Director of Ministries at a San Antonio University Will be Ordained to the Transitional Diaconate in April

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Friar Mario Serrano lives in San Antonio, Texas with his Conventual Franciscan brothers. The Dexter, New Mexico native’s day-to-day ministry is that of Director of University Ministry at Our Lady of the Lake University (a well known Catholic institution in San Antonio).

On April 8, 2016, Friar Mario will be at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Lake for an important event in his life. Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky (who is also a Conventual Franciscan) will ordain Friar Mario to the transitional diaconate. Mario’s family, friends, Franciscan brothers, and members of the university community will all be there to support him.

As Director of University Ministry at OLLU, Friar Mario maintains a busy schedule. He coordinates and leads retreats, takes students on service missions, and generally does what he can to encourage folks to embrace and always strive to grow in their faith.

(Source of image with story: Friar Mario Serrano's Facebook account.)

Stimulating Franciscan Blog Sparks Reflections on Faith

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As Catholics we are always eager to deepen our relationship with God. We do this through worship at Mass, prayer, reflection and by periodically attending spiritual retreats. Conventual Franciscan Friar Ian Bremar has another method to help us in this lifelong process. He recently began a blog called the Bible Codega: A modest, Catholic guide for reading and enjoying Sacred Scripture.

In the Bible Codega, Friar Ian reflects on various concepts found in the Scripture and invites his reader to reflect on them and also to begin a conversation on faith. His recent entry “Truth, Mystery, the Bible, and… Harry Potter?”, for example, points out that certain truths like love, beauty and evil cannot be measured. God is not quantifiable either. We have a relationship with Him through faith and understand that like love and goodness, He is infinitely knowable.

Bible Codega writer Friar Ian Bremar hails from Portland, Texas. He began discerning his vocation with the Franciscans when he was 19 years old and in college. Ian holds a Bachelor degree in religious studies and is working on his Master degree in Pastoral Ministry. He professed his Solemn Vows in 2015.

(Source of image with story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WWdRn3Delg.)

Feeding the Hungry Not Just at Christmas

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The Conventual Franciscan-run St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Pismo Beach, California supports the Five Cities Christian Food Ministry in nearby Grover Beach. The ministry ensures that men, women, and children in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach and surrounding regions receive adequate sustenance every single month of the year. January and February are a particularly challenging time for economically vulnerable people. Those folks who donated food or money to charitable organizations during Christmas forget that the need for help is ongoing. The volunteers at Five Cities Christian Women’s Food Ministry keep on working to make sure that the hungry can access food at all times. They have kept the ministry in service to their brothers and sisters for 42 years.

St. Paul the Apostle Parish understands the Five Cities Christian Women’s Food Ministry well because its dedication to people who need help reflects the work of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis spent his ministry wandering the Italian countryside telling people that God loved them and helping them in any way that he could. Franciscans today carry on this tradition.

(Source of image with story: http://assumptionchurchsyracuse.org/index.php?mact=Gallery,cntnt01,default,1&cntnt01dir=Main-Gallery%2FSt-Anthony-St-Patrick-Fundraiser-2013%2F&cntnt01returnid=60&page=60.)

 

Are You Starting to Think about Lent?

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At the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Franciscan Friar Conventual Michael Glastetter wrote a letter to parishioners, which he featured in the parish’s recent bulletin. Friar Michael is the rector and pastor of the basilica. In his letter he pointed out that the end of January is a good time to begin thinking about Lent. The season will be upon us very soon and during its 40 days we have an opportunity to take on works of mercy and to rid ourselves of negative habits.

Friar Michael Glastetter has a long relationship with the Basilica of St. Josaphat. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he was ordained to the priesthood inside the basilica in 1999 and served as its parochial vicar until 2005. Between 2005 and 2010, he worked as the pastor of Holy Family Parish in Peoria (the faith community where he grew up) before returning to St. Josaphat. He cares about the basilica’s parishioners deeply and wants each one of them to feel close to God. 

(Source of image with story: https://www.facebook.com/207227842820101/photos/pb.207227842820101.-2207520000.1455026556./336611963215021/?type=3&theater.)

Bringing Comfort to the Sick in Toronto

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On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, St. Bonaventure Parish in Toronto, Ontario celebrated Mass with a special blessing of the throats. February 3 is the feast day of St. Blaise. Blaise was a fourth century physician from what is today Sivas, Turkey who also learned how to minister to the human soul.

St. Bonaventure’s care for the sick will become more visible again on February 13, 2016 when the community marks the World Day of the Sick with a Mass. During this celebration, people in need will receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

This faith community’s concern for people who are suffering continues throughout the year. Franciscan Friar Conventual Boniface Reinhart, for example, prays for anyone who contacts him. He is a loving and gentle person who has comforted countless people in physical and spiritual distress.

Born in Breslau, Ontario, Friar Boniface has been a Franciscan for more than six decades. In his many years at St. Bonaventure Parish he has fulfilled various ministries. He is a talented homilist who makes our faith come alive and helps us realize how relevant it is to our daily lives in 21st century North America.

(Source of image with story: St. Bonaventure Parish, Toronto, Ontario.)