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

February 9, 2017

www.franciscan.org

Young at heart

Age was just a number for the province’s senior friar

BY TONI CASHNELLI

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLIValens’ niece Doris Waterworth with a photo of her twin boys – now in their 50s – taken by ValensFor most people, longevity is a blessing and a curse.

Fr. Valens Waldschmidt never saw the down side.

He was sharp and funny, curious and kind, typically called “remarkable for his age.” The senior friar in the province, Valens died Jan. 28, a few weeks before his 97th birthday. But he never seemed old, according to the friars, friends and family who gathered for his funeral Feb. 1 at St. Paul’s Archbishop Leibold Home in Cincinnati.

Legally blind in later life, Valens “read” books on tape and avidly followed current events. “He never let his eyesight stand in the way of trying to learn or caring about others,” said volunteer Hugh Lynch. When Valens’ legs failed, he made his rounds in a wheelchair to offer residents comfort and conversation, rolling off the elevator while singing My Darling Clementine or whistling the theme from Doctor Zhivago. “He would touch their hands and calm them,” said Carol Gallegos, a nurse who retired from Leibold Home in 2012 but continued to visit Valens.

“Even if you couldn’t see him, you could hear him,” said Fr. Dan Anderson, referring to the most distinctive voice in the province. Up to the end it was deep, resonant, stentorian, perfect for the Mission Band preaching Valens did so ably in the 1950s.

“I loved to hear him talk,” said Fr. David Kohut, who drove Valens to appointments. “He’d say, ‘Put the radio on,’” but David would decline, urging Valens to tell him a story. “He had something to say all the time. I learned a lot driving him to the doctor.”

“Deeply spiritual”

Valens was the voice of authority among his relatives, some of whom drove from Chicago and the Waldschmidt hometown, Metamora, Ill., to be here. Years ago, “Mom said we had to be on our best behavior when he visited because he was holy,” said Valens’ niece, Doris Waterworth. “He could tell God if I didn’t behave.”

The family benefited from his considerable talent with a camera. “I doubt we would have any family photos at all without Fr. Valens,” said Susan Waldschmidt, sister of Doris.

Tammy Waterworth, Doris’ daughter-in-law, prizes Valens’ final gift. Last December, unable to write greetings, he recorded a reflection on CD for friends and relatives. When the family gathered for Christmas, Tammy said, “Before we did anything else, we put the tape in.”

At Leibold Home, “Valens was known as ‘The Voice’,” said Fr. Cyprian Berens, Chaplain Emeritus. “He wasn’t brilliant, he wasn’t a scholar, but he was a deeply spiritual man.” During Valens’ long life, “He had all kinds of experiences that gave him a knowledge of people. Residents here, their attachment to him was very strong.” Beset by the fears and ailments that accompany aging, they were assured by Valens, “The first 100 years are the hardest,” according to Aundrea Moore, one of his nurses.

Aging gracefully: Valens as a young friar and in a recent portrait.Valens is third from left, top row, in this Mission Band photo. How many friars can you name?PHOTOS BY FRANK JASPER, OFMValens and Cyprian Berens at a provincial gathering.Valens in his office at the Pauline Warfield Lewis CenterPHOTOS  BY TONI CASHNELLIGene Mayer and Cyprian Berens at the funeral.Gene Mayer and Cyprian Berens at the funeral.Valens in the darkroom.Aundrea Moore and Carol Gallegos. Parents Dora and Harry Waldschmidt in a photo displayed at the funeral3 - 9<>

Serving “little ones”

Fr. Jeff Scheeler, the celebrant for Mass, welcomed guests to Leibold Home, “a place where Valens dedicated so much energy, a place he loved.” He noted the absence of Valens’ sister: “Alma [DeJohn] was not able to join us,” although at 101 she still lives on her own in Florida.

