South Jersey Parish Awards Francis Medals, Produces CD

HNP Communications Around the Province

BRANT BEACH, N.J. The friars of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J., awarded the Province’s Francis Medal to six parishioners this fall.

They were presented to Johanna Griffin, Michael and Marie Muncasy, Barbara Berndt and Joan Locke, and Michael Theiss by Pastor Stephen Kluge, OFM, for ministerial contributions to the parish.

Griffin is a professed Secular Franciscan and a parish member for 14 years. She works quietly behind the scenes visiting the sick, helping at liturgies, cooking and serving food during Lent, working with the care ministry, and helping at funeral repasts. “Perhaps her most valuable gift to the parish is the time and effort she gives to being one of our most cherished sacristans,” said Stephen.

The Muncasys have been involved in parish life for 11 years. They are members of the parish catechumenate, the choir, a homily helpers group, and have helped at Cornerstone retreats, and preached at prayer services.

Berndt and Locke are two women who share their lives and faith. “Living together, they also minister together despite the fact that both have had health concerns in these past few years,” said Stephen. “They attend daily Mass and are Eucharistic ministers and visit the sick. They have befriended an older woman who is going blind, and take her to Saturday Mass and then out to dinner.”

Theiss is a lifelong member of St. Francis. The college student was recognized for faithful service. He has been an altar server, and now trains new servers. He is also a Eucharistic minister and helped to beautify the church grounds.

In other parish news, Stephen recently announced the release of the parish’s second holiday CD. Its theme is the Easter Triduum and includes music about Holy Thursday Good Friday and Easter. The music, recorded over the summer, includes the voices of Stephen and John Ullrich, OFM, as well as the children’s, teen and adult choirs, and Michele Beck, the parish’s director of music.

The CD, which came out in early October, near the feast of St. Francis, can be purchased in the parish bookstore, as well as by phone through the parish office (609-494-8813). It is the second holiday CD produced by the LBI parish, Stephen said.