Get Updates

St. Anthony's Breadbasket E-newsletter gives you an opportunity to learn more about St. Anthony of Padua and how he continues to inspire the Franciscan friars in their work today, especially among the poor.

Home Page

Three stories of St. Anthony

Posted on by

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

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

Thank you St. Anthony,

–Tracy in Rhode Island

Need Guidance?
13 is profound.

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

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


Need a smile?
St. Anthony can provide.

Franciscan smile

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


–Joan in Virginia


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

Read more

Friars Club

Posted on by

Building Futures with Fun, Faith, and Fitness

Friars Club

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

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

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

Check out our video to learn more.

Read more

Fr. Warren Zeisler, OFM

Posted on by

Zeisler, WArren EDIT 201 x 300Fr. Warren Zeisler, OFM has never been one of those people that is comfortable in the spotlight.  Instead, he goes about doing things very quietly.  He is generous with his time and is always volunteering to help out whenever and wherever he is needed.  His positive attitude and sense of humor make him a delight to be around.

Fr. Warren taught school for 24 years.  He taught at St Francis Seminary and then Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati.  He also served at the VA Medical Center as hospital chaplain for 25 years.  In April of 2014, at the age of 90 and after serving for the last 15 years as Chaplain at the retirement home for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.   Fr. Warren decided it was probably time to share these duties with others in his friary.  He could not give it up completely.  He continues to serve at Notre Dame once a week.

He was starting to have a lot of trouble getting around.  Hip pain had made things fairly difficult for a while.   It prevented him from doing many of the things he loved and he really missed working in the garden and trimming the bushes on the grounds.

In August, 2014 he had a hip replacement and made a great recovery thanks to the good care he received and a lot of prayers.  “He’s amazing”, says Fr. John Bok.  “He is back to working on the grounds every day.  He is as determined and self-sufficient as ever. He is such a great role model on how to age well”.

Thank you Fr. Warren.

Fr. Warren

Read more

Gaudete Sunday

Posted on by

'Annunciation' by Vasily Surikov (1914) Public domain

‘Annunciation’ by Vasily Surikov (1914) Public domain

This is Joyful Sunday,
otherwise known as Gaudete Sunday.

The Word today continues to take on hopeful notes, as The Nativity of Our Lord approaches. The close of the second reading today contains a most beautiful blessing from St. Paul; take it to heart and carry it with you as we continue this wonderful season.

‘In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.’

–Ephesians 1: 11-12

As Christmas Time gets closer, and you feel yourself caught up in the madness of preparation, remember to take a little time for yourself.

A quiet moment or two can bring you much peace of mind. The secular world urges us to rush; mother church invites you to remember what Christmas is really about: God becoming human in Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and Family.

May our Loving God bless you with peace of heart, mind and soul!

Fr. Dave

Fr. Dave Kobak, OFM

Fr. Dave Kobak, OFM

Fr. Dave Kobak, OFM, is the pastor of Holy Family Church in Oldenburg, Indiana.

Read more

Advent with the Franciscans

Posted on by

The Reason for the Season:
Advent with the Franciscans at Northgate Mall.


Br. Michael Radomski, OFM, chats with a couple.

Br. Michael Radomski, OFM, chats with a couple.

May the Lord give you peace!

The Franciscan Friars hope to provide a bit of that for busy shoppers at Northgate Mall in Cincinnati during the hectic holidays.

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle, visit The Reason for the Season: Advent with the Franciscans, our storefront near Macy’s. (store #186)

You are welcome to sit for a spell, reflect or pray if you like, or share coffee, cookies and conversation.

There is nothing for sale and we seek no donations – but we welcome your prayer requests.

A young visitor writes a prayer request

A young visitor writes a prayer request

The Reason for the Season is open November 28 through December 23.

‘Brown’ Friday, November 28: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturdays: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sundays: 12 noon – 6:00 pm
Weekdays: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
closed Christmas Eve

 Click here for information and directions to Northgate Mall

Last year, our ministry at the mall was featured in the New York Times in a story by Samuel G. Freedman: Finding God in a Storefront at the Mall

Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, tells of our mission in this opinion at

And Cheri Lawson of WNKU reports on our ministry at the mall.

Videos and updates from Reason for the Season will be on our SJB Provincial website, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter.

Please plan to stop by and visit us!

Peace and all good,
–The Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province

Advent in my PocketFree ‘Advent in My Pocket’ Booklet

A new booklet with meditations and prayers for every day of the Advent season.  The 28-page booklet, a pocket treasury of prayers for each day, was written by Sr. Fran McManus, RSM, and produced by the seven OFM provinces of the United States: Assumption BVM, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart, St. Barbara, St. John the Baptist, and Holy Name.

If you would like a copy, call us at 513-721-4700 ext 3219 or email us at with your name and address.

Read more

Are you thankful for St. Anthony?

Posted on by

Over 35,855 people ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
Recently we asked, “As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, how are you thankful for St. Anthony?”
Below are a few of the responses.

St. Francis at St. Anthony ShrineVery thankful to St. Anthony!!! Thank you St. Anthony for interceding on our behalf…God bless! –Diana

I am thankful for so many reasons since second grade when we learned about him in catholic school. St Anthony Pray for us. –Connie

He is my best friend & companion & goes everywhere with me. –Joan

St Anthony is the saint who listens and cares for us. He is always near to come and help. He is the saint who doesn’t ask for a formal prayer.  Just ask and be ready to receive the gifts of God given through Him. Thank you Lord for this friend and lawyer. –Rita

For all he has given to me through Jesus 🙂  –Diane

Bless St. Anthony for all our blessings.  –Barbara

My patron saint, I am forever thankful to you.  –Anyanwueke

ShrineFor me, I’m thankful for the peace and serenity he brings to my life. If you lose something, you panic, call on St. Anthony, and he helps! I know he has a hand in the Shrine on Colerain Ave in Cincinnati, as any time I’ve spent time there, I’m awash with peace and serenity.  –Gregory

He is my best bud!!! And I am Lutheran!!!! –Valerie

He has always been there for me since I was a little girl. –Patricia

I could not count the times….maybe thousands! He is SO GOOD! –Mary

I want to list all the times I was thankful to St. Anthony…but I can’t remember them. –Dan-El

Oh, St. Anthony of Padua my wonder worker, I am happy for your intercession for me and my family and the whole world. Pray for us. –Augustine

He helps me find my way, on a VERY regular basis. –Carol

St. Anthony of Padua…Pray for me a sinner that I may learn to love Jesus as you do. –Gaylend


St. Anthony‘Like’ us on our Facebook page.  Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page.  We’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.  Use our Contact Page or Email: or Call Colleen Cushard at: 513-721-4700


Read more

St. Anthony leads the way

Posted on by


You can’t get lost when St. Anthony is in charge.
Just ask Rosalie.

Dear Franciscans,

Do you keep a list of St. Anthony’s favors?  I can’t count how many times he has saved me time and stress.

Our roads have been incredibly backed up with construction projects.  Recently, I was looking for a medical supply company in an area of town I wasn’t familiar with, when I realized I didn’t know whether I was heading east or west.  I pulled over and asked my husband to pray with me to St. Anthony.

I had no sooner spoken when a van marked Binsons Medical Supply came by on the inside lane and made a Michigan turn-around.  Miraculously, there were no cars behind us in the other two lanes, and I followed the van directly to the store!

Enclosed is a donation for St. Anthony’s Poor.

— Rosalie in Michigan

St AnthonyWe’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.  Use our Contact Page or Email: 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.

Read more

Hat Pax – Fleece for Peace

Posted on by

Br. Al Mascia, OFM, surrounded by students at Crescent Academy

Br. Al Mascia, OFM, surrounded by students at Crescent Academy

Something as simple as a hat can transform the life of a 4-year-old child in metro Detroit.


Hat PaxThe “Hat Pax” program is an outgrowth of the Care’avan manned by Br. Al Mascia. He writes: “We have ‘branched out’ to serve others, such as these school children, within brick and mortar structures–sometimes a school and sometimes an established soup kitchen–where we are able to employ more creative means of addressing such human needs as hunger, shelter and clothing.

In this case and at this school we have established a food pantry for the children’s family households, distribute hundreds of our Snack Pax to augment their nutritional needs and engage in creative activities such as the Hat Pax initiative.”

Photos are from a charter school called the Crescent Academy that exclusively serves children living below the poverty line.

Br. Al Mascia, OFM

Br. Al Mascia, OFM

“Aware that many of these children will be in need of warm items such as hats this coming winter season we decided to transform a simple distribution of goods into an exciting and fun-filled event wherein the children themselves designed their own hats by selecting multi-colored fleece panels from a wide selection which were then sewn and completed by some of our volunteers and then delivered to the students about a week later during a huge celebration!”

— Br. Al

Br. Al Mascia, OFM, is a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist.  He is currently serving at the Song & Spirit Institute for Peace in Berkeley, Michigan.

This article first appeared in the SJB News Notes, October 30, 2014.  Ms. Toni Cashnelli, Director of Communications

Read more

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM “He offered Mass in Zulu!”

Posted on by

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM

Doing a retrospective on oneself can be daunting!  Fr. Gil Wohler seemed to be taken back when asked to be interviewed.  He is more comfortable flying under the radar. Though initially reticent, he soon shared interesting snippets of his 52 years of priestly life.  He is a Friar for 60 years.

At 79 years of age Fr. Gil said his Franciscan life has “come full circle.”  He sat in the guest parlor of Mercy Community Winton Woods where he is chaplain to senior residents in 74 independent living apartments. The building and campus was converted from what originally was St. Francis Seminary in Mt. Healthy, OH, north of Cincinnati, Ohio

“I first came here as a high school freshman.  Then later on, after ordination, I was a teacher at Roger Bacon High School one year and for seven years was an instructor of Latin, History and Science here at the minor seminary.  When I retired nine years ago, I came here again.”  That is a little too succinct!

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM, in 1996 with carved wooden art from South Africa

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM, in 1996 with carved wooden art from South Africa

It was the in between part where things started cooking!  Like layers of a luscious torte, the Wichita, KS, native talked about his other lifetime assignments.  After four years as Director of Franciscan Candidates and three years as Director of Vocations he diversified and took on pastoral and other duties at St. Boniface parish in Peoria, Illinois for 12 years.   Following that, Father transitioned back to be an Instructor and Spiritual Director of St. John Vianney Seminary and St. Francis House of Studies as Spiritual Director and Guardian for ten years.

Father Gil then launched into his favorite assignment.  He became a missionary to Pretoria, South Africa where he taught in the Sancta Sophia National Seminary for four years and preached at La Verna Retreat Center for two more years. “I didn’t learn the language but became able to offer Mass in Zulu. During that time I worked with such good people!” In between he traveled to Kenya and Botswana. He journeyed through major cosmopolitan cities, deserts and ghettos.  “Those ghettoes were nothing like what we call them in the States! I wanted to stay, but was interrupted by the need for triple by-pass heart surgery. I had it done down there and was laid up in the hospital for three months.

“Yes, I met Nelson Mandela and voted with the 97% of South Africans in those early democratic elections.”

After his recovery, he returned to the states and worked for three years in the inner city as pastor of St. Francis Seraph Parish in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati.

Then came retirement.  But as Chaplain at Mercy Community, there isn’t a lot of time for that as he offers Masses, is spiritual director, celebrates benedictions, visits residents in the hospital, and anoints the sick. He spends a lot of time talking with residents by phone.   He has a passion for playing bridge having been trained by the guru of bridge playing in South Africa.  In between he will delve into a mystery or two.

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM, with Santa Claus at Northgate Mall during 'Advent with the Franciscans'

Fr. Gil Wohler, OFM, with Santa Claus at Northgate Mall during ‘Advent with the Franciscans’

Read more

A labor of love – and it shows

Posted on by

Peace & GoodSome books are part of our lives, as cherished as old friends.

They’re the ones you read over breakfast, carry on the bus or pull out at the end of the day.  That’s the kind of kinship Fr. Pat McCloskey had in mind when he wrote Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media, $19.99). “I’m pretending I’m sitting at your kitchen table,” he says. “I’m assuming you’re interested in Francis and assuming you want to know more.”

Life being what it is – overwhelming – we want our learning in small doses. In Peace and Good, Pat sets up a year of little lessons that help us examine our inner lives. For each day there is a quote about the life or teachings of Francis, a reflection on the quote (“Living as Francis Did”), and a sentence or two that subtly challenges us to think or act (“Growing with Francis”) – all on one page.

Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM, stands at his computer at Franciscan Media

Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM, stands at his computer at Franciscan Media

Of course the ultimate goal of Peace and Good is growth, as reflected in each day’s practical suggestions. “The Gospel is not simply a lofty idea,” Pat says. “The Gospel can be lived.”  Like an old friend, the book is there to nudge and encourage us along the way – one day at a time.

–this excerpt is from the SJB News Notes, October 23, 2014, written by Toni Cashnelli

Learn more about the process Fr. Pat went through in writing his book at:

Read more

Get Updates