Summer with Our Student Friars

For the Summer of 2022, friar Edgar Varela, OFM Conv. is participating in the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Swedish Hospital in Chicago, IL, while staying with the friars at our InterProvince Postulancy ~ St. Bonaventure Friary. Friar Edgar is one of eleven students in the program, from different religious denominations, ages, and cultural backgrounds. Their main goal is to be present for the patients and their loved ones by offering a listening ear and prayer.

Friar Edgar asks that you all please pray for them
as they strive to bring God’s presence
in these different encounters with His children.
Peace and all good. 

Friar Edgar is one of eight currently simply professed student friars of our province.  If you would like more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province, email our Province Vocation Directors, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. & Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv., at More information can also be found at

World Peace and Prayer Day

Our province’s Fonda, NY Shrine Ministry ~ Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site will hold a “World Peace and Prayer Day” today, June 21, 2022:

Itinerary of the Day

Welcome: Fr. Joe Angelini, OFM Conv., Shrine Chaplain
Smudging: Explained & led by Terry Steele, Shrine Advisory Council Member and Member of the Algonquin Nation, as group sings “O Great Spirit”
Thanksgiving Address and a few brief words: Tom Porter, (Sakokwenionkas – “The One Who Wins”), Elder of the Mohawk Bear Clan
Prayer for Our Earth by Pope Francis: Layna Maher, OFS, Shrine Advisory Council Member
Those Present Sang “Canticle of Sun”
Litany of Gratitude for All Faiths: Sue Cridland, Shrine Advisory Council Chair
The True Peace Prayer by Black Elk: Melissa Miscevic Bramble
Closing Prayer: Friar Joe

Be sure to visit the Shrine’s website for more information on upcoming events and for the history of the establishment of Shrine, and for more information on St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lilly of the Mohawks. During the Summer Season (April 30 – October 31), the Shrine grounds are open from sunrise to sunset daily.  St. Peter’s Chapel and Native American Exhibit are open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Saturday – Wednesday) and 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Thursday – Friday). The Gift Shop is open Saturdays (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.), Sunday -Wednesday (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Thursday by appointment (518-853-3646) and Friday, (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), with a limited online version also available. The Shrine Office is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Mass Schedule: Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m., with the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation available a half hour prior to Mass.

The Shrine’s Candle Chapel, Outdoor Sanctuary, and Hiking Trails are open sunrise to sunset year-round!

Friar Michael and Friar Gary ~ Corpus Christi 2022

Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. (Minister Provincial) and Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv. (Vicar Provincial) concelebrated the 11:00 a.m. Corpus Christi Mass with Archbishop William E. Lori, at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Among those concelebrating the Mass were His Eminence Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien (Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore & Grand Master Emeritus of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem), Most Reverend Adam J. Parker and Most Reverend Bruce A. Lewandowski, C.Ss.R. (Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Baltimore), and Fr. Louis A. Bianco (Rector of the Cathedral).

Corpus Christi 2022

On Sunday, June 19, 2022, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), the friars, parishioners and surrounding community of our Elmhurst, NY pastoral ministry ~ St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church gathered for their annual Corpus Christi Eucharistic Procession around the church block. Especially encouraged to attend were the parish’s 1st Communicants and Confirmands, who were invited to process in front of the Blessed Sacrament while strewing flower petals before the processional canopy, under which the monstrance holding the Body of Christ was elevated. The Gospel was proclaimed at four altars during the procession (see photos below): the back of the church, the front of the convent, in the school yard, and on the front steps of the church. Served by the pastoral leadership of Fr. Mirosław (Mirek) Podymniak, OFM Conv. – Pastor, Fr. Ericson de la Pena, OFM Conv. – Parochial Vicar, and Fr. Lucjan Szymański , OFM Conv. – Parochial Vicar, St. Adalbert Parish is a thriving community which includes Mass in English and Polish, and a special 2:00 p.m. Filipino Mass in English, the last Sunday of each month.

