Special time with family and friends

Special time with family and friends

Most people enjoy family reunions. There is something wonderful about seeing relatives you haven’t seen for some time who live out of town.

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Fr. Mark Soehner congratulates Fr. John Bok on 60 years as a Franciscan priest at the APA Jubilee celebration.

The friars of our Cincinnati Franciscan Province have a tradition of gathering for an All-Province Assembly (APA) every third year. It is our version of a family reunion. Covid prevented us from gathering during the past few years; however, our leadership determined it is now safe enough to meet, so about 60 of us recently gathered at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana during the week of May 23.

The best part of the APA is seeing friars from out of town you haven’t seen for a while. There was a lot of catching up, story telling, laughing, and reminiscing that went on during the week. The liturgies were prayerful and well done. The food was good and the social hours in the evening were enjoyable. The meetings were generally informative and the sharing of ideas was helpful to each of us. All in all, I think our recent APA was a success.

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Friars Robert Seay and Jim Bok praying at the APA.

The absolute best part for me was being with my little brother, Fr. Jim, for two weeks. He flew home to Cincinnati from Jamaica on Monday, May 16, for a week’s vacation before the APA. Together we visited many relatives and friends. I keep finding it more of a challenge to keep up with him every time he comes home. Jim just turned 75 years old on July 5, and I am 12 years older than he. Even though I can’t match his energy level, I always enjoy being with him. For 45 straight summers, from 1975 to 2019, Jim and I vacationed together in Florida at a friend’s condo. We are not able to do that anymore, so the recent two weeks we shared together was special.

I pray that you will find some special family time together this summer. May God bless each of you for all that you have done and continue to do to help us Franciscans in our fraternal life together and with our ministries.

Fr. John Bok, OFM

Learn more about the friars' All Province Assembly (APA) at franciscan.org.

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