FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

www.franciscan.org

January 2, 2020

A year in the life of SJB Province

January

14-18: Interprovincial Retreat with Richard Rohr, Scottsdale, Ariz.; second retreat is Feb. 4-8,  Winter Park, Fla.

21: Transfiguration parishioners in Southfield, Mich., brave sub-zero temperatures to march in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Walk.

20-24: Provincial Council meets in Jamaica.

27-30: US-6 Provincials meet in Albuquerque, N.M.

Jim Bok is named a member of the Executive Committee for Missions and Evangelization for the Order by the Minister General.

Planning Committee of John Barker, Maxwell Klug, Larry Ford, Efren Quintero, Robert Hutmacher, and Sam Nasada is appointed to prepare for the Denver Chapter of Mats.

February

18-22: Provincial Council meets in Detroit, Mich.

25:  A mini-retreat by Bishop Alfred Schlert on “Spirituality in Times of Crisis:  Finding the Presence of God” is held at St. Francis Retreat House, Easton, Pa.

26:  Joe Haley dies.  Funeral held on March 4 at St. Clement.

March

3:  Song and Spirit Institute for Peace of Berkley, Mich., receives the 2019 World Sabbath Peacemaker Award.

6: Tim Sucher receives the first habit made by artisans of the Sarah Center in Over-the-Rhine.

6: Family Fun Night at Friars Club in Cincinnati.

10-12:  Al Mascia preaches Mission at Our Lady of La Salette on “Joyful, Missionary, Disciple”.

12: Necrology of St. John the Baptist Province is updated by Dan Anderson and Ron Cooper.

15-17:  Tim Lamb has a “Come and See” weekend for perspectives.

17: Movie Sign of Contradiction on Francis of Assisi is shown at Roger Bacon High School.

21-27:  Provincial Council meets in Cincinnati.

23: Stephen Richter dies.  Funeral at St. Margaret Hall, March 27.

27: Three-week series on Lenten themes begins at St. Anthony Shrine, coordinated by Clifford Hennings, Director of Shrine Ministry.

28:  Friars march in Cincinnati Reds Findlay Market Opening Day Parade.

March 30-April 3:  Bishop Ferd Cheri, OFM, preaches a mission at Transfiguration Parish in Southfield, Mich.

31:  Parishioners of St. Stephen Church in Cincinnati have a surprise party for Hilarion Kistner on his 90th birthday.

April

1-5:  Mark Soehner attends ESC meeting in Racine, Wis.

13: Bill Farris receives Roger Bacon Award.

14:  Eric Seguin renews temporary vows.

24-25:  CTU presents its Peacemakers award to Sr. Helen Prejean, introduced by former friar Josh Van Cleef and his wife, Ellen, graduates of CTU.  Mark Soehner is present, and attends the CTU Board meeting that follows.

26: Friars Club 47th Community Dinner honors Sr. Rose Ann Fleming, Sam Hubbard, Tom Thacker and George Wilson.

April 28-May 2:  All-Formators’ Meeting in Colorado Springs.  Mark Soehner attends as Provincial Liaison.

April 29:  Groundbreaking for major renovations to Roger Bacon’s Bron Bacevich Stadium.

May

4:   Michael Charron graduates from Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.

13: Cyprian Berens dies.  Funeral:  May 17, Little Sisters of the Poor.

19: Transfiguration Friary in Southfield hosts an Open House for prospective friars.

27:  17 friars honored at the Jubilee Celebration at St.  Monica/St. George.

28-31:  Provincial Council meets in Cincinnati.

June

2:  In Chinle, Ariz., the restored mission church is rededicated by Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup.  Blane Grein was instrumental in organizing this renovation.

9-12:  US-6 Provincials meet in Chicago.

15:  Brian Maloney celebrates 50 years as a Franciscan at St. Francis Seraph Church.

17-20:  Provincial Council meets with Sponsored Ministries in Cincinnati.

20-22: Franciscan Alumni Reunion in Southfield, Mich.  Jeremy Harrington receives the Christian Life Award.

29-30:  Friars leave St. Aloysius Parish in Detroit, Mich., returning the parish to the Archdiocese.

July

2:  Mark Soehner receives vows of Matt Ryan and Raphael Ozoude.  Eight classmates also make their first profession.  Sadly, SB Vocation Director Eric Pilarcik, 52, dies that very day.

