March 17, 2017
Passion Play cast, crew thank ‘founding fathers’
(On April 1 the St. John Passion Play, produced by friars in Over-the-Rhine for more than 50 years, launches its 100th season. The program for the play includes the following tribute.)
The steeple is all that remains of St. John Church, site of the Passion Play for decades.Fr. Richard Wurth
Remembering how the peasants of Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps were spared of the Black Death by vowing to present a passion play, Fr. Wurth put traditional prayer into action. He engaged his flock in performing a passion play for the safekeeping of their soldiers. It was to be a prayerful plea to God that there would be no more victims of the battlefield from the parish. Miraculously, there were none.
With gratitude in their hearts, Fr. Wurth and the congregation vowed to produce a passion play each year thereafter in thanksgiving for answered prayers and continued protection for those serving in the military. In 1918 the St. John Passion Play was officially established. To date, this vow has never been broken.
During this milestone 100th season, we wish to extend our profound gratitude to the multitude of subsequent Franciscan Friars who came after Fr. Wurth for keeping the play alive at St. John Church until its closing in 1969. During those early years, the Friars assumed the directorship and other key positions related to the production of the play. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to these “founding fathers” for their commitment in presenting the passion and death of Jesus. We are grateful to each one and are humbled to follow in their footsteps and preserve this legacy.
The Cast and Crew of The St. John Passion Play
BY TONI CASHNELLI
Hilarion makes a run for it.Asked by son Michael to run 40 yards for a good cause, David O’Brien had a better idea.
He asked Fr. Hilarion Kistner to do it instead.
David, CFO for St. John the Baptist Province, is a pretty athletic guy, as is his 19-year-old son. It was Michael who heard about the #RunRichRun campaign, through which the NFL Network raises funds for and awareness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The premise: Take a video of yourself or someone else running a 40-yard dash, preferably in “work clothes”, and post it to Twitter using the hashtags, #RunRichRun and #StJude.
This year the NFL Network is donating $1 to the hospital for every use of those hashtags on social media.
The NFL Network’s Rich Eisen“I had every intention of doing it,” says David, who is slightly off his game from a torn meniscus. Then one day Hilarion stopped by the office and a lightbulb went off. David said, “We should get you to run the 40-yard dash in your work clothes.” Hilarion, who was active in sports in his school days, readily agreed.
By the way, David just turned 50. Hilarion will be 88 on his next birthday, March 27.
“What do you think of recording it?” David asked us. Of course, we loved the idea. The day of the run, he and Marilyn Wilson trained cameras on Hilarion as he jogged north on Vine Street in front of St. Francis Seraph Friary in Cincinnati.
At the finish line, Hilarion kept going. When he finally stopped, he wasn’t the least bit winded.
David was impressed. More than that, “I was inspired.”
As for Hilarion, he’s willing to do another fun run – all in the name of charity, of course.
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Wishing you all a healthy, flu-free season!
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BY BR. SCOTT OBRECHT, OFM
The kids were ready to cut loose.
March 15 at Friars Club, our Family Fun Night brought together the children, parents and coaches who participated in the three-month-long winter basketball league. The December to March league is a long stretch of four night practices and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. basketball games each Saturday that drew between 600 to 800 children and 70- plus coaches, filling our four courts.
“The evening is a celebration of our winter basketball league which this year was the largest we had, with about 250 children on Friars teams,” said Parrish Ozias, Program Director for Friars Club and coordinator of the event.
PHOTOS BY SCOTT OBRECHT, OFMThe Bubble Balloon Soccer Game was wild.They came to have funAnnie “Radar” TimmonsHitting the slideParrish Ozias at Family Fun Night1 - 5<>
The Bubble Balloon Soccer Game gathered the spectators who watched the children, shoulder strapped and hand-gripped in, trying to kick the soccer ball while inside the giant ball. The children and staff enjoyed rolling into and sending each other crashing. One little guy ended up inside the ball, flat on his back. He loosened his shoulder straps, released the hand grips and crawled out in sheer excitement.
The Game Truck parked outside the front door offered video games to challenge the kids. There was lots of laughter and smiles as the kids got into it. “The evening was like a banquet, people coming together as team mates, coaches and friends and enjoying the company of each other,” said David Routt, CISE Program Director.
It was a great night of basketball and fun and games, with plenty of food, kids running around and parents taking lots of pictures. “I always enjoy this relaxed evening of fun,” said Executive Director Annie Timmons. “I even had a chance to shoot and see if I still have it. I hit a jumper! Nothing but net reminded me of my old nickname when I played at the old Friars Club – ‘Radar’.”
Thanks to TriHealth for making the evening possible. Each child who participated in the winter basketball league and came for the Family Fun Night received a neat nylon gym bag with “Friars Basketball” and “TriHealth” embroidered on the side.
(Scott is “The Friar at Friars Club”)
PHOTO FROM AQUINAS INSTITUTEDr. Hsin-hsin HuangLast Monday and Tuesday, I participated in the regional CMSM meeting in Belleville, Ill. Part of our program was a presentation by an Associate Professor of Pastoral theology at Aquinas Institute, Dr. Hsin-hsin Huang, on the Spirituality of Aging.A delightful presenter, Dr. Huang discussed the physical, relational, psychological and spiritual challenges of the second half of life, which she likes to call the “Journey of Sageing.” She highlighted the insights of Carl Jung, Viktor Frankl, and Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. She spoke much about the loss of physical abilities, relationships, and roles. Who am I if I cannot do what I did before? She spoke of how these losses prepare us for the ultimate letting go in death. Can we surrender to Love? She talked about the need to do a life review, forgive self and others, accept limits, deal with regrets, and attend to unfinished business.As I prepare to go on Medicare and move out of the role of Provincial Minister, I found much wisdom to ponder and encouragement in her presentation. Most helpfully, she grounded her presentation in our sharing in the Paschal Mystery, the dying and rising of Jesus which we celebrate in these days. It is good to be a person of faith.— Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM
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Passion Play cast, crew thank, 'founders fathers'