FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

January 13, 2017

www.franciscan.org

Focusing on formation at InterSession

BY FR. MARK SOEHNER, OFM

SJB’s Dan Ward, far right, with brothers at InterSession.PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN SENO, OFMInterSession included SJB’s John Boissy, second from left.

A few weeks ago, Fr. Charlie Smiech called asking if our Postulancy formation program could come to Chicago for an InterSession. “What’s an InterSession?”, I asked.

For many years the friars from Holy Name Province have had a gathering of all stages of formation during the Winter Break.  This year the Post Novitiate Directors decided to extend this break to all levels of formation and to all the provinces.  St. Barbara and Sacred Heart postulants already had a program planned, so they were not able to attend.  But the other provinces with people in formation came.

Jan. 5-8, we met at the Retreat House on Mundelein Seminary’s property in the northernmost part of Chicago’s Archdiocese.  There were approximately 40 men in attendance.

Most of our sessions were held during the day, when the temperatures were an icy 5 degrees!  The evenings had plenty of time for recreation after dinner.  Cards, basketball, some light teasing was going on.  But the days were full of good input.

Br. John Barker engaged the group in discussion about the Psalms in our breviary.  After listening to each participant share their feelings about using the Psalms, he offered a series of individual Psalms and discussion questions that opened the door to a better appreciation of this ancient poetry.

Above, John Barker discussed the Psalms; below, Men from all levels of formation in all provinces participated. Fr. Larry Hayes from Holy Name Province elicited the responses of the group to the eight different areas addressed in the White Paper.  He added a ninth category for those in formation to name new projects that meet the eight criteria that attract these younger brothers to initiate in the United States.  After those in formation coalesced the entries under each category, the discussion was lively.  Not all were in complete agreement, but all were heard in this process.  The results will be given to the friars who are compiling the final draft.

Election reflection

On Sunday there was opportunity to discuss the impact of the November election in the lives of those in formation.  Those who spoke up were stunned, depressed, angry at the “normalized” attitudes regarding racism, misogyny and xenophobia.  Some action steps that were suggested included:

  • “Cast our lot with the vulnerable—to migrants, refugees”
  • “Develop more houses on the southern border to help with migrants”
  • “Develop learning centers for people to become their own change agents” while experiencing community
  • “Establish houses in the inner-city to immerse among the poor.”

Reaching out

Interfaith dialogue with Muslims and other faiths was suggested as well as outreach programs with gangs, homeless, prisons.  “Reaching out to disaffected Catholics offering healthier spirituality and related content via the media” was encouraged.  Our own Franciscan Media was mentioned.

Another formation note:  Andrew Koon from OLG Province decided before Christmas not to return.  We wish him well in his new adventure!

Illness took its toll but failed to sap his spirit

BY TONI CASHNELLI

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLITed at St. Margaret HallAs illness closed in, Fr. Ted Hattrup’s world grew increasingly smaller. He was robbed of his ministry, much of his mobility, and most of his ability to speak.

This was the Ted that people knew for the past 30 years. When they gathered at St. Clement for his funeral on Jan. 3, they talked about a friar who, though severely impaired, was never conquered by limitations.

“He carried a heavy burden,” said Fr. Fred Link. “I never saw him be anything but gentle and gracious. He was a sweet, sweet guy.” As Provincial Minister, Fred visited Ted every month. At yearly visitation the answers were so succinct, “You didn’t have to take notes.” A typical exchange:

Fred: “Are you pleased with everything?”

Ted: “Yes.”

Fred: “Would you like to comment?”

Ted: “No.”

When he left, Fred would ask, “‘Ted, can I have your blessing?’ He would give it immediately.”

Guardian Br. Norbert Bertram had “the blessing for the last 11 months of ministering to Ted in the nursing home. His words were always simple. Some things I asked he was very definite about,” like announcing, “I like visitors!”

One day, Norbert said, “I took him some flowers and he said, ‘I like flowers!’ Same thing for Hershey bars.” Typically, “Ted would sit in a chair and look down all the time. Before I left I would kneel down and he would say, ‘God bless you!’” In his own way, “Ted was able to do some ministry.”

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLIMark and Vernon HattrupDan Kroger with a Hershey bar for TedLeft,  Ted’s “official” portrait; center, Ted in 1983; right, Newly ordained TedNorbert Bertram left with a blessing each time he visited Ted.3 - 4<>

Looking back

Fr. Valentine Young knew Ted as a classmate. “At Oldenburg I do remember hiking quite a bit with him on Wednesday and Saturday, the days we were allowed to leave the property.” After ordination, “Nine of us were sent to the Southwest,” including Ted. “We were in the same diocese and we did see each other on occasion. We were always friends.”

