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: www.olcshrine.com

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.

 


Happy Feast of St. Clare!

 

Clare was not a shrinking violet! She did, however, call herself the "the little plant of Francis." In 1212, when she was only about nineteen years old, she escaped from her home through "the door of the dead." It was at that time, with the blessing of the Bishop and the help of her aunt, that she went to Francis to join him and his "Lesser Brothers."

Learn more about St. Clare - the first woman to write a rule of life - in this article by +Fr. Juniper Cummings, OFM  Conv..


+Fr. Simon Sauer, OFM Conv. – A Man of Compassion for the Poorest of the Poor, and for his Brothers

 

Beloved missionary, sought-after confessor, and dedicated chaplain, Fr. Simon Sauer combined a Franciscan spirit of compassion and love for God’s people with a sense of humor to bring the Gospel to those in need. Though he was recognized here in the US, across Zambia, and in Rome for his many gifts and talents, he was a man of great humility who wanted everyone to know that “I owe all I have and all I am to the Lord.”

 

“He was not one for rules and constitutions,” said Fr. Wayne Hellmann OFM Conv. “But his life was 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.”

 

Fr. Simon with his parents and his brother Eddie in 1951.

Friar Simon Sauer OFM Conv. died August 7, 2017, in New Albany, Indiana. He was born Donald Anthony Sauer, in the Germantown area of Louisville, Kentucky, to Edward and Helen (Droppelmann) Sauer, on February 5, 1930. He was predeceased by his parents, and is survived by his sister Joan Murta (James) and brothers Kenneth (Betty) and Edward (Marilea).

 

Donald was educated at St. Vincent de Paul grade school, St. Xavier High School, and St. Mary College, Lebanon, Kentucky. He entered the Conventual Franciscan Order on July 4, 1950, at Angola, Indiana and was given the name Simon. He professed Simple Vows July 6, 1951, and Solemn Vows on July 8, 1954. After six years of seminary studies at Assumption Seminary, Chaska, Minnesota, where he was in the first class of the new institution, Simon was ordained a priest in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 1, 1957.

 

Friars Malachy Donnelly, Simon, and Regis Schlagheck loading a truck for Africa

After serving for two years as assistant pastor at St. Paul Parish, Pleasure Ridge Park, Kentucky, he was assigned to the mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). In September 1959 he received the Foreign Mission Cross from Louisville Archbishop John A. Floersh at St. Anthony Church.

 

Fr. Simon described himself as “mainly an itinerant bush missionary for 20 years,” but toward the end of his missionary service he was elected Custos of the Our Lady of Consolation Custody. During four different assignments he ministered mostly to the Lunda people in Mwinilunga and in Manginga. He admitted that it was only with difficulty that he was able to learn the Lunda language.

 

“Even though he didn’t have a full command of the language, he communicated through his compassion for the poorest of the poor,” Fr. Wayne said. “Even going to the shantytowns, he spent his visits with the poorest of the poor. He not only went to the margins, he went to the farthest margin of the margins. He encountered and encouraged the people, even with the little of the language he had.”

 

In Zambia, he also earned a great reputation as a confessor, not only for the Zambian people, but also for his fellow Friars and other religious and clergy.

 

“He knew himself, his difficulties and his failings,” Fr. Wayne said. “That gave him the ability to be compassionate for his brothers. This made him a great confessor for the Friars and for other religious and clergy. His weaknesses became strengths in helping others.”

 

Fr. Simon had his feet washed by Pope St. John Paul II on Holy Thursday.

This reputation led later to his being chosen to hear confessions in Rome during the Holy Year of 2000. In Rome he lived as a pilgrim Friar, hearing confessions in the Vatican several hours a day, several days a week, but most of all visiting the churches, shrines, and holy places. He spent many hours walking the Vatican Gardens, praying his Rosary.

 

On Holy Thursday of that year, he was asked to be one of the twelve people to have their feet washed by Pope St. John Paul II. Later, before leaving Rome, he had the privilege of concelebrating Mass with the Holy Father in his private chapel.

 

After returning to the US, Fr. Simon spent 25 years as chaplain at several hospitals, including the Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington DC, the VA Medical Center in Louisville, and for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Louisville. He also served for short periods in pastoral ministry in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Carey, Ohio.

 

Fr. Simon Sauer volunteered at the Franciscan Kitchen in Louisville, KY

After his ‘retirement’ in 2008, Fr. Simon served at the Franciscan Kitchen three days a week, served as confessor for three communities of women religious, and offered Mass at nursing homes.

 

The Mass of Christian Burial took place at Mount St. Francis on Thursday, August 10,  followed by interment in the Friars’ cemetery.

