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Black Friday Becomes Brown Friday

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 Our Ministry of Presence at Northgate Mall in Cincinnati is going well.  Here are a few of the stories.

 

We began on Black Friday (which we re-named Brown Friday) with pretty good crowds.

Our Ministry of Presence made the cover of the Catholic Telegraph

Many people read about us in the cover story of the December edition of The Catholic Telegraph. Some came to visit with Auxiliary Bishop Joe Binzer, who joined us for three hours.  We’ve heard a few confessions, prayed with and blessed some families, gave information about the local ministries, and talked with people about the Secular Franciscans, family problems, and how they might return to Church after being away for a while.

Catholics and non-Catholics have visited. Some are in need; some are curious; some just look; most are glad to see us there. They find the novelty of our presence at a mall intriguing. They have brought us cookies to share. The interest in what we are doing is growing.  Our goals are modest: we want to meet people where there are, in the marketplace, with a simple message of welcome and hospitality. It is an experiment in the “new evangelization,” bringing the Good News of God’s love to those who visit.”

— Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM

 

Bishop Joe Binzer manned the refreshments desk while Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, visited with guests.

I grew up about three miles from Northgate Mall and remember when the Mall was built on a plot of land that served as an airport.

Little did I know that I would have the opportunity one day to talk about preparing for the coming of the Lord there.

It was a blessing to have been asked to share in the ministry with the Franciscans. I admire them greatly…I always have.

Last Friday I saw friends, spoke with curious shoppers, and had a chance to hear and offer stories of faith.

And I’ve reflected about my time at Northgate each day since Friday. God is good!!

— Bishop Joe Binzer

 

(This is how Al Mascia announced the mall ministry in his Song and Spirit newsletter.)

“Boy” I said to my colleague Maggid Steve the other day.

Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM, and Br. Al Mascia, OFM

“You guys are lucky.”

“What d’ya mean?,” he asked suspiciously.

“Well, nobody’s hijacked Chanukah, turned it into a vulgar caricature of itself, written silly songs about it, and then transformed it into a panic ridden occasion for conspicuous consumption, that’s all.”

“H’mm,” he conceded, “I guess you’re right.”

But how do you rescue a holiday from the throes of such shameless exploitation? Well, one way some of us Franciscans are trying involves going straight to the front lines. That’s right, the Shopping Mall!

From “Black Friday” until Christmas Eve, there will be Franciscans in brown habits managing a small storefront next to Macy’s at Northgate Mall in Cincinnati. We’re selling nothing; shoppers are welcome to stop by for some coffee, hot chocolate, homemade cookies and, if interested, some conversation about what Christmas is really about!

I was there Thanksgiving weekend playing music on my aging concertina for two three-hour shifts.  Understandably, we took many shoppers by surprise.  Maybe some even went home with more than they’d bargained for!

— Br. Al Mascia, OFM

Watch Br. Al’s “Let Christmas Be” video by John Lebong

 

Stop by for a cup of coffee or cocoa and take a few minutes to relax or pray with the Franciscans.

 

Br. Michael Radomski, OFM, greets visitors

Store #186 near Macy’s inside entrance

Hours:
Saturdays   10:00am – 9:00 pm
Sundays     12 noon – 6:00 pm
Monday – Friday   6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24:   12 noon – 3:00 pm

Information and directions to Northgate Mall: http://www.mynorthgatemall.com/visit/

 

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St. Anthony Comes Through Again

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Our benefactors love St. Anthony and often ask for his intercession.  Here is a touching story of faith.

 

“I was in a Catholic affiliated medical clinic, and a doctor was frantically trying to find a paper. The paper contained information that was vital. I asked the doctor if he had prayed, and he had not. I asked if I could do so.

I took the doctor by the arm and prayed for St. Anthony’s intercession. After I prayed, the doctor immediately walked to a trash can and found the crumbled paper! What a testimony!

Thanks be to God!”    

–Jena

 

     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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Volunteers Make Forever Friends in Jackson, KY

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Volunteers from St. John the Baptist parish in Harrison, Ohio, outside one of the homes they visit during their annual Christmas trip to Jackson, Kentucky.

Friends are Friends Forever!

 

For the thirteenth year, youth and adults from St. John the Baptist Parish in Harrison, OH, will make their annual Christmas trip to Jackson, Kentucky. They have adopted the Holy Cross parish served by Br. Jerry Beetz, OFM and Fr. Reynolds Garland, OFM.

