ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Nearly 200 friends of Mt. Irenaeus packed the Doyle Hall dining and trustees rooms at St. Bonaventure University on Nov. 2 for the ministry’s annual auction, a fun-filled evening that raised approximately $30,000 for the mountain’s operating budget and endowment.
Transitus Ale brewed by John C. Coughlin, OFM, inspired a round of fast and furious bidding during the verbal portion of the auction, according to Michelle Marcellin, office coordinator for Mt. Irenaeus. Bottled on the feast of St. Francis and wrapped in labels featuring an illustration created by Daniel Riley, OFM, the ale earned a winning bid of $750.
A hike at the mountain and gourmet lunch for six with Joseph Kotula, OFM, was also a popular item, with a winning bid of $500.
Part of the auction went digital this year with the introduction of an online portion that began Nov. 9 and closed Nov. 19. Items for bid included a bible blessed by the mountain friars and inscribed by Daniel, an original watercolor of a mountain scene by St. Bonaventure artist Anne Conroy-Baiter, an Orlando, Fla., World Marriott vacation package, and other items.
“Now, after what is truly many years of an annual auction for Mt. Irenaeus, I was struck by how wonderfully fresh and enjoyable in its very own way this year’s was,” said Dan, director of the nearly 30-year-old Franciscan Mountain Retreat. “It seems there is always something new going on in the community and the gifts offered us, and I know all of us are very grateful.”
Last year, Sr. Regina Aman, OSF, of St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Olean, N.Y., offered to bake a pie-per-month for a year for the winning bidder. The prize had everyone’s mouth watering this year, with the initial offering resulting in a winning bid of $800, according to Marcellin. Sr. Regina offered to provide a second year-round of pies to another bidder for $600.
“The auction’s trademark, ‘a fun evening of fellowship and sharing,’ is an extension of the atmosphere that permeates Mt. Irenaeus, drawing auction-goers from many communities and many faith backgrounds,” said Marcellin, a 2009 Francis Medal recipient.
Recently, the Province’s Franciscan Volunteer Ministry enjoyed several days of fellowship and sharing at the mountain during its fall retreat. The Nov. 3 to 7 event allowed the FVMs to celebrate the group’s gifts and communities, according to the ministry’s Facebook page. They brought “great energy” to the Mt. Irenaeus community, according to the mountain’s Facebook page, which on Nov. 6 featured a photo of Kevin Kriso, OFM,with the volunteers.
On Nov. 16, Dan visited the community at St. Camillus Parish, Silver Spring, Md., as part of Mt. Irenaeus’s “Mountain in Your Home” series. More information about the mountain’s current activities and upcoming events can be found on its website, which also provides links to its publications — a quarterly newsletter and a recently-launched e-newsletter.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province. Information for this story was provided by Michelle Marcellin.