Memorial gifts to the Conventual Franciscan Friars may be sent to
The Province of Our Lady of Consolation, Development Office, 103 St. Anthony Dr., Mount St. Francis, IN 47146 or by clicking here.

 

 

 


Novena for the Assumption of Mary

 

Please join us for the annual Novena to Our Lady of Consolation, now through August 15, taking place at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. Friar Fr. Paul Gawlowski OFM Conv. is preaching the Novena this year.

  • Novena services take place nightly at 8 p.m. except on Sunday when it will be at 2:30 p.m.
  • Weekday masses are at 7 a.m. in the Original Shrine Church and 11 a.m. in the Basilica.
  • Confessions are on weeknights of the novena at 7:00 p.m.; on Saturdays from 4-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Confessions will be available all day on August 14 and on August 15.

On the Vigil of the Assumption, August 14, at 9 p.m. the statue of Our Lady of Consolation will be brought out to the front steps of the Basilica where we will pray the final prayers of the novena. There will be a candlelight procession to Shrine Park where the Most Reverend Daniel Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, will celebrate Mass.

Even if you are unable to attend, please join us in the daily prayers. 

Day     ONE     TWO     THREE     FOUR     FIVE     SIX     SEVEN    EIGHT     NINE

Assumption Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Consolation
by Brother Jeffrey Hines, OFM Conv.

DAY ONE

Blessed Mary, Mother of Consolation, I ask you to pray with me now as I come before you as your child. Kindly be with me, dear Mother; guide me in your gentle way.

It was after nine days of prayer in the upper room that you, Mary, and the close friends of Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Behold me then, most kind Mother, as I too pray for nine days, in humble imitation of you.

Blessed Queen of heaven, you are the chosen one of our most loving Father. You are the Blessed Mother of God, our Savior, Jesus. You are most close to His heart. Please join your prayers to mine.

Pray with me, Mary, for these intentions, these needs that are on my mind and in my heart. (pause)

Above all, dear Mother, keep me always as your devoted child. May I ever have before my eyes your beautiful example of acceptance of the will of the Father. May I ever strive to hold in my heart the teaching of your most blessed Son, my Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

DAY TWO

Gentle Queen of Heaven, Mary, my Mother, kindly turn your eyes toward me. You who are so filled with compassion and love for all your children on this earth, be with me now as I kneel before you.

I call to mind, Mary, the joy you gave to this world. Your acceptance of the desire of our loving Father gave all of us Jesus, our Lord and our Savior. You in turn, kind Mother, knew the joy of holding God in your arms, of guiding His first steps, of bringing Him to manhood. It is with a heart filled with gratitude, dear Mother of God, that I recall the joys in your life which have given me a most wonderful Savior.

Blessed Mary, Mother of Consolation, through the joy you knew with Jesus on earth and the unending joy of being with Him in heaven, please pray with me now. Ask our Lord to assist me in this need of mine. (pause)

Grant also, Blessed Mother, that I may reflect the joy I have in my life. I am so blessed by Our Lord. His Gospel of love must always remain in my heart and on my lips.

Amen.

DAY THREE

Holy Mary, Mother of God, bless me today. Bless me and join me in prayer.

I am so lacking in patience, dear Mary. I grow so weary and unhappy at times. There are days when I even find it difficult to raise my heart and mind in prayer.

Teach me, most holy Mother, to turn to you as an example. Your life is a most perfect example of patience, acceptance and love.

How truly you can be called “Mother of Consolation.” You knew the ultimate grief of witnessing the earthly death of your loving Son. You saw, as so few mothers do, your own flesh and blood, hurt, bleeding, and despised, as He climbed Calvary. This most precious offering of Himself to all mankind, you saw mocked and ridiculed. Through all of this you continued to offer for all time the perfect example of a most patient and compassionate mother.

Holy Mother, I ask you to help me become more accepting and patient. May I ever follow your example and strive to make these virtues of patience and acceptance more real in my own life.

Pray for me, please, dear Mother. Ask our blessed Lord to make me more like you. Ask Him also for my very special intentions. (pause) Keep me in your love, Blessed Mary, and guide me always closer to your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

DAY FOUR

Mary, Mother of Consolation, again I come before you in prayer. Help me to pray to our most loving Father. Ever guide me to seek in my life His divine will. Help me to hold before my eyes the saving life of your Son.

You are the chosen, Mary, for your magnificent answer to the desire of the Father, the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the request of the angel. Your openness to the Father has given joy to the world. The Son of God your Son and our Lord and Savior, became man through your answer.

Oh Mary, grant that I might offer myself to the Father as you did. Help me on the true path of holiness; this is the Father’s desire for me. Assist me through your prayers that I too might agree to the prompting of the Holy Spirit within me. Help me to offer others around me the example your Son expects me to be.

