Friar Andrew Hochstedler, OFM Conv. of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Romania), is a student with our friars of the Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody.
Ordained in 2017, he is living with our friars in England while working on his MSt – Syriac Studies at the University of Oxford.
On August 4th, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history blasted outwards from Beirut’s port and swept across the city, killing almost 200 people, injuring over 6,000, and displacing more than 300,000 from their homes.
On August 7th, Friar Andrew sent us this message: “I am back in Lebanon to serve in our custody and spend time with the friars during the summer vacation from Oxford. The explosion in Beirut yesterday rocked us, very literally. But praise God, none of our friars or their family members were injured. Our church in Beirut had most of the windows shattered, even though it was over a mile from the blast, but as far as we know, there was no serious damage.”
The friars of Sin-el-Fil, on the outskirts of Beirut, are fully engaged in relief work for the local community. Our province will also be sending some financial assistance for the recovery effort.
Friar Andrew is now in Beirut helping the parish’s young people and friars with relief efforts (above). He sent these photos from their relief work, as well as a video of the moment when a blast hit the parish, while they were praying the Rosary.
The Franciscan Friars Conventual
ask you to join in prayer to
Our Lady of Lebanon
that she may encourage the citizens of that dear nation
to work together for peace, healing, and recovery.