Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Padre Pio Chapter 10 questions

Padre Pio: The True Story                                                                         Chapter 10


At this point, Padre Pio wished to die – he even asked permission to die. Why might he have wanted this? How might this fit in with holiness?


What lesson does Padre Pio’s experiences with Annitta Rodote teach about prayer?


Padre Pio finally arrived at St. Giovanini Rotondo. For a while he served as a teacher – apparently not a good one in the conventional sense. How was he effective, though?


Once again, Padre Pio began to gather a group of women as his “daughters.”  What was his appeal to them? Why did he not seem to have many spiritual “sons.”?

Padre Pio continued to be troubled by health issues – but they did keep him out of the army. What lesson about God’s ways can this teach us?


Overall, what lessons does this chapter teach us as Franciscans today?



Pax et bonum

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Open Ourselves to the Gifts of the Spirit

To the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Pope Saint John Paul II

Submitted by: Sally Lynch, OFS


From a homily delivered by the Holy Father on the vigil of Pentecost,

to members of the Renewal in the Spirit (Charismatic Renewal)

about “Burning Bush” on May 29, 2004.

     “Veni, Creator Spiritus!”  On the Solemnity of Pentecost, the whole Church raises unanimously this song…The Mystical Body of Christ, spread throughout the world, invokes the Spirit from whom it receives life, the vital breath that animates its being and its action…

Thanks to the Charismatic Movement, many Christians, men and women, youths and adults, have rediscovered Pentecost as a living and present reality in their daily life.  I desire that the spirituality of Pentecost be spread in the Church, as a renewed thrust in prayer, holiness, communion and proclamation.  In this connection, I encourage the initiative called “Burning Bush”, promoted by Renewal in the Spirit.  It is about incessant adoration, day and night, before the Most Holy Sacrament; and invitation to the faithful “to return to the Cenacle” so that, united in the contemplation of the Eucharistic mystery, they intercede for the full unity of Christians and the conversion of sinners.  I sincerely desire that this initiative lead many to rediscover the gifts of the Spirit, which have their source in Pentecost…

    Dear brothers and sisters! This afternoon’s celebration reminds me of the memorable meeting with the ecclesial movements and new communities on the vigil of Pentecost six years ago.  It was an extraordinary manifestation of the unity of the Church, in the richness and variety of charisms, which the Holy Spirit infuses in abundance. I energetically repeat what I said on that occasion: The ecclesial movements and new communities are a “providential answer”, “inspired by the Holy Spirit” given the present need of the new evangelization, for which “mature Christian personalities” and “strong Christian communities” are needed.

     For this reason I also say to you: “Open yourselves with docility to the gifts of the Spirit!  Receive with gratitude and obedience the charisms that the Holy Spirit does not cease to offer! Do not forget that all the charisms are given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church!”

     “Veni, Creator Spiritus!”  Among us, with raised hands, is praying the Virgin Mother of Christ and of the Church, Together with her, let us implore and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, light of truth, strength of authentic peace.  We do so with the words of the antiphon in the Magnificat… (For vespers of the eve of Pentecost): “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of thy love: you who, in the variety of human languages, gather people in one faith, Alleluia!”

“Sante Spiritus, Veni!”

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Franciscan Day with Sisters of Life

We held a shortened day of recollection Saturday for Secular Franciscans at St. Leo's in Hilton. Father Anthony Baetzold of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal lead the retreat, celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and conducting a Benediction Holy Hour. And David Valenzuela, who had been with the Friars, but has felt called to serve outside the order (while still working with it when he can), led the music.

But the highlight of the day was the presence of two Sisters of Life.

Sister Mary Loretta Graffeo (above)

and Sister Veronica Sullivan shared the history of the order and their ministry.

They were created in 1991 by Cardinal John O'Connor in New York. They take the three traditional vows that women religious take - Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience - but also take a fourth vow: To protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. As such, they work with women in crisis pregnancies and individuals affected by abortion, run retreats, evangelize and work with the Respect Life in New York.

Sister Veronica said the ministry with pregnant women is not intended to humiliate them, but rather "to restore their God-given dignity."

The order is growing, There are now more than 100 sisters, and many others in formation. The average age of the sisters is 34. Yes, average age. Many older congregations don't even have a single member that young. But the growth of the Sisters of Life is typical of congregations that embrace Church traditions - including the wearing of a habit.

They were delightful, and full of joy. Indeed, as Sister Mary said, "There is no Sister of Life without joy."
Pax et bonum

Sunday, February 19, 2017

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Region’s OFS Saint?

Brothers and sisters, greetings and great peace always….

     Minister Ray Porzio OFS of St. Marianne Cope Fraternity located in Syracuse, informed me that the Servant of God, Brother Joseph Dutton OSF whose cause for sainthood was opened in 2015 by Bishop Silva of Honolulu was a member of their Fraternity in Syracuse.  (Born in Vermont) He was a Civil War veteran who later in his life became a Catholic and a penitent.  He worked alongside Saints Father Damien and Mother Marianne Cope.  Although he never left Kalaupapa or Molokai (after arriving there to help), Mother Marianne arranged for him to become a Secular Franciscan in the Syracuse Fraternity.

     That Syracuse Fraternity is so very blessed with a Saint (Mother Marianne Cope) and now the Servant of God Joseph Dutton OSF.

     Let us shower Heaven with our prayers so the title of “Saint” will be accorded to our brother Secular Franciscan Joseph Dutton.    
      Great peace and abundant blessings to all,

Al Picogna, OFS, Regional Minister

Pax et bonum

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Franciscan Crown Rosary

From: Al Picogna, OFS, Regional Minister
FW: [TAU-Daily] October

     The Franciscan Crown Rosary is a Rosary consisting of seven decades in commemoration of the seven joys of the Blessed Virgin (the Annunciation, Visitation, Birth of our Lord, Adoration of the Magi, Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the Resurrection of Our Lord, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and her Coronation in heaven), in use among the members of the three orders of St. Francis.

     The Franciscan Crown dates back to the year 1422. A young novice who had that year been received into the Franciscan Order had, previous to his reception, been accustomed to adorn a statue of the Blessed Virgin with a wreath of fresh and beautiful flowers as a mark of his piety and devotion. Not being able to continue this practice in the novitiate, he decided to return to the world. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and prevented him from carrying out his purpose. She then instructed him how, by reciting daily a rosary of seven decades in honor of her seven joys, he might weave a crown that would be more pleasing to her than the material wreath of flowers he had been wont to place on her statue. From that time the practice of reciting the crown of the seven joys became general in the order.

     The manner of reciting the Franciscan Rosary is as follows: The Apostles' Creed, the Our Father, and three Hail Marys having been said as usual, the mystery to be meditated upon is introduced after the word Jesus of the first Hail Mary of each decade, thus: "Jesus, whom thou didst joyfully conceive", "Jesus, whom thou didst joyfully carry to Elizabeth", and so on for the remaining five decades, which are given in most manuals of Franciscan devotion. At the end of the seventh decade two Hail Marys are added to complete the number of years (72) that the Blessed Virgin is said to have lived on earth.

     There are other ways of reciting the Crown but the one given seems to be in more general use. The plenary Indulgence attached to the recitation of the Franciscan Crown, and applicable to the dead, may be gained as often* as the crown is recited.

     It is not required that the beads be blessed, or in fact that beads be used at all, since the Indulgence is not attached to the material rosary, but to the recitation of the prayers as such. In 1905 Pope Pius X, in response to the petition of the Procurator General of the Friars Minor, enriched the Franciscan Crown with several new Indulgences that may be gained by all the faithful. Those who assist at a public recitation of the Franciscan Crown participate in all the Indulgences attached to the Seraphic Rosary that are gained by the members of the Franciscan Order. It is required, however, that beads be used and that they be blessed by a priest having the proper faculties. A translation of the pontifical Brief is given in "St. Anthony's Almanac" for 1909.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Franciscan Friars of the Renewal Gain Pontifical Recognition

A statement for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal -

With gratitude to the Most High God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Francis, and with heartfelt appreciation to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Franciscans of the Renewal rejoice on this day, December 8, 2016, for having received notice from Rome in being granted recognition as a religious institute of pontifical right. The decree was signed by his Eminence, João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and his Archbishop Secretary, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, on 13 June 2016, Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal were founded in 1987, in the Archdiocese of New York, when eight American Capuchins desired a form of Franciscan life dedicated specifically to service of the poor and evangelization. The group was established as an institute of diocesan right by Cardinal John O’Connor in 1999. Currently, there are about 100 perpetually professed members of the institute serving in 10 dioceses and archdioceses, in six countries, committed to the mission of serving the poor and most vulnerable, and passionately preaching the Gospel in the New Evangelization.

The Holy See describes the Institute’s charism: “After the manner of St. Francis of Assisi, the friars seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, as a prophetic witness that life is a pilgrimage to the Father, of faith, hope, and love of God and neighbor, made possible by the Holy Spirit. They participate in Christ’s renewal of all things through their prayer, fraternal life, service of the poor, and evangelization, as a complement to the work of those whose mission is to serve parochially.”

Fr. John Paul Ouellette, the General Servant (superior), expressed his thoughts: “After having been
nurtured so faithfully by the Archdiocese of New York throughout these years, most recently in the person of His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and now receiving this confirmation of our charism of renewal from our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we now commit ourselves ever more urgently and zealously to the living out of our consecrated life, in faithful prayer, devoted fraternity, and service to the most poor and needy among us. Please pray with us in praise and gratitude to God, on this special occasion, for his continued blessings on our Community and His Church.”

Pax et bonum