For some, life at a nursing home is hard to bear. Not Ted. “He was a wonderful, simple man,” said Scott Obrecht, who cut the hair of senior friars at Franciscan Terrace in the 1990s. “We had six or eight friars there. Ted was the one most socially involved with the people,” embracing activities like Bingo and poker. “He seemed to win a lot.”

Ted’s family was represented by his brother, Vernon, from Overland Park, Kansas, here with his son, Mark. Ted’s biggest regret, Vernon said, was that “our dad died within six months of Ted’s ordination. Ted always wished dad was there for his ordination and first Mass [at Windhorst, Kansas].” Ted’s greatest joy was “his two assignments in New Mexico. I knew they were his favorites.” In those days, “He talked. He was sociable. He would carry the conversation.”

When Ted left home, their contact was limited. “In those days you went to the novitiate and you were gone,” Vernon said, his eyes glistening at the memory of Ted walking away while his parents watched him go. “After he was ordained we got to see him quite a bit. He was part of humanity again.”

Mark Hattrup, now 47, was 7 or 8 when he learned that Mass can happen outside of a Church. “One of the first things I recall [Uncle Ted] teaching was the idea of ‘private Mass’” for the family and small groups. “He had his ‘traveling Mass kit’ for special events.”

‘A good Franciscan’

The companionable gathering at St. Clement, about 35 of Ted’s friar brothers plus Vernon and Mark, felt like one of those “family” Masses.

Vernon read from Isaiah: “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.” The passage Mark read was from 2 Corinthians: “Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” The homily by Ted’s classmate, Fr. Jeremy Harrington, was just as appropriate.

“All of us know that Fr. Theobald – ‘Ted’ – last year celebrated 65 years as a Franciscan and 60 years as a priest,” Jeremy said. “He was a good Franciscan for 65 years. Those of us in the novitiate remember Ted went to St. Benedict’s in Atchison, Kansas, and had Benedictine wisdom.”

In the last difficult decades, “He was well cared for. Norbert, Br. Jerry [Beetz], the Provincial and many others gave Ted excellent care as St. Francis told us to do.”

Jeremy reflected on three phases of Ted’s priestly life: his work in parishes; his years as a hospital chaplain; and “a third period, a ministry of patiently enduring physical and mental illness, especially the years he spent at Franciscan Terrace and St. Margaret Hall.”

Carrying a cross

Quoting St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Jeremy said, “‘We carry our treasure in earthen vessels (to make clear its all-surpassing power came from God, not us).’ Paul says, ‘So many ways I have been ill-treated but I am not crushed; I am not despairing.’” As mortals, “We carry in our bodies the dying of Jesus. Ted carried in his body the cross of Jesus, the cross of suffering, the cross of not being able to do the work he wanted to do, the cross of not being able to do anything outside the nursing home.”

According to Paul, “‘For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all’ – what Ted is now enjoying,” Jeremy said.

“Each reading tonight promises the reward God has for us.” As Isaiah says, “God will take the tears away from everyone’s eyes and there will be no more death. God has saved us and we rejoice.”

Tonight, Jeremy said, “We gather at the banquet table of the Lord with grateful hearts for Ted. We receive the living bread that promises we will live forever with Jesus.”

Following Communion celebrant Fr. Jeff Scheeler told Ted’s relatives, “Your presence means a lot to us. Many of us did not know Ted that well because of his illness, so it was good to get to know you.”

Jeff’s conversations with Ted were fairly one-sided: “Ted, how are you?” was answered with, “OK.” When Jeff left, there always a “Thank you” for coming.

“I really think Ted is a good example of Franciscan life,” Jeff said. “What are we supposed to do but live a life of simplicity, minority?”

Death gives each of us “a new beginning, a fresh start.” When he died on New Year’s Day, “Ted encountered that in a powerful way.”

Housing crisis averted in Negril

BY FR. JIM BOK, OFM

Newly arrived Saleem Amir with Jim Bok, Blane Grein and JBWe have three bedrooms at Mary, Gate of Heaven Friary and Fr. Blane, James (the young deacon who has been with us for 1½ years) and I occupy them.  With the arrival in Jamaica of Fr. Saleem Amir, we would have a housing issue.  I started looking for some place near MGH that we could rent for a while.

