Hospitality: A Franciscan Response to the Immigration Conversation


What happens when a family is divided by deportation and other effects of immigration policy in the US?Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, has offered hospitality to a father and his US-born son after the mother was sent to Colombia in May 2017. The Center's Director, Fr. Tom Smith OFM Conv., discusses the situation and a Franciscan response in the midst of a complex conversation.


Fr. Tom Smith, OFM Conv. is Director of Retreats at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico.









Happy 100th Birthday to Fr. Maurus Hauer, OFM Conv.!


Fr. Maurus Hauer celebrated his 100th birthday today at Mount St. Francis.

In 1932, in the midst of the Depression, Raymond (his birth name) arrived at Mount St. Francis to begin his life as a Conventual Friar as a student in the Province's Minor Seminary. Eighty-five years later, the Mount's Chapel was filled with friends and family, and Minister Provincial Fr. Jim Kent OFM Conv. delivered a brief homily highlighting the gifts Fr. Maurus brought to thousands of people throughout his decades of ministry in the Southwestern United States and parts of the Midwest.

Thousands of baptisms, hundreds of marriages, and countless hours of other sacramental ministry have changed lives and led people on their paths toward God. Yet what we love best is the quiet humility and ever-present smile of a Friar -- one of St. Francis' brothers.

The Chapel at Mount St. Francis was full of friends and family.

Happy Feast Day!


Yesterday we commemorated the passing on to Heavenly Life of our Seraphic Father and Brother, St. Francis of Assisi. More than 800 years ago, he heard God's call and began his journey with Christ. Unsure of where the road might take him, yet sustained by his faith, Francis grew into the very likeness of Christ. On October 3rd, in 1226, he completed his earthly journey.

As Conventual Franciscan Friars we follow in his footsteps.

May the Lord inspire us all in our Gospel life!

Join us for Transitus


It is in the month of October that we Franciscans celebrate the feast of our founder, St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4th). On the evening before his feast day, we commemorate his transition from this earthly life to eternal life in a beautiful and moving ceremony called, Transitus (Oct. 3rd).

        In one of his most famous writings, The Canticle of Creation, St. Francis sings to God for the gifts of Brother Sun and Sister Moon, along with the wind, water, and fire. And then he writes: "Praise be to You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs."

        Pope Francis also echoed those praises in his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si (Medieval Italian for "Praise be to You"). Pope Francis challenges us to recognize that human impact on Creation, the environment we all share, is a moral issue.

        We wish you and your family a blessed Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and invite you to join us in prayer on October 3rd for Transitus. We will be celebrating Transitus at the Mount Saint Francis Chapel in Indiana at 7:00 pm. (Transitus will be celebrated across the Province - Please see below for some of the other locations.) If you are in the area, please join us. If you cannot physically join us, we still invite you to pray at this time, and to remember God's bounty and the joy St. Francis found in God's Creation.

Peace and All Good to you!

Fr. John


Some more locations for Transitus (All celebrations are beginning at 7pm unless otherwise noted.)

Mount St. Francis Chapel, Mount St. Francis, Indiana
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Louisville, Kentucky
Chapel at Holy Cross Retreat Center, Mesilla Park, New Mexico
St. Benedict Parish, Terre Haute, Indiana (followed by fellowship in Hellmann Hall)
St. Bonaventure Parish, Bloomington, MN
Our Lady of the Woods Chapel, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY (at 9:00 pm)

Blessing of the Animals 

Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, Prior Lake, MN - 10/1 at 2pm
Holy Cross Retreat Center, Mesilla Park, NM - 10/4 at 7pm
Incarnation Parish, Louisville - 10/1 at 1:30pm
St. Anthony Parish, Angola, Indiana - 10/1 at 1:00pm
St. Mary of the Annuciation, Floyds Knobs, Indiana - 10/1 at 12:30pm
St. Joseph University Parish, Terre Haute, Indiana - 9/30 at 10am

St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Clarksville, Indiana - Feast of St. Francis - 10/1 at 12pm
St. Joseph University Parish, Terre Haute, Indiana - Feast of St. Francis - 10/4 at 5:15pm


Come and See


This weekend we are hosting a Come and See for single men between the ages of 18 to 40 years old. It will be held at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. These retreats are offered at no cost to the men attending. It is an opportunity to meet Franciscan priests and brothers, talk to some of our student friars, and to experience what our life is like.

We spend time in prayer and fraternity. The attendees get an opportunity to see first hand the life of the Conventual Franciscan Friars.

One more Come and See is scheduled this year on October 20 to 22 at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico. To sign up for this retreat or to get more information click here.

Another Vocation Discernment event is later this month, September 29th - Pray with the Friars at Mount St. Francis.

For more information about vocations, please visit

Please keep all those discerning a vocation in prayer.

Brotherhood Beyond Borders


Fr. Paul Schloemer, OFM Conv., is the Formation Director in San Antonio, Texas. In our latest episode of Franciscan Voice, Fr. Paul talks about vocation, formation, vows, and how the Conventual Franciscan Order is a global brotherhood. No matter where a Friar is from "a Friar is a Friar." A Conventual Franciscan Friar is grounded in the first line of the Rule of St. Francis. The rule and life of these brothers is this: to live in obedience, in chastity, and without anything of their own, and to follow the teaching and the footprints of Our Lord Jesus Christ...The heart of the Rule is the Gospel.


Gospel Mission to the World!


This week Friars from Central America, Zambia, India, and the United States are meeting in Honduras and El Salvador in fraternity to discuss our Gospel mission to the world. The intercultural conference is focused on Fraternity in Mission: Accepting Pope Francis' Challenge. As Friar Mario said as he left for the conference, “We belong to a brotherhood beyond borders.”

On Friday, September 8, some of the Friars traveled to Campamento, Honduras. There they visited the mountain parish of Santa Ana where three Friars minister to more than 45,000 people. On Saturday, the Friars celebrated Mass in honor of the Martyrs of Justice, including Friar Casimir Cypher. Fr. Casimir, a Conventual Franciscan Friar from St. Bonaventure Province, ministered to the poor in Olancho, Honduras, in the early 1970s. He was martyred by Honduran paramilitary forces in 1975. Sunday, the Friars continued to experience the ministerial work at Campamento – house visits, witnessing the Liturgy of the Word, presiding at a Mass in one of the 30 indwellings/chapels, and in the afternoon the raffle of a bull!

The conference continues through this week.



Please keep the Friars in your prayers as they work in fraternity
to ensure that mission efforts continue to follow the Gospel and the example of St. Francis of Assisi.

It is All Good


And it takes work to keep it that way! Check out the latest episode of Franciscan Voice!

Is it the end of the world? Yes, but not the way you think….”

The Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) is confounding, confusing, and mysterious. But Friar Jude Winkler OFM Conv. simplifies it for us, breaking it down to a very personal level.


Vigil for the Feast of the Assumption

Once again, thousands of pilgrims are converging on the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio, for the Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.

The candlelight procession to Shrine Park will begin at 9:00 p.m.

Pilgrims arrive from across the country, but the largest percentage every year are Chaldean Christians, whose roots trace back to the first century in what is present-day Iraq, and several Masses are being celebrated in the Chaldean language. (Masses in Chaldean will be held in the Upper Basilica today at 5pm  at noon tomorrow.) This is an especially solemn Novena for the Chaldeans, who are deeply concerned for those suffering religious persecution in Iraq.

Masses are also being celebrated in English, Spanish, Albanian, and Syro-Malabar. For a complete schedule please visit the Shrine website:

Tomorrow, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, Confessions will be heard from 9am to 1pm. Devotions (Upper Basilica) with an outdoor rosary procession will begin at 2:30pm.