The September 2005 V0L. 79 NO. 3
2 Our New Home
8 New Provincial Leadership
10 Living the Mass
13 What is a Peace Pole?
14 Instrument of Peace
19 New Sons of St. Francis
21 Just Faith
24 Not Your Typical Pantry
26 Let the Children Come
28 Friars’ Corner
31 And Now from Our Readers
“Only from the Eucharist does the single believer find inspi-
ration and strength to live in an original way and fully the
Christian experience. St. Francis was well aware of this
when he said, ‘I see nothing bodily of the Most High Son of
God in this world except his most holy Body and Blood.’ ”
—Emanuela De Nunzio, SFO
Year of the Eucharist
t. Anthony’s Guild employees Martin
Ortega (top left), Mary Ellen Behan
and Sister of Charity Marian Bishop
are hard at work processing incoming
requests from Guild supporters. Rose
Marie Reyes (center) balances the Guild
books, while John Zawadzinski (seated
left), and Phillip Jacobs make up the
award-winning lay staff of The Anthonian
Joan Gruber, who has worked for the
Guild since 1966, prepares the outgoing
mail in the basement of Sacred Heart
Prayer to Saint Anthony
Pray me a prayer,
Fast me a fast,
Burn out my heart—
Remold it, recast.
Preach me a lesson,
A fiery plea.
Show me a heaven,
Bless me a blessing,
Shame me a shame;
Rekindle my love
In your soaring flame.
Slay me my dragon,
Sow all his teeth;
Reap me sweet harvest
Of myrtle leaf.
Dirge me a sorrow;
Absolve me a sin;
Swing wide my soul
To let Him in. —Peg McGuire
F ather John J. O’Connor, OFM (inset), was elected to a six-
year term as the Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province
at the Provincial Chapter held May 29-June 3 on the campus of
Siena College outside of Albany, New York. Some 150 friars
reaffirmed their commitments to serving the Church and society
today in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.
Living the Mass
BY FR. WILLIAM DEBIASE
We come to the Eucharist to grow more fervent in faith.
n Pope John Paul II’s foundation- We each come to the Eucharist in
al document on the Year of the a special way, looking to God with
Eucharist, he tells us that if the our own hopes, needs and all those
year brings about nothing more than things that go to make us who we
a “more fervent participation in are. These have to be respected, but
Sunday liturgy and devotion to the the community also has a prayer,
Blessed Sacrament outside of which is the purpose of the opening
Mass,” he would consider this spe- prayer. The community joins with one
cial year a success. Now let us look heart asking God for some spiritual
at the various parts of the Mass with good.
the hope that these simple reflec- Although these petitions will
tions will help you take part with change with the year, they will focus
greater fervor. on a desire to have a deeper rela-
From the moment the congregation tionship with God. We stand before
gathers, the Lord, through the Holy God with our hands and hearts open,
Spirit, is present. It is so necessary ever ready to receive the graces he
to affirm the fact that the decision “I wants to give us.
am going to Mass” is a gift from God
not only to the individual but to the
entire community. We gather to offer
the sacrifice in his name. We are
I n the Liturgy of the Word, we hear
of the marvelous works of God, or
at times we hear the expectations he
bound together as a worshiping com- has of us. The readings from the Old
munity, the living stones, through the and the New Testament remind us of
Holy Spirit, and we are turned to the the continuity of the history of God
Father. At the Eucharist, we are pre- with his people. The Word of God
eminently the Trinitarian people. enlightens our minds and hearts.
WE GATHER not because we are When the Gospel is proclaimed,
worthy but, on the contrary, we come our Lord proclaims through the
as sinners. In the penitential rite, we human instrument of a priest or dea-
place ourselves with the prodigal son con who announces the Good News,
of Luke 15. We come bearing the as Vatican II reminds us.
weight of our humanity. That is why The homily brings out the meaning
that prayer with which we begin the of the Word in an understandable
celebration should vibrate within us: way to the congregation. What does
“Lord have mercy.” We acknowledge the Word mean to us today? How
with this prayer that we are still pil- can we respond to it? What does
grims—still carrying the joys, hopes, God want from us? These are some
failures of the human questions the homily should address.
condition. I firmly believe that every homily has
10 something for someone.
