June 29, 2017
Friars, parishioners celebrate their time together
BY FR. MARK SOEHNER, OFM
PHOTO BY ROBERT MIHOVIL, (c) 2017 Robert MihovilGoodbyes for Richard Goodin of Holy Family ParishPHOTO BY ROBERT MIHOVIL, (c) 2017 Robert MihovilPastor E.J. Stein says goodbyePHOTO BY JEFF SCHEELER, OFMLarry Dunham and Page PolkPHOTO BY ROBERT MIHOVIL, (c) 2017 Robert MihovilFriars at the Mass in GalvestonPHOTO BY JEFF SCHEELER, OFMCardinal Daniel DiNardo with Mark SoehnerPHOTO BY JEFF SCHEELER, OFMDennis Bosse returned to Galveston for the celebration2 - 6<>
“Life is changed, not ended”: These words from the First Preface for the Dead have become an anthem in my life. When I left my beloved role as pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in 2008, I was blessed with a six-month sabbatical in the high desert above Santa Fe at Sangre de Cristo. There, I learned to let go of many things that had taken up my concern.
One of the teachers who came in for a week of art showed some of his work. A beautiful lithograph entitled “Mourning Angel” shows an angel with a hand of comfort and sadness caressing a tombstone. The words under it are, “Life is changed, not ended”, in Latin, Vita mutatur, non tollitur. That captured my experience. All that seemed so precious or important or even annoying was changing.
Mass at the Galveston Island Convention Center
And our life as a Province has grown richer because of people to whom we were sent. We learned how to be better men, better Christians, better followers of Francis. So many stories were shared in our time together in Galveston – some with laughter, some with sadness. One friend told me that she was wearing purple for mourning. And we will miss these places and people, too.
Life is changed for us, not ended. God continues to encourage us into a new journey, different from what we could see in 1980 – or even three years ago. My friend Fr. Jim Willig used to say, “I don’t know what the future holds. But I know Who holds the future.” Can we entrust the care of our lives to the One Who led us to Lafayette and Galveston, and now calls us to a new journey?
BY FR. WILLIAM FARRIS, OFM
The June 25 departure ceremony from St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Lafayette began the evening before with a large, festive banquet. It was held at a nearby facility of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, and over 400 parishioners and friends of the parish came together to wish Fr. Robert Seay and Br. Juniper Crouch goodbye.
PHOTOS BY JUNIPER CROUCH, OFMPastor Robert Seay at his final Mass at St. Paul’sParish Secretary Lynda Young, right, with friends Cecilia (standing) and BettyBill Farris gives Lynda Young her Francis MedalJoe Hund, right, came from New Orleans for the banquetThe women’s auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Claver1 - 5<>
We enjoyed several varieties of Cajun food after several speeches, and many expressions of appreciation. Those present were truly thankful, both for Robert and Juniper’s 17 years of presence and ministry, and the 38 years that the friars have served at St. Paul the Apostle. Fr. Joe Hund and Br. Andrew Stettler from New Orleans came as well. I was really impressed with the genuine affection that everyone had for Robert and Juniper and how deeply they would be missed. Both of our brothers have left a beautiful legacy of gospel joy and commitment.
On Sunday the 25th, all the regular Masses were canceled so that the whole parish could gather at 4 p.m. for the friars’ final Eucharist. Several deacons, priests, Joe Hund and myself, and Bishop Douglas Deshotel of the Lafayette Diocese were at the altar, in front of a packed congregation. The parish choir was joined by singers from other choirs and provided spirited worship music.
Robert preached and the Bishop had a few words before the final blessing. He said he would be celebrating Mass during the week ahead while final arrangements were being made for a new pastor. I was asked to present the Francis Medal to Lynda Young, who has faithfully served all five Franciscan pastors as parish secretary, and has volunteered in almost every other parish ministry.
The next morning was meant to be moving day for Houston, and I left before finding out that Robert would need a heart procedure before he himself could travel.
“We had a great showing for Franciscan Media at the convention last week for the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, in Quebec City,” reports John Feister, Editor-in-Chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine. John shared this list of awards presented to the magazine, its staffers and contributors. “Congratulations to everyone, all departments, who has a hand in producing a magazine recognized as one of the finest on the continent! Special congrats to Katie Carroll, Pat McCloskey, Toni Cashnelli, and Jim Van Vurst.”