In a special way, I ask you to pray with me for these, the main intentions of this novena. (pause)

Holy Mary, I offer my prayers for all of God’s people, for the needs of all mankind. We are all pilgrims ever on our way toward our heavenly home. Watch over us and guide us; lead us to your Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Amen.

DAY FIVE

Dear Lady of Consolation, Queen of Peace, be with me now as I pray. Join your prayers to mine as I bring my needs before our most loving Father and His Divine Son.

Throughout your life, dear Mother, you offered all around you a most perfect example of gentleness and peace. It is for that inner peace, that lovely calm in my own life, that I pray.

Help me to quiet myself in the midst of the activity around me. Guide me in the way of peace that I may seek the time to be still and hear the gentle voice of our Father.

Mary, please pray for me that I may quiet myself in order to learn more of Jesus, our Lord. Through Him we have the way to the Father. Help me to take more time each day for prayer, for deepening my relationship with Christ. Guide me in the way of opening myself to His peace.

Pray with me now, kind and gentle Mother, for my special intentions. (pause) May your gentleness ever be my example and may the peace of Christ fill my heart always.

Amen.

DAY SIX

Holy Mother Mary, again I come before you as your child. I pray with all my heart and mind for all of God’s pilgrim people.

Pray for me, dear Mother, for a greater understanding of the wonderful gift of Christ in the Eucharist. Help me to see in this most Blessed Sacrament, Christ Himself, the great and unending gift of the Father. Help me, Mary, to feel the nearness of my Lord. Through the celebration of the Eucharist, He truly touches me; He feeds me by His divine sacrifice, His death and resurrection.

So abundant is God’s love through this Sacrament. May I ever see this love, this grace, and live as a child of God, a child of light.

At Mass, dear Mother, our entire salvation unfolds before my eyes. Jesus, our Savior, comes to us, as the wonderful sacrifice to the Father is renewed. What a loving Father we have, and how endless is His love and mercy for all of us!

Mary, Mother of God, keep me mindful of this great gift of the Eucharist.

Please pray with me now, dear Mother, for these special needs of mine. (pause).

Ask our blessed Lord to keep me ever united to Him, and always close in prayer to you.

Amen.

DAY SEVEN

Most blessed Mary, kind and loving Mother, receive me, your child, into your tender care.

In your life, Mary, you always offered kindness to those around you. Pray with me now to our loving Lord, that in my life I may reflect you through kindness.

There are so many times in this life of ours, Mary, that kindness gives way to harshness. In the rush to “get things done,” I become quick and short with those around me. In my own little world, I often think only of my own plans, my own accomplishments, and I forget that I am only one of God’s children, only one of your children.

Dear blessed Mother, teach me your ways. Help me to take more time with those who seek my time. I want to be like you, Mary, in every way. In the rush of each day, remind me to be kind.

Pray with me now, Mary, as I place before our Lord the main intentions of this novena. (pause) Please ask our loving Savior to help me in these particular needs of mine. Turn your eyes, so filled with kindness, on me, gracious Mother, and help me as I trust so much in you.

I desire always the kingdom of your Son. Help me to finish this day in His love and under your kind and gentle care, Mother of God.

Amen.

DAY EIGHT

Holy Mary, Our Lady of Consolation, I come before you today as your pilgrim. My entire life is a journey, a pilgrimage. Constantly do I seek the way of your Son, as I move toward our heavenly home.

I am inspired by you, Mary. I call myself your pilgrim as you are my special Patroness, my gentle and loving Mother, leading me each and every day closer to your Blessed Son, my Lord and Savior.

Oh Mary, please pray for me as I continue my earthly pilgrimage. Ask our Blessed Lord to strengthen me each day that I may resist the many temptations of this life. Pray for me, Mary, that I may always remember that I was not created for this earthly home, but rather for our heavenly home with my Father.

At this time, dear Mother, please join me in prayer for the particular intentions of this novena. (pause) Look kindly on these needs and ask our Blessed Lord to help me.

Always be with me, Mary, as I continue on this pilgrimage home. When that day comes when I shall end this pilgrimage, I pray that you will stand with me as I see, face to face, the Father of all goodness, my God and my all.

Amen.

DAY NINE

Dear Mother, I now come before you on the last day of this novena. I know you have heard me, Mary. I believe you have prayed with me each day for my very special intentions.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude as I think of you. I have in you, dear Lady, a Mother of kindness, of gentleness and of consolation. How blessed I am to be your very own child.

