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Changing of the Guard…Guardian at St. Anthony Shrine

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Fr. Carl Langenderfer

Fr. Carl Langenderfer

Fr. Carl Langenderfer spent the last 12 years at St. Anthony Friary and Shrine, first as formation director for the Postulants, then as Guardian and Director of the St Anthony Shrine.  On July 1, Fr. Carl packed up his car and headed for his new ministry at Holy Family Church in Oldenburg, Indiana.

He served in Oldenburg 40 years ago when he was just a kid.  The first weekend of his new assignment, he walked all over town checking out the beautiful flowers and gardens that grace each yard.  It’s a beautiful little town.  Even though he is going to miss his friends in Cincinnati, he is looking forward to meeting the parishioner and making new friends.

Br. Norbert Bertram

Br. Norbert Bertram

Meanwhile at the St Anthony Shrine, the transition was less difficult than these things can be.  Everything is in good hands.  Br. Norbert Bertram is the new Shrine Guardian.  He was always so involved with all of the everyday details of the Shrine that it made perfect sense that he would be the next Guardian.   He was Fr. Carl’s right hand man.  Brother Norbert says, with a smile “all I need to do is to figure out who will be my right hand man and everything will be great”.  Brother Norbert will take care of all the needs at the Shrine which includes continuing to light candles for your intentions.

Take a 360 degree virtual tour of the Shrine here.

Br. Norbert Bertram lights a candle at the entrance to the outdoor grotto at the Shrine

Br. Norbert Bertram lights a candle at the entrance to the outdoor grotto at the Shrine

 

 

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Mother turns to St Anthony for daughter with T-cell Leukemia

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Girl

God heals through the intercession of St. Anthony
~

Hello!

I wanted to share my story of intercession at the Shrine. We call Cincinnati our home and we attend the novena on Tuesdays as a family when possible.

In December 2012, my 7 year old was diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia. Following the treatment protocol she went through an intense month of Chemotherapy. Most children(~95%) respond well to the first month of treatment where their residual leukemia cells are less than 5% in the bone marrow, but my daughter did not. Her prognosis at that point was dismal and she was recommended for Bone Marrow Transplant. She was allowed to continue treatment though.

We made several visits to the Shrine during this difficult time. I made an offering to St. Anthony to intercede for her and told him that I would bring her to the Shrine 20 times. She weighed a mere 20 Kgs then. The very next week her bone marrow biopsy showed zero leukemia cells. It was a miracle!

We followed the regular Chemotherapy treatment for the next 6 months and chose to not pursue the transplant. We are 4 years out from treatment and my daughter is healthy 12 year old.

God is all powerful and often his plans are a mystery to us. All we can do is lift our hearts with thanksgiving for his presence, even in difficult times.

S. in Cincinnati

St. Anthony relicWe’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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You are invited to an evening with Robert Ellsberg

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Robert Ellsberg

Robert Ellsberg

Bestselling author Robert Ellsberg to speak at St. Anthony Shrine
~

Franciscan SaintsPlease join the Franciscan friars on Wednesday, July 19 at 7:00 PM, as Franciscan Media hosts an evening with Robert Ellsberg at the St. Anthony Shrine in Mt. Airy.

The bestselling author and editor of Orbis Books will discuss his upcoming book, The Franciscan Saints.

Light refreshments to follow in the friary dining hall.

Details and RSVP at : http://info.franciscanmedia.org/ellsberg
Or call 513-721-4700

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The spiritual wisdom of Fr. Joe Rayes, OFM

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Fr. Joe Rayes, OFM

Fr. Joe Rayes, OFM

In 1987, Fr. Joe Rayes, OFM wrote a book called Living Religious Vows, but what impressed people the most was that he lived what he preached.  Fr. Joe was a passionate man proud of his Lebanese heritage. He gladly proclaimed the mercy of God to all.  He was a friar for 56 years and died at the age of 76 in 2007.

Recently Dan Nolan, a former friar began working at the front desk here at the friary.  He is a joyful and fun loving person willing to help with absolutely everything and anything.  One morning Dan started telling me a story about when he lived with Fr. Joe in Houma, Louisiana.  Dan tells me that he would jokingly say that he loved to preach the Gospel, but really had only three themes in his homilies: 1. God loves us beyond all understanding, 2. God loves us beyond all understanding, and 3. God loves us beyond all understanding. The Gospel or “good news” for Fr. Joe was all about God’s love.

Not more than a few minutes later, I received a gift on line from a man named Rudy that wrote in memory of Fr. Joe Rayes in the comments section.  I sent an email to thank him and mentioned that coincidently we had just been having a conversation about Fr. Joe.

He sent an email back to me.  It was so touching that I asked him if I could share this with all of you.  His second note said simply “Anything to honor Fr. Joe”.  His email is below:

Thanks Colleen,

I learned much about God from Fr. Joe during the time he was my spiritual director in the late 1980’s while serving as Director of the Lumen Christi Retreat Center in Houma, LA. The wisdom of Joe Rayes taught me that:

·       God is a God of surprises.
·       God is slow, but he is always on time.
·       God draws straight with crooked lines.
·       We must waste time with God and those we love.
·       Each of us is a mixture of mud and gold.
·       We each have weeds growing amongst the wheat of our interior lives.
·       The road of life is hard for everyone; but have faith because . . .
·       We are all on a pilgrimage to God.
·       The kingdom of God is in the here and now.
·       All are called.
·       Live in the present moment.
·       Discernment is essential to decision making.
·       Prayer is the way to God.
·       Have faith:  to desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve.
·       With God all things are possible.

Joe Rayes had a profound impact on my life.

Thank you Rudy for allowing us to honor Fr. Joe with your beautiful tribute!

Tau FrancisI am told that if Fr. Joe were here to read the above passage, he’d likely be a little embarrassed. He signed the letters OFM behind his name; Order of Friars Minor. To be “Minor,” to be lesser, to be a servant, and to be humble. Fr. Joe lived his life with Franciscan joy and humility.

The iconic images of St. Francis made by artist Sr. Kay Berger, OSF, were modeled after Fr. Joe including this drawing of St. Francis praying.

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