At some point in the search I asked Linda “Ms. Moonie” Robinson, the owner of Moonrise Villas, if she had a two-bedroom house for rent.  To my great surprise she said she had a two-bedroom place but it has not been rented out for some years.  (A side note: Moonrise Villas is where friars stayed who assisted at Easter in the early days of our presence here.  Kenan Freson stayed there several times.  Ms. Moonie joined our church and has been a faithful member ever since.)  She told me I would have to talk to her son, which I did.  He was open to the possibility.  I offered to send over a couple workers to paint, he did some fixing and we rented this two-bedroom place. Each room has a private bath and they share a small common kitchenette.

Early on, when we knew Saleem was on his way, Blane offered to move out of our house so Saleem could move into the house and have his room where he would be staying.  Blane will head back to Cincy after Saleem gets settled, Deacon James is ordained a priest and returns from a long overdue vacation back in his homeland of Uganda.  So, Blane moved into our “new residence” where he has a bedroom and an office/sitting room.  The place is in the back of Ms. Moonie’s property where it is nice and quiet.  Blane spends most of his day in the friary at MGH.

One blessing he has is hot water all the time – no cold showers.  At MGH we have only a certain amount of hot water (solar panel heats limited quantities), so a cold shower goes to the last brothers to shower.

Winter warning: Be careful out there!

PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK.COMWinter storms can come on quickly and without warning, causing power outages, stranding people in their homes or cars, and creating unsafe driving and walking conditions. Seniors are particularly vulnerable during severe winter weather and should take extra precautions to be prepared for whatever happens.

Here are some tips to help older adults stay safe in winter:

  • Clear walkways and handrails of snow and ice.  Put down salt or other ice melter.
  • Seniors should stay inside. Falls often spell disaster for older adults. If you do go out, dress warm and tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
  • Make sure the paths to your doors are shoveled and free of debris.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go in winter weather.  Taking your time will reduce your risk of falling, especially if you use an assistive walking device.
  • Know where to go for information about local weather emergencies, road or business closings on TV and radio.
  • Check supplies of food and emergency items like flashlights, batteries, and battery-powered radio.
  • Check to make sure a space heater is being used properly: Plug into outlet, not extension cord.  Keep at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn, including the wall. Never leave portable heaters unattended.
  • Keep all items off of the heat register and free of clutter.
  • Offer to drive, if someone must get out (pick up prescription, medical appointment, etc.).
  • Be a friend.  Some seniors can get very isolated and stormy weather can make it worse.
  • Keep a first aid kit available and make sure you have enough medications.  Fill prescriptions early and don’t wait.
  • The best thing to do in a winter storm is to stay indoors, keep indoor temperature at 65 degrees or warmer, stay dry, protect your lungs from cold air, and dress smart by layering up!
  • Essential winter wear:  Hats, gloves or preferably mittens, winter coat, boots, and a scarf to cover your mouth and nose.

For more information about winter weather safety for all ages, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Winter Weather website: cdc.gov.

–Michelle Viacava, RN
Province Nurse

 

The big chill

Hypothermia happens when your body temperature drops to a dangerous level. Your body temperature can drop when you are out in the cold for an extended time because it begins to lose heat quickly.  Older adults are at an increased risk for hypothermia due to changes that happen to your body with aging. Shivering is not a reliable warning sign. Warning signs include cold skin that is pale or ashy, feeling very tired, confused and sleepy, feeling weak, problems walking, slowed breathing or heart rate.

Call 911 if you think you or someone else has hypothermia.

Brainstorming ‘Brotherly Care’

(Last week friars from six provinces met in New Mexico to discuss the rewards, difficulties and opportunities of caring for senior friars. SJB Brothers Norbert Bertram and Jerry Beetz joined colleagues from Holy Name, Saint Barbara, Assumption, Sacred Heart and host OLG provinces.)

BY BR. JERRY BEETZ, OFM

I was pleasantly surprised at the discussions that went on at the meeting in Albuquerque. We talked about the blessings and challenges of working in “Brotherly Care” (as opposed to “Senior Care”), seeing in it a wider ministry to our fraternity. Brotherly Care provides a sense of dignity, value and belongingness to our life that is from entry to eternity.