In the course of these prayers I have asked for many things. I know deep in my heart, Mary, you have given me much more. Oh, dear Queen of Heaven, that I could face all of my days as you did, and pray that lovely prayer of yours, “Be it done unto me according to thy word...!”

As I end this period of prayer, please continue to pray for these needs of mine, which fill me with concern. (pause) Prayer can change anything on earth. I plead with you then, to remember my intentions to your Divine Son.

Gracious Mother of God, as I end this prayer, I ask you to guide me always closer to your Blessed Son, Jesus my Lord. I truly desire to live in His light, to be an example to those around me of His love. Pray with me please to carry in my mind and in my heart, His cross of Salvation and His Gospel of love. Oh Mary, Mother of Consolation, pray for me, now and at the hour of my death.

Amen.

 


Praying, Eating, Experiencing God’s Love

Jesus says to come aside and rest for a while, and Franciscan Retreats supply the opportunity. With stories of his own experience as a retreat director, Friar Bob Roddy explains how in the course of a couple of days you can rest your body, refresh your soul, and feel God's loving presence. And sometimes something miraculous happens.

Listen to the latest episode on Franciscan Voice -


A Year and a Day

 

by Friar David Lenz, OFM Conv.

Fr. David Lenz, OFM Conv.

On July 19, 2017, twelve men were invested in the Franciscan habit at the Conventual Franciscan Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, California. This simple tunic, shoulder cape, hood, and rope around the waist, as all the peasants wore at the time of St. Francis, becomes their garb.

 

The word habit comes from a Latin word habitus, to put on a way of life. Thus these twelve men begin their Novitiate process, lasting a year and a day.

 

In 1220, Pope Honorius III decreed that a novitiate should be established as a period of discernment. This odd year and a day calculation comes from the medieval practice of recognizing a run-away serf as free if he could reside undiscovered in one of the emerging cities for a year and a day. If a novice can persevere for a year a day away from his old life, he too becomes a free man in a new spiritual life.

 

It was my privilege to direct these twelve novices in a spiritual retreat beginning on the day following their investiture with the Franciscan habit. The scriptural passage for the retreat was the parable of the return of the Prodigal Son as accounted in Matthew’s Gospel. Reflecting on all the characters in this parable – the father, the elder son, and the prodigal son – we considered how we might see ourselves in all those mentioned in the parable.

 

After this reflection, the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation was offered to all the novices. Thus invested in the sacred habit and graced as well by the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the novices begin this discernment period under the direction of Friar Joseph Wood and Friar Maurice Richard. All of us can assist the directors and the new novices by our prayers during this year and a day journey.

Friars Maurice Richard and Joe Wood are in the front with ten of the novices standing behind.

Congratulations to Pedro, Alberto, and Calin!

 

Friday, July 21, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in El Paso, Texas, Alberto Bravo, Calin Vidaurri, and Pedro Lopez professed their temporary vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. These vows are sometimes referred to as First or Simple Vows - but as Fr. John Bamman points out in a 'pre-vow' interview, there is nothing simple about them.

These First Vows normally last three years. During this time, Alberto, Calin, and Pedro, will continue their studies while ministering and living in community as Conventual Franciscans.

The smiles on all the faces tell the story. "It's fun to be Franciscan!"

Check out these beautiful photos courtesy of Al Baeza!


The Joy of Franciscan Commitment

Fr. John Bamman talks with the three young men preparing to make their Simple Vows tomorrow (Friday, July 21, 2017.) This phase of formation normally lasts three years. During this time the Friar focuses on making a permanent commitment to the Conventual life. At the end of this period, the Friar professes solemn vows: a permanent, life-long commitment to Christ, the Church, and the Franciscan Order.


Twelve are Invested in the Franciscan Habit

 

Wednesday, July 19, twelve men expressed their desire to live for a year as Conventual Franciscan Novices and received the Franciscan habit. The investiture ceremony took place in the Conventual Franciscan Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, California.

Three of the Novices, Brandon Greene, Bobby Mahas, and Louis Lugo, are members of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation.

Fr. Jim Kent invests Brandon with the habit. Bobby and Louis are to the right.

During the Novitiate year the men will live in community, study Franciscan history and the Franciscan way of life, and, after a year of discernment, decide whether they will take their Simple (or first) Vows as Franciscan Friars.

Fr. John Bamman with Postulant Dan Hurst.

 As these young men move to the Novitiate the Province welcomes their new postulant, Dan Hurst. Postulancy lasts one year and is an opportunity to experience what it is like to be part of the Conventual Franciscan community.

Please keep these men in your prayers as they take their first steps as followers of St. Francis of Assisi.


My kids don’t go to mass – What can I do?

A Conversation with Friar Jude Winkler