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St Anthony found my late mother’s cross

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There is no way to explain this except that
St Anthony gave it back to me…

My mother passed away 35 years ago.  When I went back home for her funeral, on the floor next to her bed I found her cross.  She had never taken it off.

I picked it up and saw that the chain was broken.  I pinned it to my underwear for safe keeping.  When I returned to my home I had the chain repaired.  Now, I never take it off.

Recently, my husband and I traveled to a business convention on the West coast. I have photos of me wearing the necklace at this convention. On the plane on my way home I noticed the chain was broken and the cross was gone. I was so very upset, I felt like I lost my mother again 10 years later.

Back home I unpacked everything checking to see if it had fallen into anything. I called the place we had stayed, the airlines, etc., etc. I even contacted the people who had been with us.  I cried and prayed and cried and prayed to St. Anthony.

About a week later we went to our storage unit to get some dishes.  We figured that we had not been there for about 3 months. I was still crying and praying to St. Anthony.

As my husband opened the door we saw something very shiny across the room.  My husband moved a couch to get what it was and there, lo and behold, was my Mother’s cross!   There is no way to explain this except that St Anthony gave it back to me…

My whole family has always believed in St. Anthony and I even try to give him gifts of prayer etc…

Thank you,


St Anthony & fishesWe’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.

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In the Land of “Soon Come”

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Author Barb Coyle holds her book, "In the Land of "Soon Come" illustrated by 14-year-old Taylor Kling.

Author Barb Coyle holds her book, “In the Land of “Soon Come” illustrated by 14-year-old Taylor Kling.

Love of Jamaicans led to book

“Barb Coyle is just one special lady.”  Those were the words spoken by Fr. Carl Langenderfer when I told him about Barb’s new children’s book; In the Land of “Soon Come”.   I could not agree more.  Barb is a person who volunteers her time and many talents to so many different projects that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of them.

Illustrations by Taylor Kling

Illustrations by Taylor Kling

Barb led mission trips to Jamaica for a decade with her students from Roger Bacon High School.  They built and painted houses, worked in the soup kitchen and ran a very popular vacation bible school. This is where she and so many others fell in love with the children of Negril, Jamaica.

In typical Barb fashion, she still felt she could do more.  She kept wondering how she could raise a lot of money to help Fr. Jim Bok with his work.   Her answer was to write the book she had only been dreaming about for years and to give all the proceeds to Fr. Jim.

Book EDIT 325The book tells how she unexpectedly found inspiration on those mission trips.  The story is told in simple language through the eyes of kids encountering this land of contrast for the first time.  Beyond the beaches and resorts, they discover the harsh reality of extreme poverty and the true beauty of Jamaicans who live with next to nothing but appreciate what they have.

All of the proceeds from her book go to support the mission work of her lifelong friend, Fr. Jim Bok, and the children of Negril, Jamaica.  Yes, all proceeds, not a part of the profits.

“Soon come” (the title comes from the phrase Jamaicans use to mean “wait”, “not now” or “be patient”.)

Read more about Barb’s story at

Meet the author

Two book signings are scheduled:

  • 6-8 PM, Friday, May 20, at The Villas at Park Place Clubhouse, 7955 Beckett Road, West Chester, Ohio
  • 6:30-8:30 PM, Tuesday, May 31, a book launch/signing at Friars Club, 4300 Vine St., St. Bernard, Ohio.  Missionary Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, and illustrator Taylor Kling will join author Barb Coyle, who promises “a Jamaica-flavored event.”
  • To purchase In the Land of “Soon Come” ($15 per book), e-mail Barb Coyle at with your shipping address. (Shipping is included in the price) Check or Paypal is accepted.
  • For more information about Barb and her book, visit her Face book page: In the Land of Soon Come Book.
Barb with long-time friend Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, in Negril, Jamaica.

Barb with long-time friend Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, in Negril, Jamaica.

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The Mystery of Mercy

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Fr. Larry Zurek, OFM, celebrates Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy in his talk, “The Mystery of Mercy”

When I returned home from being commissioned a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday, on my door in the friary was a sign:

Welcome Home Mom – M.O.M. – Missionary of Mercy

I’m sure my brothers meant it as a kind of joke, and yet, our Holy Father Pope Francis reminded us in the talk he gave us before Ash Wednesday, to really be mothers to those who come to confession.  He said that,

“I believe this is a time for Mercy.  The Church is showing her maternal side. Her motherly face to a humanity that is wounded.  She does not wait for the wounded to knock on her door, she looks for them on the streets, she gathers them in, she embraces them, she takes care of them, she makes them feel loved.”

Mercy, sisters and brothers, helps another person to remember who they truly are in the eyes of God.

