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.
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.
God heals through the intercession of St. Anthony
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
We’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too.
Use our Contact Page or Email:email@example.com 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.
Bestselling author Robert Ellsberg to speak at St. Anthony Shrine
Please 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
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:
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!
I 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.
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.
Photos of the Provincial Chapter on Flickr
Current and past Provincial Ministers:
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
We’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too. Use our Contact Page or Email: firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
All 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.
Directions to the National Shrine of St. Anthony
Photos of past Feast Day Celebrations.
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.”
On 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.
“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 email@example.com.
A book(s) will be mailed upon receiving your address and information for personalizing copy. Books are $15 each and includes shipping.
“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.
Once 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or download from our website.
“Actions speak louder than words;
let your words teach and your actions speak.”
–St Anthony of Padua
We are excited to bring you some great news from an anonymous benefactors whose actions are speaking louder than words. Like many of you, he loves St Anthony and wanted to do something special this year to help the poor and also honor St. Anthony.
He is offering a matching grant for anyone who makes a gift of any amount to St Anthony Bread for the poor from Tuesday, May 16 through Tuesday, June 13, 2017… the feast of St Anthony. He is willing to match ALL gifts made for the poor, dollar for dollar up to $10,000 during those dates.
If you’ve been thinking of making a gift, this would be a great time to do so. Your gift is doubled. 100 percent of these gifts will be used for the poor.
Please take advantage of this generous offer by responding to this Matching gift challenge. Make sure to click on St Anthony Bread for the poor. Thank you for letting your actions speak for you and for the poor.