Fr. Reynolds Garland, OFM, and Br. Jerry Beetz, OFM, of Holy Cross Church in Jackson, Kentucky

They help in a variety of valuable ways.  Traveling in spirit are the people of St. John’s who provide the resources to help some of the people who live in the mountain town and surrounding “hollers.”

Lynda Noel, Religious Education Coordinator and Hub Martini, Young Adult Coordinator lead the 15 member group who will begin their one day trip at 6 am on December 23.

A red pick up truck, graciously on loan from a woman of the parish, leads the caravan into the mountains.  It is packed with gifts, food and practical items.  There is no concrete plan upon arrival.  Things usually fall into place.

Earlier this summer, a team from the parish spent a week in Jackson doing whatever they could.  They patched a roof, cleared heavy weeds, built a ramp, widened and replaced a front door and painted a porch.

Keegan Haag who has made the trip to Jackson since high school comforts Holy Cross parishioner Judy Jett by the friendship pear tree. Her deceased husband Everett is being remembered.

This project is a heart opening, memory making experience.  “It is much more than just giving and doing things,” Linda explained.    “All of us were moved at our visit with the bedridden blind woman praying for us and we joined with her family singing O Holy Night.

Christian love is expressed in non verbal ways by visiting and singing carols to patients in a nursing home.   A lonely bachelor was so touched because someone remembered him.

“The people do not have money, but their faith is deep.  All of us recognized that.  We have built relationships with Catholics and non Catholics alike.  An ailing woman told Linda, ‘I consider you my sister!’

‘Friends are Friends Forever’

“We planted a sturdy ornamental pear tree in front of Holy Cross Church and then placed an engraved plaque at its base in memory of the people who have passed on whom St. John’s visited over the years, it says, Friends Are Friends Forever.

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Franciscan Media Celebrates Fr. Jack’s Work

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Fr. Jack Wintz, OFM, reminisced about some of his favorite stories and photos.

November 19, Franciscan Media had a retirement party for Fr. Jack Wintz, OFM, to celebrate his more than 40 years of writing with the company.  Fr. Dan Kroger, OFM, Publisher and CEO of Franciscan Media and the Employee Committee provided a Skyline Chili luncheon. (Every Tuesday Jack continues his tradition of having Skyline with some staff members.)

The staff of Franciscan Media enjoys a Skyline Chili lunch

John Feister, Editor-in-Chief of Franciscan Media, recounted how Fr. Norman Perry, OFM, called a young friar who was teaching literature in the Philippines to come to Cincinnati to head up a new project entitled Catholic Update. This publication reached millions of Catholics throughout the United States and the English speaking world. Forty years later Jack is passing the baton on to author Joan McKamey.

Tom Shumate, Chief Operating Officer of Franciscan Media, recalled how Fr. Jack taught him literature as a freshman in high school and how he truly impressed him with his Franciscan spirit.  Tom thought Fr. Jack was always chasing the stars with interviews with actors such as Gene Kelly, Martin Sheen and Brooke Shields—all of which he crafted into popular stories in St. Anthony Messenger.

Fr. Jack visits with Martin Sheen and son Emilio Estevez on the movie set of ‘The Way’

But in addition to his gifted writing skills, folks remembered Jack for being a real team player and helping others to pull together to have a great magazine and a great place to be creative.

Jack met the challenge of developing Friar Jack’s E spirations, even though he didn’t understand the Internet very much at the time. Now his popular electronic column reaches over 30,000 subscribers a month. That’s quite an achievement! Other friars are continuing his e-newsletter endeavors.

When Fr. Jack took the podium, he showed off his photographic skills with two cover stories that he was very proud of—one on Hiroshima and one on St. Anthony. He enjoyed the international travel. The trip to Nagasaki and Hiroshima had a profound impact on him. He met survivors of the atomic blast and interviewed them for his cover story.

He was also touched by a trip to Nicaragua where he visited Fr. Oscar Romero’s tomb and spoke with people who knew him intimately.

Tom Shumate, Chief Operating Officer of Franciscan Media gives Fr. Jack a retirement gift.

In Chile he was in a crowd of protestors of the Pinochet regime when they were tear-gassed, and he had to run away with his eyes burning from the chemicals. He turned all these travels into significant articles for St. Anthony Messenger.

