Friar John Bamman – a vocation director for the Conventual Franciscans – begins our new video series this week on great leaders in the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.
The first episode of the series is dedicated to Friar Basil Heiser. Born in 1909 and given the name Herman by his parents, Friar Basil attended Mass at St. Benedict Parish in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was active in serving at the parish, which is today still run by Conventual Franciscans. One day, Friar Basil’s pastor asked the young man if he had not considered becoming a friar. Indeed, the idea very much appealed to Friar Basil. He knew that he simply had to surrender to the will of God and that all would be well.
Friar Basil had a very close relationship with his mother. His father had died when he was young and he had no other siblings. It was therefore Basil’s mother who brought the young man to Mount St. Francis in Indiana where his Franciscan education would start.
Friar Basil served as Minister Provincial of Our Lady of Consolation Province in the Mid- and Southwestern United States as well as Minister General of his entire Order. He held several Master and doctoral degrees, was well-known as a teacher of philosophy and theology, and spoke five languages. He died in 2009, eight days after his 100th birthday.
(Source of image: OLC Province.)