We addressed some proposals we can begin to work on regardless of the revitalization and restructuring outcome. These will be tackled by a committee of five for our next meeting and include:

  • Develop a Driving Policy that is accepted by all
  • Prepare a universal basic health information sheet that each friar takes with him as he travels so if he becomes ill in another region his health care can be addressed speedily
  • Draft a Universal Statement as to who we are in relation to one another to help with any legal questions that may arise
  • Publish a National News Letter on Brotherly Care providers and clients
  • Address the care of the Caregiver
  • Invite younger friars to become involved
  • Provide opportunities for travel to other provinces for an extended period (eg., Snow Bird Friars)
  • Tap more into existing resources
  • Establish a “Super Fund” to meet the needs of Brotherly Care

  • 16th Century choral manuscriptAs part of its mission to preserve places in the city that are important to the Christian faith, friars of the Custody of the Holy Land will open the new Terra Sancta Museum at two sites in Jerusalem. “The exhibition and museum at St. Saviour, budgeted at €4.5m and expected to open in 2019, will be devoted to the friars’ history in Christian Jerusalem since their arrival in the 13th century,” according to a Jan. 6 story in the online Art Newspaper. “Meanwhile, a new museum at the Monastery of the Flagellation, budgeted at €3.5m, will show archaeological objects from digs operated by the friars. The Order has operated an archaeological museum at the site since the early 20th-century and the galleries, due to reopen at the end of 2017, sit atop Byzantine cisterns on the Via Dolorosa, the street Jesus is believed to have walked on the way to his crucifixion.” More details at: Jerusalem/
  • Wednesday, WCPO-TV in Cincinnati talked to Principal Steve Schad about how Roger Bacon High School is growing – by getting smaller. The interview is available at: wcpo.com
  • Pope Francis is preparing for a Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” (in October 2018) with a moving letter directed to his audience. It reads in part: “Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with him. Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God’s plan in your life. Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich in mercy, will extend his hand to pick you up.” The letter is posted at: radiovaticana.va
  • In March Friar Alessandro, the “Voice from Assisi”, will appear on mainstream American national television for the first time. He’s featured in a PBS special that includes an Alessandro concert recorded in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi on the Feast Day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. (Check local listings.) The hour-long pledge program will be accompanied by the release of a compilation CD, Songs from Assisi (produced by Universal Music in America), and a DVD of the concert. Read more on the ESC website at: escofm.org

PHOTOS BY FRANK JASPER,Left, OFM General Visitor Caoimhin O’Laoide; “We give you our best men,” said Hugh McKenna; above, Francisco O’Conaire, OFM; right Gerry Evans, OFMI am very pleased that our General Definitor, Fr. Caoimhin O’Laoide, has accepted the request of the General Definitorium to serve as our General Visitor. Caoimhin (or Kevin, in English) will begin his visitation at the end of January. It is quite fortuitous, I think, that he was present for last May’s All Province Assembly, along with the previously named Visitor Fr. Gerry Evans, so he has met many of us and already has some sense of our Province.The revised calendar is being sent out this week. I am grateful that Caoimhin is willing to adjust his schedule in Rome to be with us. It will be necessary for us to be willing to adapt our schedules to make this work as well. Please make every effort to be home on the assigned day. I will be very grateful for your cooperation and generosity. The Irish Province (and the Central American Province) have been very good to us, giving us Francisco O’Conaire, Gerry Evans, and now Caoimhin. Fr. Hugh McKenna, the Irish Provincial Minister, texted me, “We give you our best men!”I will be able to express our gratitude in person when I attend my last ESC meeting in Dublin in April. Gerry wrote to me that he felt a “very strong connection with the friars of your provincial fraternity and have been overwhelmed at their fraternal solidarity and support over the last couple of weeks. Be assured of my prayers as you journey forward.” Francisco’s mother is seriously ill, and Gerry is recovering well from his surgery, so please continue to pay for these brothers who have been so generous to us. — Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM 

 

Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

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FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

Focusing on formation at InterSession

Above, John Barker discussed the Psalms; below, Men from all levels of formation in all provinces participated. Fr. Larry Hayes from Holy Name Province elicited the responses of the group to the eight different areas addressed in the White Paper.  He added a ninth category for those in formation to name new projects that meet the eight criteria that attract these younger brothers to initiate in the United States.  After those in formation coalesced the entries under each category, the discussion was lively.  Not all were in complete agreement, but all were heard in this process.  The results will be given to the friars who are compiling the final draft.

Illness took its toll but failed to sap his spirit

Housing crisis averted in Negril

Newly arrived Saleem Amir with Jim Bok, Blane Grein and JBWe have three bedrooms at Mary, Gate of Heaven Friary and Fr. Blane, James (the young deacon who has been with us for 1½ years) and I occupy them.  With the arrival in Jamaica of Fr. Saleem Amir, we would have a housing issue.  I started looking for some place near MGH that we could rent for a while.

PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK.COMWinter storms can come on quickly and without warning, causing power outages, stranding people in their homes or cars, and creating unsafe driving and walking conditions. Seniors are particularly vulnerable during severe winter weather and should take extra precautions to be prepared for whatever happens.

