Bringing People to the Table of the Lord

+Fr. Paul Faroh OFM Conv.

From the kitchen to the choir loft, from welcoming pilgrims as they stepped off the bus to praying with them in the quiet of the church, Fr. Paul Faroh OFM Conv. spent his life filling God’s people with good things.

Fr. Paul died on Saturday, October 28, in Findlay, Ohio. Born Elias Fredericus Faroh on February 22, 1930 in Lorain, Ohio, to Taufie and Mehaba (Zegiab) Faroh, he was baptized at St. John Parish in Lorain on June 15, 1930. He professed Simple Vows as a Conventual Franciscan on July 14, 1962, and Solemn Vows on July 15, 1965. After serving as a Brother for more than 20 years, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1985.

He was predeceased by his parents and his sisters Sultana Toth, Alice Patterson, Henrietta McConnell, Hanna Dager, Josephine Dunnigan, and Lillian Faroh, and his brothers Charles and Francis. He is survived by his brother George. Fr. Paul also had 18 nieces and nephews.

Icon and crucifix that belonged to Fr. Paul's mother

Before joining the Franciscans, Fr. Paul worked with his family as a cook and candy maker. In later years he joked that from the day after he entered the Order in Chaska, Minnesota, he served as a cook, mostly at the Novitiate in Auburn, Indiana (1961-1970) and then at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio (1970-1977).

Answering God’s invitation to service as a priest, Fr. Paul spent the next eight years as a student. Following ordination, he served as Pilgrim Director at the Shrine from 1985 to 1992. He served on the Retreat Center staff at Mount St. Francis, Indiana, from 1992 to 1995, and as Pastor at St. Joseph Parish in LaGrange, Indiana, from 1995 to 2004. He was then assigned again to the Shrine where he lived the rest of his life.

“Father Paul spent the first portion of his religious life as a brother, and a great deal of his time as a brother was spent in the kitchen,” said Bishop John Stowe OFM Conv. Before his appointment as Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop Stowe was Fr. Paul’s Guardian while serving as the Rector of the Basilica in Carey.

“When he was ordained to the priesthood, Paul's love of food and hospitality became connected to the example of Jesus who frequently taught in the setting of a meal and who left us his ongoing presence in the form of bread and wine,” Bishop Stowe said. “Paul learned from his immigrant parents who instilled their Lebanese values of hospitality, respect, hard work, productivity — and of course, the importance of food. Everywhere he ministered, the production and sale of food became a way that the community could work together for projects and become stronger as a community in the process.”

Fr. Paul’s candy products were always popular items in the Shrine’s Gift Shop. For many years, he and a team of volunteers baked seasonal fruit pies, with orders outnumbering what could be produced. In 2016, Fr. Paul’s pies earned enough to send $50,000 to support Christian refugees in Syria.

“Paul also had a great love of music, especially opera,” said Bishop Stowe. “He directed the choir in Carey for years and began the ecumenical Christmas concert there. He created so many friends and relationships, in the kitchen, around the table, and at the table of the Lord.”

Visitation will take place at the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation, 315 Clay Street, Carey, Ohio, on Thursday, November 2, at 1 pm, followed by a Wake Service at 5:30 pm. On Friday, November 3, visitation will continue at the Basilica from 10 am until the Funeral Mass, which will begin at 11 am. There will be a Wake Service in the Chapel at Mount St. Francis, Indiana, on Sunday, November 5 at 7 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 am on Monday, November 6, in the Chapel, with interment to follow in the Friars’ cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made by mail to the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, 103 St. Francis Boulevard, Mount St. Francis, Indiana, 47146, or by clicking here.



Surrounded by many of his 92 first cousins and their families, several former students and colleagues, and dozens of Franciscan Friars from across the country, Fr. Wayne Hellmann OFM Conv. celebrated 50 years of priestly ordination on Sunday, October 22 at St. Benedict Church in Terre Haute, Indiana.

St. Benedict Church in Terre Haute, Indiana, was full of family and friends for the celebration of Fr. Wayne Hellmann's 60 years of priesthood.


Known for his ability to speak, write, and preach clearly, he summed up the day with one word: “Wow!”


During his homily for the occasion, Fr. Wayne pointed his listeners toward the mural high above the altar and the figures he pondered as a young boy attending Mass with his family. He said that an artist’s intention is for the viewer to look deeper and to see what can’t be seen. In this case, pondering the mystery of the Trinity led him, and can lead each of us, to the discovery of God’s deep and abiding love in our lives.


The extended Hellmann family member’s lives are intertwined with Catholic life in Terre Haute, from St. Ben’s where his father worked as a maintenance man, to the St. Mary’s of the Woods campus where his grandparents first met.


Fr. Wayne enjoyed being 'roasted'

As a student Friar in Germany and Rome during Vatican II, as a longtime professor and Chairman of the Department of Theology at St. Louis University, as a preacher of retreats and speaker on nearly every continent — Fr. Wayne has excelled while bearing witness to the Franciscan Joy of living the Gospel life.


During the celebration luncheon at the College’s campus center, family members, students, and Friars took turns speaking about Fr. Wayne, celebrating his commitment to the community they represented. But what each presentation had in common was how God’s love is made clear in Fr. Wayne’s passion for God’s people.


As the celebration ended, Fr. Wayne repeated his summary of the day, and for the rest of us the summary of his life and accomplishments: “Wow!”

For many more photos of the celebration, please visit the Province Facebook Page.





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!