Fr. Jack had an exciting and fulfilling ministry at Franciscan Media and he is very grateful for his friends and colleagues who worked together side-by-side over the years.

Fr. Jack’s books and audio tapes from Franciscan Media.

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Surviving a Typhoon: Roofs Flew Off Like Kites

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The Franciscan friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist have been serving the people of the Philippines for over 60 years.  Br. Philip Wilhelm, OFM, remembers Typhoon Yaling in 1970.

 

News of the Philippines seems to appear in the daily news only when there is a catastrophe. This time it is about Typhoon Haiyan, one of the worst storms that ever hit the islands of the Philippines.

A young Br. Philip Wilhelm, OFM, with friends in the Philippines

I spent two years in Baybay, Leyte, which is on the west side of the mountain. Tacloban is on the east side of the mountains and was the first city to feel the impact of Haiyan. The most dangerous typhoon I witnessed, Typhoon Yaling, was in 1970 when I was stationed at the seminary in Quezon, City. I was assigned in the college building with the young seminarians when, one morning, the wind began and heavy rains blew against the windows. It was not long before three of the chapel windows were blown out and much glass covered the chapel floor.  Then the large mango tree in front of the refectory was uprooted and much of it landed on the roof. Some of the seminarians and I were living on the third floor and we watched as some of the ceiling was sucked up toward the roof. The roof and some of the beams of the building were moved about four inches and set down again. I told our young boys, “We better get off this floor.” Looking out the windows we could see the roofs of some of the houses nearby flying off like kites.

Then we all were called to go and help the families, many with children, and bring them to the seminary. Thankfully, a good part of the six-foot wall around the seminary had collapsed and we were able to get out. I remember having one child in my arms and holding on to another as we walked through 2 feet of water.  The wind increased as we made our way to the seminary. No one was hurt from the flying galvanized sheets used as roofs or the branches of the trees and other wood.

In the meantime the large mango tree that had landed on the refectory was blown off and crashed in the court yard. By nightfall the storm had passed over. We had damage on both buildings, and the homes around us were all damaged. We had no electricity, which meant we had no water that evening except what was in the large tank. Once that was used up we would wait until morning to get water from another source. Classrooms had space for 250 people, and we shared the food we had with them.

Br. Philip Wilhelm, OFM

We would learn later that over 200 people gathered for several days at the village church which we cared for. Even so, this typhoon was small compared to what happened in Tacloban, Leyte.

—Br. Philip

Br. Philip Wilhelm, OFM, spent many years in the Philippines until last spring when he moved back to the United States.  His newest assignment is at the Church of the Transfiguration in Southfield, Michigan.  Read last year’s Christmas letter from the Philippines.

 

By the grace of God, our missionaries in the Philippines survived Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most devastating storms in history.

But tens of thousands lost everything they own – and in many cases, everyone they love. Just as they have since 1956, our Franciscan friars will be working to support and sustain those who are most in need.

With your help and their efforts, we can give the people of the Philippines a reason to hope, and the means to rebuild. Please donate whatever you can to our relief efforts. Please remember to select “Philippines” on the drop down when asked how you would like your gift used.


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Friars Welcome All in the Spirit of St. Francis during the Holidays

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Nativity at St. Anthony Shrine

St. Francis would often meditate on the Poverty of the Incarnation
and the great love God has for us.  He is credited with popularizing the Nativity scene.

Fr. Jeffrey Scheeler, OFM, the Provincial Minister of the Province of St. John the Baptist invites you to visit the friars this Advent season at Northgate Mall.

 

 

Provincial Minister Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM

     May the peace of the Lord be with you!

     As Franciscans, we’re continually working to develop new ways to respond to the needs of people in today’s world.

     At the end of this month, we friars will try a new form of evangelization.  We want to share the Gospel by providing a Franciscan presence of warmth and welcome in the “marketplace” during the busy holiday season.  Friars from this province will be on hand at the Northgate Mall in Cincinnati, Ohio, on evenings and weekends from November 29 through December 24.

     Our hope is that our presence will be a bit of a reminder of the real reason for the season.  We would like to simply be a place of peace, friendship, prayer, and conversation during the hustle and bustle of the season.

     God bless you,
      Fr. Jeff


San Damiano Cross

Stop by for a cup of coffee or cocoa and take a few minutes to relax or pray with the Franciscans.