The gifts of the bread and wine will It is not only the gathered congre-
become our spiritual food and drink. gation which sings this hymn with
With them, we combine our own gifts Jesus. The Eucharistic prayer gath-
for the day. At this time, we are ers the entire Church, the
reminded that the only thing we real- Communion of Saints. We remember
ly have to give to God is ourselves. all who have gone before us. We
Sometimes we come to the Eucharist remember Mary, the Apostles and all
with good things. Other times, the the Saints. Heaven, earth and purga-
only thing we have to offer the Lord tory are joined with the Lord, the
is our human weakness. In both great High Priest in this act of praise.
cases, it is who I am and that is what The Eucharistic Prayer comes to
the Lord wants. an end with a summary of what has
“The Lord be with you,” “Lift up taken place. “Through Him, with Him
your hearts.” With these words, we and in Him in the unity of the Holy
begin the Preface, the great prayer Spirit all glory and honor is yours
of thanksgiving in and through the Almighty Father.” The community
Lord. A particular mystery of the Lord sings the great Amen, the acknowl-
is made present. We are invited to edgement of the great mystery which
enter into that mystery. We are has just taken place. We sign our
placed in a new dimension of exis- name to the Paschal Mystery of the
tence, as we sing with the angels Lord. The sacrifice of reconciliation
and saints that great hymn of praise, which has made our peace with God
“Holy, Holy, Holy.” We stand in the has been sacramentally made pres-
presence of God with the entire ent to us. Having lifted our hands to
heavenly court. Our Father, we are able to share that
WE NOW BEGIN the central part peace with others.
of the Eucharist. “Presence” is the THE SACRIFICE is complete and
operative word for the Eucharistic now we prepare ourselves to eat the
Prayer. All of creation stands before food of sacrifice. In Scripture, this
the Father, with the Son, bound by was an important part of the ritual.
the Holy Spirit, giving thanksgiving The sacrificial lamb had to be eaten.
and praise. In the Consecration, the So we are asked to share in the
Lord who has been with us from the meal. It is not a lamb, but the Lord
beginning of the celebration now who comes to us as the “bread of
makes the great act of redemption heaven.” We receive the Lord as
sacramentally present. Calvary and Bread for our pilgrimage, so we may
Easter Sunday are made present, become him. Communion is life shar-
and we are caught up in that great ing. The Lord comes, sharing his life
hymn. The Lord comes down from with us. We truly are Christ bearers.
heaven to bring us up. The prayer after Communion is
Every Mass is a renewal of the usually a simple request to be true to
sacred contract between God and the mystery we have received and
his people, an opportunity to renew to grow in love, the object of the
our contract with God, to renew our Eucharist. We are then sent forth to
baptismal promises. live the mystery we have celebrated
12 and be the bread of life for others.
What is a Peace Pole?
he Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol of
the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, stand-
ing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth.
The Peace Pole is a handcrafted monument that displays the
message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each of
its four or six sides, usually in different languages. There are
more than 250,000 Peace Poles in 180 countries all over the
world dedicated as monuments to peace. They serve as con-
stant reminders to visualize and pray for world peace.
Usually a Peace Pole is eight feet tall with the bottom “plant-
ed” in the ground, although many indoor Peace Poles are sup-
ported by stands. It may be constructed from any material that
is environmentally sound. In the United States, most Peace
Poles are made from western red cedar, a wood that is a
renewable resource. Peace Poles may be made from any local
hard wood, or from plastic or metal.
A Peace Pole may grace a town square, a school, a park, a
place of worship, an office or a garden. Or it can put forth the
community as an example of how to live in peace. Whatever the
location, the presence of a Peace Pole announces that this is a
special place, dedicated to peace on earth.
Planting a Peace Pole is a way to bring people together on an
inspiring project to join in a network of peace consciousness
that is emerging all over the world.
Peace lovers of all faiths have been involved in Peace Pole
dedications, including the 14th Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, for-
mer President Jimmy Carter, Deepak Chopra, and John Den-
ver, as well as mayors, clubs and Girl Scouts.
There are Peace Poles on the Allenby Bridge between Israel
and Jordan; at the Peace Park where 84 Peace Poles com-
memorate the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; at the War
Museum in Vietnam; at Robben Island in South Africa, where
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned; at the Pyramids of El Giza in
Egypt; at the site of the baptism of Jesus at Bethany-Beyond-
the-Jordan; and at schools, churches, synagogues, mosques
and temples across the United States and around the world.
Friars whose education was supported by members of St.
Anthony’s Guild have set up Peace Poles at St. Camillus
Church, Silver Spring, Md.; St. Francis Church, Triangle, Va.;
St. Francis Church, New York City; St. Anthony Church, Butler,
N.J.; the four churches on Long Beach Island, N.J.; and on the
campus at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.
