Marytown, Illinois’ Devotion of the First Five Saturdays

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


The Conventual Franciscan Friars are devoted to the Virgin Mary as was St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of their Order. One only needs to look at St. Francis’ Greetings to the Blessed Virgin and his Prayer Praising the Mother of God to understand his devotion and that of all friars. Interestingly, currently at Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois, the friars are holding First Saturday Devotions.

The Devotions started on Saturday, May 2, 2015 and will end on Saturday, September 5. They begin at 11.15 am with a rosary procession through the beautiful gardens of Marytown and then finish with a Mass.

First Devotions to Mary include the Sacrament of Confession, Holy Communion, the recitation of the rosary, and mediation. They are a method for the faithful to stand up to sin.

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God Continues to Mold Us Throughout Our Lives

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


Conventual Franciscan Friar John Bamman recently sat down with Friar Tim Unser in San Antonio, Texas for a talk on vocation discernment. You can find a video of their excellent conversation here.

Friar John is the current vocation director for Our Lady of Consolation Province, a jurisdiction that includes the Mid- and Southwestern United States. Friar Tim was active in vocations some years ago. In his conversation with Friar John he uses the beautiful image of a potter molding clay into a pot to describe how God continues to shape us throughout our lives. The image comes from The Book of Jeremiah 18:1-6.

We must understand that God is active in our lives in subtle ways. He is shaping us and asking us to live in service to others. We must simply open ourselves to Him through prayer, reflection and conversation with spiritual directors.

And if you feel that God is calling you to Conventual Franciscan life, then please contact our vocation directors who will happily answer all your questions about discernment as well as St. Francis and his Order.

(Source of image with story: OLC Province.)

Assist Those Who Need Help so That in The Future They May Go on To Change The World

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



Friar Allen Ramirez – one of the Conventual Franciscans in residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Hermosa Beach, California – has spent many years teaching English to the folks at the St. Francis Korean Catholic Center in Torrance. Among other academic distinctions, Friar Allen holds an English teaching certificate from the Scuola Interlingue in Rome, Italy.With his skills he is able to help people living in California master English and increase their chance in living up to their fullest potential.

Conventual Franciscans live their faith in many ways. One of these is by empowering people who need help. Once they are empowered these men and women can go on to change our world for the better. Friar Allen recently posted a poster on Facebook that demonstrates what happens when we assist people who need help. The image features Dr. Alfredo Quinones.  Born near Mexicali in Baja California, Alfredo entered the United States as a 19 year old in 1987 and stared working on a California farm.He was at this time an undocumented immigrant. Saving up money to take English lessons, he worked hard and in 1999 graduated from Harvard Medical School.  Today he is a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Not everybody will become a neurosurgeon, but the Conventual Franciscans know that we all have gifts from God that we can use to help others. Sometimes all we need is just a little support from people around us to bring these gifts out into the open.

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Franciscans Make a Mark on the Annual Convention of The Catholic Theological Society of America

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



The Catholic Theological Society of America recently held its annual convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More than 400 theologians from around the United States attended the convention. One of these was Conventual Franciscan Friar John Burkhard who delivered a paper titled “The Sensus Fidelium: Old Questions, New Challenges”.

Friar John holds STL and PHD degrees from the University of Strasbourg in France and spent time studying at the Collegium Canisianum in Innsbruck, Austria. He has taught at the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. and at St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, New York.

Another Conventual Franciscan, Friar Michael Lorentsen, also took part in The Catholic Theological Society of America’s annual convention. During the portion covering business affairs of the Society, members voted officially to admit Friar Michael to its midst. Friar Michael holds a doctorate in Ministry in Christian Spirituality from the Washington Theological Union. In the past, he has taken on various ministries including that of vocation director.

(Source of image with story: OLA Province.)


A Summer Program at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee Will Help Teenagers Understand The Richness and Beauty of the Catholic Mass

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow


The Conventual Franciscans’ Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will hold a program this summer for teenagers who might be wondering why they should take part in Mass every week. The program is called Altaration and runs from June 29 to August 17.

When young people enter their teenage years they often begin to question and sometimes resist going to Church every week simply because it feels like something that their parents forced them to do. Altaration will show these men and women what Mass is all about. The program will use excellent videos, captivating speakers and other resources to demonstrate to participants that we need the Mass in our lives every week. Young people will also realize the importance of faith in our day to day activities.

Rector Friar Michael J. Glastetter and the other friars at the Basilica of St. Josaphat know that part of our duty as Catholics is to share our faith and reinforce it in others. The Altaration program is an excellent way of doing precisely this in a respectful and engaging way.

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