Older Friars – Our Reserve of Wisdom

Matthew Pravetz, OFM, & Amy Stewart-Wilmarth, RN Features

Who are you calling old? Friar and nurse share perspectives on value of older friars’ wisdom for Pope Francis’ inaugural World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly.

Putting Laudato Si’ into Practice

Russell Testa Features, Home Page – News, Justice and Peace

The Church concluded the five-year anniversary celebration of the release of Laudato Si’ – Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical – with the launch on May 25 of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development. This is an appropriate time to focus on the message and goals of the encyclical, and to implement them as Franciscans.

Four images: (1) two friars laughing (2) a statue of Mary cradling baby Jesus (3) a painting of the ascension (4) a painting of St. Bernardine of Siena

Celebrating Four May Occasions

HNP Communications Features

Along with the beautiful tree blossoms and the flowers emerging from the ground, there are several occasions rooted in the month of May: Religious Brothers Day, Mother’s Day, and the feasts of the Ascension and St. Bernardine of Siena. Province friars reflect on each of them.

A view of Big Sur on California coast, where Erick finds comfort viewing the water. (photo courtesy of the author)

The Caress of Sister Water

Erick Lopez, OFM Features

After 15 months in California, Erick Lopez reflects on the impact that the pandemic and the events around the world have had on him, describing the pain of witnessing sickness, anger, climate change, and the mistreatment of people as well as the need to mourn and to recognize love. When he thinks of Easter, his heart takes him to the celebrations he experienced for nine years at St. Camillus Church. Recently, after extreme sadness, he found consolation in “little sparkling drops.”

The DeBiase family in 2014 in front of Bill's childhood home, taking an annual Christmas photo after Mass. Bill is on the right.

My Uncle, the Franciscan Priest – An Example of Selflessness

Sean DeBiase Features, Home Page – News

To Sean DeBiase, his great-uncle William DeBiase, OFM, was always just “Uncle Bill.” But the way William lived his life in service to others as a Franciscan friar helped shape Sean’s own life and teaching career. He reflects on his uncle on the one-year anniversary of William’s death.

(Photo courtesy of Franciscan Mission Service)

Building Community with Living Stones

Megeen White Testa Features

This installment of Franciscan Influences, a series published by HNP Today since 2010, is written by a former missioner with the Franciscan Mission Service who spent three years living and serving in Africa. The author, who feels grateful to the friars and Franciscan-hearted people who have influenced her faith, family and life and spirit over the past 30 years, reflects on experiences that have inspired her.

Reflecting on Lent as a Season of Grace

Charles O’Connor, OFM Features

In our ministries, we serve people from all different walks of life, and of varied ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds: those who are young and old, rich and poor, liberal and conservative. In my experience as a friar, when you ask those who are Catholic, for example in our parishes, how they understand the season of Lent, a number of them will speak about Lent, as a time to give something up, like a certain food that they really like, or perhaps a certain beverage, like a favorite soda or alcoholic drink.

Reflecting on Ash Wednesday during Pandemic

James Scullion, OFM Features

“Repent and believe in the Gospel.” We receive this invitation each Ash Wednesday as the minister places ashes on our forehead. Each year, we carry our experiences from the past year as we process up the aisle to receive our ashes. This year, we bring our experiences of the pandemic.

Holidays During a Pandemic

Scott Brookbank, OFM Features

The Christmas holidays can be a stressful time, especially when dealing with personal loss and this time of the pandemic. But there are a number of things we can do to celebrate the holidays at our own pace and in our own ways while dealing with grief.