“No one is
to be called
an enemy, all
and no one
Fr. Joseph Nangle, OFM, has been an instrument of
peace healing wounds of people scarred by war.
an work through anyone.” St. Francis of Assisi
n a radio interview at Siena College during the Provincial Chapter
of Holy Name Province in June, two leaders of the Franciscan
Order, General Definitor Finian McGinn and General Minister José
Rodríguez Carballo, commented on the worldwide peacemaking
efforts of the friars.
Twenty four local contacts of the Province’s ecology and peace-ori-
ented ministries took part in a planning retreat in Washington, D.C.,
July 15-17. “It was exciting, inspiring and humbling to hear the many
good peacemaking ministries in the Province,” noted Russell Testa,
the Province’s animator for social justice.
F r. Richard
hopes that with his
listening ear he
may bring peace to
a youth outside St.
Anthony Shrine in
New Sons of St. Francis
ine novices professed first Mokry, OFM, received the vows of
vows during a Mass in St. the Canadian friars and concelebrat-
Paul’s Church, Wilmington, ed. Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli of
Del., on June 11. Six friars are mem- Wilmington was also present.
bers of Holy Name Province: The newly professed spent the past
Brothers Frederick Dilger, Lawrence year in formation at St. Paul’s novi-
Anderson, Robert Mayer, Harry tiate under director Father Thomas
Monaco, Timothy Powers, and Gallagher, OFM, and assistant direc-
Patrick Rohan. Three are members tor Father Flavian Walsh, OFM, who
of the Province of Christ the King, took part in the liturgy.
Edmonton, Canada: Brothers Daniel Brs. Frederick, Timothy and Robert
Gurnick, Armand Mercier, and James pursued studies at The Franciscan
Rodrigo. Institute, St. Bonaventure University,
How grateful we are to Guild mem- during the summer. Br. Lawrence
bers for their support of our young ministered at St. Anthony Shrine,
friars. Guild members will be remem- Boston, and Br. Patrick ministered at
bered in their prayers. St. Camillus Church, Silver Spring,
Provincial Minister John O’Connor, Md. They continued their Franciscan
OFM, celebrated the Mass, delivered formation in late August at
the homily and received the vows of Holy Name College in 19
the friars. Provincial Minister Fr. Bob Silver Spring.
20 Minister John O’Connor and Canadian Provincial Minister Fr. Bob
Mokry shared the joy of the profession ceremony with family members and friends.
YOUR FRIARS TODAY
By going to jail, Franciscan parishioners learn how to
integrate spirituality and social justice issues. By John Zawadzinski
handful of parishioners parishioners. These sessions or “bor-
recently “did time” in Passaic der crossings” are a key component
County Jail, Paterson,N.J.,– of the JustFaith program.
that is, visiting inmates as part of the “This is very important because it
JustFaith program. puts faces on the statistics,” said
The group from St. Mary’s Parish, Barbara Lisa-Johnson, a JustFaith
Pompton Lakes, N.J., arrived in two facilitator. “We don’t always human-
blue vans, before Detective ize these people or hear their stories
Commander Michael Terlizzi greeted and circumstances that brought them
them in the jail parking lot and to where they are.”
walked them inside. After a security JustFaith is a conversion-based
clearance and a brief orientation, the process that the Franciscan friars at
group toured the jail. They later gath- St. Mary’s decided to establish as a
ered inside the chapel, where they means of integrating personal spiritu-
met and spoke to inmates during ality and social ministry within parish
one-on-one encounters. life.
As an armed guard kept a watchful Founded in Louisville,
eye on the events, inmates shared Ky., in 1989 by Jack 21
their personal stories with St. Mary’s Jezreel, JustFaith aims to
empower people to develop a pas- n addition to utilizing an extended
sion and thirst for justice and to reading list, members of JustFaith
express these concrete acts of also attend retreats and partici-
parish social ministry. pate in one-on-one encounters with
“I wanted to prepare participants to the poor and marginalized. These
become prophets or leaders of social encounters take place at jails and
mission, so I devoted the curriculum drug and alcohol rehabilitation cen-
to the Church’s tradi- ters, among others.
tion of care for the vul- To date, more than 50
nerable,” wrote Jezreel parishioners from the St.
in JustFaith: Strategy of “The JustFaith Mary’s JustFaith pro-
Education and Social
program does gram have participated
in these experiences.