Homilist Fr. Fred Link called the reading from the Beatitudes “one of the more common Gospel readings chosen when families prepare the liturgy” for a loved one. In this case, “Valens requested it be read because the people described, those at the end of their rope, those who mourn, are those to whom he dedicated most of his life.”

For 27 years and later as Chaplain Emeritus, Valens ministered to the mentally ill at Pauline Warfield Lewis Center, formerly Longview. “Fr. Val faithfully devoted his energy to these little ones, among those most vulnerable in society,” Fred said. In a 1986 newspaper interview Valens told a reporter, “I get to know the residents as people….they have a need for love and recognition like everyone else.” As Fred said, “He gave them love and recognition and in return found happiness.”

In Valens’ last ministry at Leibold Home, he was “telling us and encouraging us to open our eyes and our hearts to love the little ones all around us, even in our own homes, encouraging us to accept the littleness and brokenness in ourselves.”

Fred called Valens “a preacher par excellence” in the two major ministries that defined his life as a friar. If he were here, he would “preach today about the importance of putting ourselves in God’s hands as dependent little ones.”

A final message

Valens had chosen the second reading from Romans: “Neither death nor life….will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Fred said it was his way of “wanting us to know that message and take it with us.”

The reading from Isaiah chosen by Fred – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” – “clearly describes Valens’ vocation, his life as he lived it. The Spirit of the Lord was surely upon him as he brought Good News to the afflicted and bound up their wounds. We honor you, dear Fr. Val, for allowing the Spirit to work through you. Thank you for your awesome example.”

Br. Norbert Bertram had told Fred that a few days before Valens died, “He was praying to the Blessed Mother and heard her say, ‘Something good is going to happen.’ And it did.”

Valens had the last word. “Listen to him speak, just for a minute,” Fred said, and Frank Jasper opened a laptop to play part of Valens’ audio Christmas message. One last time, The Voice resounded throughout the chapel as Valens shared his thoughts about “gifts of nature, beautiful young people, works of art, beautiful old people” and much more.

After Mass, resident Carol Schaljo was asked to describe Valens in one word. Her response was, “‘Joy’. I know friars say it all the time, but there is no better word to associate with Fr. Valens. His homilies were always about beauty, truth and light. Many of us will never forget them.

“He exemplified Francis like no one I’ve ever known. Even unspoken, Val’s message was always love.”

Remarkable for his age? He was remarkable for any age.

Franciscan education: Values, life lessons

BY TONI CASHNELLI

PHOTOS BY TONI CASHNELLIPat McCloskey, Sam Hoefling and Ross ChamberlandIt’s Friday at Roger Bacon High School, oh so close to the weekend. And they expect kids to sit through a serious discussion?

But someone made the right call in scheduling an assembly to cap off Catholic Schools Week. Students are not only attentive, they’re receptive and responsive.

The topic, “What’s the Value of a Franciscan Education?”, is something that’s hard to define. “What does it mean to be Franciscan?”,   teacher Fr. Roger Lopez asks, standing before a microphone, facing a sea of students. “What is special about this Franciscan spirit? Does it mean just having men walk around in brown robes? Why did Franciscans build this institution 89 years ago?”

To answer those questions, they’ve asked students, teachers and alumni to talk about their time at Bacon. A friar from St. Bonaventure University will talk about continuing their Franciscan education.

Tony Luken and Morgan HausfeldWhat’s important to senior Tony Luken?  “Joy, humility, peacemaking, discipline, simplicity – values for life,” he says. His personal favorites: “Incarnation, universality, stewardship and holiness. We are Roger Bacon. We are Franciscan.”

For junior Morgan Hausfeld, “The thing that makes a Franciscan school different is the focus on simplicity and living simply. When they say Roger Bacon is a family, they really mean it.”

Teacher and alum Paul Wittekind gets a rousing reception. “What is Franciscan education?” he asks. Bacon emphasizes its core values throughout the year. “Like trying to herd cats,” is how Fr. John Quigley once described Franciscanism. “Franciscans express their love of God and all people in a multitude of ways,” Paul says. “I think herding Spartans may be like trying to herd cats. Our diversity makes us a Franciscan school.”