Brainstorming ‘Brotherly Care’

  • 16th Century choral manuscriptAs part of its mission to preserve places in the city that are important to the Christian faith, friars of the Custody of the Holy Land will open the new Terra Sancta Museum at two sites in Jerusalem. “The exhibition and museum at St. Saviour, budgeted at €4.5m and expected to open in 2019, will be devoted to the friars’ history in Christian Jerusalem since their arrival in the 13th century,” according to a Jan. 6 story in the online Art Newspaper. “Meanwhile, a new museum at the Monastery of the Flagellation, budgeted at €3.5m, will show archaeological objects from digs operated by the friars. The Order has operated an archaeological museum at the site since the early 20th-century and the galleries, due to reopen at the end of 2017, sit atop Byzantine cisterns on the Via Dolorosa, the street Jesus is believed to have walked on the way to his crucifixion.” More details at: Jerusalem/

PHOTOS BY FRANK JASPER,Left, OFM General Visitor Caoimhin O’Laoide; “We give you our best men,” said Hugh McKenna; above, Francisco O’Conaire, OFM; right Gerry Evans, OFMI am very pleased that our General Definitor, Fr. Caoimhin O’Laoide, has accepted the request of the General Definitorium to serve as our General Visitor. Caoimhin (or Kevin, in English) will begin his visitation at the end of January. It is quite fortuitous, I think, that he was present for last May’s All Province Assembly, along with the previously named Visitor Fr. Gerry Evans, so he has met many of us and already has some sense of our Province.

FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

Above, John Barker discussed the Psalms; below, Men from all levels of formation in all provinces participated. Fr. Larry Hayes from Holy Name Province elicited the responses of the group to the eight different areas addressed in the White Paper.  He added a ninth category for those in formation to name new projects that meet the eight criteria that attract these younger brothers to initiate in the United States.  After those in formation coalesced the entries under each category, the discussion was lively.  Not all were in complete agreement, but all were heard in this process.  The results will be given to the friars who are compiling the final draft.

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLITed at St. Margaret HallAs illness closed in, Fr. Ted Hattrup’s world grew increasingly smaller. He was robbed of his ministry, much of his mobility, and most of his ability to speak.

Newly arrived Saleem Amir with Jim Bok, Blane Grein and JBWe have three bedrooms at Mary, Gate of Heaven Friary and Fr. Blane, James (the young deacon who has been with us for 1½ years) and I occupy them.  With the arrival in Jamaica of Fr. Saleem Amir, we would have a housing issue.  I started looking for some place near MGH that we could rent for a while.

PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK.COMWinter storms can come on quickly and without warning, causing power outages, stranding people in their homes or cars, and creating unsafe driving and walking conditions. Seniors are particularly vulnerable during severe winter weather and should take extra precautions to be prepared for whatever happens.

  • 16th Century choral manuscriptAs part of its mission to preserve places in the city that are important to the Christian faith, friars of the Custody of the Holy Land will open the new Terra Sancta Museum at two sites in Jerusalem. “The exhibition and museum at St. Saviour, budgeted at €4.5m and expected to open in 2019, will be devoted to the friars’ history in Christian Jerusalem since their arrival in the 13th century,” according to a Jan. 6 story in the online Art Newspaper. “Meanwhile, a new museum at the Monastery of the Flagellation, budgeted at €3.5m, will show archaeological objects from digs operated by the friars. The Order has operated an archaeological museum at the site since the early 20th-century and the galleries, due to reopen at the end of 2017, sit atop Byzantine cisterns on the Via Dolorosa, the street Jesus is believed to have walked on the way to his crucifixion.” More details at: Jerusalem/

PHOTOS BY FRANK JASPER,Left, OFM General Visitor Caoimhin O’Laoide; “We give you our best men,” said Hugh McKenna; above, Francisco O’Conaire, OFM; right Gerry Evans, OFMI am very pleased that our General Definitor, Fr. Caoimhin O’Laoide, has accepted the request of the General Definitorium to serve as our General Visitor. Caoimhin (or Kevin, in English) will begin his visitation at the end of January. It is quite fortuitous, I think, that he was present for last May’s All Province Assembly, along with the previously named Visitor Fr. Gerry Evans, so he has met many of us and already has some sense of our Province.

FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

January 5, 2017

FRANCISCAN FRIARS
Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

FRANCISCAN FRIARS
Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

FRANCISCAN FRIARS
Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

FRANCISCAN FRIARS
Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist