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Photos found! Thank you St. Anthony!

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NYC photos

Do you share the love of St. Anthony with your friends?  Share how he intercedes to the Lord for their needs.
~

Dear Fr. John,

My St. Anthony story involves my dear friend of 60 years, Helen.  Every time she loses something important, she calls and asks me to pray to St. Anthony for her.  He has come to her aid several times.  This last time she had mislaid $200, a new shirt for her son-in-law and most treasured by her…a disposable camera that she had taken on a trip to NYC.  A very fine artist, she took pictures of people that inspired her.

She was most excited about developing them because she felt they would inspire her to hard and joyful work again. The loss of the camera was so upsetting to her that she was beginning to despair of finding it.  She started praying to St. Anthony (also called for my prayers).

I got a joyous call from her to let me know that St. Anthony helped her…she found the camera!  I didn’t mention that Helen is Jewish but relies on my prayers.  She has been inspired to go the more direct route.

Yours truly,

–Dae

St. Anthony Statue at the ShrineWe’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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David was devastated but St. Anthony helped

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St. Anthony

Candles are a gentle reminder of our prayers to the Lord. Everyday, candles are lighted in the chapel and the outdoor shrine asking for the intercession of St. Anthony.

Thanks St. Anthony, and most of all
thank you Almighty Father.
~

Earlier this year I needed help so badly.   My wife had given me divorce papers and there was no going back. This was devastating and I was lost.  What am I going to do?  I needed help. 

I then remembered my parish bishop had told me once to pray to St. Anthony when I was in need of something.  And I began to pray in his name.  I lighted candles on this site (stanthony.org) and asked for prayers.

I prayed with faith for a job and for my marriage. Two weeks later, I got a job.  And, not only did I get a job, I had three job offers!  I continued to pray using St. Anthony’s name.

A month and half later, my wife reconsidered the divorce. Now we are back together.  I strongly believe without the intercession of St. Anthony I would have been divorced, and probably still looking for a job.

Thanks St. Anthony and most of all thank you Almighty Father.

–David

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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Join us for Year of Mercy Presentation Series

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Celebrating Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy
~

Mercy is very dear to Franciscans, in fact in some ways, it is our vocation.  An early life of St. Francis, called the Legend of the Three Companions, described our way of life this way:

This is our vocation:  to heal wounds, to bind what is broken, to bring home those who are lost. In other words to be merciful.

We friars thank you for your many expressions of kindness and mercy toward us, and we pray that this year will be a time when you come to know once again the mercy of God.  We thank you for helping us proclaim this great gift, and to continue healing, binding wounds, and welcoming people home.  May God give you peace!

We invite you to join us for Franciscan reflections on the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

  • Fr. John Quigley, OFM:     Saturday, February 6, 10:30 am – 12 noon 
  • Fr. Larry Zurek, OFM:         Monday, April 11, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM:     Wednesday, November 2, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

All three presentations will be held at the St Anthony Shrine, 5000 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH  45223 and last approximately one hour.   Light refreshments will follow.

To rsvp, please contact Fr. Dan Anderson  at: dja@franciscan.org  or call 513-721-4700

Fr. John Quigley's talk is Saturday February 6.

Fr. John Quigley’s talk is Saturday February 6.

Fr. Larry Zurek will speak on Monday April 11.

Fr. Larry Zurek will speak Monday April 11.

Fr. Mark Soehner's talk is Wednesday November 2.

Fr. Mark Soehner’s talk is Wednesday November 2.

May God give you peace in this Jubilee Year of Mercy!

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A Franciscan Thank You

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Thank You

 Thanks for all you do
to make our work possible.
~

ABOUT THE ART:

T = Tau cross: A simple cross based on the Greek T.  Francis used the Tau cross in his writings.

H = Two friars: A friar is a member of the Franciscan Order of men.  Friar is a word meaning brother.

A = Stigmata: Marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and other.

N = Wolf of Gubbio: Francis was moved by their plight and wanted to do what he could to help the people of Gubbio.  St. Francis was able to tame the fierce wolf of Gubbio.

K = Bird: Francis had much love for animals with special fondness for birds.  St. Francis preached to the birds.

Y = Bible: Intimacy with God through prayer was the foremost priority for Francis.

O = Tonsure: the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp, as a sign of religious devotion or humility.

U = Rope-like cord: The belt of the poor, which Francis adopted.  The three knots symbolize the three vows: poverty, chastity, and obedience.

May your New Year be filled with Peace and Joy.
~

 Vicki Shuck website

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Christmas and Inspirational Books

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“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. ” John 1:1
~

Franciscan Media seeks to spread the Word that is Jesus Christ.  All their publications, products, and endeavors aim to carry on the work of telling the wonderful message of Jesus in the substantial, yet easy-to-understand style of Saints Francis, Clare and Anthony.

Titles from Pope Francis:
Year of Mercy  FM - Blessing family
Love is Our Mission Fulton SheenHoly Marriage HappyFM - Men, Women MysteryLife's great questionsAmazing Graces In God's holy light Passion and Cross150 Bible Browse CatalogBrowse the entire Franciscan Media catalog

 

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What is the Year of Mercy?

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Year of Mercy

A living sign of the
Father’s love in the world
~

Pope Francis has long made mercy one of the primary focuses of his papacy.

Because he has sought to reach those in the fold as well as those on the periphery, the pope declared that the Jubilee of Mercy will begin on December 8, 2015 (the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and conclude on November 20, 2016 (the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe).

It’s a special, holy year which will focus on the breadth of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Join our flagship ministry Franciscan Media
in celebrating the Year of Mercy.

 

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A Franciscan Year of Mercy

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Pope Francis has proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016
~

Year of MercyOne of our obligations as Franciscans is to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  Each morning, part of that prayer is the Canticle of Zechariah, the prayer that John the Baptist’s father prayed at his son’s birth, as recorded in Luke’s Gospel.  During the prayer Zechariah says, “He promised to show mercy to our fathers, and to remember His holy Covenant.”  He also prays, “In the tender compassion of our Lord, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness, and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  An older translation translated the word “compassion” as “mercy.”  You can find the whole prayer at Luke 1: 67-79.

Each evening we pray the Canticle of Mary, the prayer Mary prayed while visiting her cousin Elizabeth, also found in Luke (1:46-55).  Like Zechariah, Mary recalls God’s great mercy when she recalls that “He has mercy on those who fear Him In every generation,” and “He has come to the help of His servant Israel, for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

It has often struck me as I prayed these daily prayers how fitting it is that we begin and end each day remembering God’s great mercy.  Mercy is what God desires to share with us, from beginning to end.  We are surrounded by and sustained by mercy.  Pope Francis has now invited the whole church to ponder God’s mercy for a whole year.  He has proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.  The faithful are invited to make pilgrimages, celebrate reconciliation, can received indulgences, but most importantly to experience God’s mercy and share it with others.  We are invited to go deeply into this most important gift of God, and to experience anew the compassion and mercy of our God.

Mercy is very dear to Franciscans, in fact in some ways, it is our vocation.  An early life of St. Francis, called the Legend of the Three Companions, described our way of life this way: This is our vocation:  to heal wounds, to bind what is broken, to bring home those who are lost. In other words to be merciful.

We friars thank you for your many expressions of kindness and mercy toward us, and we pray that this year will be a time when you come to know once again the mercy of God.  We thank you for helping us proclaim this great gift, and for providing the support to continue healing, binding wounds, and welcoming people home.  May God give you peace!

Provincial Minister Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, greets Pope Francis. Photo: ©L'Osservatore Romano

Provincial Minister Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, greets Pope Francis. Photo: ©L’Osservatore Romano

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‘Fr. Joe was good to everybody’

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Photos of Fr. Joe Rigali, OFM, at his funeral

Photos of Fr. Joe Rigali, OFM, at his funeral

Fr. Joe Rigali, OFM
July 20, 1931 – November 27, 2015
~

Fr. Joe Rigali, OFM

Fr. Joe Rigali, OFM

The sitting room at Little Sisters overflowed with friends who were there for Joe. That’s because Joe was always there for them.

“He always had time to talk to people, always had that bright smile” was how one woman described the relationship retirees had with fellow resident Fr. Joe Rigali, OFM, at St. Paul’s Archbishop Leibold Home in Cincinnati. At the reception preceding Joe’s funeral on Dec. 5, it wasn’t his assignments they talked about.  It was the connections he made along the way.

“Fr. Joe was good to everybody,” said Bonita Greene, a resident who met Joe 40 years ago when he came here to visit his mother, Anna. “All he had to do was hear you had a problem, and he would talk you through it.” Admittedly, his appeal was more than spiritual. “I always asked him why he became a priest, because he was too handsome to become a priest.”

If this was a cross, Joe never complained. “He never seemed to complain about anything,” said Lawrence Renaud, a student at Thomas More College when Joe was in campus ministry. “Even when he was dealt a bad hand” – like news of terminal cancer – “he knew how to say something positive. He made lemonade out of lemons.”

Fr. Joe revisiting the New Orleans school flooded after Hurricane Katrina

Fr. Joe revisiting the New Orleans school flooded after Hurricane Katrina

‘Always grateful’

Fr. Tom Speier, OFM, remembered Joe “sacrificing himself. He tried to retire four or five times. Every time he wanted to retire he would take another job nobody wanted,” like helping to rebuild St. Mary of the Angels Parish in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the death of beloved pastor Fr. Bart Pax, OFM.

It was Lawrence, a loyal visitor, who recently asked Joe, “You got any photo albums?”, then photographed 173 snapshots to create a slide show for the funeral. “I will miss his smile, his laughter, his friendship,” said Lawrence, one of many who struggled to keep their emotions in check.

Eyes red from tears, Stephanie Gartrell described the past year as Joe’s caregiver. Until the end, “He was always active, ready for anything we had planned. He was just a good, humble man, no different than anybody else.” Little Sisters like Mary Imelda, the supervisor on Joe’s floor, knew him better than most.  “One thing you should write,” she said, “is that he was always grateful. He always said he was ‘peachy’.”

A Little Sister watches the slide show

A Little Sister watches the slide show

Glory to God

At the funeral it was homilist Fr. Fred Link’s job to tie this all together. His role, he said, was “not to extol the deceased, rather to extol the Lord Jesus, who has given our brother eternal life. When I came in church today and stood in front of the body, I saw another friar standing next to me and I said, ‘Luscious Lucius,’” the nickname fawning females gave Joe years ago. Fred then turned to see “the person next to me was not a friar; it was a Little Sister.” Ooops.

Fred wondered “as Joe went through his ministerial life, maybe that was a source of temptation for him. Most of us don’t have anyone to call us ‘luscious’. God certainly called Joe his beloved.  We extol God today who chose Joe. If today’s celebration is to have any meaning or significance, it is in accepting once again our call to be bearers of the Good News.

“When I got the readings [Joe chose], I said, ‘Yes, yes, it’s Joe. He’s giving God all the glory.” What struck Fred was the passage from 2 Corinthians: “But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.”

“We’re weak and fragile,” Fred said. “Joe knew his limitations. I had in my last ministry [as Provincial Minister] a chance to see this side of Joe,” the side that revealed, “‘I don’t have it all together’, but he placed himself as an earthen vessel for God” to serve his people.

Fr. Joe with Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler, OFM

Fr. Joe with Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler, OFM

“God has been so good”

In a message Joe wrote to be read at his funeral, he echoed the Gospel reading from Matthew that begins with praise for the Father and ends with, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In this letter of gratitude, “Joe said, ‘God has been so good to me and blessed me in so many ways,’” according to Fred. “He celebrated even the fact that God was embracing him with Sister Death.”

