After living through more than 12 months of a pandemic, several HNP friars reflect on the greater meaning of this year’s Easter season – Christ’s death on the cross bringing renewal and salvation, COVID-19 vaccines providing hope, and the barren landscape of winter springing to growth and new life.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
The start of a new year and the approach of the 55th anniversary of my graduation from college recently got me thinking about my life and my work. It brought to mind my long connection to the Franciscans.
“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.
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.
Life, not just in the United States, but throughout the world, was disrupted in 2020 by a new and deadly human pathogen. Ten friars share their thoughts on lessons learned personally and as a society in this year of concern for health, political upheaval, and social consciousness.
Staff member of Raleigh parish – which friars maintained for 33+ years — describes how friars educate, inspire and enlighten and entertain
My friends the Franciscans, followers of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, have had a powerful impact on me for 47 years, shaping the person I have become and deepening my faith. They have been there in good times, and even more so in tough times. Reflecting on how the friars and their values affect me has been especially meaningful during this month of remembrance.
Coinciding with release of pope’s encyclical on Oct. 3, Casey Cole, Abraham Joseph, Kevin Kriso, David McBriar, Robert Menard, James Sabak reflect on importance of brotherhood, community and support