¿Acaso no soy yo tu madre? ¿No estoy aquí? (Am I not your mother? Am I not here?),
The words of the Blessed Mother are as true today as they were when she spoke them to St. Juan Diego centuries ago on a little hill in Mexico. She is our mother, and she accompanies us on our journey, always pointing us toward her Son.
She is the one who brings us together, those from the “old world” and “new world.” Cultural, language, and political boundaries do not separate us. We are all members of the Body of Christ.
May we all gather together under the protective mantle of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and seek her intercession as we pray for the unity and peace
that is God’s gift to us, if we are willing to receive it.
This year the Sunday readings from the Gospel of St. Mark have taken us on a journey with Jesus from the baptism in the Jordan, all the way to Jerusalem.
This year our province fraternity has also been on a journey. We have had our quadrennial Chapter, leading to changes in assignments and leadership. And since last Thanksgiving, we have bid farewell to four of our brothers.
But one constant in all this movement is the Franciscan mission we all share – friars, friends, collaborators, and all who support us so generously. As followers of St. Francis we live a Gospel Life, following Christ and preaching the Good News of God’s
overwhelming love for each and all of us.
It is your gifts, the prayers and the sacrificial offerings, that make our lives and ministries possible. As a way of thanking each of you for your efforts to make this mission a reality in the lives of those we serve, we share with you this video, Praising God and Giving Thanks. We hope you enjoy it.
On the evening of November 13th, Friar Conrad Sutter was honored at the 8th Annual Heroes of Hope Celebration "Celebrating Our Community Leaders." Father Conrad was recognized for his contributions to the African-American community as a civic and religious leader.
Fr. Conrad was deeply touched by the accolade from a community that he loves and esteems.
On Saturday, November 3, the Bishops of El Paso and Las Cruces joined with clergy, women and men religious, and lay people worshiping together on both sides of the US-Mexico border at the annual Border Mass. Friars Tom Smith and Charles McCarthy concelebrated the Mass and spent time in fellowship with the attendees.
The Mass is a reminder that the people of God are one, regardless of barriers -- political, cultural, or language. We pray for unity and healing, and for the suffering of those who seek a better life for their families.
On November 1st the Church has traditionally celebrated the Feast of All Saints. This is an opportunity for us to connect with our beloved deceased holy friends and celebrate their glorious relationship with God.
Many of us have a favorite saint whom we have connected with over a lifetime. My Franciscan brothers have long taught me and modeled their love for the Saints. I recall Fr. Juniper Cummings’ love for St. Anthony and how he wrote his dissertation on St. Anthony when he was studying in the seminary. Certainly I cannot fail to mention Fr. Wayne Hellman’s love and devoted study of St. Bonaventure. Both of these men were examples to all friars of the importance of building and nurturing a relationship with a saint.
My own ‘saint-friend’ is the Friar Padre Pio. I exhort our new novices each year to become acquainted with a saint and nourish a friendship by prayer and reading as much as possible with their ‘saint-friend.’
As we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, it is good for us to call to mind our favorite saint and read a bit about him or her.
One Friar who had a great devotion to St. Anthony of Padua described his devotion this way. He said he had the small wedding band of his deceased mother, which he wore to remind him of her presence. From there he went on to describe his devotion to the relics of St. Anthony, which remind him of the Saint and nourish his friendship with him.
May God grant you peace, comfort, and freedom from anxiety as you recall and reaffirm your relationship with your special Saint.
Listen to our latest episode of Franciscan Voice. Brother Don Bassana shares his journey following in the footsteps of St. Maximilian Kolbe to Japan. Learn more about St. Kolbe's life - how he found the desire to travel to the far east; how he arrived in Japan; and the miracle of the friary established there.
Holy Cross Retreat Center in conjunction with CAFé (Comunidades de Acción y Fe) hosted a prayer service to celebrate the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero. On Sunday evening, October 14th, 30 people gathered in the Chapel for a bilingual celebration of his commitment to the poor and victims of injustice.
SER IGLESIA: alzar la voz con los pobres
“Una Iglesia que no se une a los pobres, a fin de hablar desde el lado de los pobres, en contra de las injusticias que se cometen con ellos, no es la verdadera Iglesia de Jesucristo.” —Santo Oscar Romero
Being Church: Speaking Out With the Poor
“A Church that does not join the poor in order to speak out from the side of the poor against the injustices committed against them is not the true Church of Jesus Christ.” —Saint Oscar Romero
Today the Church celebrates the canonization of seven new saints, including Pope St. Paul VI and St. Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran Archbishop who was assassinated by the military while celebrating Mass in 1980.
Archbishop Romero is revered as a voice for the poor, the powerless, and those on the margins, the very people Jesus lived with and reached out to, as Pope Francis continually reminds us. He is an inspiration to the Conventual Franciscan Friars who work in Central America, along the US-Mexico border, and with those who have come to the US searching for freedom and better lives for their families.
Let us now ask for St. Oscar’s intercession as we pray for the grace and courage to follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, the Little Poor Man of Assisi who strove to live fully the Gospel Life.
Each one of you has to be God’s microphone. Each one of you has to be a messenger, a prophet. The church will always exist as long as there is someone who has been baptized…Where is your baptism? You are baptized in your professions, in the fields of workers, in the market. Wherever there is someone who has been baptized, that is where the church is. There is a prophet there. Let us not hide the talent that God gave us on the day of our baptism and let us truly live the beauty and responsibility of being a prophetic people.
Let us cry out therefore: O what a glorious saint he is! His disciple saw his soul ascending into heaven: beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, glowing brilliantly as it ascended upon a white cloud!
(Brother Thomas of Celano)
Peace and all good on our great feast,
the Conventual Franciscan Friars
Province of Our Lady of Consolation