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

New Leadership Team

Posted on by


On May 31st, elections were held at the Provincial Chapter meeting at St. Meinrad Abbey in Indiana. Our newly elected leadership team (from left) Councilors Br. Vince Delorenzo, OFM, and Br. John Barker, OFM; Minister Provincial Mark Soehner, OFM, Vicar Bill Farris, OFM, Councilors Fr. Bob Bruno, OFM, and Fr. Page Polk, OFM.  May “God give his grace” on our new ministers!

Fr. Mark and Fr. Bill are both in the process of moving to Cincinnati from Michigan.  We look forward to working with this strong leadership team and ask that you keep them in your prayers as they plan for our future as Franciscans and examine ways to revitalize Franciscan life in the US.

Past blog posts about Fr. Mark Soehner:
Fr. Mark’s Year of Mercy presentation and video
JoAnne Queenan’s article on Fr. Mark from 2014

Photos of the Provincial Chapter on Flickr

Current and past Provincial Ministers:

Newly elected Provincial Minister Fr. Mark Soehner (center) is flanked by former Provincials Fr. Fred Link, Fr. John Bok, Fr. Jeff Scheeler, and Fr. Jeremy Harrington

Newly elected Provincial Minister Fr. Mark Soehner (center) is flanked by former Provincials Fr. Fred Link, Fr. John Bok, Fr. Jeff Scheeler, and Fr. Jeremy Harrington.

Read more

Pilgrims invoke St Anthony’s help.

Posted on by


Marie is grateful for the intercession of St. Anthony.

I am sending this donation to St. Anthony’s Bread in appreciation for a favor from St. Anthony.

On Saturday, April 30, we were finishing up a pilgrimage of the Iberian Peninsula, including visits to Fatima, Burgos, Lourdes and Barcelona.  On returning from an excursion to Montserrat, my friend realized that she could not find her prescription sunglasses.  We all started praying to St. Anthony, but they did not seem to be anywhere in her purse or on the bus.  She figured she had left them in one of the shops we had visited prior to boarding the bus.  Our tour guide called a fellow tour guide who was visiting Montserrat that afternoon and asked that they keep an eye out for the glasses.

That evening we had our last excursion on the same bus.  As a final check I looked down between the seats and saw the glasses, which were in a white case, wedged between the seats and sticking out a little.  I’m sure that the glasses weren’t there when we originally looked.  They would have been so noticeable due to the contrast of the white against the dark colors of the seat cushions and floor.  Perhaps they were dislodged while we were driving, but I’d like to thank St. Anthony for the divine intercession.

With much gratitude to St. Anthony!

Marie in Pennsylvania

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

June 13 is the Feast of St. Anthony!

Posted on by

Celebrate with the Franciscans!

June 13 is the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.  St. Anthony, one of the most popular saints in the Church, was born in 1195 and died in 1231.  He was only 36 at the time of his death.  Despite his relatively few years here on earth, St. Anthony accomplished much.  On June 13 we honor St. Anthony in a special way and thank him for his many intercessions in our needs.

St. Anthony relicAll day tomorrow at St. Anthony Shrine, 5000 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio there will be services honoring St. Anthony.  The listed times are all eastern daylight saving time.  For those of you outside of Cincinnati, you may want to join us in spirit and prayer.

7:30 a.m. Mass:  Fr. Mike Chowning, O.F.M., Presider
10:30 a.m. Mass:  Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M., Presider
12 Noon Mass:  Fr. Colin King, O.F.M., Presider
2:30 p.m. Devotions and Benediction: Fr. Frank Geers, O.F.M., Presider
7:00 p.m. Mass:  Fr. Clifford Hennings, O.F.M., Presider

Blessing with the St. Anthony Relic and distribution of
Blessed Bread in honor of St. Anthony after each service

I mentioned that St. Anthony lived a relatively short life.  But in that short life he accomplished what God intended him to accomplish.  Many others accomplished much in their short lives:  Jesus Christ (33), St. Francis of Assisi (45), St. Mary Magdalene (44), John F. Kennedy (46), Martin Luther King (39), Joan of Arc (19), Alexander the Great (32), Amelia Earhart (40), George Gershwin (38).  God has given each of us a limited number of years here on earth.  May St. Anthony help us to use the years we are given as wife, husband, mother, father, employer, employee to accomplish the most we can.  None of us will probably become famous, but each of us can have a significant impact on the small world in which we live and work.

Through the intercession of St. Anthony of Padua may God bless us abundantly.

St. Anthony Bread

St. Anthony Bread

Directions to the National Shrine of St. Anthony

St. Anthony Novena Prayers

Post your Prayer Requests or Pray for Others

Photos of past Feast Day Celebrations.


Read more

Book raises $17,000 for Jamaican Missions.

Posted on by

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.

