Stained Glass Windows at Holy Cross Retreat Center Chapel

Beautiful stained glass windows have been installed in the Chapel at Holy Cross Retreat Center, Mesilla Park, New Mexico. The timing is perfect as the Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe is featured in the Chapel. This panel shows Juan Diego.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is featured in the Chapel. This panel shows Juan Diego.

On March 12th, the statues, stained glass, and stations of the Cross will be blessed. The 2:00 p.m. Mass will be followed by a reception and an open house. Fr. Jim Kent, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial, will be preaching and presiding. Bishop Emeritus Ricardo Ramirez will join in this special event. Please come and celebrate with us!

(FYI - Holy Cross Retreat has confessions at 6:00 p.m. and Mass at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday in the new Chapel.)


40 Days of Franciscan Reflections

Dear Friends,

Today we begin our Lenten journey. For each of the 40 days we will offer a brief Franciscan reflection – many by our Friars, some from Pope Francis, St. Francis, and other Franciscan writers.

To reach each day’s reflection, simply click on the banner photo on the front page (or you may click here.) Enjoy the journey! (Make sure to read tomorrow’s post by Friar Nick Wolfla - Life is Joyful.)

PS – the new reflections will be available at 9:30 a.m. each day and will be up until the following morning at that time.


Retreats, Days of Prayer, and More for Lent

Crucifix at Holy Cross Retreat Center, Mesilla Park, New Mexico
Crucifix at Holy Cross Retreat Center, Mesilla Park, New Mexico

Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, is offering four retreats during Lent:

  • Franciscan Spirituality of Creation - March 3 to 5 - reflections on the Canticle of Creatures by St. Francis, some selections from "Laudato, Si!" by Pope Francis, and time to experience the beauty of creation at the Retreat Center.
  • Contemplative Retreat - March 17 to 19 - opportunities to experience different forms of prayer, including the Rosary Walk and the labyrinth.
  • Mary as a Model of Prayer - March 31 to April 2 - focuses on how we can draw on the spirituality and witness of Mary in our own life today?
  • Retreat on the Triduum  - April 14 to 15 - understanding the services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil so that we can celebrate them fully.

Call 575 524-3688 or email programs@holycrossretreat.org for more information.

____________________________________

Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center at Prior Lake, MN
Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center at Prior Lake, MN

Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota, is offering four Lenten Days of Prayer. Each runs from 9:30 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m.

  • Forgiveness: The Essence of the Gospel - March 9 - presented by Br. Bob Roddy, OFM Conv.
  • When Forgiveness Seems Impossible - March 16 - presented by Debbie Koop
  • Forgiveness of Self - March 23 - presented by Kathy Berken
  • Forgiveness and Healing - March 30 - presented by Cindy Geiger

Pre-registration is not required by would be appreciated. Call 952 447-2182 to register.

___________________________________

The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio, will hold the 7th Annual Ecumenical Choir Concert on Good Friday an Noon.
(Also, the Shrine Cafeteria will once again be offering an all you can eat Lenten Seafood Buffet every Friday from March 3 thru April 4 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.)

____________________________________

YAFraM is offering a retreat for young adults (ages 24 to 35) at Mount St. Francis, Indiana. The Glow in the Dark Retreat will provide lots of opportunities to escape the pressures of school and work. The weekend will be about disconnecting from the grid and connecting with your peers and God. For more information click here.

_______________________________________

Br. Bob Baxter is leading three retreats at Mount St. Francis.
Living What We Pray - a women's get-away weekend- March 31 to April 1
The Chasm Between Faith and Life - a one day retreat on April 4
Lenten Weekend - Living the Way of the Cross - April 7 to 9
For more information on these, please visit mountsaintfrancis.org.

Statue of St. Francis at Mount St. Francis, IN
Statue of St. Francis at Mount St. Francis, IN

Remembering Pope Francis’ Visit to the Border

Last year, on February 17, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez. The logo for this special event said it all: “Two Nations One Faith.”

Conventual Franciscan Friars from Our Lady of Consolation Province were on both sides of the border for this historic visit to Juarez.

small border campusOn the US side, Friars Mario Serrano and Andy Martinez, both serving as campus ministers, celebrated with many students from Our Lady of the Lake University and the University of Texas, El Paso. In Juarez, Friar Tom Smith joined 15 other priests from Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was seated very close to the front, with the sick and infirm.

Fr. Tom was interviewed recently by KFOX14 (El Paso). You can click here to see the interview.

Friar Miguel Briseno, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in El Paso, was at the Sun Bowl Stadium along with thousands of others.

To those gathered there, and to many others listening and watching from a distance, Pope Francis said: “Thank you, brothers and sisters at El Paso, for making us feel like one family, and one and the same Christian community.”

Celebrating Mass at the fairground of Ciudad Juarez, the Pope used the story of Jonah and Nineveh to help us understand the necessity of mercy:

"The king listened to Jonah, the inhabitants of the city responded and penance was decreed. God’s mercy has entered the heart, revealing and showing wherein our certainty and hope lie: there is always the possibility of change, we still have time to transform what is destroying us as a people, what is demeaning our humanity. Mercy encourages us to look to the present, and to trust what is healthy and good beating in every heart. God’s mercy is our shield and our strength."

Please join us in praying for conversion, salvation, and mercy.
Lord, have pity on us, cleanse us from our sins and create in us a pure heart, a new spirit.


Help Wrap the Vocation Car

Friar John Bamman is trying to reach youth and spread the word of St. Francis of Assisi in new ways with his work in vocations. He would like to get his car wrapped with 'advertisements' - aimed not only at young people who might be discerning a vocation but for all of us. He wants us to Seek Our Higher Calling - to be the people that God wants us to be.

Would you like to be a partner in this highways and byways ministry? Click here for more information. Or, if you are ready to make a donation, please click here.

Thank you for your support and please continue to pray for all young people as they seek their path, especially those discerning the religious life!


Silence: A story of faith and martyrdom

Fr. Jim Kent discusses the film, and the book, Silence, touching on the themes of Christian faith, witness, and martyrdom. The conversation highlights the struggle of the European missionaries to either renounce their faith or save the lives of the people they serve.


Franciscan Voice: Pope Francis, Mark Shriver, & Pilgrimage

Conventual Franciscan Friar Fr. Jim Kent discusses his impressions and thoughts on the new book by Mark K. Shriver, Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis. Free-ranging discussion goes from Central America, Franciscan and Jesuit formation, following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, to reconciliation and the importance of pilgrimage.


Happy 50th Anniversary to Incarnation Parish!

Although it was founded officially on Christmas Day, 1966, Incarnation of Or Lord Catholic Church celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Sunday, January 15. But as Archbishop Joseph Kurtz reminded those marking the Anniversary at the 11 am Mass, the real Incarnation took place nine months before Christmas. Mary said to the Angel, "Let it be done according to your word," and through the working of the Holy Spirit, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.

The Spirit was moving in the congregation: the Word proclaimed with authority, the joyful singing of the Glory of God, the boisterous sign of Christ's Peace, and the sharing of the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

Concelebrating with Archbishop Kurtz were the Pastor, Fr. Christian Moore, OFM Conv., former Pastor Fr. Jim Mudd of the Archdiocese of Louisville, and Fr. Jim Kent, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of the Conventual Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Consolation.

After Mass, hundreds of parishioners and friends of Incarnation gathered in the Parish Hall for a delicious luncheon. Before and during the luncheon, people walked along the sides of the Hall reviewing pictures from the five decades of parish life.

Fr. Christian Moore and Fr. Jim Kent
Fr. Christian Moore and Fr. Jim Kent


Columbaria Blessed at Mount St. Francis

Though the day was overcast and rainy, many members of Fr. Terence Tobin's family, other friends, and Friars gathered at Mount St. Francis on Saturday, January 14th, for the blessing of the two columbaria that have been constructed at the Mount. Fr. Terence, who passed away in 2015, had chosen to be cremated and is the first Friar to be interred in the Friars' columbarium. There is a second one nearby reserved for family, friends, and benefactors of the Province.

Following Fr. Terence's interment and the singing of one of his favorite hymns, Fr. Jim Kent, Minister Provincial, blessed both structures.blessing columbaria

Everyone then gathered for lunch and a chance to share remembrances of Fr. Terence's life and ministry. His family told many wonderful tales about his generosity of spirit, love of puns, and adherence to his vow of poverty. They commented that they could never give him anything - if they gave him a new shirt he would find someone who needed it more than he did and give it away.

The family of +Fr. Terence Tobin with Fr. Raymond Mallett (center) and Fr. David Lenz (right)
The family of +Fr. Terence Tobin with Fr. Raymond Mallett (center) and Fr. David Lenz (right)

Fr. Terence spent more than 50 years as a missionary in Zambia. In spite of the distance, his family remarked that Fr. Pat (as they knew him) had a great relationship with all his nieces and nephews.

Read more about Fr. Terence's life by clicking here.


Ysleta Rededication Photos

Mr. Al Baeza shared his beautiful photos from the rededication of the Ysleta Mission on January 7th.
Check them out here: