News from around Order of Friars Minor this month includes updates about the English-speaking Conference, the multicultural novitiate in Ireland, a friar whose canonization cause is progressing, and the new website of a college in Rome.
It was almost certain that Paul Osborne would follow the farming legacy that dated back to his great-grandfather. Every day after school, and on weekends, he labored on the family farm in Churchville, a rural village, population 750, in upstate New York’s Monroe County near Lake Ontario.
When three friars were scheduled to depart from parishes in downtown Wilmington, where the Province had announced earlier this year its intentions to withdraw from these ministry sites, the pandemic upended plans for a farewell Mass and catered banquet for Paul Williams, pastor of St. Joseph’s, and Rodolfo Ramón-Cabrera, pastor, and Paul Breslin, of St. Paul’s. But parishioners got creative when it was time to exchange goodbyes with the trio of friars.
With pandemic-driven e-commerce retail shopping expected to continue through the holiday season, the online Franciscan Store has launched a Christmas catalog that offers an extensive assortment of gifts and stocking-stuffers. Its products range from rosary beads, medals, bracelets, nativities, and other religious articles handcrafted in Assisi, Italy, to books, religious cards and other spiritual resources written and designed by Franciscan friars and nuns
Eight months of pandemic life may have modified activities of the Franciscan Mission Service to assure the safety of its volunteers and the people they serve, but the recent commissioning of five new lay missioners, and their training for international ministry, demonstrates that participants have not wavered in their enthusiasm or hit the pause button on their dedication to the program.
For the Franciscan community worldwide, Pope Francis signing his latest encyclical – “Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship – in Assisi, Italy, at the tomb of St. Francis, was more than a symbolic and historic gesture — it was a call to renewal.
Four members of English-speaking Conference provinces – including a former provincial minister – and four Franciscan sisters have passed.
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.
New assignments announced for Gregory Gebbia and Robert Sandoz
The traditional ritual of investiture was held at the Interprovincial Novitiate at Old Mission Santa Barbara on Oct. 20, when 10 novices representing four OFM provinces – and who completed three months of novitiate – each received the habit of the Order of Friars Minor.
The pope’s newest encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti,” provides us with a roadmap for how we might reimagine our society in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Br. Glenn Humphrey spent most of his life in academic and counseling work.