St. Francis of Assisi is for Everyone

Written by Peter Rajchert on . Posted in Slideshow



St. Francis of Assisi continues to inspire people with his spirit even though nearly eight centuries have elapsed since he died in 1226. The excitement he creates inside of people to live the Gospel life was particularly visible during his Transitus and feast day celebrations this October at Holy Family Parish in Peoria, Illinois.

The Conventual Franciscans at Holy Family (where Friar Patrick Stoffer is the pastor) always delight in remembering their Seraphic Father St. Francis. But it isn’t only the friars who celebrate him.  Parishioners from Holy Family as well as Peoria’s Sisters of St. John the Baptist took part in the Transitus and feast day events too.

By taking on the name Francis, our current Holy Father shows us in a very direct way how pertinent St. Francis of Assisi’s approach is today. A life of simplicity and service as well as community and family, a life where one continues to deepen one’s relationship with God are the Franciscan ideas that have been inspiring generations and will inspire many more to come.

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Two Costa Ricans Enter Novitiate House in Medellin, Colombia

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The Order of Friars Minor Conventual has a Latin American Novitiate in Medellin, Colombia. The house carries the name of St. Maximilian Kolbe and is home to nine friars.

Not long ago, two Costa Rican men – Henry Ramirez and Kevin Gonzalez – entered the novitiate in Medellin. Friars Marco Umana and Jhon Jairo Molina, also of Costa Rica, have been supporting Henry and Kevin as they undertake this important step in their journey as Franciscans. Their jurisdiction in Costa Rica is part of Our Lady of the Angels Province, which has its provincial house in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Conventual Franciscan Friars from the United States came to Costa Rica on a mission in the 1940s. They took on many ministries, one of which was the founding of an excellent school, and allowed countless people to live and practice their faith. Their Franciscan charism has also inspired many to discern a vocation with the Order.

(Source of image with story: OLA Province.)

Administrator at the University of North Carolina Composes A Prayer for Vocations

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Friar Michael Lasky began his role as parochial administrator of the Newman Student Center Parish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the summer of 2014. He has served students at other universities in the past and knows how important it is to help them maintain and grow in their spiritual lives.


As a Conventual Franciscan priest, Friar Michael understands also the importance of pointing out to young people the possibility that God might be calling them to religious life. These younger individuals might simply never have realized that God was gently whispering to them to become a priest, a friar, or a religious sister.


To help students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and elsewhere open their hearts to God, Friar Michael recently wrote “Embracing Love: A Vocation Prayer”. The prayer was used during Masses at the Newman Student Center Parish and is included on a special prayer card that will help mark 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life. And it is also getting young people who are starting out their lives to think about the possibility of a religious vocation. 


(Source of image with story: OLA Province.)

Californians Understand That We Must Care for God’s Creation

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The people of California understand all too well that our climate is changing. Their state while dealing with an historic drought recently suffered a series of rainstorms that caused damage around Los Angeles and other areas. Clearly we need to do something to bring climate change to a halt.


At the Conventual Franciscan-run St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Pismo Beach, parishioners understand that we have a responsibility to care for creation, much like St. Francis of Assisi did. God has entrusted the world to us so that we may keep is safe and pass it on to future generations. This requires us to take action against climate change.


St. Paul the Apostle parishioners had an opportunity to delve into the topic of care of creation this past Monday. Franciscan Brother Keith Warner delivered a talk called “Can St. Francis Inspire Care for Creation Today?” at the Monastery of the Risen Heart. St. Paul the Apostle Church promoted it in the parish’s bulletin. The community knows that we cannot be idle about what is happening to our world.


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Advent Reflections from Duke University

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Conventual Franciscan Friar Michael Martin is helping us celebrate Advent with weekly video reflections. Friar Michael is the Director of the Catholic Campus Ministry at Duke University in North Carolina. Visitors to might also know him from the many weekly Masses he as well as Friar Brad Heckathorne celebrate at the university.

In his first reflection, Friar Michael encourages us to prepare for the coming of Jesus during Advent and also to help others prepare. Sometimes people drift away from the Church. We can help them regain their faith.

In his reflection for the second week of Advent, Friar Michael urges to examine our lives in Christ. We must study and understand the life of Jesus to have a better sense of what our faith is about.

In the third week of Advent, Friar Michael Martin challenges us to spiritual openness. Often when we worship at Mass we do so tepidly. We need to rejoice in our faith because God brings light to our lives.

(Source of image with story: Duke University Catholic Campus Ministry.)