Loving my father for who he is
“Sons and daughters talk of our fathers in terms of what they teach us and how they love us. Fathers and mothers seem like gods initially. The older I get, my dad becomes more human to me, a man I love for no other reason than who he is. I love, appreciate and thank God this Father’s Day for becoming my God, so I can better love, appreciate and thank my dad simply for himself and for being himself.”.
Br. Michael took his Solemn Vows last year and is currently studying at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
For so many of us, our fathers are our heroes
Their examples of love, strength, integrity, responsibility, and sacrifice can help us become who we are. As you reflect on your own father, we thought you might enjoy some of the comments we received from the friars about their own dads.
Click on the photos below to read their stories and see more photos.
Honor your father this Father’s Day for their love and the lessons they have taught you.
St. Anthony found S.R. a long, happy marriage
as well as her much-cherished engagement ring
Enclosed is a donation in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00) to St. Anthony Bread in thanks for a lost object being found. We had been out of town 300 miles from home where we stayed in a motel and shopped in a large department store. Upon arriving home I noticed that my engagement ring was not on my finger. We went through our luggage, the car, and the bags of items we had purchased several times. It was nowhere to be found.
The following morning I called the motel and the department store. The ring had not been turned in and I had little hope of its being found. Of course, all this time I had been praying almost non-stop to St. Anthony. One of the things the customer service person at the department store asked me as we were speaking the first time was if I believed in the Lord. I said, “Yes.” I think store policy probably discourages mentioning religion to customers, even in a indirect way, while the employee is working. Yet she did.
She called back the second day to tell me the ring had been found. I asked her if she knew who had found it or turned it in, she said, “No, it just turned up in my box this morning.” I couldn’t believe it! I don’t think it was just a coincidence that the customer service person was a believer and indirectly was saying I should pray for it to be found and that the next day it just appeared in her box. I think it was a miracle. In our final conversation she said that my prayers had been answered, and of course, I agreed, knowing that St. Anthony had heard my prayers.
We are celebrating our 61st anniversary this year, so it is a much-cherished ring. Our thanks to St. Anthony for his help in it being returned.
— S. R. in Pennsylvania
We’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too. Use our Contact Page or Email: firstname.lastname@example.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.
My dad had two profound influences on my life.
- First he was a man of prayer and devotion to Mary the Mother of God.
- Second was his deep baritone voice that rang out in Church no matter if he was reading the Scriptures or singing in the choir.
Dad had a very simple approach to life, If you could not afford it you did with out. That philosophy has served me very well in my 21 years here in the hills of Kentucky.
Living simply, valuing prayer and taking pride in whatever you do were hallmarks of my dad, Ted Beetz.
Br. Jerry is stationed at Holy Cross Parish in Jackson, Kentucky
My dad still stands fly fishing
a small stream in Arizona
He’s 81, his cast smooth,
waders rolled beneath his knees
He stands strong, fly rod in hand
towering over deep trout
He died a few months after
this photograph was taken
The following week we’d planned
to fly fish streams together
Now eyes fixed on the fly that’s
hit the water, he’s transfixed
by what might break the surface
He leans forward as into
sunlight, the shadows of my
pursuit falling behind him
When I was 16 and just got my driver’s license, I was driving with my younger brother to a Red’s baseball game, and I had my first accident.
I was using my dad’s company car, and I hit the car in front of me from behind; clearly my fault. These were pre-cell phone days, so I told my brother to stay in the car while I found a pay phone to call home.
I was scared, embarrassed, afraid of possible consequences.
When Mom and Dad got there, they first made sure we were OK; I was affirmed for telling my brother to stay in the car, and Dad said that everyone can make a mistake, once.
The “once” was not an ultimatum never to make a mistake again, but an encouragement to be careful and responsible.
I felt cared for, affirmed and challenged all at the same time.
Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, is the Provincial Minister for the Province of St. John the Baptist.
My father used to wear classy suits to work. He worked in the office (at the family business) and like his father and uncle, he wore business dress daily. He also drove a nice luxury car to work.
Yet, as I grew up I saw all that change. He instead began to identify more with his employees who worked in the factory and were covered in wood dust all day. He changed his attire over time to “work clothes” and industry standard boots. And yes, he got a truck and ditched the luxury car.
I say all that to say this: I watched him change to physically identity with the regular everyday worker. I know his employees respect him for it. I think he’s happier and closer to them because of such. I think unconsciously that’s the same process I mimicked as I shed the weight of high class society and joined the friars minor.
Therefore, I wear my habit and sandals like my daddy wears his work clothes and boots.
Fr. Richard serves at Holy Family Parish in Galveston, Texas.
“Thank you, Holy Father, for the hope that you give us.”
The General Chapter of the Order began in Assisi on Sunday, May 10 and ended on June 7. Leadership of the Provinces and Custodies gathered to assess the current state of the Order and set a course for the next six years. Friars voted on proposed changes to the Constitutions and Statutes and re-elected Minister General, Fr. Michael Perry, OFM.
The General Chapter of the Order began with a real experience of poverty, and mendicancy for Fr. Jeff. A momentary power outage at the Cincinnati airport caused havoc for all the baggage in the airport. After an hour of trying to sort it out, the pilot finally decided they had to leave. The delay caused Jeff to miss his connection in Paris but folks there assured him that his baggage was on the flight he was assigned. Once in Paris, Fr. Jeff found out this was not true. It was a long 5 days before his first bag arrived. He survived on the generosity of fellow friars for his basic needs.
Fr. Jeff writes:
“The Chapter began with a very powerful opening moment. All the delegates gathered on the plaza in front of St Mary of the Angels.
We processed in and kissed the book of the Gospels held by the General Minister, the successor of St Francis, before walking through the Portiuncula chapel. I touched the very stone that Francis used to rebuild the chapel, and was quite moved by this brief ceremony.
There’s no doubt that the highlight of the General Chapter was the audience with Pope Francis. Pope Francis spoke in Italian, so I only understood it when I read it later on.
Our General Minister Michael Perry stood next to the Pope and told him our names and country. (I was pretty amazed at that, given that there are about 160 of us!)
I said to Pope Francis, “Thank you, Holy Father, for the hope that you give us.
He did not speak in return; I was not sure if he understood me. To be honest, I did not realize he smiled so broadly until I saw the picture from the OFM website.”
Fr. Jeff was privileged to preside at Mass at the Porziuncola, one of the churches that St. Francis restored after he heard God’s voice say to him from the San Damiano Cross, “Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins”. Fr. Jeff’s homily reflects his personal time of prayer before the same cross just the day before.
Follow each day of the General Chapter at the Order’s website beginning with ‘What does celebrating a chapter mean?’
Read a synopsis of the Pope’s message to the Franciscans from Catholic News Service.
Weekly updates from Fr. Jeff can be read on our Province website’s newsletter, SJB News Notes
“Our Dad got homing pigeons
for us and we used to race them.”
The Schneider family grew up in Louisville, KY, “Our Dad got homing pigeons for us and we used to race them,” at one time, Fr. Ric says, “We had 70 or 80 birds.”Each summer their parents would plan “mystery trips” for the family. The number of kids who went (there were 11 of them) depended upon the number they could fit in the car. “It was always by turn,” Ric says. “Not everybody got to go.”
Dad also took along a couple of pigeons. When he pulled over for the night on the first leg of the trip. “He would put a note[with their location] on the leg band of the pigeon and send it home.” Ric remembers how eagerly the kids in Louisville waited for news from the road. “We’d be sitting in the back yard, waiting for that bird to come in.” When the pigeon arrived with its note, “We’d get a map and see where Dad had gone that day.”
For the kids who couldn’t go, it was a lesson in geography – and a way to make them feel included.
Fr. Ric Schneider, OFM, is pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Bloomington, Illinois
Of the eleven children, four became Franciscan priests. Can you match them to the photo above? In the photo below they are meeting Pope John Paul II.
Walk the pathways of Saint Francis and Saint Clare October 27 – November 6
Join Fr. John Quigley, OFM, of Friars Studio Pilgrimage Program on a journey of a lifetime. Explore the benefits of walking in the pathways of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Visit Rome and the Vatican to better understand the early Christian life.
Informational meeting: July 5, 2015 at Noon
Saint Monica/Saint George
328 W. McMIllan Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45219
Please join us to discern whether this spiritual journey is right for you.
- For more information contact Tina Neyer at 513-256-2408 or email@example.com
- Pilgrimage details at: www.friarsstudio.com/pilgrimage-programs/
- Visit our website at: www.friarsstudio.com, or follow us on Facebook.