have an outreach program, Sophia’s Kitchen, in which we give out 400 to 600 sandwiches a day to those who come to the door at St. Joseph’s.  Children from different parishes make cards that are tucked in with the food.  They have bake sales and other fund raisers and various parishes have a yearly collection to underwrite the expenses.”  The two priests also serve as chaplains and confessors for several religious orders of Sisters.  “There is a large group of Franciscan Priests, Brothers and Sisters in Peoria.”  He added they treasure the large community and all get together for picnics and such.

Times do change.  This summer, both Fr. Larry and Fr. Luis are preparing to turn the helm of their ministry over to diocesan priests. In recent decades, many Catholic schools and churches have closed due to student attrition, change in population centers and budget constraints.  But Peoria’s current two Franciscan churches are not closing. Fr. Frank Jasper, Provincial Vicar assured the congregation of that when the change was announced last November.

Fr. Larry & Fr. Luis

Fr. Larry & Fr. Luis bless school children

Both Fathers Larry and Luis will go to their new ministry together.  They will assume responsibility for the Vocational Team which will recruit men for the Franciscan Priesthood and Brotherhood.  They will be centered in Cincinnati at the St. Anthony Shrine but will go wherever applicants live for interviews and stay in daily contact with them as they make their life-changing decision.

Father Larry explained, “We are very excited and are looking forward to these new challenges.  We look forward to getting our feet wet.  Already we have gone to planning meetings and have gone to a Vocational Conference”.

Fr. Larry Zurek, OFM

Here Fr. Larry is preparing for his new position in Vocations, the recruiting of new friars.

“My pastoral work has been intense.  There hasn’t been much time for hobbies and personal interests.”  But he can look back with pleasure on one thing.  “When my Mother died in 2009, I wanted to honor her by planting a garden at the Friary.  One of the parishioners helped me put it together.   I am not sure if it will continue to be cared for, like trimming the roses after I leave, but I hope it will.”

Fr. Larry does have latent art abilities.  In the early days of his priesthood, he enjoyed using his talent by making religious art – batiks, to be exact.  There is always the availability of candle wax to use with the fabric work.  It prevents the dye from penetrating the cloth.  The products were used for holidays and special occasions.    Hopefully there will be some time in his new assignment to pick up where he left off.

 

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Brother and sister of angels

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St. Anthony

Trust in Jesus and St. Anthony brings
bold Words and immense joy to a young couple.
~

Three years ago I was asked to sing at the burial service of a baby boy who survived only a few hours after birth. His parents, Vincent and Louise, lost their first child, a daughter, fifteen months earlier.  She had also only lived a few hours after birth.

At the graveside for the baby boy, I waited until everyone left and I spoke to the mother.  I said to her, “Almighty God will reward your acceptance of his taking both your children to heaven.  And you will have your baby.” Then I added, “Something tells me that your child will not be the last, she smiled weakly, tears in her eyes and said thank you.”

A year or so later and I received a call from Vincent to say that Louise was pregnant and would spend the last three months of her confinement in a hospital bed hoping this would help.  I told Vincent that I would pray a nine Tuesday Novena to St. Anthony, who I have a great devotion to, and I sent all the family Novena cards to join me on the given date.  The donation to the Bread of St. Anthony was sent and the Novena was prayed.

Three months later Joseph Dominic was born and since then a sister for Joseph has arrived whose name I have forgotten in my old age.  I hasten to add that I had no right to tell Louise that she would have these children, but at the graveside I just knew that it would happen.

Isn’t God wonderful!  So thank you Jesus and you too, St. Anthony!

Love you to bits.

–John

The Solemn Novena in Honor of St. Anthony of Padua begins Tuesday, April 14

 

St AnthonyJoin us at the Shrine for the Novena prayers at 2:30 pm and Novena Mass at 7 pm.  Can’t make it to the Shrine?  Make your own novena with the prayers on our Prayer Page.  You can donate to St. Anthony Bread or any of our ministries at our Donation Page.  We’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

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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

Travel to these famous and  Holy places with Fr. Carl Langenderfer, OFM.

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.

People interested in the trip met at the St Anthony Shrine on April 7 to hear the presentation from Collette Vacations.  Based on those that have signed up, I can assure you that you will be traveling with a fun group.

There was also an on line presentation on April 8 that was taped.  It was not as much fun as a lot of people in the same room asking EVERY kind of question possible, but it will give you the basic details of the trip.

Check it out at    http://gocollette.wistia.com/medias/czveq8fo0i

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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