Friars Take Ministry to Ball Game in Cincinnati’s Opening Day Parade

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

CINCINNATI — When Ohio’s Findlay Market opened in 1852, the Franciscan friars were already part of the neighborhood. Friars arrived from Austria in 1844 to serve the German immigrant community in various ways.

Today, the Franciscans serve Cincinnati through St. Francis Seraph Parish and St. Francis Seraph Ministries, composed of a soup kitchen, elementary school and the Sarah Center for Women.

It was fitting, then, that the friars were invited to celebrate their 170 years of ministry in the community by participating in the 95th annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade on March 31.

St. John the Baptist Province friars and St. Francis Seraph students were assigned one of the 180 floats participating in the event. Br. Tim Sucher, OFM, assisted the students in painting colorful banners and signs to decorate the float. On the day of the parade, the weather was beautiful and everyone enjoyed themselves.

“It was a great parade,” said Provincial Vicar Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM. “Everything was perfect. We couldn’t ask for a better day.”

Pictures from the event appeared in the April 3 issue of the province’s News Notes.

In other news from St. John the Baptist Province, Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, provincial minister, met several Holy Name Province friars in Tokyo as he traveled to Japan and the Philippines in March. While in Tokyo, HNP alumnusCallistus Sweeney, OFM, drove Fr. Jeff to visit Fr. Bernardine Schneider, OFM, who lives in a nursing home down the street from the Seminary and Studium Biblicum where he used to work. A picture of Callistus and Fr. Bernie appears in the March 27 issue of News Notes.

Fr. Jeff also spent time with Russell Becker, OFM, pastor of the Franciscan Chapel Center, whom he described as “a gracious host.”

“I was able to join the daily Mass community at the Franciscan Center Chapel for the English speaking where I stayed, right next door to the Japanese Province Curia,” he said. “U.S. ambassador Caroline Kennedy sometimes worships there, and she came for Mass on the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination last November.”

More information about St. John the Baptist Province’s recent activities is available on the community’s website and Facebook page.

—    Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.