CINCINNATI, Ohio — St. John the Baptist Province in Ohio celebrates its 150 anniversary this year.
The province plans to celebrate by posting stories about the lives and contributions of friars on its Web site each month. The January posting reflects on “In the Beginning,” giving the history of the first friars’ arrival in 1844. These friars were from the Province of Tyrol, Austria; the missionaries were formed into an independent custody in 1959, and regonized as a province in 1885.
The province celebration is special this year, as it runs parallel to the 800th anniversary celebration of the founding the order.
Jeff Scheeler, OFM, provincial minister of the Ohio-based province, writes in the province newsletter, SBJ News Notes, of Dec. 31, 2008, “This convergence of anniversaries provides us with a wonderful opportunity to recommit ourselves to our way of life. We continue a great heritage and history, globally and locally. Our charism continues to live in us.”
He further suggests that the friars use this celebration to pray daily a “renewal of profession,” as cited by the General Minister of the Franciscan Order.