Ross Chamberland, RB President Tom Burke and Roger Lopez: St. Bonaventure is giving RB students a $5,000 financial incentive and will conduct an annual retreat for them.Sam Hoefling, a 2016 Bacon grad attending St. Bonaventure on a province scholarship, has returned to share his experience. “My overall message is family,” he says. “We’re a tight-knit group here. St. Bonaventure is also a family. I feel welcomed, cared for exactly as I did with Roger Bacon.”

Holy Name friar Fr. Ross Chamberland delivers what he admits is “a shameless plug” for St. Bonaventure, where he serves as Executive Director and Special Assistant to the Vice President. Franciscan education is about “the unique gift Francis gave the world,” he says. “If he hadn’t lived, then none of us would be here.” The legacy of Francis, the thing that defines Franciscans, is “relationships, brotherhood. If you like what you’re experiencing in the Christian world here, you’re gonna love it at St. Bonaventure.” While “you will have struggles, you will have great joy.”

Roger sends students on their way with gratitude for their attention. “Thank you for opening your minds and hearts to the beauty of Catholic education.”

The silence is broken with an explosion of chatter as students go forth to finish their day and meet the weekend head-on.

Artwork evokes memories of friars

PHOTOS  BY GREG FRIEDMAN,OFM (Fr. Greg Friedman writes from the General Curia in Rome, where he’s preparing his chapter report while waiting to resume his duties as General Visitor in Pakistan.)

While staying here, waiting for my return to Pakistan, I’ve been exploring some of the artwork.

In the corridor behind the church are a series of plaques honoring deceased friars who have served in the General Curia. Notable are two friars from our province: Valentine Schaaf, who was Minister General during WWII; and Mel Brady, who served as Secretary of the Missions.

Other friars may be familiar to some of us: John Vaughn, the second American to serve as Minister General; James Perluzzi of Sacred Heart Province, who served in the Curia for many  years (and who is credited for inventing “Prayers for the Pope”); Sean Collins of Ireland, who was one of our General Visitors; and, most recently added, Anselm Moons of the Dutch Province, who worked in Pakistan and was influential in missionary projects of the Order. He addressed our Chapter in the 1980s and led off his talks with the declaration, “Mission is the passion of my life.” He is still remembered by the friars in Pakistan.

Another interesting feature can be found in the dome of the church, where Mary is depicted as Queen of All Saints. Among the martyrs and apostles is “St. Valentine.” His face is that of our Valentine Schaaf. Quite an unusual honor!

– Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM

  • That’s Roberta in the center of the program. Bill Ollendick, OFM The remarkable thing wasn’t the singing – although it was great – or the terrific turnout. It was the honoree. Feb. 5 at the First Annual Celebration and Mass Commemorating Black History Month at Holy Name Church in Cincinnati, the star was parishioner Roberta Tolliver, a lifelong Catholic and a regular churchgoer at the age of 103. “Her life speaks the joy of fidelity to faith,” Pastor Bill Ollendick wrote in a booklet prepared for the event.  “We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe” was the theme of a program hosted by TV-5 anchor Courtis Fuller and featuring a Mass with music provided by the Holy Name Choir and the OAACM Choir of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries. Bill welcomed guests with, “We may be a small parish but we are mighty. I hope that when you leave, you leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.” Even with VIP attendees like David Mann, the Vice-Mayor of Cincinnati, the spotlight shone brightly on Roberta. According to Bill, she is “a beautiful woman. She lives by herself and does everything a 60-year-old would do. If she sees trash on the street in front of her apartment, she picks it up. I told her, ‘You’re an inspiration not just to the parish, but to me.’”
  • St. Anthony Shrine and Friary is featured in the latest video in the “History in Your Own Backyard” series. Resident friar Fr. Frank Jasper gives a short history of the property and chapel, and vintage photos show the faithful processing up Colerain Avenue to attend the annual Feast Day celebrations. Watch it at youtube
  • Monday, Feb. 6, Fr. Bill Farris was proud to report, “If you have today’s copy of the New York Times newspaper, you will find my nephew, Andy Hinz, is the author of today’s daily crossword.” Introducing Andy’s first puzzle, the Times pronounced it, “A very nice debut.” Andy wrote, “This puzzle was a huge learning experience for me…This is my first published puzzle, and I am very grateful for all of the help I’ve received during the entire process.”
  • SJB’s contingent at the Interprovincial Retreat“The retreat site and the schedule were relaxing,” Fr. Dan Kroger said of this week’s Interprovincial Retreat at San Pedro Center in Winter Park, Fla., led by FIT team members Fr. Richard McManus of St. Barbara Province, Fr. Bill Beaudin of Holy Name Province, and SJB’s Fr. Page Polk. “I think we SJB friars were the largest group [with nine friars] and the friendliest,” and he adds, “the most humble.”
  • “Fr. Valens was the senior of our province, almost 97,” Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler told the congregation Feb. 1 at the funeral for Valens Waldschmidt at St. Paul’s Archbishop Leibold Home. “Now, that baton is handed on to Fr. Miles Pfalzer” [Miles will be 97 on June 5.]. When Jeff informed him of his new, lofty position, Miles asked, “What’s the salary?” Jeff replied, “Valens served for free, and you will, too.”

Your bones and teeth depend on ‘D’

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is an important part of your overall good health.  Your body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus.  Calcium and phosphorous are essential in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.

Maintaining an adequate level of vitamin D is important for all stages of life.  It helps to promote bone formation in children and can slow or stabilize bone loss in older adults.  The benefits of vitamin D reach far beyond bone health.  Sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body may protect against various health conditions, such as some cancers, muscle weakness, mood disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

There are several ways to get vitamin D:  exposure to sunlight; vitamin D-fortified foods; and dietary supplements.

Your body can create its own vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight.  Depending on where you live, you might only need 10 minutes of summer sunshine three to four times a week to help your body create the vitamin D it needs. On the other hand at some times of the year, especially in northern states, there may not be enough of the right sunlight to make vitamin D, even if you are outside all day.

Most people get very little vitamin D from the foods they eat, because there are very few foods that contain vitamin D. Foods that naturally contain vitamin D include fatty fish, fish oil, eggs, cheese, and butter.  There are also fortified foods, such as, milk, some brands of orange juice, and some vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals.

Lastly, there are vitamin D supplements available both over the counter and by prescription.  If you are concerned that you are not getting enough vitamin D, be sure to talk to your family doctor.  The doctor may ask you about your diet and exposure to sunlight, as well as testing your level of of vitamin D. This will help you decide if a supplement is needed and how much you should take.

–Michelle Viacava, RN

Province Nurse

Know the risks

A low level of vitamin D in the body is referred to as a “vitamin D deficiency.” When the body is low in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus cannot be absorbed, which can cause serious health problems.  Adults who do not get enough vitamin D are also at risk for osteomalacia (weak bones), osteoporosis (thin bones), and muscle weakness. This can increase the risk of bone fractures and falls.