Second Place: Magazine of the Year: National General Interest Magazine, St. Anthony Messenger
First Place: Best Magazine Editorial, “Minding what Matters,” by Kathleen M. Carroll
First Place: Best In-Depth/Analysis Writing: Analysis, “What Ramadan taught me about Lent,” by Joe McHugh
First Place: Best Feature Article: General Interest Magazine, “Franciscan Respite for Refugees,” by Toni Cashnelli
Second Place: Magazine/Newsletter of the Year: National General Interest Magazine, St. Anthony Messenger
Second Place: Best Regular Column: Spiritual Life, “Ask a Franciscan,” by Pat McCloskey, OFM
Second Place: Best Illustration, Either with Art Work or Photography, “Bags,” by Jon Krause
Second Place: Best Personality Profile: Person of Interest, “The Legacy of St. Maria Goretti,” by Rita E. Piro
Second Place: Best Short Story, “My Father is Beautiful,” by Liz Dolan
Third Place: Best Layout of Article or Column: General Interest Magazine, “Flavors of the Bible,” by Jeanne Kortekamp
Third Place: Best Essay Originating with a Magazine or Newsletter: General Interest Magazine, “Mary’s Loneliness,” by Jim Van Vurst, OFM
Honorable Mention: Best Essay Originating with a Magazine or Newsletter: General Interest Magazine, “The Road to Easter,” by Mary Sharon Moore
(A number of award winners from Franciscan Media in the category of Books are recognized on its Facebook page at: facebook.com/FranciscanMedia.)
BY TONI CASHNELLI
PHOTOS BY DAVE IMHOFFValentine Young was asked to share memories.Mark Kling
Last weekend about 40 members of the Franciscan Alumni Association and their families met in Cincinnati to reminisce about teachers, classes, sports. But what made it memorable was “the Franciscan camaraderie that we have in common,” according to Mark, class of 1975. Amidst the picnic, parties and sightseeing there was worship, reflection, and the chance to honor their own.
“When I look back, I am so grateful for the outstanding role models that were there for me while I attended the ‘Farm’,” Mark says. “I feel certain that each of us can attribute so many successes to our early Franciscan formation.”
For Rick Kasper, class of ’70, and Paul Landers, ’76, this year’s highlight was the appearance of three of Rick Kasper gives Jeff Scheeler the Christian Life Awardthose role models. “I had invited Frs. Ric Schneider, Valentine Young and Tom Richstatter to come Friday evening and share memories of seminary days,” says Rick, and they did not disappoint, revealing the truth behind some storied incidents.
Saturday morning Rick and classmate Fr. Henry Beck led a mini-retreat for alumni on Franciscan Spirituality in the former seminary chapel. Rick is impressed that “So many of them do continue the spirit of St. Francis in their work and volunteer efforts.”
Vision and dedication were recognized as two friars were honored for their continuing efforts to walk the walk of St. Francis. The Christian Life Award was presented to former Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler “for his gracious pastoral service throughout his religious life and during his 21 years in provincial administration.” According to Henry, “Jeff also was very supportive of the FAA and planted seeds for how it might grow and include alums from the more recent formation programs.”
Generations of alumni in the group portraitFr. John QuigleyPaul LaRouSavio Russo
“My highlight of these gatherings with Franciscan alums and their families is to see how deeply we are united in our Franciscan charism,” Henry says. “Each reunion I have a deeper experience of my brotherhood with classmates, alums in other time periods, and their family members. I am amazed how deeply St. Francis and St. Clare and their common vision have touched us and continue to call us forward in our lives.”
No matter how many reunions he attends, says Mike Thomas, class of ’74, “The same sense of belonging to something far greater than myself happens every year.”
(Learn more about the FAA at franciscan-alumni.org.)
Frank Jasper focuses on Assisi
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This could be the way the friars who have served so faithfully in Galveston and Lafayette feel about leaving such beloved sites. In both Galveston and Mass at the Galveston Island Convention CenterLafayette, we went there about the same time in 1980. Both places had so many friars who ministered there. Some were in more permanent roles of pastor or chaplain; others came for a “formation experience”. Both places tantalized us with a similar style of fresh seafood: gumbo, etouffee, shrimp, oysters, even ‘gator!
Generations of alumni in the group portraitFr. John Quigley received the Humanitarian Award for his justice and peace work in the Order and for his commitment to Franciscans International in promoting human rights around the world. Booked for a wedding, John was unable to be there. Paul LaRou, class of 1962, spoke about John’s humanitarian service, and Savio Russo received the award on John’s behalf.