I wrote in a previous newsletter that Barb had written a children’s book called In the Land of Soon Come.  The story is told from a teacher’s experience of hearing and answering God’s call after encountering Jamaica, a land of contrast, for the first time.  Although many people think of Jamaica as sandy beaches and sunshine, there is also the harsh reality of extreme poverty and those living with almost nothing.  “It’s a learning story intended to expose children to different cultures and lifestyle,” Barb says, “to create a missionary heart at an early age and help them see God is present in everyday life.”

BookOn April 30, 2016, fifteen hundred books arrived at her home.  Her husband, John, teased her that she did not have 1500 friends to buy them.  She started working on selling those books that day and has not stopped yet. There were two book signings and 6 local parishes allowed her to sell the books after Mass.  She made slide presentations at two nursing homes, a bible study group and an elementary school.

She received orders from all over the country.  One person bought 24 copies and gave them to her sister who taught second grade in a Catholic school in Indiana.  There was a woman in Myrtle Beach who sent enough money to buy three books but told her to keep two for the kids.

“My original goal was to raise $20,000 and I made a promise that I would not stop until every book was sold”, says Barb.  She is close.  As of today there are 220 books left.

100% of all proceeds are going to help the missions…that’s right 100%.   We are so grateful for all the incredible work that went into this effort to help the missions.

jim-edit-250“The Gospel cannot be preached without money,” says Fr. Jim Bok, O.F.M., Pastor of Mary Gate of Heaven Church in Negril, Jamaica, and the recipient of money generated by Barb’s book.  “Luke 1:1-3 tells that Jesus went from village to village preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God, and his company were the twelve and some women…who supported them out of their means,” Fr. Jim recalls with delight.  “From the very beginning of the preaching of the Gospel by Jesus and the Twelve there were benefactors behind the scenes supporting the preachers.”  As Fr. Jim sees it, it is very much the same today.  “Barbie has been a life-long friend and has seen the poverty and need in Jamaica.  Like the women in Luke’s Gospel, Barbie is behind the scenes helping us to proclaim the Gospel,” says Fr. Jim.  This money helps us send 200 kids to school every day.

If you would like to order a copy call Barb at (H) 513-521-4536 or (C) 513-703-0065 or send an email

A book(s) will be mailed upon receiving your address and information for personalizing copy. Books are $15 each and includes shipping.

Students and parents stand in front of Josey the school van with Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, outside St. Anthony's Kitchen

Students and parents stand in front of Josey the school van with Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, outside St. Anthony’s Kitchen

Read more

In Praise of a Franciscan Friend Whose Legacy Reflected Her Life

Posted on by

Barbara Sonnenberg

Barbara Sonnenberg

“I loved her dry sense of humor and her ability to engage you in intelligent conversation,” says Sister Ann Bartko, abbess of the Monastery of St. Clare in Cincinnati, of the late Barbara Sonnenberg.  “ I experienced Barbara as a woman with integrity who did not put on airs; she was true to who she was.”

Barbara was one of the most Franciscan people I have ever known. She was a Secular Franciscan in St. Margaret of Cortona Fraternity for over 50 years. She held every office there and many of them multiple times. Barbara served well on the advisory board of St. Anthony Messenger Press for many years.

After leaving generous gifts to two friends, Barbara gave the bulk of her estate to Cincinnati’s Poor Clare nuns and the friars of St. John the Baptist Province.

She was especially concerned about the senior friars, whom she sometimes joined at Mass at St. Margaret Hall, not far from her home. She brought Holy Communion to parishioners and Catholics in two senior residence facilities. Barbara brought Holy Communion to sick members of St. Mary Parish and assisted at countless funerals there over the years.

Before she retired from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, she served in several branch libraries and eventually headed the lending department at the main library downtown. Barbara was a great promoter of literacy and for several years tutored adults who were learning to read.

“Barbara and I shared a birthday, which bonded us,” says Natalie Schoeny, a longtime friend and fellow parishioner at St. Mary Parish in Hyde Park. “I am so honored to have known her and been a party to her dry wit as we volunteered together! She made the ordinary a bit more extraordinary as she would weave her stories of daily life. She often would say ‘Do you get it?’ or ‘that kind of thing,’ trying to get reactions worthy of her storytelling. She never wanted to be in the limelight, but to me she was the limelight, shining happily or sarcastically on many occasions. Missing her till we meet again!”

A Franciscan to the core, she felt very much at home whenever she was able to visit Assisi. Her sense of humor was very sharp but never mean; no irony ever escaped her. This picture, my favorite one of her, resulted from being coaxed into allowing her friend Natalie Schoeny to take it after a St. Patrick’s Day party.

I will miss my dear friend but her Franciscan spirit lives on, both in the life she lived and the legacy she left. She steadfastly avoided public recognition; she will certainly have something to say about what I have written here!

Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM, is the Franciscan Editor of St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

St. FrancisOnce you have met your obligations to yourself and those you love, consider remembering The Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province in your estate plan. Simplify your life and the lives of those you love by requesting our free Estate Planning Organizer, available in hardcopy or a computer-friendly version. To receive your organizer, contact Colleen Cushard at 513-721-4700 or at or download from our website.

Read more

Get Updates