Take a Flying Indoor Tour

of the Basilica of St. Francis!

Magnify Your Vocation is presenting a flying indoor tour of the Basilica on Thursday, May 24th. Meet at 5:25 p.m. sharp in the Mount St. Francis Chapel, Mount St. Francis, Indiana. Prayer and dinner with the Friars is included in the FREE event! Magnify Your Vocation is especially for those who are discerning their vocation and who are 16 to 40 years of age.

Please RSVP to Friar John at franvoc@aol.com


Finding Saints Francis & Maximilian Kolbe

When I was in prison, you visited me

Listen to the latest episode of Franciscan Voice.

Brother Don Bassana shares his vocation story, his work in prison ministry, and the story of St. Maximilian Kolbe.



Two Friars Ordained to the Priesthood

(Fr. Jim Kent and Fr. Wayne Hellmann with Fr. Antonio and Fr. Pablo)


Mary, Mother of Mercy Custody in Central America

On May 12, 2018, Friars Antonio Sandoval and Pablo Carvajal were ordained to the priesthood. Friars Antonio and Pablo are part of Mary, Mother of Mercy Custody in Central America. Friars Jim Kent and Wayne Hellmann (previous and current Ministers Provincial for Our Lady of Consolation Province) joined in the joyful celebrations. Also present were volunteers from FrancisCorps. FrancisCorps volunteers share their gifts and talents in a year-long, faith based community in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi.

May Christ Our Lord bless Fr. Antonio and Fr. Pablo
as they begin their priestly ministry.


L to R: Fr. Wayne Hellmann, Rachel Jones, Fr. Jim Kent, Matthew Grothaus, Jenna Breinner, and Nico Angerosa

Loving Our Enemies as a Path to Peace


Listen to our newest podcast by Fr. Ken Bartsch - 

The Toughest Task: Loving Our Enemies as a Path to Peace

Drawing on his experience serving as a chaplain at a Veterans Administration hospital, and looking at current events from a Franciscan perspective, Fr. Ken Bartsch talks about why people choose to drift away from the Church and faith in God. He also considers the recent school shootings and other gun violence, and why loving our enemies is the primary step back toward God.



Franciscan International Award


This year marks the 60th presentation of the Franciscan International Award.

Previous recipients include the Reverend Dr. Billy Graham (1972); Sister Helen Prejean (2003); Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative (2017); and many more men, women, and organizations who symbolize the spirit and the apostolic zeal of St. Francis.

This year's recipient will be Risen Savior Missions - Glorifying GOD by Helping Starving Children

Lisa Horn receiving the 2017 award from Fr. Jim Kent.

Join us for this "relaxing night out, a chance to dress up a bit, enjoy and excellent meal and hear a compelling speaker in support of a familiar local cause."

WHEN: May 10, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. gathering with social hour | 7:00 p.m. dinner followed by presentation

WHERE: The Wilds Golf Club, 3151 Wilds Parkway Northwest, Prior Lake, MN 55372

For tickets and more information, please visit the website for Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Or, you may call the retreat center at 952 447-2182.

Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center at Prior Lake, MN



So, What Does a Brother Do?

by Friar Ian Bremar, OFM Conv.

(Ed. Note: This reflection first appeared in 2016. We are sharing it again in honor of May 1st, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and Religious Brothers Day.)

And the Lord gave me brothers…St. Francis

When I tell people I'm a Franciscan brother, one of the responses I often hear is, “So what does a brother do?” Usually I smile and say, “Well... it's not so much a matter of what we do as it is who we are.”

brothers at carey002Religious brothers do many different things. They are retreat directors, teachers, professors, missionaries, nurses, administrators, chaplains, campus ministers, social workers, carpenters, cooks, writers, artists, and many other things. But their unique and oftentimes overlooked vocation is to be a certain kind of man in this world.

All of the baptized have been called to a life of holiness and to give witness to Christ in their lives. Whether one is married, ordained, single, or a religious, each person expresses that universal call of baptism in a particular way. For religious, living the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience give witness to the life of Christ, and to the future resurrected life of all humanity in the heavenly kingdom. Consecrated religious are called to be a light within the Church as the Church is meant to be Christ's light in our world.

Religious priests, sisters, and brothers all partake in this kind of witness, but each in their own way. They remind the Church that we are all sisters and brothers in Christ with the same Father in Heaven. Women religious offer the unique gift of sisterhood and make known the feminine experience and reality of a life in Christ. Brothers, as men who live in community and as brothers to the human family, similarly are witnesses to fraternity in a world that is so often divided and in which human relations at all levels are breaking down. Just as religious sisters bring to the Church their unique gifts as women, so brothers, with a masculine perspective, offer their gifts to the Church as men.

Ian and Joseph wash feetThere is something especially counter-cultural about the brotherhood vocation. Often I am asked, “So why don't you become a priest?” or “Why not go all the way?” There is something subversive about men who willingly choose to pursue paths in life which eschew roles of direct authority, that necessarily put them under the authority of others. It is startling to some that a man, who has not followed the path of father and husband for the sake of a life committed to the Church, would not readily seek to become a priest.

Herein lies, I think, the distinct perspective that the brotherhood vocation offers. A religious brother lives out a calling to service in ways that the world does not expect for a man. A brother is not a parent nor pastor nor priest, but his vocation is not defined by what he is not. A brother is a brother, and like a brother in a family, he serves and relates with the other members in that unique capacity.

I think of growing up with my own brother. We were not friends, and he wasn't a parent to me, but we shared a bond that was unconditional. We were equally loved by our parents, yet, as he was the older and more experienced brother, I looked to him for leadership and guidance. Likewise, it isn't that brothers forgo or run from leadership and responsibility, but that they exercise their responsibilities in the Church familially, as brothers and equals to their fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.

Again, I am reminded of my own brother, who, though he does not yet have a family of his own, is quite the “family man” when we all get together – setting a light-hearted tone, helping at the grill, playing games with the grandkids. So too the religious brother is like that “family man” of the Church – not the parental figure, but one who walks with the People of God and enjoys the life in Christ with and among them.

Whatever I “do” as a brother, I hope that I will do it sincerely as one called to be a brother to others, a family man in the Church.

Celebrating Brothers


May 1st is the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker. In 2017, this day was also established as Religious Brothers Day.

Religious brothers do many different things. They are retreat directors, teachers, professors, missionaries, nurses, administrators, canon lawyers, chaplains, campus ministers, social workers, carpenters, cooks, writers, artists, and many other things. In the photo above are three of the religious brothers that minister at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio - Br. Randy Kin, Br. Ian Bremer, and Br. Angelo Catania.

Please take a little time to thank the Brothers in your life.

For a little more about Brothers, listen to the podcast from Br. Randy Kin - "Just a Brother?" and watch the video (part of a series about mendicant friars, especially the Conventual Franciscans and the Dominican Friars) "Friar Equals Brother."


Quadrennial 2018 Provincial Chapter

Provincial Chapter – Phase One

The Province of Our Lady of Consolation opened its quadrennial Chapter on Monday, April 16. Over the last several days, the Friars elected a new Definitory, the six men who will lead the Province for the next four years.

Chapter Delegates - Fr. Marco Tasca, Minister General for the Order, is in the front row, fourth from the right.

In pre-Chapter voting, Fr. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., was elected as Minister Provincial. The other members of the Definitory are as follows: Fr. Martin Day (Vicar Provincial); Dcn. Nicholas Wolfla (Provincial Secretary); Fr. Miguel Briseño; Fr. Andy Martinez; Fr. John Pozhathuparambil; and Fr. Mario Serrano.

L to R: Friars John Pozhathuparambil, Miguel Briseno, Mario Serrano, Martin Day, Andy Martinez, Wayne Hellmann, Nicholas Wolfla


Dean of the Order


On Sunday, April 15, Fr. Marco Tasca, Minister General of the Order, visited the oldest friar in the world, Fr. Maurus Hauer, who turned 100 this past October.  Fr. Maurus shared his vocation story and his gratitude to God for all that He has done for him over the years.

Fr. Maurus worked full time until he turned 92, serving for most his life in the Southwestern United States. For a few years in between, he was pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Clarksville, Indiana.

Fr. Maurus came to the Mount as a high school student in the 1930s. He

Fr. Maurus continues to read Bible commentaries to work on his continuing formation.

professed solemn vows as a Conventual Franciscan August 17, 1942. He was ordained on February 24, 1945 at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio.

We thank God for the gift of Fr. Maurus to Our Lady of Consolation Province.

We are inspired by his example of service and devotion. He has touched the lives of thousands of people, from baptism to funerals, and continues to pray every day for his friends, his parishioners, and all who ask for his prayers.

Fr. Maurus Hauer, Dean of the Order, with Fr. Jim Kent, and Fr. Marco Tasca, Minister General of the Order (Photo by Fr. Jude Winkler, Assistant General)

A Glorious Day in Zambia


The dedication of the new auditorium at St. Francis Technical School took place April 5, 2018.

What follows is some of Br. Tony Droll’s description of the event:

Students pose in front of the new auditorium.

The day after!! Yesterday was grand glorious, but the preparations ran down to the last minute. We had been preparing the parking lot as best we could - filling holes in trenches and putting soil where the crane had made ruts in the road. Then the night of the 4th came a downpour and everything was MUD. Up at 05:00am and over to school …by 09:00am we had the road in pretty good condition ... 09:30am was the time to begin. But I had been getting phone calls from the Ministers protocol telling that they were still approaching Kitwe. That gave us about 20 minutes more to sweep, get the mud off our shoes and make last minute preparations.

The weather was perfect – sunshine but not too hot. We had worked till 9pm installing the air conditioners and they began working on the Dedication day morning. Meanwhile the ladies from Home Economics were at the mission in the kitchen preparing for the grand meal (and it was) after all the speeches and Mass.

Lunch was held in the yard at the Mission and was cooked by the ladies of the Home Economics department. Fr. Richard, the Provincial, is in front.

Every teacher was on their post ready for the entrances of the two Land Cruisers that brought the Minister. Then I get a call saying, we have reached the round-a-bout (4 minutes away). The Head Teacher Barry and Fr. Andrew and I moved to where the two vehicles would enter. When she

Minister Nkandu Luo

(Minister Nkanu Luo) stepped out of the vehicle, … she opened her arms for a hug for Andrew, and then Barry and me. What a lovely lady. She, a professor, was the first woman to get a doctorate in the early days of the country – a strong Catholic active woman. …

I made a strong appeal at the end of my speech asking the Ministry of Education for support for our project of starting a boarding school. It was also mentioned in the Head Boy’s speech. So as we sat down to eat with this grand lady, we kept the subject alive. She was quite positive and promised to send the other Minister, the one for High Schools, to our place and she felt confident that some funds might be found.

Brother Tony