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The Pardon of Assisi

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Peaking through the fog sits Santa Maria de Angeles in the valley below Assisi, Italy. The tiny Portiuncula ("little portion") lives inside.

Peaking through the fog sits Santa Maria de Angeles in the valley below Assisi, Italy. The tiny Portiuncula (“little portion”) lives inside; one of the many Franciscan churches where you may receive the Pardon of Assisi.

800th Anniversary of the Pardon of Assisi
August 1 & 2

General Minister Michael Perry outside the Portiuncula

General Minister Michael Perry outside the Portiuncula

The Pardon of Assisi (or Portiuncula Indulgence) is the possibility to receive a plenary indulgence—elimination of temporal punishment due to sin– at the chapel during the first two days of August.

In St. Francis’ day, people could gain a plenary indulgence by visiting one of three churches: Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem), St. Peter’s (Rome) or Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Not everyone could afford or undertake such travel, so Francis asked that the Portiuncula be designated such a place. Pope Honorius III agreed in 1216 but restricted this to the anniversary of the chapel’s dedication (August 2).

The Feast of the Pardon of Assisi has since been celebrated between Vespers on August 1 and sundown on August 2. For many centuries, the indulgence could only be received by visiting St Mary of the Angels. However, it is now possible to receive the indulgence at all Franciscan churches and also at all the parish churches in Assisi when meeting the conditions of Communion, Confession and praying for the Pope’s intentions.

The Portiuncula is one of the first churches that St. Francis rebuilt after hearing God’s voice from the San Damiano cross say, “Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins”.  It is also where he received St. Clare and where he died.

This Holy Year of Mercy is a perfect time to remember God’s great desire to forgive sinners.  Receive your Pardon of Assisi in any of our Franciscan churches.

Click here for a list of parishes in our province.

SJB Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler celebrates Mass inside the Portiuncula.

SJB Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler celebrates Mass inside the Portiuncula.


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Friars honored in Bloomington, Illinois

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Friars honored with hugs and tears

St. Mary’s parish honored friars Fr. Ric Schneider, Br. Kevin Duckson, and Fr. Neri Greskoviak at a going-away party that started in the church – packed to the rafters – and continued with a buffet of snacks and desserts at the school.  All three church choirs performed, and when one of them sang And the Father Will Dance, Fr. Neri pranced down the aisle.

Friars Honored“We had a good time,” Fr. Ric says. The parish gave each friar an iPad and “cards and cards and cards; it took me two days to open them.” In lieu of gifts, they had asked parishioners to contribute to a Franciscan Fellowship Legacy Fund “for keeping our Franciscan heritage alive by supporting future parish ministries.”

Earlier in the week the intersection of Mason and Jackson streets was renamed Franciscan Way in honor of the many friars who have served St. Mary’s.

To the St. Mary Parish

“You are a dream for every pastor, you really are,” Fr. Ric, the pastor there for 23 years, told the people who filled every available space in the church, choir loft, sanctuary and gathering space. “You are what every pastor hopes to have because . . . of the spirit of joy here, the spirit of cooperation. It’s just phenomenal.”

Contained within the word “joy” is the secret of their success, he said.

“J stands for Jesus, O for others and Y for yourself, and that’s the way this parish operates,” Fr. Ric Schneider explained. “Jesus is first in everyone’s lives and we do have many outreaches to others. It’s only then that we think of ourselves.”

History Maker award

Friars honored

Fr. Ric recieves his award from Paul Segobiano (photo by Robert E. Handley Photography)

Guess who got the biggest hand at this year’s History Makers Gala in Bloomington, Ill.? Sixty friends made sure it was Fr. Ric.

Fr. Ric returned to Bloomington June 16 to be honored as one of four local History Makers by the McLean County Museum of History. He was nominated for “building a community and supporting the needs of poor residents, regardless of their faith.”

The annual event attracted 600 guests to the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University.  Fr. Ric was impressed with the program, “a beautiful setup,” he says. “They had a clever way of introducing people [the honorees] to the crowd,” with four “contestants” enacting a quiz show in which they answered questions like, “Which honoree said this or that?” When plaques were presented, “They had a really nice writeup on everyone.”

The rooting section for Fr. Ric, which made up a tenth of the crowd, was composed of people from St. Mary’s and the school as well as Cusillos.  Fr. Ric has led parishes where he subbed for 23 years.  “It was a fun evening,” he says, “more than I expected.”

Excerpts from Jennifer Willems of The Catholic Post
and the SJB News Notes edited by Toni Cashnelli  

Friars honored

Friars honored: Br. Kevin Duckson, Fr. Ric Schneider, and Fr. Neri Greskoviak, OFM, pose in the sanctuary of St. Mary Church in Bloomington at the conclusion of the farewell celebration. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)


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Providential faith in St. Anthony

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St Anthony

… there was my bank card, shiny as a star!

After my beloved husband died, I went through a period filled with chaotic and painful moments.  Not having my finances in order added to the intense grief.  I found myself misplacing so many things, but never faltering in my trust to St. Anthony’s intercession.

For a year I looked for my bank card to no avail.  Giving up and cancelling it was no option.  I would be giving up in my faith in Almighty God through St. Anthony.

A close friend who lives alone was having a birthday and I wanted to treat her to a Chinese dinner.  She had generously treated me often.  I was low on cash.

On my dresser I kept a box with cosmetics which I went through daily as I dressed.

The day before my girlfriend’s birthday, I opened the box, and was stunned… there was my bank card, shiny as a star!

There was no way I could have placed it there.  St. Anthony performed a mystical miracle only our Lord in His mercy could’ve permitted.

The time must have been Providential, for I am more cautious with my spending than ever, and I continue believing in St. Anthony.  I also include him in my prayers to our Lord with such gratitude and trust.

Skeptics may question such things we as Catholics believe in; however, have they seen a divinity, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God?  Yet, they believe in blind faith, don’t they?

Thank you, St. Anthony, saint of finding and/or restoring lost things….relationships, jobs, valuable belongings, who carries the Christ Child as a symbol of His love and protection.

— Rose

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.

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