Learn more about Pope Francis’ Missionaries of Mercy

Year of MercyNext in the series:
Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM:
Wednesday November 2 at 7:00 PM

Previous presentation:
Fr. John Quigley, OFM
“Mercy – The Force of God Awakens in Us”
Watch the video

Learn more about how the Franciscans are celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy at
Fr. Larry celebrates Pope Francis' Jubilee Year of Mercy in his talk, "The Mystery of Mercy"

Fr. Larry celebrates Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy in his talk, “The Mystery of Mercy” at the St. Anthony Shrine


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Friars on the Move

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Br. Norbert Bertram (standing) visits friars Cyprian Berens, Valens Waldschmidt and their nurse at Little Sisters of the Poor

Br. Norbert Bertram (standing) visits friars Cyprian Berens, Valens Waldschmidt and their nurse at Little Sisters of the Poor

Br. Norbert is one busy friar

Br. Norbert has always taken time to visit with the senior friars.  It’s something he enjoys.  That’s probably why he is the perfect fit and is now “officially” overseeing the Office of Senior Friars.  This is in addition to his current responsibilities at the St Anthony Shrine as Sacristan, handyman and the person who lights the many candles for our benefactors.

Fr. Simeon is comforted by Br. Norbert and his caregiver

Fr. Simeon is comforted by Br. Norbert and his caregiver

“I am humbled that I have the opportunity to care for these good men who gave many years of service to the people of God and our community in so many different ways.  They bless me by their patience, prayer life and gratitude for the interest and care I give them.” say Br. Norbert.

It does take up a lot of Norbert’s time mainly because there are so many friars in two different nursing homes at this time.  Two at Little Sisters of the Poor and twelve at St. Margaret Hall.  Somehow, Br. Norbert manages to figure out how to get it all done.

That is in part because he is well supported by the generosity of Br. Bill Spond, Br. Phillips Robinette, Br. Marcel Groth, and Br. Ken Beetz who are always willing to transport friars to the doctor or other appointments when needed.  It’s a team effort.

Br Norbert will get a bit of a break later this summer when Br. Jerry Beetz will begin working closely with him helping to care for our retired friars.

REtired 3 EDIT 300~
Would you like to support our retired and infirm friars?  When you donate to the Franciscans you can choose Retired Friars under Use My Gift For: below the Donation Amount.


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The true spirit of giving

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Cincinnati Bengal's Andrew Whitworth and Dhani Jones signed footballs for the Friars Club Kids.

Cincinnati Bengal’s Andrew Whitworth and Dhani Jones signed footballs for the Friars Club Kids.

They put their hearts into helping

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

They are athletes who advocate for youth, activists who champion the underserved, families who persevere through tragedy to light the way for others. April 15 at its 44th Annual Community Dinner in Cincinnati, Friars Club said thank you to people like these who exemplify the spirit of giving.

It was the second dinner at Friars’ new facility but there were several firsts:

  • Honoree Andrew Whitworth of the Cincinnati Bengals and former teammate Dhani Jones autographed footballs and basketballs and posed for pictures with some very excited Friars Kids. “I believe in what they do here,” Andrew said.
  • Attendees browsed items offered for a silent auction before the dinner, then took part in a spirited after-dinner auction hosted (with gusto) by Chanel 12’s Bob Herzog.
  • The awards went high-tech, with video intros of honorees flashed on twin screens in the basketball courts, transformed into a dining room with artful lighting and décor.
Executive Director Anne Timmons

Executive Director Anne Timmons

“The whole atmosphere was very different,” says Annie Timmons, Friars Club Executive Director. “People told me [afterward] that it was a lot of fun, the best dinner they’ve been to.” A generous crowd – nearly twice the usual attendance – helped Friars raise about $80,000 for its athletic and Learning Center programs.

Introduced by Chanel 12 news anchor Rob Braun, who was returning for his 35th dinner, Annie previewed the awards presentation. “I would describe all of our honorees as ‘superheroes’,” she said.

Through his BigWhit 77 Foundation, “Andrew Whitworth has been a role model for many young kids,” Annie said of the Player of the Year. Friars Award winner Jeanette Altenau, TriHealth’s Director of Community Relations, is “a caretaker of the community.” And receiving the Francis Award were the parents of Lauren Hill, the courageous teen who spent her final months raising awareness about pediatric brain cancer and raising millions of dollars for research before she died.

At the lectern, Jeanette turned the attention to others like “the Franciscans, who impart their heart and soul” to ministries like Friars Club. Lauren’s Mom Lisa encouraged the audience to “find something to fight for.” And Andrew deflected the applause. “This is such a cool opportunity to be here,” he told the crowd. “You may think I’ve inspired kids, but you inspire me.”

Spoken like a true superhero.

Originally published in SJB NewsNotes by Toni Cashnelli

More photos on our Flickr page

Program Director Parrish Ozias with Friars Kids

Program Director Parrish Ozias with Friars Kids

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