A Provincial Chronicle from 1962 quotes Joe saying of the friars’ presence at Bishop Luers High School, “It is good for us to be here.” In his ministerial life, “Joe had perhaps 25 different ministerial assignments,” Fred said, adding, “There were those who would say he was not very dependable. But it doesn’t take longer than one or two years to affect people’s lives. I would think everywhere he was Joe would say, ‘It is good for me to be here.’”

The proof of that was in condolences Fred read from around the country, notes that revealed the impact of “this instrument of God, this earthen vessel who was anointed. He’s still with us in Jesus and he’s blessing us.”

Our prayer today, Fred said, “is that we catch Joe’s spirit and realize our awesome dignity and realize that wherever the Lord takes us, it is good for us to be here.”

L to R: Friar Basil Westendick, Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, and Fr. Joe Rigali

L to R: Friar Basil Westendick, Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, and Fr. Joe Rigali

Putting himself last

Celebrant Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM, shared that sentiment. “I lived with Fr. Joe for a short time at St. Leonard, and he was always incredibly gracious and hospitable. He was always generous in meeting the needs of others and placing them above his own, coming out of retirement to take on problematic situations. I’ve always seen him as a model myself, to emulate the virtues he projected.”

The sharing continued after Mass as residents, friars, and Little Sisters lingered at the slide show playing on the TV screen. They saw Joe proudly posing with his mom and dad; dancing with students; preaching in Jamaica; enjoying what would be his final birthday.

Two friends reminisced about their last visits with Joe. “He didn’t go around like a sick person,” said one man. And the other agreed, “He was such a good guy, wasn’t he?” No one could argue with that.

This article first appeared in SJB NewsNotes December 10, 2015
Photos ©2015 Toni Cashnelli

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St. Anthony helps Fr. J.J.

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KEYSFr. John received this St. Anthony story from
fellow Franciscan friar J.J. Gonchar
~

Dear John,

Peace!

The ‘Finding of the Lost’ was similar to what happened to me some months ago.

I had lost my house key.  I searched everywhere for it but no luck.  I searched my bedroom thoroughly more than once, for I might have dropped it there.  I told myself that I would not worry about it, that St. Anthony would find it for me.  My trust, however, was not that rock solid.

One day I began to look around again just in case.  Lo and behold, there it was on the floor at the end of my bed, right out in the open.  I could have sworn that I looked there more than once.  To me, that was a miracle.

I’m not sure if it is naturally possible to look and not see what is really there.  Be that as it may, I was and still am most grateful to St. Anthony.  He has come through for me more than once.

May God be continually praised in and through him.

–J.J.

Fr. J.J. Gonchar, OFM

Fr. J.J. Gonchar, OFM

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.
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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Wake the world with song

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Fr. Fred Link, OFM, leads the choir practice for the 'Wake Up the World' concert celebrating consecrated life.

Fr. Fred Link, OFM, leads the choir practice for the ‘Wake Up the World’ concert celebrating consecrated life.

Concert is a celebration of religious life
~

Wake up the world

It’s the second full rehearsal for “Wake Up the World!” a concert to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life.  More than 120 members of 16 religious communities in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati – including 21 friars – have donated their time and talent to the event, named for the apostolic letter in which Pope Francis sought to affirm and energize men and women in religious life.

Most of the year’s other activities – prayer services, seminars, open houses – are educational, informative. This hour-long concert is meant to inspire, to stir the soul, to communicate the joy of devoting one’s life to the Lord.

It’s the job of Fr. Fred Link, OFM, to pull this together. And he’s loving every minute of it.

He found 20 of his own brothers willing to help. “I’m humbled by the turnout and energy of the friars,” he says. Secretary Fr. Dan Anderson, OFM, part of a logistics committee, is writing a narrative for the program. Br. Gabriel Balassone, OFM, was asked to sing Ave Maria. Br. Gene Mayer, OFM, is coordinating refreshments.

The free concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, 325 W. 8th St. in downtown Cincinnati. Attendees are invited to a reception in the undercroft.

Learn more at the ‘Wake Up The World’ event page.

Read the full story in the SJB NewsNotes December 3, 2015
Photos ©2015 Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM

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