PHOTO BY VALENS WALDSCHMIDT, OFMA copper mining site in MichiganWith the death of Fr. Valens Waldschmidt, I inherited one of his favorite pictures—the two kids in the barrel.  It’s my favorite one too.  Val was an excellent photographer and we often discussed photography together.  He would describe the picture from memory since his eyesight was so poor and I would pull it out of his case and study it.  He was so proud of some of his work and I thought it was excellent too.  He has some classic pictures from the 1950s with the Oldenburg Franciscan Sisters in the school and Frank Geers as a young priest in Streator, Illinois.At his funeral his niece, Sue Waldschmidt, said that if it weren’t for Fr. Val, they wouldn’t have any family pictures.  He still has some family pictures that he never distributed.  I can relate to that since I too have stacks of photos waiting to go to their respective families.  I even have a few stacks of friar pictures that I’m gradually distributing.  Like Val, I will likely still have many uncompleted projects when I can no longer do them.When I went through Valens’ pictures with him, I wrote down the names of the friars and the places where they were taken.  I wish he had dated all of them, but often he could only remember them by the decade.  I find it fascinating looking at his old pictures.Monday one of our benefactors asked me to stop over and pick up a box of negatives that he pulled from the dumpster at St. Francis Seminary when it was being sold.  He thought we may want them.  When I inspected the box, I couldn’t believe the quality of the glass negatives.  They were taken between 1880 and 1935.  I hope to be able to examine them more fully in the future to determine the exact dates and locations.  Most are clearly marked on the sleeves.  Hopefully, we’ll feature them in a future newsletter.As an aside, when I spoke with Ron Cooper, our archivist, he said that pictures are useless to him unless they are dated and identified.  So, if you want to be kind to the archivist, please put the dates and names on your pictures. — Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM

Path of destructionPHOTOS  BY GREG FRIEDMAN,OFM

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Pastor Dennis Bosse said yesterday after surveying the damage in New Orleans East from the tornado that touched down Tuesday only a few minutes from St. Mary of the Angels Parish. Several dozen people were injured and about 300 homes were damaged or destroyed. Miraculously, the husband of Parish Secretary Paulette Duplessis was home at the time but escaped unharmed when winds tore through their neighborhood. Dennis photographed the bricks tossed to one side when the second story of the Duplessis home was blown away.

 

 

Archives at bottom

Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

ARCHIVES

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

Young at heart

Age was just a number for the province’s senior friar

Franciscan education: Values, life lessons

Tony Luken and Morgan HausfeldWhat’s important to senior Tony Luken?  “Joy, humility, peacemaking, discipline, simplicity – values for life,” he says. His personal favorites: “Incarnation, universality, stewardship and holiness. We are Roger Bacon. We are Franciscan.”

Artwork evokes memories of friars

PHOTOS  BY GREG FRIEDMAN,OFM (Fr. Greg Friedman writes from the General Curia in Rome, where he’s preparing his chapter report while waiting to resume his duties as General Visitor in Pakistan.)

  • That’s Roberta in the center of the program. Bill Ollendick, OFM The remarkable thing wasn’t the singing – although it was great – or the terrific turnout. It was the honoree. Feb. 5 at the First Annual Celebration and Mass Commemorating Black History Month at Holy Name Church in Cincinnati, the star was parishioner Roberta Tolliver, a lifelong Catholic and a regular churchgoer at the age of 103. “Her life speaks the joy of fidelity to faith,” Pastor Bill Ollendick wrote in a booklet prepared for the event.  “We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe” was the theme of a program hosted by TV-5 anchor Courtis Fuller and featuring a Mass with music provided by the Holy Name Choir and the OAACM Choir of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries. Bill welcomed guests with, “We may be a small parish but we are mighty. I hope that when you leave, you leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.” Even with VIP attendees like David Mann, the Vice-Mayor of Cincinnati, the spotlight shone brightly on Roberta. According to Bill, she is “a beautiful woman. She lives by herself and does everything a 60-year-old would do. If she sees trash on the street in front of her apartment, she picks it up. I told her, ‘You’re an inspiration not just to the parish, but to me.’”
  • SJB’s contingent at the Interprovincial Retreat“The retreat site and the schedule were relaxing,” Fr. Dan Kroger said of this week’s Interprovincial Retreat at San Pedro Center in Winter Park, Fla., led by FIT team members Fr. Richard McManus of St. Barbara Province, Fr. Bill Beaudin of Holy Name Province, and SJB’s Fr. Page Polk. “I think we SJB friars were the largest group [with nine friars] and the friendliest,” and he adds, “the most humble.”

Path of destructionPHOTOS  BY GREG FRIEDMAN,OFM

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

Young at heart

Age was just a number for the province’s senior friar

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

Tony Luken and Morgan HausfeldWhat’s important to senior Tony Luken?  “Joy, humility, peacemaking, discipline, simplicity – values for life,” he says. His personal favorites: “Incarnation, universality, stewardship and holiness. We are Roger Bacon. We are Franciscan.”

Other friars may be familiar to some of us: John Vaughn, the second American to serve as Minister General; James Perluzzi of Sacred Heart Province, who served in the Curia for many  years (and who is credited for inventing “Prayers for the Pope”); Sean Collins of Ireland, who was one of our General Visitors; and, most recently added, Anselm Moons of the Dutch Province, who worked in Pakistan and was influential in missionary projects of the Order. He addressed our Chapter in the 1980s and led off his talks with the declaration, “Mission is the passion of my life.” He is still remembered by the friars in Pakistan.

  • That’s Roberta in the center of the program. Bill Ollendick, OFM The remarkable thing wasn’t the singing – although it was great – or the terrific turnout. It was the honoree. Feb. 5 at the First Annual Celebration and Mass Commemorating Black History Month at Holy Name Church in Cincinnati, the star was parishioner Roberta Tolliver, a lifelong Catholic and a regular churchgoer at the age of 103. “Her life speaks the joy of fidelity to faith,” Pastor Bill Ollendick wrote in a booklet prepared for the event.  “We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe” was the theme of a program hosted by TV-5 anchor Courtis Fuller and featuring a Mass with music provided by the Holy Name Choir and the OAACM Choir of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries. Bill welcomed guests with, “We may be a small parish but we are mighty. I hope that when you leave, you leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.” Even with VIP attendees like David Mann, the Vice-Mayor of Cincinnati, the spotlight shone brightly on Roberta. According to Bill, she is “a beautiful woman. She lives by herself and does everything a 60-year-old would do. If she sees trash on the street in front of her apartment, she picks it up. I told her, ‘You’re an inspiration not just to the parish, but to me.’”

PHOTO BY VALENS WALDSCHMIDT, OFMA copper mining site in MichiganWith the death of Fr. Valens Waldschmidt, I inherited one of his favorite pictures—the two kids in the barrel.  It’s my favorite one too.  Val was an excellent photographer and we often discussed photography together.  He would describe the picture from memory since his eyesight was so poor and I would pull it out of his case and study it.  He was so proud of some of his work and I thought it was excellent too.  He has some classic pictures from the 1950s with the Oldenburg Franciscan Sisters in the school and Frank Geers as a young priest in Streator, Illinois.At his funeral his niece, Sue Waldschmidt, said that if it weren’t for Fr. Val, they wouldn’t have any family pictures.  He still has some family pictures that he never distributed.  I can relate to that since I too have stacks of photos waiting to go to their respective families.  I even have a few stacks of friar pictures that I’m gradually distributing.  Like Val, I will likely still have many uncompleted projects when I can no longer do them.When I went through Valens’ pictures with him, I wrote down the names of the friars and the places where they were taken.  I wish he had dated all of them, but often he could only remember them by the decade.  I find it fascinating looking at his old pictures.Monday one of our benefactors asked me to stop over and pick up a box of negatives that he pulled from the dumpster at St. Francis Seminary when it was being sold.  He thought we may want them.  When I inspected the box, I couldn’t believe the quality of the glass negatives.  They were taken between 1880 and 1935.  I hope to be able to examine them more fully in the future to determine the exact dates and locations.  Most are clearly marked on the sleeves.  Hopefully, we’ll feature them in a future newsletter.As an aside, when I spoke with Ron Cooper, our archivist, he said that pictures are useless to him unless they are dated and identified.  So, if you want to be kind to the archivist, please put the dates and names on your pictures. — Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM

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

Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

February 9, 2017

Young at heart

Age was just a number for the province’s senior friar

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