2: Loren Connell begins the first leg of his cross-country pilgrimage visiting the burial sites of deceased friars.

7-14:  Colin King, Clifford Hennings, and Roger Lopez are among 181 friars gathered for the Under Ten Chapter in Taize, France.

23: 175th anniversary of the arrival in the U.S. of William Unterthiner, considered the founder of SJB Province.

July 29-Aug. 2:  Historic Chapter of Mats in Denver, Colo.  Nearly 400 U.S. friars from US-6 provinces gather to begin the process of restructuring our six provinces into a single new entity. They talk about Provincial Reputations, hear individual friars share personal “witness talks”, hold Reception of Novices and pray, play, and eat together.

August

5-9:  Mark Soehner attends the CMSM National Assembly in San Antonio, Texas.

10:  17 friars attend the Transitus of Clare service with the Cincinnati Poor Clares.  Mark Hudak presides over a full house on their feast.

15: Minister General Michael Perry is hospitalized in Chicago after a bicycle accident. Anticipated return to Rome is in eight months.

22: SJB Postulants Phil McCarter, Tim Amburgey and William Compton are received into the postulancy in Silver Spring, Md.

25: Carl Langenderfer and Humbert Moster are guests of honor at the 175th anniversary celebration of St. Mary’s of the Rock parish in Batesville, Ind.

September

Early September:  Tim Lamb and other ESC Vocation Directors gather at Mundelein, Ill., at Joseph and Mary Retreat House.

16-20:  Provincial Council meets for its annual Clifty Falls, Ind., meeting.

16-20:  ESC Communicators meet in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.

21: Hilarion Kistner dies.  Funeral takes place Sept 25 at St. Clement Church.

October

3:    Transitus held throughout the Province.  The Cincinnati celebration is at St. Monica/St. George.

6:   Pet Blessings held throughout the Province.  At St. Francis Seraph, the United Pet Fund offers a free pet clinic.

9:   Ed Skutka is honored for 49 years of service at St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, Pa.

12-18:   ESC Provincials meet in Malta.

15: Novice Joshua Richter and his 10 classmates receive the habit at Mission Santa Barbara.  Bill Farris and Tim Lamb are present for the investiture.

24-27:  Provincial Council meets in Scottsdale, Ariz.

27: Open House at Roger Bacon High School draws a record turnout.

Oct. 28-Nov. 1:  Bill Farris leads a retreat for friars in Jamaica.

November

1:   Brian Menezes is welcomed into the Postulant Fraternity in Silver Spring, Md.  Brian had a delay with his visa as a Canadian citizen.

11: SJB is one of six provinces featured in Franciscan Friars Coast to Coast (Arcadia), a pictorial history complied by archivists and edited by Jack Clark Robinson.

14-21:  Pat McCloskey attends a celebration for 550 years of Friars Minor in Lithuania and 30 years of renewed ministry, representing the province and the ESC in his role as Executive Secretary.

15: Sr. Anthony is officially welcomed into the Poor Clares of Cincinnati, having transferred from the Memphis, Tenn., monastery that closed.

16:  Administrator Tom Speier welcomes guests to Holy Name parish in Cincinnati for a celebration of Black Catholic History Month.

17: Jeff Scheeler arrives in Rome for “visitor school” in preparation for his work as General Visitor to the Maltese Franciscan Province.

December

Murray Bodo’s expanded edition of his book, Mystics:  Twelve Who Reveal God’s Love, is featured in the December edition of the OFM’s Fraternitas.

11:  Joachim Lux dies; his funeral is held Dec. 16 at St. Margaret Hall.

12: St. Clement Church celebrates its first Spanish Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

20: Bill Ollendick dies. His funeral takes place Dec. 24 at St. Clement Church.

O little town of Bethlehem

Bethlehem, as re-created at St. Mary of the Angels“It’s kind of like a spiritual journey,” friar Robert Seay says of his annual Christmas project, the design and construction of an elaborate nativity scene. This year’s creation at St. Mary of the Angels Church in New Orleans was more like a nativity village, as Robert and a team of helpers expanded the usual theme to depict the broader setting of the birthplace of Jesus. “We built a cave, and an inn, and you can see people inside,” he says.

Most years Robert starts developing an idea, usually executed with painted cardboard or paper products, a couple of months before Christmas. “I’ve always been able to get someone to help”; this year a carpenter, his wife, and friar Juniper Crouch all pitched in. Photographer Juniper chronicled the construction from a pile of boxes to the finished display.

Robert figures he’s created more than 50 of these scenes over the years, starting when he was in brothers’ school. It’s always a variation on the original theme – with a twist. “I could never stand to do the same thing every year.”

Part 6: Day 1

Ending on an icy morning

Early Afternoon, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019
Return to St. Michael Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.

Bernard, Silas, Didacus, John, and Cosmas, here I am at last.  On this cold, wet day it is good to stand before you on this holy ground.

At St. Michael Cemetery in Louisville, most friars share a common gray stone.Bernard Pircher was the first of our brothers to die in Louisville. He and this afternoon’s other four friars are buried on the grounds of a tiny and now razed cemetery chapel. Along with a Br. Franz Steiner, all but Cosmas share a common stone, a 6- to 8-foot long gray block parallel with the ground. Cosmas has his own stone nearby. They look ugly and remind me of an abandoned factory. The long gray block intrigues me. It is in English, not the expected German; its design is not late-19 century; and it includes another religious. Did the cemetery provide this strange object as a replacement for earlier stones which might have been damaged when the chapel was razed? Was Cosmas’ stone designed to fit the existing style?

This section is very small. Would that explain why the province, seeing a growing presence in Louisville, decided to bury the next friar, Dennis Abarth, in a new and larger area, resulting in a 45-year pattern of burying lay friars near the chapel and the more numerous clerical friars in a more expansive area?  Or were the “good old German lay brothers” expected to stay here and clean the chapel?

 

Late Afternoon, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 St. John Cemetery, Cincinnati

PHOTOS BY LOREN CONNELL, OFM At St. John, the crossed arms of Jesus and Francis adorn a marker for early friars.My pilgrimage comes at last to the city where our province began, to this cemetery where our earliest brothers are buried:  seven members of the Province of St. Leopold and 19 members of the Custody of St. John the Baptist.  A soot-stained, 10- to 12-foot, stone steeple marks the graves of the first 25, from Accurs Gaertner to Lucius Hafertepe.  Their names are given without canonical distinction in the order in which they died.  The crossed arms of Jesus and Francis, along with the German translation of Job 19:25 (I know that my redeemer lives) adorn the front.  To the left and rear a smaller stained stone, inscribed Hic jacet fundator almae provinciae Cincinnatensis, marks the burial place of Otto Jair.

Amidst men named Burger, Eberhard, Menzer, and Wachter, I find Augustine Hamilton.  Who was that young man from Kentucky who chose to cast his lot with all those German immigrants?  What did he see in them that called out to him?  What did they see in him?  How did he and they work through cultural differences?  Out of such challenges an American province was born. Out of similar challenges a new American province is now coming to birth.

Part 6: Day 2

Mid-Morning, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019

St. Mary Cemetery, Cincinnati

PHOTOS BY LOREN CONNELL, OFM

Some of the older graves at St. Mary, used by the province since 1881The friars began using St. Mary Cemetery in 1881 with the burial of Jacob Menchen. Eighteen more brothers were buried here before the end of the 19th century. Since the death of Leonard Nurre in 1919, only four of the next 100 years did not see a friar’s burial in this cemetery:  1920, 1944, 1982, and 1996.  Ten friars were buried here in 2008 and in 2017.  Lucian Greene died the day I entered novitiate.  If I counted correctly, over the next 56 years an additional 204 brothers have followed him here, three of them – John Kramer, Pius Winter, and Berard Doerger – from Our Lady of Guadalupe Province.

With more than 360 of our deceased confreres interred in three separate sections, the friars’ presence at St. Mary can be overwhelming.  Different monuments mark our provincial presence, twice as “Franciscan Fathers.”  In its style, one of the monuments reminds me of the friars’ plot in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Kansas City.  Different stones mark each individual grave, and each section has its own unique style of stone.  Until 1998 the lay friars’ stones were marked Fr(ater); and the priests’, P(ater).  (It’s hard to think of John Kramer, a contemporary of mine, as Pater!)  The last 90 stones bear no titles.

With wet wind in my face and crunchy snow under my feet, I give prayerful thanks for friars who brothered me:  Paul Desch, Aldric Heidlage, and Conan Taylor in my earlier years; Donnul Suttmann at St. Julian and Corpus Christi; John Schreck and Bob Lucero at St. Clare; Curt Lanzrath and Joe Rigali at St. Leonard.  Here lies my unforgettable classmate – that proud graduate of Montezuma High School and untiring fan of the Detroit Tigers – Linus Border.  Where is Cyril Stein?  I do not see his stone.  Along with men such as Herb Klosterkemper, Damian Zahn, and Greg Diebold; Andy Fox, Big Daddy, and Celsus Griese; Ted Hattrup, Noel William, and Allan Schmitz:  This is who we are.

Yesterday afternoon I began the sixth and final part of this pilgrimage with a return visit to St. Michael Cemetery in Louisville.  This icy morning I end it here in St. Mary, humbled and grateful to be a part of this brotherhood.

(It’s the end of the journey, but not the end of the road. Loren will reflect on his pilgrimage in an upcoming newsletter.)

 

Early Afternoon, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019
Return to St. Michael Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.

Bernard, Silas, Didacus, John, and Cosmas, here I am at last.  On this cold, wet day it is good to stand before you on this holy ground.

Bernard Pircher was the first of our brothers to die in Louisville. He and this afternoon’s other four friars are buried on the grounds of a tiny and now razed cemetery chapel. Along with a Br. Franz Steiner, all but Cosmas share a common stone, a 6- to 8-foot long gray block parallel with the ground. Cosmas has his own stone nearby. They look ugly and remind me of an abandoned factory. The long gray block intrigues me. It is in English, not the expected German; its design is not late-19 century; and it includes another religious. Did the cemetery provide this strange object as a replacement for earlier stones which might have been damaged when the chapel was razed? Was Cosmas’ stone designed to fit the existing style?

A newer section of St. Mary CemeteryThis section is very small. Would that explain why the province, seeing a growing presence in Louisville, decided to bury the next friar, Dennis Abarth, in a new and larger area, resulting in a 45-year pattern of burying lay friars near the chapel and the more numerous clerical friars in a more expansive area?  Or were the “good old German lay brothers” expected to stay here and clean the chapel?

 

Late Afternoon, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 St. John Cemetery, Cincinnati

My pilgrimage comes at last to the city where our province began, to this cemetery where our earliest brothers are buried:  seven members of the Province of St. Leopold and 19 members of the Custody of St. John the Baptist.  A soot-stained, 10- to 12-foot, stone steeple marks the graves of the first 25, from Accurs Gaertner to Lucius Hafertepe.  Their names are given without canonical distinction in the order in which they died.  The crossed arms of Jesus and Francis, along with the German translation of Job 19:25 (I know that my redeemer lives) adorn the front.  To the left and rear a smaller stained stone, inscribed Hic jacet fundator almae provinciae Cincinnatensis, marks the burial place of Otto Jair.

Amidst men named Burger, Eberhard, Menzer, and Wachter, I find Augustine Hamilton.  Who was that young man from Kentucky who chose to cast his lot with all those German immigrants?  What did he see in them that called out to him?  What did they see in him?  How did he and they work through cultural differences?  Out of such challenges an American province was born. Out of similar challenges a new American province is now coming to birth.

(Loren Connell shared this remembrance.)

Friars who have lived or visited at St Aloysius Friary will no doubt remember Alice Pappas, retired exotic dancer – not a stripper, she would be quick to tell you – and one of downtown Detroit’s more colorful characters.  Two weeks ago Alice attempted to light a cigarette from her stove.  Her hair caught fire, and she was taken to the Detroit Medical Center, where she was found to have third-degree burns on her scalp and upper left side.  Alice died Dec. 27, one week shy of her 99th birthday.  The last of the Corktown Cuties, as her troupe was known professionally, is now dancing with the stars, and the star of her life is the one whom, in her sure and simple faith, she called “My Jesus.”

 

Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

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FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

Some of the older graves at St. Mary, used by the province since 1881The friars began using St. Mary Cemetery in 1881 with the burial of Jacob Menchen. Eighteen more brothers were buried here before the end of the 19th century. Since the death of Leonard Nurre in 1919, only four of the next 100 years did not see a friar’s burial in this cemetery:  1920, 1944, 1982, and 1996.  Ten friars were buried here in 2008 and in 2017.  Lucian Greene died the day I entered novitiate.  If I counted correctly, over the next 56 years an additional 204 brothers have followed him here, three of them – John Kramer, Pius Winter, and Berard Doerger – from Our Lady of Guadalupe Province.

FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist
FRANCISCAN FRIARS
Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist