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St. Anthony has never failed John

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“You have never failed me”
~

KeysWith a lost right leg and at 66 years of age, I keep my handicap van keys and house keys on a clip on my electric wheelchair.

I got out of the van, went to the house and found my house keys were missing. Well, I had last seen them at the store, so I back tracked to the store and came home, still not finding them. I then asked my old friend St. Anthony “who has never failed me” to please help me find my house keys to get into my small mobile home. I survive solely on my monthly SS check so I could not afford to have new locks and many other keys duplicated. Soon after, as the van lift settled to the ground, I looked back in the van and there they were under the driver seat on the carpet. Oh thank you St. Anthony “you have never failed me during my 66 years.” He truly works miracles. Over my life span he has helped me too numerous times to count.

–John

AnthonyWe’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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Pay a devotional visit to the St. Anthony Shrine

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If you have not been able to visit the St. Anthony Shrine in person yet, why not plan a road trip with family or friends in 2018? Check out our video and see why so many others find solace in this hidden gem in Cincinnati.

Walk the grounds, light a candle and just take it all in.

If you’d like to bring your group, we’d love to hear from you at shrine@franciscan.org

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Free pocket-size Lent with St. Anthony prayer book

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Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s day, February 14
~

Lent with St. AnthonyWe are pleased to offer you the 2018 pocket book, Lent with St. Anthony.  It includes prayers and reflections that we hope will assist you on your Lenten journey. Taking time for introspection and reflection is an important element in making Lent more meaningful.

If you are one of our regular supporters and on our mail list, you will receive it with your January newsletter at the end of the month. If you are not on our current list and would like a copy, email us at friarworks@franciscan.org and make sure to include your full address. If you prefer, you can call Dan or Colleen at 513-721-4700.

Copies will be sent out at the end of January hot off the press. Offer valid in US only. Outside US may contact us for electronic version.

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A tiny gesture of hope in Detroit

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Friars Alex Kratz, Maynard Tetreault, and Louie Zant at St. Moses the Black friary in Detroit

Friars Alex Kratz, Maynard Tetreault, and Louie Zant at St. Moses the Black friary in Detroit

Friars are welcomed by a neighborhood that needs them
~

There are four signs on the building announcing the presence of friars.

“One thing I learned working in evangelization,” says Fr. Alex Kratz, “is to let people know where you are.” So every few yards, there’s a sign marking the site of the newest Franciscan friary in Detroit: St. Moses the Black. The last time anyone lived in this former rectory on Oakman Boulevard was 20 years ago. Since October it’s been home to Alex and fellow friars Br. Louie Zant and Br. Maynard Tetreault.

Across the street

Across the street

In a city rebounding from its past, the friars are part of a neighborhood that’s been left behind. Next door is a food pantry that sees brisk traffic. On the street in back, eight houses are boarded up or so structurally unsound they’re caving inward. With windows broken or shuttered, nearby factories are lifeless and desolate.

A few blocks away is another sign, this one marking the boundary of Highland Park. It not only has the highest crime rate in Detroit – 46 crimes per 1,000 residents – but one of the highest in America. Here, your chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime is one in 22. If poverty has a Ground Zero, this is the place.

For Maynard, Alex and Louie, the natural question is, “Why here?” And just as important, “Why now?”

Abandonment

The “now” part seems like divine providence. “This is the 50th anniversary of the riots in Detroit,” says Maynard, referring to a tsunami of violence that swept the city in 1967, leaving 43 people dead and 2,000 buildings destroyed. For Alex, race and inequity converged in recent, deadly confrontations between African-Americans and police officers. “All of this came crashing into my prayers,” he says.

Food pantry helper Ron Nunn with Pauline Ford & Damita Brooks

Food pantry helper Ron Nunn with Pauline Ford & Damita Brooks

In March he suggested the friars expand their Detroit-area presence into an underserved neighborhood that was predominantly black. “I’ve been here [in Detroit] since 1999,” serving as Director of Evangelization for the Archdiocese for eight of those years. “Whenever I drive, I take the highway. I bypass miles and miles of this,” he says, waving an inclusive hand. “I felt a bit conflicted that I kind of avoided this whole area,” including the adjacent city of Highland Park, “which is even poorer than Detroit.”

A quote from a class at St. Bonaventure – “Faith must have social consequences” – nudged Alex forward. “My studies kept echoing in my head,” he says. “Social location is part of our Franciscan charism. When we’re in a location where the poor are, it changes your witness.”

Mark Soehner, former pastor of St. Aloysius in Detroit, knew the area well. During his time as Director of Postulants, “He also worked in this cluster and taught RCIA,” Alex says. “We talked a lot in general” about problems and possibilities. “We say Detroit has suffered ‘demolition by neglect’. We only have a few Catholic parishes in the city. There’s a feeling of abandonment among Catholics in Detroit. Institutionally, the Church has pulled out.”

Spirit at work

Associate Pastor Patrick Gonyeau with Alex, Maynard & Louie

Associate Pastor Patrick Gonyeau with Alex, Maynard & Louie

A pastoral letter called “Unleash the Gospel,” released in June by Archbishop Allen Vigneron, was a call to evangelization. “His plan is to have the religious evangelize the city,” Alex says. At St. Moses the Black, “I’d say we’re on the cutting edge of evangelization.” As friars, “It’s right down our alley.”

After the Provincial Council endorsed his plan, “It took some looking and searching” to find the right place. “If I was going to invite friars in, I didn’t want to be in a structurally dangerous building with a slumlord.” That eliminated a number of prospects. Finally, “The Holy Spirit guided me to this,” a rectory attached to St. Moses the Black Church.

The pastor, J.J. Mech, also serves as rector of the nearby Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary. His associate in all three locations, Patrick Gonyeau, is also Central Regional Coordinator of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Detroit. The very busy Patrick speaks for the community when he says, “There’s such an excitement about the Franciscans being here.”

St. Moses the Black

St. Moses the Black

Indeed, “People have been very welcoming,” says Louie, a regular at morning Mass.

“The parish is older, but there are kids in catechism class,” according to Maynard. “There’s always hospitality after Mass. They have a lively liturgy and a great choir.” Now, “All they need is people.”

For Detroit-born Maynard, this was a homecoming. “Our parish [Visitation] was a mile from here. These were my old haunts.” He remembers Oakman Boulevard as “a nice, middle-class neighborhood,” more upscale than his own.

This summer his ministry in Galveston, Texas, ended when the province returned Holy Family Parish to the diocese. “This [Detroit proposal] didn’t really come about until April. I heard about the potential of this place. I think our presence among marginated people is important. I think it is a tiny gesture of hope.”

Cleaning up

Formed by the merger of three parishes, St. Moses the Black spans most of a block on the boulevard. It’s a fortress of a building, with arched doorways and a vaulted atrium that serves as a vestibule and meeting space. Near the main door is an imposing painting of the church’s patron saint, the 4th-century slave who gave up a life of banditry to become a desert monk and an apostle for nonviolence.

Br. Louie at the food pantry

Br. Louie at the food pantry

Up the steps and off to the right is the friary, which until recently served as the hub and storage facility for St. Moses the Black Food Pantry. Now the pantry is housed in the former school next door, where Louie is a volunteer.

He visited the future friary after returning from missionary service in Jamaica. “I was just interested in going someplace where I could be useful,” he says, like Pittsburgh or Cincinnati. “Alex asked me if I might be interested in coming to Detroit, interacting with people in neighborhood projects.” Louie recalls his first visit.

To enter the building, “We came through a rolling metal door” that blocked homeless people from sleeping on the steps, turning the rectory into a bunker. Inside, “There were boxes all around. The first floor was used as storage” for the parish food pantry. “It needed some cleaning up,” he says. Despite the clutter, “We saw the possibilities” in the 92-year-old rectory.

“This place hadn’t been lived in in 20 years,” says Maynard, whose eagle eye as Provincial Building Coordinator does not miss much. “When we did the walk-through and saw plaster coming down, we knew it needed some care.” The parish fixed the plumbing and replaced the roof. Electrical work is an ongoing project. Most of the 17 doors would not close, a typical issue as old buildings settle. All of them needed sanding and/or lock repairs.

Looking, listening

By the time he moved here Oct. 2, Louie says, “Things were very liveable.” The furnishings, most donated, have the plain but serviceable look of bygone friaries. The addition of Internet was a must, but TV screens are absent by design.

Fr. Alex with helpers at the food pantry clothing outlet

Fr. Alex with helpers at the food pantry clothing outlet

Slowly but surely, Maynard and Local Minister Louie have whittled the to-do list to a manageable size. Now they’re assessing the needs of their neighbors and quietly making their presence known.

Around here, “People carry a lot of burdens,” Alex says. “Some of them live on their own. One of the things I’ve been thinking of doing is asking people waiting at the food pantry if they’d like to be prayed with.”

As for Maynard, “I’m not putting out my shingle” for sacramental ministry just yet. His goal for this first year, he says, is “to listen”, learn what people need “and what the bishop wants.”

Alex came into this juggling another project, the restoration of St. Joseph Chapel and the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Pontiac. It’s also the home of Terra Sancta Pilgrimages, which he co-founded and leads.

At St. Moses the Black, “I think being visible and being in the neighborhood is important,” he says. One day at 6 a.m., “I was praying the rosary on the sidewalk” while wearing his habit. “A young guy was catching a bus for his job at a potato chip factory. He did a double take and said, ‘You’re medieval’. I explained to him what friars are about.”

Maynard is encouraged by what he’s seen. “I was happy to hear about us going into the city. A lot of people are working on a comeback for Detroit,” including a mayor [Mike Duggan] “who has promised to do more for neighborhoods. There are many hopeful signs.”

Four of those signs, lettered in brown, are attached to this building.

This story first appeared in the SJB NewsNotes.

Moses outisde friars CROP 600

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Christmas at St Anthony’s Kitchen

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Santa didn't disappoint the children at St. Anthony's Kitchen.

Santa didn’t disappoint the children at St. Anthony’s Kitchen.

While family and friends were back home freezing in Cincinnati, I was roasting my earlobes off on the hot and sunny Friday before Christmas. Kids and grown-ups were gathering to enjoy the annual Christmas party at St. Anthony’s Kitchen.

NEgril Santa child 250Ms. Pearl, the head cook and honcho, and the staff cooked up a special lunch for our clients; fried chicken, jerk pork and curry goat to be served with pasta salad and the traditional rice & peas. Christmas cake and sodas were on the menu too. We “shared out” (don’t you love that Jamaican expression?) 250 meals.

Santa Claus arrived around 11:00. The children were excited and eager, knowing they were going to get a Christmas present. He did not let the kids down. Trying to keep them in the queue was a formidable task. Santa brought excitement and joy to about 150 children. For many, this would be their only Christmas gift. And Santa had a rude awakening. I don’t think he was expecting such a climate change from Columbus, Georgia—ah, I mean the North Pole. He was totally and absolutely saturated and exhausted when he headed back to his sleigh.

Negril Santa Claus child 250The Rotary Club of Negril, wonderful collaborators with us, provided 120 bags of groceries which included a chicken, rice, peas, flour, sugar, cornmeal, cooking oil, various tins of food, milo, cookies, and more. These groceries provide a fantastic Christmas treat beyond the means of most of our clients.

We have a lot of outreach in the Negril community in which we assist the poor. But on this one day in the year there is a certain “electricity” in The Kitchen yard. The special meal, Santa and his gifts, a plentiful grocery bag and some very evident love of neighbor all work together to make Christmas at The Kitchen a truly holy day.

One profound blessing of this holy day and every day of the year, is the awesome support of many benefactors. Without benefactors—well, there would be no Santa at The Kitchen, no grocery bags, no St. Anthony’s Kitchen, no Get Kids to School program, no help with medication and medical exams…and I could go on and on. God bless our benefactors with peace and all good this year!

Visit them on Facebook at St. Anthony’s Kitchen.

Fr. Jim Bok and Fr. Colin King at the St. Anthony's Kitchen Christmas Party

Fr. Jim Bok and Fr. Colin King at the St. Anthony’s Kitchen Christmas Party

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Tax-Free IRA Gifts

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John Bok friends 600 x 400

A Tax-Wise Way to Help the Franciscans
~

IRA owners now have the option of satisfying their required minimum distribution with an easy-to-arrange IRA gift to qualified nonprofit organizations, like the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province.

Here’s what you need to know about IRA “charitable rollover” gifts:
• You must be 70 ½ or older when you make your gift.
• You can transfer up to $100,000 annually without triggering income tax.
• You can use your gift to satisfy some or all of your RMD.
• Your IRA custodian must make the distribution directly to the charity.
• Your IRA gift will pass to the Franciscans tax-free, so 100% can be used to support both mission and ministry.

Here is a typical letter of request to send to your IRA custodian…

Dear (Company Representative),

Federal law permits the account holder of a traditional or Roth IRA who is 70 ½  or older to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) directly from their IRA to a qualified public charity.

As the owner of (insert company) IRA Account #__________________, I request you make the following QCD to the following organization: $______________________ to the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province, Inc, 1615 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Tax ID Number: 31-6064103.

