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

www.franciscan.org

March 23, 2017

The wrecking crew has done its work

Now it’s time to build

BY TONI CASHNELLI

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLIThe wall comes tumbling down.Swinging mightily, a worker slams a sledgehammer into a wall facing Republic Street. It’s quite a sight, as bricks that built St. Anthony Messenger are reduced to rubble.

“They have almost finished with the demolition of what needs to come out on the second and third floor,” says Chris Schuermann, referring to the preconstruction phase at the SAM/Franciscan Media building, across from St. Francis Seraph Church and Friary in Over-the-Rhine. As Fr. Jeff Scheeler notes in his column, it’s been messy.

But where passersby see a gaping hole and a pile of bricks, Chris sees an attractive entrance for St. Anthony Center, a new hub for outreach and social services in Over-the-Rhine. As Executive Director of St. Francis Seraph Ministries, an anchor tenant, Chris is a point person for the project. Like any major renovation, it is evolving as it moves forward. Leases have been signed by Mary Magdalen House, The Center for Respite Care, and SFS Ministries. (Also in the mix is Sweet Cheeks, the area’s only diaper bank for families in need.)

“A lot of people have their hands in this project,” Chris says. Thus far, “It’s been so positive I can’t say enough. Everybody’s been so nice and easy to work with. The central point has been repurposing a building the friars built – continuing the Franciscan legacy in Over-the-Rhine.”

Good stewards

At this point, they’re ahead of schedule. “The one thing hanging out there was all the new lighting.” Meeting this week, the Ministries board decided to spend more money to outfit the Center with energy-efficient, LED lights. “The cost savings over the long haul is astronomical,” Chris says. “The payback for that is being good stewards for everybody in the building.” What’s more Franciscan than that?

Another decision reflects the popularity of the Ministries’ Cooking for the Family program, which teaches nutritious and affordable food preparation. “We’re going to build out space for an instructional cooking kitchen in what used to be the old lunchroom” at Franciscan Media. Instead of renting space nearby as they’ve been doing, “By moving it here we can control the program. We’re not limited on what we can offer. We can have morning, afternoon and evening classes. We’re on target annually to have 300 families go through the program.”

One hiccup in the process has been happily resolved. An original partner, Franciscan Haircuts from the Heart, pulled out of the construction phase. For now, “We’re basically going to hang onto that space,” leaving it vacant, Chris says, “and not use it until we decide we need it for an expanded Sarah Center program.” One possibility is training people to operate industrial sewing machines, a healthy sector of the job market.

“While Haircuts did not physically join, Mary Magdalen House changed its design and put in salon space,” so guests who come in for showers, laundry facilities and hospitality can take advantage of grooming services offered several days a week by the staff of Haircuts.

PHOTOS BY FRANK JASPER, OFMDemolition gave them a great view of St. Francis Seraph Church.Chris SchuermannPHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLIBricks bite the dustDetaching a staircase.The new façade.Renovation started from the ground up.The metal staircase next to the loading dock is gone.Taking out an interior wall.3 - 8<>Creating a mood

Downstairs, SFS Ministries is still seeking donors to outfit its new soup kitchen with “state-of-the-art, top-notch commercial equipment.” The dining area, to be called The Mother Teresa of Calcutta Dining Room as suggested by friars, is designed to seat 200 guests. According to Chris, “We’re going to have more of a bistro look or feel than a cafeteria with long tables. We’ll have square tables so they can look at each other.” On the way in, guests can safely stow their belongings in lockers in the lobby.

For people living in uncertain circumstances, atmosphere is important. “We had a two-hour meeting today with a designer to pick a color scheme for the whole project,” Chris says. “We want it to be appropriately hospitable and welcoming and calming” for guests.

In the post-demolition desolation of this former office space, it’s hard to imagine all she’s describing. But things are coming together.

PHOTO BY JEFF SCHEELER, OFMThis will be the entrance to St. Anthony Center.Right now, like many works in progress, it is quite a mess.  Many of us have had to make adjustments: Offices had to move; parking slots have had to be reassigned; there is a fair amount of dust and noise.  The other day during Mass, the construction noise led presider Fr. Tom Speier to pray for the success of this project; a very good way to deal with it.St. Anthony Center, now in labor pains, is being born!  As Franciscan Media has outsourced many of its operations, less space was needed for their work.  Franciscan Media consolidated into the “new” building, leaving the “old” building available to be repurposed. St. Francis Seraph Ministries will become the main tenant, while subleasing space to other similarly missioned non-profits working to serve the needy in Over-the-Rhine.  The target date for completion is sometime this fall.We joke that sometimes OFM means “out for money” or “order of furniture movers,” and this project gives truth to both of these. We are blessed with generous benefactors and flexible personnel.  We are literally fulfilling our Franciscan mission to “rebuild my house” so that the resources we have been blessed with will be well used to assist those most in need.  Maybe there is something to be learned about revitalizing and restructuring from projects like this. Stay tuned!— Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM

  • Michael Charron in Grundy, Va.: at churchThis week Fr. Jeff Scheeler made his first visit to Grundy, Va., where Br. Michael Charron is enrolled in the Appalachian School of Law. Opened 20 years ago, ASL grew from a grassroots effort to establish a law school in Southwest Virginia. “ASL exists to provide opportunity for people from Appalachia and beyond to realize their dreams of practicing law and bettering their communities,” according to its website, asl.edu/.  “We attract a qualified, diverse and dedicated student body, many of whom will remain in the region after graduation and serve as legal counselors, advocates, judges, mediators, community leaders, and public officials.” The school emphasizes community service and leadership.
  • John Boissy, OFMThis week SJB’s Br. John Boissy was one of five student friars – including four from Holy Name Province – installed in the Ministry of Reader at St. Joseph Interprovincial Friary in Chicago. HNP Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen presided.
  • From March 31-April 9, Fathers Caoimhín Ó Laoide, Jeff Scheeler, and Dan Anderson will be in Dublin, Ireland, for the English Speaking Conference meeting. “Dan is participating in some sessions as one of the moderators assisting the U.S. Provincials in the Revitalization and Restructuring Project,” Jeff says. “You can contact Provincial Vicar Fr. Frank Jasper for any needs during this time.”
  • More than 215 people representing 32 religious communities of men and six communities of sisters attended last Saturday’s Brothers Symposium at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. The text of a keynote address by Br. John Mark Falkenhain, OSB, as well as links to the videotape of his talk, will be posted at: Brothers-symposium. The symposium was held in connection with the first-ever Religious Brothers Day scheduled for May 1 on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The day was planned following publication of the Vatican document on the “Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church”. To download Morning and Evening prayer services for Religious Brothers Day, visit: Consecratedlife. A prayer card commissioned for the event is attached to News Notes.
  • Seniors heard about aging gracefully“I think she did a wonderful job,” Br. Dominic Lococo says of Sr. Madonna Hoying, SFP, the presenter for this week’s Senior Friar Retreat Tuesday and Wednesday at St. Clement Friary. “She was able to give a real lively presentation on what it means to grow old, making us aware that it’s not an even, smooth, ride; it’s an up-and-down ride. She compared it to a graph like you see on the stock market that goes up and down – that’s how life is. Growing old gracefully is being open to whatever comes your way. Be upbeat, be joyful.” Wednesday, Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler talked about the complexities of revitalization and reconfiguration. “I thought it was very good,” Dominic says. Emcee Fr. Mike Chowning made a remark “that touched home. He said that when older friars say younger friars should decide reconfiguration, that’s a copout. He said that as long as we’re breathing, we have a choice – and that there are wisdom figures who can add much to reconfiguration.”
  • March 25, “Marie Gosmeyer [a volunteer at Holy Family] and I spent all day with the Archdiocesan Tribunal partaking in a workshop for annulment cases,” Fr. David Kobak writes from Oldenburg Ind. “The workshop helped deepen my grasp of canon law. Both of us are now ‘Field Associates’ for the Metropolitan Tribunal, helping those who seek annulments. Our roles greatly assist the Tribunal in their sacred work.”
  • Roger Bacon’s crackerjack team was 25-5.Congratulations to Roger Bacon’s Spartans for a terrific showing Saturday in the Division III State Championship game against the Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph Vikings in Columbus. Losing by only two points, 54-52, the Spartans tied a school record (from 2002) for most wins in one season, 25-5.
  • Pastor David Kobak snapped this photo, taken mid-meal, at last week’s birthday party for Fr. Neri Greskoviak at Holy Family Friary in Oldenburg. “I think it was his 39th!” David says. Or maybe it was his 81st? The dinner featured “homemade corned beef and loads of vegetables. A colorful cake followed.” Adding to the celebration, “It was our first friary dinner with Fr. Michael Chowning” since he moved to Oldenburg.

““The Christian life involves the practice of the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative....But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.“Obviously ‘human life itself and everything it embraces’ includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: May the works of mercy also include care for our common home.”Climate change, “due in part to human activity,” is “leading to ever more severe droughts, floods, fires and extreme weather events….Climate change is also contributing to the heart-rending refugee crisis. The world’s poor, though least responsible for climate change, are most vulnerable and already suffering its impact.”(Statement for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Sept. 1, 2016)

Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

ARCHIVES

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

PHOTO BY JEFF SCHEELER, OFMThis will be the entrance to St. Anthony Center.Right now, like many works in progress, it is quite a mess.  Many of us have had to make adjustments: Offices had to move; parking slots have had to be reassigned; there is a fair amount of dust and noise.  The other day during Mass, the construction noise led presider Fr. Tom Speier to pray for the success of this project; a very good way to deal with it.St. Anthony Center, now in labor pains, is being born!  As Franciscan Media has outsourced many of its operations, less space was needed for their work.  Franciscan Media consolidated into the “new” building, leaving the “old” building available to be repurposed. St. Francis Seraph Ministries will become the main tenant, while subleasing space to other similarly missioned non-profits working to serve the needy in Over-the-Rhine.  The target date for completion is sometime this fall.We joke that sometimes OFM means “out for money” or “order of furniture movers,” and this project gives truth to both of these. We are blessed with generous benefactors and flexible personnel.  We are literally fulfilling our Franciscan mission to “rebuild my house” so that the resources we have been blessed with will be well used to assist those most in need.  Maybe there is something to be learned about revitalizing and restructuring from projects like this. Stay tuned!— Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM

  • Seniors heard about aging gracefully“I think she did a wonderful job,” Br. Dominic Lococo says of Sr. Madonna Hoying, SFP, the presenter for this week’s Senior Friar Retreat Tuesday and Wednesday at St. Clement Friary. “She was able to give a real lively presentation on what it means to grow old, making us aware that it’s not an even, smooth, ride; it’s an up-and-down ride. She compared it to a graph like you see on the stock market that goes up and down – that’s how life is. Growing old gracefully is being open to whatever comes your way. Be upbeat, be joyful.” Wednesday, Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler talked about the complexities of revitalization and reconfiguration. “I thought it was very good,” Dominic says. Emcee Fr. Mike Chowning made a remark “that touched home. He said that when older friars say younger friars should decide reconfiguration, that’s a copout. He said that as long as we’re breathing, we have a choice – and that there are wisdom figures who can add much to reconfiguration.”

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

The wrecking crew has done its work

Now it’s time to build

Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

The wrecking crew has done its work

Now it’s time to build