Ministry Formation. “I make a differ- The encounters were so
offered the program for powerful, the parish
the first time, not know- ence because brought a confirmation
ing if anyone would be class to visit inmates.
interested,” he said. it’s one of the
Since that time, hun- “It’s very important for
dreds of groups have
best programs our parishioners to have
participated in the out there,” these one-on-one
JustFaith program. encounters,” said Jackie
Within the Province, the Franciscan Schramm, director of St. Mary’s
friars have established these parish social justice ministry. “These
programs at St. Bonaventure encounters connect social justice
Church, Allegany, N.Y.; St. Camillus, issues right inside the jail – drugs,
Silver Spring, Md.; St. Mary of the racism, human dignity and so many
Angels, Anderson, S.C.; Immaculate other social justices. It’s very power-
Conception, Durham, N.C.; St. ful.”
Francis of Assisi, Raleigh, N.C.; St. The St. Mary’s JustFaith program
Francis, Triangle, Va.; and at the began two years ago after Russell
University of Georgia, Athens, Testa, the provincial animator of
among others. Justice Peace and Integrity of
Creation, organized a JustFaith ses-
During the 30-week JustFaith program, participants meet weekly to
watch videos, pray and hold discussions about social justice issues.
sion at St. Joseph’s Church in East of the program. This brings action
Rutherford, N.J. and prayer together, and that’s
During that session, Testa intro- important.”
duced the history of the program to As a result of St. Mary’s JustFaith
more than 40 participants, including program, a core group of six mem-
those representing Holy Name bers has shown an interest in estab-
Province and churches from the lishing a jail ministry. The program,
Paterson Diocese. He also dis- still in its early stages, is being
cussed how parishes could set up designed to serve as a deterrent for
JustFaith programs within their local young adults who might be negative-
parish ministries. ly influenced by drugs, gangs and
Holy Name Province used money crime.
from its Benevolence Fund to help “If we could stop some of these
offset the cost of JustFaith books, kids from going to jail, we will try,”
videos and retreats. Donations from- said Jim Hubert, a member of
members of St. Anthony’s Guild con- JustFaith and a St. Mary’s parish-
tribute to the support of that fund. ioner. “We wanted to explore
“The JustFaith program does make JustFaith further and do something,
a difference because it’s one of the because we’re not going to sit on our
best programs out there,” Testa said. hands and wait for someone else to
“It’s a long program and it’s intense. do it. All the possibilities are there.
There’s interaction with the poor and We just have to develop them.”
marginalized, and that’s a huge part
Some members of the St. Mary’s JustFaith group met for a reunion last summer.
Not Your Typical Pantry
YOUR FRIARS TODAY
Expanded grocery store in Providence offers
clients choice of free food. By JOHN ZAWADZINSKI
n some cases,
bigger is better.
of Holy Name
ed the dedication
and grand opening
of the Poverello
Center in the
of Povidence, R.I.,
which looks like a
store, offers its
clients free food, a
A riotous ribbon cutting with (from left) Poverello Center
majority of which is
Director Elizabeth O’Dea, former Provincial Minister Fr. John
donated by the Felice, OFM, Providence Mayor David Ciccilline, Fr. Frank
Rhode Island Sevola, OFM, and City Councilman John Igliozzi.
Community Food Mogavero, a local businessman,
Bank, as well as individual and com- allowed the friars to use the 1,000-
pany donations from local business- square-foot building free of charge.
es. “I wanted nothing from them,
Father John Felice, OFM, then in because I was giving back to the
his last term as Provincial Minister, Franciscans,” he said. “A lot of peo-
was on hand to dedicate the new ple don’t understand how much the
building located at 668 Hartford Ave. friars have done for this city.”
Prior to opening as the Poverello When the needs of the people out-
Center, the space once housed a grew the former location, it was
barbershop and at one time, a flower determined the most logical alterna-
shop. tive was to purchase a place the fri-
The former St. Francis Food Center ars could own.
was located on Elm Street in the “We needed a new place to go,”
city’s jewelry district. It was also run said Father Frank Sevola, OFM,
under the auspices of the St. Francis Director of St. Francis Chapel and
Chapel and City Ministry City Ministry Center since 2002. “As
24 Center. Since 1999, the we started planning, we decided we
building’s owner, Lee
could serve more people in a bigger when they shop.
space and we could offer more serv- “We stress that we’re all on the
ices. We’re able to have a larger same page when they (clients) come
shopping area and we’re also able to here,” O’Dea said. “You always here
offer our clients more food.” the friars say, ‘All are welcome’ and
Through a six-month capital cam- this place is very inviting and has a
paign, $1.5 million was raised for the great feel to it.”
new center. Of that, more than IN ADDITION the friars offering
$250,000 was used for purchase, their clients food, their Poverello
with $100,000 going towards renova- Center will also host a satellite of its
tions. The remaining funds were Wellness Center.The center will hold
placed into an endowment to help a cancer screening program for
pay for operating costs and other women and offer a social services
expenses. aspect referring clients to profession-
SINCE 1999, the Holy Name als who could help them with issues
Province Benevolence Fund has ranging from everything from domes-
contributed grant money to the tic abuse to drug or alcohol counsel-
chapel and ministry center. The ing.
province recently allotted $15,000 to “The work we do here is so neces-
the program as part of its 2006 fiscal sary, and I really believe that faith
year Benevolence Grant contribu- without action is an empty feeling,”
tions. O’Dea said. “The Franciscans have
“It’s exciting that people have been here for 50 years and people
stepped up to the plate, both finan- have really paid attention to what
cially and with other types of sup- they have been doing.”
port,” Fr. Frank said. “It’s very excit-
ing to get a more significant
Franciscan presence in the
Providence area. Especially moving
into a poorer neighborhood where
our presence is going to be felt a
Just like the St. Francis Food
Center, the Poverello Center will be
the largest “client-choice” food center
in Rhode Island. According to
Elizabeth O’Dea, the center’s senior
director, client-choice isn’t like your
traditional food pantry.
Instead of just handing clients a
bag of groceries, the clients are able
to shop the aisles and take whatever Left to right: Mary Rossi and
they need. Not only does this cut Dominique Perez serve as volunteers
down on wasted food, it provides a and Beverly Infussi is a nurse on the
positive environment and allows the staff of the Wellness Center satellite that
clients to maintain a sense of dignity will offer clients screenings of choles-
terol, glucose and blood pressure.
YOUR FRIARS TODAY
By JOHN ZAWADZINSKI
Nationally Recognized Childcare Program Flourishes
in South Jersey Franciscan Parish.
n New Jersey’s Ocean County, the people, but we’re here to help
there’s no place like the St. them in a lot of different ways,”
Francis Center—the multi-million Father Andrew Reitz, OFM, said.
dollar/multi-purpose facility located “We look at our center as our focus
on Long Beach Boulevard on Long of outreach and concern.”
Beach Island. The center houses an The childcare program, which has
indoor swimming pool with a been in existence since 1984, pro-
retractable roof, administrative vides children with a comprehensive
offices, multi-purpose rooms, and curriculum of art, math, reading, sci-
food pantry. ence and physical development. It
On any particular afternoon, the also encompasses a year-round pre-
center, established by the Franciscan school, vacation club and after-
friars in the early 1970s, might be school program for 100 of the coun-
used for a basketball camp, day ty’s neediest children. Open five
care, senior citizen computer class- days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
es, counseling and family services, the program has been nationally rec-
among others. It is also home to a ognized and certified by the National
number of vital outreach programs, Association for the Education of
including the St. Francis Childcare Young Children.
Program. “In all of Ocean County, we are
“We’re here for the spirituality of most likely the only program of this
nature,” said Robert Hazlett, execu- The program is so vital to low
tive director of St. Francis Center. income and working poor families,
“Over the years, we’ve proved that there is a waiting list of more than 50
this is a viable program.” students. According to Kelly, not a
The goal of the childcare program day goes by where she doesn’t
is to assist low income and working receive a call from a concerned par-
poor families to retain quality day- ent wondering if their child could be
care for their children. Clients who added to the yearlong waiting list.
send their children to the program To provide these affordable servic-
also include single adult families es, the state pays a portion of child-
residing in Southern Ocean County. care and the families pay a co-pay
“This program is a God-send for a fee, which amounts to $660 annually.
lot of families,” said Maria Kelly, Since most of the families still could-
director of children’s services at n’t afford the co-pay, the Holy
St. Francis Center. “The fam-
ilies are very grateful.”
‘We Name Province
Benevolence Fund donat-
Although Long Beach ed $19,800 to the pro-
Island is an affluent
community and a popu-
really do gram.
These funds have
lar summer vacation
destination for families reach an allowed the families to
pay half of the co-pay
residing within New ($330) for 60 stu-
and Delaware, it also
“Without the funding
has its fair share of
needy residents. clientele’ from the Benevolence
Fund, we wouldn’t be
There is a large Mexican able to keep going,” Kelly
and Central American popu- said. “If these families have
lation that helps the tourist indus- nowhere to put the kids, they
try thrive. In addition, a number of can’t keep working.”
those of Central American and Through start-up money donated
Mexican descent support themselves by the Province, St. Francis later
and their families by working in build- secured additional funds from the
ing trades or in the restaurant indus- United Way. The generous contribu-
try. tions from the Province and the
A number of these families send United Way kept the program in
their children to the St. Francis operation, allowing the needs of the
Center, because they can’t afford a less fortunate to be met.
traditional nursery school. “It all goes back to Matthew’s
“We really do reach an important Gospel, Chapter 25, ‘For I was hun-
clientele,” Kelly said. “The people are gry and you gave me food, for I was
very grateful for a safe and nurturing thirsty and you gave me drink,’ and I
environment, and they’re happy for think we’re fulfilling that mission
all the extras we offer, like counsel- here,” Fr. Andrew said. “It feels good
ing and parenting assistance work- to be able to respond to
shops.” the needs of the people.” 27
Eucharist: Healing the Sinful
orpus Christi celebrates the just in your sight, 0 God.” And Psalm
Feast of the Holy Eucharist, 51 teaches: “In guilt I was born; a
the sacrament that is the sinner was I conceived.”
heart and soul of Roman Catholic These words are not liturgical
spirituality, as Pope Benedict just hyperbole. If worthiness were the
recently reminded us. Corpus Christi measuring stick for going to
points up the centrality of the Communion, nobody would receive,
Eucharist in Roman Catholic spiri- including the pope, bishops, and
tuality. The feast of Corpus priests. We are all sinners, in
Christi originated in the 13th varying degrees admittedly,
century as a reaction but nonetheless, sinners.
against the earlier Judas was a sinner who
Berengarian heresy. The betrayed Jesus; Peter was a
monk, Beringarius, denied sinner, who denied he even
the real presence of Jesus in knew Jesus. Even though
the Eucharist. Berengarius Jesus knew their sinfulness, he
was the precursor of the still shared the Eucharist with
Reformation idea that Jesus’ words them at the Last Supper. Jesus
at the Last Supper were to be taken understood that the Eucharist is spiri-
figuratively, not literally. For the tual medicine for healing sinful souls.
reformers, the Eucharistic meal rep- The Eucharist is the instrument par
resents only a memorial of the Last excellence for healing, not punishing,
Supper. nor coercing people to force them
This point of view denies the real, into line. There are other non-sacra-
sacramental presence of Jesus in mental ways of doing that, when it
the Eucharist. The Reformation sent needs to be done.
a whole section of Christianity on a No one had to tell Jesus that all
path that led it totally away from the human beings are sinners. But many
Eucharist as the center of Christian of the Jews of his day forgot that we
spirituality. Very few Christian are all sinners. In fact, to make his
churches have devotion to the point, Jesus challenged the self-
Blessed Sacrament, or regular righteous Jews who were about to
Eucharistic celebration of Holy stone the woman caught in adultery:
Communion. “Let the one without sin cast the first
The 2004 election flap about who is stone.” Then Jesus bent down and
worthy to receive Holy Communion wrote on the ground, and they all
and who is not has the makings of silently slipped away. They finally got
an interesting conversation. If worthi- the message: we are all sinners.
ness were the criterion, why do we This act of Jesus was not meant to
say at every Mass, “Lord, I am not justify sinful conduct, but rather a
worthy”? Psalm 143 reminder that all of us need God’s
28 reminds us how unworthy
all of us are: “No one is
We approach Holy Communion, not with God. We call receiving the
because we are worthy, but because Eucharist “Holy Communion,”
God’s mercy and love forgives our because it unites us with God in a
unworthiness. special sacramental way. Saints
I was ordained on the Feast of were sinners who, in spite of their
Corpus Christi, and it was not human limitations, found a way to
because I was worthy. have a saving relationship with God.
Catholics believe Jesus meant St. John teaches, “The Word
what he said when he declared the became flesh and pitched his tent
bread was his body and the wine among us.”
was his blood. Catholics have always Jesus Christ is the visible presence
interpreted this passage of the Bible of the invisible God, whereby human-
literally. When we receive the ity encounters the divinity in a heal-
Eucharist at Mass, our faith affirms ing, saving way. Jesus Christ
that we truly encounter Jesus him- —FR. STEPHEN LYNCH, OFM
self in this sacrament. The Eucharist
brings us into special relationship
‘Wake up and Smell the Roses’
he more times change, the ago. Here was a 20th century man,
more they remain the dying from Lou Gehrig’s Disease,
same.” That hit home reflecting on today’s world, and
recently when I casually picked up sounding the same message that
my well-worn copy of Mitch Albom’s Francis had preached in the 13th
Tuesdays with Morrie and quite by century. To anyone dismissing as
accident opened it to the eighth irrelevant the saint’s insistence on
Tuesday. detachment from material posses-
Out from the page jumped a para- sions because they impeded com-
graph I had previously highlighted. plete surrender to God, it is a call to
Morrie is telling his friend Mitch how wake up and smell the roses.
people today are being brainwashed Relevancy is not measured in
into equating more with good. “More years. In fact, when you think about
money is good. More property is it, the obvious conclusion is that
good. More is good.” Francis’ embrace of Gospel poverty
He goes on to explain that that has never been more meaningful
refrain has convinced people that than it is today. It’s kind of startling
gobbling up a new car, a piece of —a dying Jewish academician and a
property, the newest toy, more of saint, dead for eight centuries, look-
this, more of that, is nothing but an ing at the sickness of their societies
unending and unsuccessful effort to and offering the same remedy.
find happiness by way of material Here is Morrie with his debunking
substitutes, and it never works. of today’s sales pitch as equating
All of a sudden it struck me. What happiness with material goods estab-
he was saying was exactly what St. lishing even more of a
Francis of Assisi had said centuries validity now than when it 29
resounded up and down the Umbrian tion that today’s world keeps sound-
hills centuries ago. ing and resounding in our ears. It
The more you think about today’s was not then and is not now that
world, the stranger and more bizarre material goods are intrinsically evil;
it becomes. Here we are—with the otherwise, being poor would be tan-
highest standard of living in history, tamount to sanctity.
each day’s sun rising on still another The Poverello renounced riches in
comfort-toy to play with—and a order to find the treasure which is
planned obsolescence that almost God. In nothingness he discovered
guarantees a landfill destiny. everything. In the oyster of detach-
We have evolved into a society ment he found the pearl of Christ-
almost deafened by the drumbeat of likeness. He antedated Morrie’s
“more is better” to the point where recognition that more is not good
sublimally our minds absorb it like a and things do not produce happi-
giant sponge, and we don’t even ness.
realize that we are now carrying it in But both men are right on target
our backpacks. when they tell us that the weight of
possessions can encumber us, even
So we accept the commercial siren
force us to the ground. Then what
song of luxuries converted into
happens? Our eyes can no longer
necessities, the finite portal to infinite
look upwards to the real source of
delight, the here and now erasing the
happiness: God. Not because He is
hereafter, and the physical strangling
not there; it is because we need to
the spiritual without recognizing the
get rid of all the junk-substitutes to
dynamic that is the driving force
raise our heads and find him.
May we be strong in faith.
Centuries ago, Francis preached
—FR. JOEL CAMPBELL, OFM
rejection of the same alluring invita-
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. . . And Now from
Cheaper Rates ed and frightened. To dear St.
hen my son Dan was about Anthony did I go. For one week, I
eight, he lost something. bombarded that gentle soul with
After a while, I told him prayers. In exactly one week, she
about when I was a kid and how if was completely exonerated, reinstat-
you pray to St. Anthony with a prom- ed, given a raise and, best of all,
ise of an offering to the poor, he’ll was instrumental in having that store
help you find it. After maybe another policy changed so no one would ever
half hour and desperate, he came have to go through what she did.
into me and said, “Mom, that St. When St. Anthony answers a prayer,
Anthony help. How much is it?” I said he goes above and beyond and
that when I was his age it was a gives you more.
quarter, but I suggested for him at —M. M., Baden, Pa.
least a dollar. He thought about it and
Firm Believer Today
wasn’t too happy. As I was walking
out of his room, I heard my other son ne spring day, I was in the
Joseph, age three, whisper to Dan, yard picking up sticks that
“Psst, Dan. Pray to Jesus, it’s cheap- had fallen from our trees. All
er”—V. F. S., Floral Park, N.Y. at once, I stood up and a low hang-
ing tree limb caught me across the
A Promise is a Promise side of my face, and my diamond
had promised St. Anthony $200 if earring and its jacket, a 25 anniver-
he got this girl a job. She had two sary gift from my husband, went fly-
degrees but got let go due to cut ing. We looked for a week. My hus-
backs. Within six weeks, she got a band even burned off the yard under
job paying $5,000 more than she was the tree. We raked. We had a metal
making before. That was some detector. We had neighbors and
answer and fast at that. $200 is a lot friends and family looking for them.
of money for me to fork over. But a During the end of the second week,
promise to St. Anthony can’t be bro- my mother-in-law came over and all
ken. He and God delivered! — M. H. of us looked again. My husband was
Latham, N.Y. raking, and I was on my hands and
knees. She said, “Have you prayed
to St. Anthony?” Of course, my
Above and Beyond
answer was no, because I didn’t
y granddaughter was impli- think anyone or thing could help.
cated in a fund shortage in Then I realized I would do anything
the store where she works. to get them back and
Due to store policy, she had no way what would a prayer hurt!
to defend herself. She was suspend- 31
So I prayed right there on my hands Short Takes
and knees that if St. Anthony would D. R., Plano, Texas, contributed two
help me find my earring, I would stories of missing crabs from her chil-
donate $100. It wasn’t five minutes dren’s crabitat that were eventually
later, and my husband heard a clink- tracked down after belated prayers to
ing noise on his rake! There was the St. Anthony.
diamond and the jacket! This story D. T., Struthers, Ohio, rejoiced that
may be 10 years late, but neverthe- within two days after praying to St.
less here is my donation. I am a firm Anthony her lost key to open her
believer of St. Anthony now! mailbox in a senior high rise apart-
—W. E., Marshall, Mo. ment was found by another tenant
and returned to her.
Reach Proves Good
M. M., Honolulu, prayed “real hard” to
t the end of a church service, St. Anthony that her son would find
the cantor from the choir his lost wallet that contained his dri-
approached me to see if she ver’s license, and promised a dona-
might have dropped her keys into my tion. Sure enough, his wallet was
purse, while we were in the choir loft. found in back of all his body building
My bag is usually open. They weren’t trophies.
in my bag. She searched where we R. L., Middle Village, N.Y., lost his
had rehearsed before the service, in $55 bus ticket while on vacation with
the loft and anywhere else she had his sister in Spain. But their prayers
been but no luck. I offered to drive to St. Anthony “paid off” when his sis-
her home to get another set of keys. ter found the ticket on the street.
About that time, the pastor came by J. A. L., Hubbard, Ohio, shares this
and I told him that Kathy had lost her prayer:
keys and to say a prayer to St. “We pray that the corruption in the
Anthony for her. He said we should World be exposed to the people,
say a prayer together right then, including myself, and that God bless
which we did. Kathy went to go back us all with the Wisdom, Knowledge,
into the church. She had on a hooded Strength, Stamina, Patience, Courage
jacket. For some reason, my hand and Backbone to stand up against it
reached and grabbed her by the all. Amen.”
hood. Guess what was in the hood— M. J. S., Edison, N.J., acknowledges
her keys! If that wasn’t God working that prayers “to my dear St. Anthony
through St. Anthony, I don’t know (who I can’t live without)” overcame
what is. I had absolutely no reason to remote chances for the recovery of
reach for her hood. How can people her grandson’s car stolen from a
say that God doesn’t hear prayers?” large shopping mall. The car was
—R. P., Colrain, Mass., who also returned to the mall 10 days later “not
shared how the location of her moth- damaged, only vandalism inside.”
er’s lost Miraculous Medal came to
her in a dream after prayers to St. Photo Credits:
Br. Octavio Duran, OFM, Cover, pgs 4, 5, 6, 8, 9,
Anthony. 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 28.
Phil Jacobs, pgs 1, 4, 6, 21.
Br. James McIntosh, OFM, pgs 2, 6.
32 Jackie Schramm, pgs 22, 23.
Elizabeth O’Dea, pgs 24, 25.
Marie Kelly, p 26.
The various charitable works of the Franciscans
depend on your kind and continued support. Won’t
you consider remembering us in your will, trust
or other estate planning?
Our legal title is: St. Anthony’s Guild
This painted woodcarving depicts St. Francis in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
E ach saint in heaven
rejoices over the glorifica-
tion of the other, and his love
overflows to him. The same joy
will fill all the blessed, for I
shall rejoice over your well-
being as though it were my
own, and you will rejoice over
mine as though it were yours.
To use an example: See, we are
standing together, and I have a
rose in my hand. The rose is
mine, and yet you no less than
I rejoice in its beauty and its
perfume. So shall it be in eter-
nal life: My glory shall be your
consolation and exultation,
and yours shall be mine.
—Sermons of St. Anthony
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