It is my intention that the above gift be treated as a QCD and that the same be used to satisfy, in whole or in part, my Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) in the year of transfer.

This letter is sufficient authorization for you to make the QCD gift specified above. However, if you require any further documentation, please send those documents to me immediately.

Cordially yours,
Jane B. Donor

tau 50 x 50For more information about IRA “charitable rollover” gifts, contact Colleen Cushard, Co-Director of Franciscan Ministry & Mission, at 513-721-4700 or ccushard@franciscan.org .

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Br. Mike Dubec expecting angels

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christmas-2979112 600

A memory of Christmas Past
~

Obie and Mae Parker!  They gave me a great opportunity to demonstrate Christmas hospitality at an age in my young life when I had little notion of such a thing.  What was under the tree, gift-wrapped and bearing my name, was uppermost.  Sure, the entire Christmas season, well, at least the first 10 days or so getting us into the new year, was filled with church celebrations, festive food, gift exchange, playing in the snow while shivering in the cold whiteness, and family visits.  It was a great time to be a kid (mid to late 1950s) and absorb life experiences by the gallon.

people-2583943 200x267Of all the Christmas festivities, the events of visiting relatives, traveling from house to house, and receiving guests in our home remain most vivid.  For me the most touching visit came when our elderly neighbors, Obie and Mae, made their annual trek – a few steps journey next door – into our festively decorated living room to be seated, welcomed, and wished the very best of the Christmas season. Handshakes, hugs, and tender kisses were freely given and received.  Obie and Mae had no children, and appeared to be in their late 70s or beyond.  Well goodness, at my age of 10 or so, everyone appeared ancient, or at least nearly ancient.  Obie and Mae were Father and Mrs. Time to me.  They moved slowly and cautiously, bearing smiles and an inner joy and happiness that I couldn’t miss.  I loved them for being our neighbors, pretty much along in their senior years.  We were their family, in a way, looking out for them.

My dad would give Obie a carton of Winston cigarettes, which he enjoyed while listening to the radio.  Our houses were so close we could hear Obie’s loud comments to news or his favorite White Sox during the baseball season when windows and doors were wide open, welcoming the summer breeze.

christmas-2980687-001 crop 300My mother so graciously and tenderly shared a little gift of an apron or some such thing with Mae.  Then we proceeded to talk about how quickly the year was coming to a close, and what a good president we had in Dwight Eisenhower, or surely the ensuing year would find the White Sox beating out the Yankees for the American League pennant (happily fulfilled in 1959!).  As my parents served refreshments, we kids had to stay in the room and visit with our guests.  By then we had opened our presents, bringing delight to Obie and Mae, as they watched us play.

Looking back, it reminds me of Abraham’s and Sarah’s experience of the three angels who came by after a long journey and depended on nomadic hospitality for survival in the desert land.  Mid-December in northwest Indiana is nowhere near desert conditions, but genuine hospitality and neighborliness are crucial to survival of another sort.  In my Christmas days of long ago, Obie and Mae Parker were perhaps angels in disguise, looking for refreshment, companionship, family, and acceptance – all food for life that should grace every Christmas table.

If you have your own tale or memory of Christmas presence (and presents too, that’s just fine), take time to share it with someone.  Perhaps you too, at Christmas, have unknowingly entertained angels. God has been known to come caroling with songs of joy and hope, and even to “sit a spell” in one’s living room and visit.  “Here I stand, knocking at the door.  If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house and have supper with him, and he with me” (Rev.3:20.)  Receive God’s gift of Christmas, and … expect a visit!  A Blessed Christmas to you!

Abraham Receiving the Three Angels by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1667) Public domain

Abraham Receiving the Three Angels by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1667) Public domain

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St. Al’s goes out to help the homeless

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Br. Michael Radomski comforting a man in despair.

Br. Michael Radomski comforting a man in despair.

With a backpack full of prayers
~

Br. Michael Radomski shoulders his backpack, steps out into the Detroit sunshine – and stops in his tracks.

“First, we pray,” he says, then asks the Almighty for wisdom to help those in need. For the next two hours he will seek them out on streets and in parks, offer them a sandwich and encourage them to talk.

Radomski StAl backpack 2 crop 201 x 300

Br. Michael heads out with food and backpack.

On behalf of St. Aloysius Neighborhood Services, friar Michael is channeling God’s love to the reclusive homeless, those too skittish or embarrassed to say, “I’ve lost my way.” A member of the parish’s Backpack Ministry since 2008, he is there, he says, “to be present to people” who are sad, vulnerable, alone and afraid.

Just listening doesn’t sound like much. But to those who have nothing, it means everything.

No preaching

Michael’s roomy red backpack is stuffed with gloves, wool caps, t-shirts and hand warmers, all in demand on this bright but brisk afternoon. He fills a collapsible wheeled crate with bottled water and sandwiches donated by local parishes. “We try to have PB&J and some sort of meat sandwiches. If there are extras left over, we sometimes go to the library and pass them out to patrons who are homeless. Today we have homemade cookies, praise the Lord!”

The route he takes varies, “depending on the needs that present themselves. It’s not so much about giving out stuff as being available. We don’t preach to them. We’re there to pray with or for them.” In a world that is often indifferent or disdainful, “It’s a chance to affirm their dignity. They don’t often get that.”

Everyone has a story. “Many have had a difficult life,” derailed by drugs, mental illness or a dysfunctional family. “We have certain regulars we’ve gotten to know and have seen for years,” then, out of the blue, “They’re suddenly gone, off the map, and we don’t know why.”

Radomski StAl backpack 1 crop 300

Br. Michael helps John put on his new gloves.

Walking in groups of two or more, “We try not to let bad weather stop us,” Michael says of St. Al’s 25 backpackers, most of them lay volunteers who come once a week. “If it’s not nice for us, it’s not nice for the folks stuck out there, either.” The worst day ever? “Oh gosh, when the snow was up to our knees.” They actually found people waiting for them along the route. “Warming centers are great, but when we go out in the cold and snow, those we minister to have a sense that they really are loved.”

There’s a strategy to this, he says. “You approach people who are loners, less likely to go to a shelter. We try to give them the ‘once-over’” to find those truly in peril. “Our priority is those who don’t have the safety of a warm apartment to go to each night.” Since backpack supplies are limited, “We try to explain that we’re holding tight onto items for people in dire situations. It’s a tough thing to do, but it’s a necessary thing to do.”

Meeting friends

Michael heads north on Washington Boulevard, sidetracked by an unshaven senior sitting in the median of the street. He hails the friar, introduces himself as “John” and holds out his hands. John not only needs gloves, he needs help putting them on. “I had a stroke,” he says. Michael fishes a pair of gloves from the backpack and tugs them over the man’s gnarled fingers. “We’ll keep an eye out for a pair of mittens that would be easier,” he promises John.

Radomski StAl backpack 5

Prayers at a construction site.

“Brother Michael!” he hears, and turns to spot a friend. “Carla, you doin’ all right?” he asks a smiling, white-haired woman with a walker. She turns down a sandwich, preferring to catch up on the news while a small crowd gathers around them. Soon they are engaged in a lively conversation. “We often have a good time when we go out,” Michael says. “It’s a joy to meet people like Carla who are filled with joy” despite their circumstances.

At a construction site, a guy with a street-cleaning machine wants to talk. After being paroled from prison, the man spent four years looking for work. He would like to pray and give thanks with a man of God for the positive turn his life has taken.

Michael says his habit is rarely recognized. “Most of the time people are like, ‘What are you dressed up for?’ Most of them just know we’re ‘church guys’.”

Finding comfort

Up the street, he turns into Grand Circus Park. A dozen men are sitting around the drained fountain, hip-hop vocals blaring in the background. Faces registering anger, boredom or hopelessness, they come to life when Michael walks into view. “When we get to a certain part of a park, they come from other parts,” he says. “It’s like they have antennae.”

Radomski StAl backpack 4 crop 300

At Grand Circus Park

A short queue forms quickly. “Got any socks?” a young man asks. Michael pulls out half the contents of his backpack before announcing, “There are no socks.”
“I’m allergic to peanut butter,” says another when he’s offered a sandwich. “What about chocolate?” Michael says, offering a cookie. These guys may be hungry, but they don’t seem destitute. Scanning the park, Michael points to a bench across the way. “That man is homeless. He’s wearing a coat that folds out into a sleeping bag.”

A middle-aged man named Aaron comes forward, face contorted in pain, and says he needs to pray. A dam of despair breaks loose as Michael petitions God, with Aaron sobbing, clinging, sinking to his knees. For the next few minutes there are no answers, only questions, but it’s obvious that this desperately sad soul has found comfort and catharsis. He wipes his eyes, gets to his feet and stumbles away.

“There are a lot of them like that,” according to Michael. “It’s hard to say, ‘My time’s up. Gotta go.’ You just can’t do that.”

Alone and confused

A bearded man with a finger wrapped in bandages wanders by looking so dazed that Michael is concerned. “You got a place to stay tonight?” he calls. “On the road,” the man says in heavily accented English. An immigrant from Nepal, he is alone in America.

Radomski StAl backpack 3

Br. Michael listens to an immigrant’s story.

“What do you believe in your God?” he suddenly asks Michael. “God loves you and me” is the friar’s response. “Some say Allah, some say God the Father; it’s all one God.”

For the next half-hour while the man sits quietly on a curb, staring blankly with his upturned hands on his knees, Michael is on his cell phone, trying to find lodging. Coming up empty, he scribbles a list of names, places and phone numbers.

“I wish there were more I could do for you,” he says, handing them over. “I will hold you in my heart and pray throughout the night. God will look out for you. Place it all in God’s hands.”

Armed with a bag of hand warmers, mittens, sandwiches, and directions to a shelter, the man sets off across the park. “I feel so unable to help in any way,” Michael says. “It aches to not know what happens to them. That’s the only part of this ministry I don’t like.”

Some days, there are rays of hope. “Periodically we meet somebody who is back, better, who has a house and has found work. One such person is Angelique, a young, timid woman who was ever gracious and appreciative” of the help she received. “She kind of disappeared for a while. Then one day we were out and someone called, ‘Hey guys! Hey, St. Aloysius!’ It was Angelique,” greeting them with a smile and a hug. “She got a home, lined up a job and got her life back on track. It was wonderful to see.”

With his load lightened, Michael heads for St. Aloysius and his other duties. He will be back here next week, praying for more happy endings.

Radomski StAl backpack 7

Br. Michael Radomski with a friend on Washington Blvd.

This story first appeared in the SJB News Notes and Franciscan.org

 

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St. Anthony, a spiritual bloodhound

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Bloodhound

 Patricia found a ‘miraculous friend’ in St. Anthony
~

As a convert, I had never heard of St. Anthony until middle age. However, I soon found a ‘miraculous friend’ in him. He has found many misplaced and lost things for me and always left me feeling uplifted to boot.

St. Anthony & candlesTen months ago I lost my wallet just before Christmas with virtually my whole life in it including my driver’s license, money and all my plastics. I reported it to the police and after a few weeks and begging St. Anthony to help out, I proceeded to replace all that was in there. I said to my family that this must be a tough one even for St. Anthony.

Ten months later there was a knock at the door and 2 young lady chemist assistants asked if I had lost a wallet and asked my name. Apparently I had left it in a chemist shop that I seldom visit.  When it was found, it had been placed ‘temporarily’ in their lost property bin and forgotten about. It was soon covered over with various other things being flung in hastily because of the Christmas rush.

It was only when it became full that they unearthed it and found that only my address was on things and no phone number. They turned up on my doorstep nearly a year later, with wallet in hand. Nothing had been changed. Everything including the cash was still in there untouched. I thanked the girls and St. Anthony out loud and insisted they take a reward for themselves for their trouble. I was overjoyed to have something so personal back in my life.

Maybe I was meant to change all those cards for some reason. Who knows? St. Anthony does pick his time occasionally, but if it’s findable, he is like a ‘spiritual bloodhound’ on the job and seems to be inexhaustible. He is so very loving. I tell one and all about him.

Thank you, adorable St. Anthony.

Patricia in Australia

CandleWe’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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St. Anthony, evangelizing with a question and a smile

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Where do lost items go?
~

In the mail several years ago I received a gift. St Anthony in a round disc that was an animated hologram and a key chain.

Anthony coinI hooked it on the zipper of my purse with a strong chain link and constantly got questions from Catholics and questions from non-Catholics which gave me the opportunity to share the story of his life with perfect strangers.

Then one day it was gone.

The heavy chain was also gone and I realized it was no accident. Someone had carefully detached it from my zipper. I looked everywhere I could think of retracing steps to no avail.

I talked to St. Anthony asking him to find it for me. Weeks passed. All my life, from childhood, he had always found lost objects for me.  Not this time. I missed the cheerful little disc that made people smile and found myself wondering where lost things go. I don’t know where the keychain went or how such a secure fastening was undone however I did have an answer from St. Anthony.

He gave me a sudden understanding that someone needed that little disc that brought a smile and left a question. Someone needed him. He’s still out there someplace evangelizing with a smile.

–B.

AnthonyWe’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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