Store #186 near Macy’s inside entrance

Hours:
Friday, November 29     10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturdays   12 noon – 9:00 pm
Sundays     12 noon – 6:00 pm
Monday – Friday   6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Tuesday, December 24   12 noon – 3:00 pm

Information and directions to Northgate Mall: http://www.mynorthgatemall.com/visit/

 

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Surviving a Typhoon: Baptism by wind, the Spirit, and water!

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The Franciscan friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist have been serving the people of the Philippines for over 60 years.  Fr. Blane Grein, OFM, remembers his very first typhoon in 1965.

 

Fr. Blane Grein, OFM, in the 1960’s.

I arrived in the Philippines with Fr. Elgar Nadon, OFM, and Br. Cletus Riederer, OFM, in October of 1965. After a brief visit to our parishes on Biliran Island, Fr. Elgar and I returned to Manila for language school at Our Lady of the Angels Seminary in Novaliches, Quezon City. We finished at the end of April, so by the first of May we were heading to our assignments, Fr. Elgar to Biliran and me to Maripipi.

Fr. Joques Englehart was Pastor at Maripipi and had been there for over three months without any R & R. When I got there he took me on a tour of all the barrios, introducing me to the pillars of the church in each place and some school principals.  He and I were together less than a week when he said, “I’ve got to get off this island. It’s all yours till I get back.” Shortly after he left it started raining so I stayed in, typing letters stateside, saying to myself, “can’t do much outside because of the rain.”  Unknown to me, a typhoon was coming.

I soon found out why it was raining so hard.  The night it hit I was wiping up water in the bedrooms and sala [living room] the whole night.  Then early in the morning Felipe, one of our boat operators, came knocking on the door saying that our boat was being destroyed on the shore.

The locals took their engines out of the boat all the time, but Fr. Joques had built a covering with locks to protect our engine. The eye of the typhoon went right over our island. There was an eerie calm for about 25 minutes. That’s when Felipe and I were trying to save our boat engine, a 10-horsepower Briggs and Stratton motor. We were shoved around a lot by the waves and eventually we got the engine out, but by then it was ruined by the sand and salt water.

Once the eye passed, the winds came out of the other direction, causing considerable damage to the coconut trees, first shearing off the tops. We also lost almost a hundred feet of a stone pier that Fr. Carl built in front of the church that we could tie our boat up to at low tide. We lost some windows and wood in church; our convent survived well except for getting a little waterlogged. There was extensive damage around the island, especially to school buildings and houses near the sea.

Fr. Blain Grein, OFM, today.

The first of anything always makes an impression, as did this typhoon.  It prepared me well for a number of other typhoons – but no other direct hits that I experienced in my 10 years in the Philippines.

—Fr. Blane

Fr. Blane Grein, OFM, has served many places in his career as a Franciscan missionary including working with the Navajo native Americans in the Southwest United States.  He is currently preparing for his new assignment in Jamaica.

 

By the grace of God, our missionaries in the Philippines survived Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most devastating storms in history.

But tens of thousands lost everything they own – and in many cases, everyone they love. Just as they have since 1956, our Franciscan friars will be working to support and sustain those who are most in need.

With your help and their efforts, we can give the people of the Philippines a reason to hope, and the means to rebuild. Please donate whatever you can to our relief efforts. Please remember to select “Philippines” on the drop down when asked how you would like your gift used.

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Surviving a Typhoon: It’s Part of Missionary Life in the Philippines

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The Franciscan friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist have been serving the people of the Philippines for over 60 years.  Fr. Max Langenderfer, OFM, remembers a typhoon from 1985.

 

A survivor cries as she tells her ordeal beside a ship that was washed ashore in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy’s Joint Warning Center, slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

In February 1985 the Biliran Island friars were on their way to Cebu for our annual retreat. We drove our two Isuzu utility vehicles from Kawayan to Naval to Biliran and then to Ormoc where we usually took the ferry to Cebu City via Mactan Island and the Cebu harbor. This time, however, the sea was too rough because of an approaching typhoon and the ferry company had delayed the crossing because of the rough seas.

Instead of waiting for the ferry we decided to go to Tacloban and try to get a flight to Cebu. As usual we stayed with the Redemptorists at their Tacloban parish convento. We were too late to get a flight so we had to stay the night in the two-story concrete house of the Redemptorists.

During the night the typhoon made landfall. The screeching of the wind increased as the night wore on and the rain came through the glass louver windows on the south side of the building. The Redemptorist house was set back from the main street of Tacloban on a large lot. The house was slightly in front and to the side of a large concrete church. Across the main street were the usual densely packed bamboo houses of the local fishermen and city people. Many of the houses had nipa roofs and some had tin or GI sheets. A few houses had cement block walls with tin roofs. Many were built on the traditional stilts above the sand of the baybay or seashore.

As the winds increased we would hear the metallic rip as the tin sheets were torn off the roofs and crashed into nearby structures. While the glass louvers were tightly closed the force of the wind drove the rain through the cracks in a constant shower. While the wind came from the south we stayed in the rooms on the north side of the building. As the night wore on and the eye passed, the wind then came from the north side with the accompanying shower and we moved to the rooms on the south side. The floors were all concrete and so the accumulating rain water ran down the steps to the first floor.

With the first light of morning the typhoon had passed, and we went downstairs and outside to see the results. The yard was covered with all sorts of debris: tree limbs, banana plants, mangled tin, pieces of board, and all sorts of clothing and plastic house wares. The houses across the road were simply a massive heap of debris. The power lines and poles which formerly followed along the side of the main road were now neatly lying across the length of the main street.

One of us had come on a Yamaha 100 from Naval and Fr. Sam Hermes decided to see if he could make it back to Naval to access the damage to the parish. Sam made it as far as Carigara where the bridge had been washed away and people were crossing the river on a single coconut trunk. The next day Randy Berning, a lay volunteer, tried it and made it to Naval somehow but the Yamaha was never the same. I think we waited another day before we were able to get a flight to Cebu.

Fr. Max Langenderfer, OFM, at a school in Naval, Biliran in 1984.

By the time we returned to Naval much of the debris had been cleaned up. The electric lines which only a few months earlier had brought the first current to Naval were all down in a shambles. It would be some more months before the Bileco electric company could restore service. Our Naval convento and church were not seriously damaged. A huge acacia tree at the corner of the garage was now lying across the yard to the house. The roof of the kindergarten school building had been blown off and across the plaza towards the sea. It took some months and most of the parish savings to repair the kinder roof.

Bonifacio, the gardener, had built a new bamboo and nipa house at the edge of town. It had collapsed completely and he was now living in the section of roof sitting neatly on the ground. Most of the lube, coconut palm trees, were standing on the hillsides like matchsticks with the tops blown off and only the trunks remaining. Banana stalks were lying everywhere.

Many of the photos coming from CNN and BiliranIsland.com are very familiar. What is truly disturbing is the massive destruction of entire blocks of houses on a peninsula in Tacloban not so close to the seaside. The photos are similar to the destruction of the December 26 tsunami in Indonesia. Even more distressing is the reports of looting and violence in Tacloban which I do not remember happening after other typhoons. What I remember is the sense of solidarity as everyone pitched in to clean up and repair their neighborhoods and villages. The Biliran town church built by Fr. Elwin Harrington has lost its roof and part of one side wall. It may well be a total loss.

Fr. Max Langenderfer, OFM, today

Srs. Daina and Emma, two of the Franciscan Sisters Pro Infante and Familia who had been living in one of the totally destroyed areas, have been found alive and are on their way to their motherhouse in Talamban, Cebu. We have no news about the five FSPIF sisters living in Naval. For now all we can do is pray. In the future the people of Leyte and Biliran will need massive amounts of assistance to rebuild their homes, parishes, and lives.

—Fr. Max

 

Fr. Max Langenderfer, OFM, has served as a Franciscan missionary to people around the world.  He currently is the pastor of St. Joseph Church in Savannah-la-Mar, Jamaica.

By the grace of God, our missionaries in the Philippines survived Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most devastating storms in history.

But tens of thousands lost everything they own – and in many cases, everyone they love. Just as they have since 1956, our Franciscan friars will be working to support and sustain those who are most in need.

With your help and their efforts, we can give the people of the Philippines a reason to hope, and the means to rebuild. Please donate whatever you can to our relief efforts. Please remember to select “Philippines” on the drop down when asked how you would like your gift used.

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Surviving a Typhoon: ‘There was no warning’

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The Franciscan friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist have been serving the people of the Philippines for over 60 years.  Fr. Dan Kroger, OFM, remembers typhoons from his many years in the Philippines.

 

Fr. Dan Kroger, OFM (right) in the Philippines with lay missionary in 1982.

Super-typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013. Also called Yolanda, the storm made first landfall on the small coastal island of Guiuan Samar. Then storm moved northwestward, ravaging Leyte, Biliran, Cebu, Negros, and Panay islands. The first news reminded me of the storms that I witnessed during my years in the Philippines; however, the storms I experienced were not as strong as Yolanda.

My first typhoon was weak by comparison. At the time I was assigned on Maripipi Island, a small island north of Leyte and Biliran Islands. I was sleeping when the storm started blowing the rain through the windows and woke me up. There was no warning since there was no radio or TV then. 

The first words that came to mind were from the Canticle in the book of Daniel (3:65). “All you winds, bless the Lord. Praise and exalt him above all forever.”

Since the church and the parish house were right at the sea, the house was washed by the spray from the waves hitting the sea wall just outside the church and the house. Since Maripipi had no electric power, Fr. Carl Kemphues and I lit a kerosene lantern and placed some old bed sheets over the jalousie windows trying to minimize the amount of salt spray coming into the house. We were only on the edge of the storm’s path, so we did not suffer much damage.

Storms I witnessed on Biliran and Leyte islands were far more destructive.  They broke windows and knocked down trees and houses.

Fr. Dan Kroger, OFM, today

They wiped out whole villages and took many lives. When I was in Manila, typhoons flooded half the city.  People living along rivers and the bay had to move to higher ground to save their lives. Manila’s streets turned into rivers. That happened when I was in Manila in August 2012 for the fiftieth anniversary of our Franciscan Seminary. “All you winds, bless the Lord.”

— Fr. Dan

Fr. Dan Kroger, OFM, is currently the CEO of Franciscan Media (formerly known at St. Anthony Messenger) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

By the grace of God, our missionaries in the Philippines survived Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most devastating storms in history.

But tens of thousands lost everything they own – and in many cases, everyone they love. Just as they have since 1956, our Franciscan friars will be working to support and sustain those who are most in need.

With your help and their efforts, we can give the people of the Philippines a reason to hope, and the means to rebuild. Please donate whatever you can to our relief efforts. Please remember to select “Philippines” on the drop down when asked how you would like your gift used.

 

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Our Own St. Anthony Miracle

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St. Anthony lost (and found) a book that was very important to him; and so did we!

 

Author Alessandro Manzoni

Through the St Anthony web site, we received an email inquiry from Roger Hughes in Campbell, California who had recently purchased a book, “The Betrothed,” by Alessandro Manzoni through Amazon.com.  He was excited to get this book since he had read that Pope Francis found this book to be one of his favorites and that he kept it on his nightstand.

When he received the book and began to read it, he noticed the first page was stamped “Library, St. Anthony, 5000 Colerain Ave.”  On the top of another page there was another stamp, “Novitiate Library.”  This helped Mr. Hughes find us through the internet.  His email inquired about the date of the book’s purchase by the Novitiate and the date of the book’s publishing.

The email was forwarded to our Archives Department who took it to the perfect source, Brother Gabe Balassone, OFM, the librarian at St. Anthony Friary.  Br. Gabe recognized the title and checked the card catalogue and sure enough the book was listed, but missing from the shelf. 

Br. Gabriel holds the returned library book.

No one knows when the book was taken out of the library but apparently it had been missing for a long time.  And, no one knows how the book ended up at the bookstore that Mr. Hughes bought it from via Amazon.com.

We emailed Mr. Hughes telling him that the book had been a part of the Novitiate Library, that its card was still in the card catalogue, and that the book was missing from the shelf in the library.

A few days later, Mr. Hughes emailed the Archives his thanks and said, “I believe divine providence provided me the chance to purchase this great Italian Classic so that I may have the opportunity to return it to its rightful owner after it ‘disappeared’ from the shelf of your great library.  The book will be arriving shortly at St. Anthony Friary, 5000 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati.”  Mr. Hughes added a post script to his email saying that the book would be mailed tomorrow, the Feast of St. Francis.

So, “The Betrothed” is back where it belongs thanks to Mr. Hughes.  We believe that Mr. Hughes had a little help from St Anthony finding our web site.

 

You can read more about St. Anthony’s lost psalter on our ‘About St. Anthony’ 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.  Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page.  You can donate St. Anthony Bread or any of our ministries at our Donation Page.

‘The Bethrothed’

 

 

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