Photo Credit: St. Adalbert Parish in NY

The four altars:

In the bulletin, Fr. Mirek wrote this reflection:

Dear Parishioners,
The Feast of Corpus Christi, also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is observed every year after the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Corpus Christi procession is a centuries old tradition of the Catholic faith to process the Real Presence of Jesus – the Eucharist – in public. The feast was established in Liege, Belgium, in 1247. Pope Urban IV extended it to the universal Church almost two decades later, and the Corpus Christi procession followed soon after. Centuries later, the tradition continues at many parishes around the world.
St. John Paul said of Eucharistic processions: “Our faith in the God who took flesh in order to become our companion along the way needs to be everywhere proclaimed, especially in our streets and homes, as an expression of our grateful love and as an inexhaustible source of blessings” (Mane Nobiscum Domine, No. 18). And, Pope Benedict XVI said, Corpus Christi processions allow us to “immerse [Christ], so to speak, in the daily routine of our lives, so that he may walk where we walk and live where we live.”
The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ and its Eucharistic Procession give us, as Pope Francis notes, “the joy not only of celebrating” the glorious mystery of the Eucharist, “but also of praising him and singing in the streets of our city.” They allow us to “express our gratitude for … nourishing us with his love through the Sacrament of His Body and the Blood.”
This Sunday, June 19, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., parishioners of St. Adalbert celebrate a Eucharistic Procession around the block of the church. All are invited to follow the Blessed Sacrament as we sing hymns of praise to Our Savior. The procession will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament upon returning to the front of the church.


NOTE: Upcoming parish event – “Come Together” Parish Bar-B-Que
On Sunday, June 26, 2022, the parish will celebrate being able to join together as a parish family and give thanks. The celebration will begin with 2:00 p.m. Mass celebrated by Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Province – Minister Provincial), who will bless the parish’s new Santo Nino statue. The parish will also celebrate the the 30th Ordination Anniversary of Fr. Mirek (pastor). Learn more about this ministry on their parish website.

New Province Pastoral Ministry

On July 1, 2022, Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Pedro de Oliveira, OFM Conv. will begin his new assignment as the pastor of our newest pastoral ministry of the province ~ Our Lady of Fatima Parish, in Ludlow, MA. The parish campus is comprised of the Main church, Parish Rectory, Parish Center, Chapel of the Little Shepherds, Fátima Museum, outdoor Shrine to Fátima, and an outdoor Chapel (a replica of the Fátima chapel in Portugal, used for outdoor Mass). Inaugurated in 1949, Our Lady of Fatima Parish celebrates Mass in both English and Portuguese. On the July 2-3rd “Welcome Mass” weekend, Friar Pedro will celebrate the 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass (English), the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass (Portuguese), and the 11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass (English) for the first time.

In May 2022, Most Rev. William D. Byrne (Bishop of Springfield) and the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (Our Lady of the Angels Minister Provincial Emeritus) announced to the people of Our Lady of Fatima Parish that effective July 1, 2022, Friar Pedro would serve as their new pastor. Born in 1972, on the island of São Miguel, Azores, Portugal, Friar Pedro emigrated as a child, with his parents and siblings, to Massachusetts. He professed his Simple Vows as a Franciscan Friar Conventual in 1994, and was Ordained as a friar priest in 2000. Since 2018, Friar Pedro has been serving as pastor of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, in Pt. Pleasant, NJ. Later in the year, Our Lady of Fatima Parish will also welcome a friar of our Province’s Immaculate Conception Custody (Brazil) ~ Frei Luiz Fernando Lina Rangel, OFM Conv., to serve as parochial vicar.

Get to know our new pastoral ministry: This year marks the 74th Anniversary of the Parish’s FESTA; a special celebration preserving the memory of Fatima, Portugal. FESTA will be held Thursday – Monday, September 1-5, 2022, and all are encouraged to gather for live music, food, and dancing, as well as Sunday’s Open Air Masses and candlelight procession. More Details

Apostolic Year of Formation

Over this next year (May 2022 – May 2023), friar Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv., a simply professed student friar of our province, will be spending his Fraternal-Apostolic Year of Formation, at our pastoral ministry ~ Assumption Church, in Syracuse, NY. During his time at the parish, he will be living with our friars of St. Francis Friary, while interning as a pastoral minister at the parish’s Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen, and Franciscan Northside Ministries. He will also serve the parish as sacristan, altar server coordinator, and hospitality minister. Keep friar Joe and all of our friars in formation, in your continued prayers. For more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual, email our Province Vocation Directors, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. & Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv., at

The June 5, 2022 Launch Celebration for 11:11 at The Grotto; a place for people of all backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities, cultures and lifestyles to come together, build community and journey through life, as they gather to worship, pray, grow and serve. They meet in the lower grotto church of historic Assumption Church, Syracuse, NY. The Grotto is a ministry of Assumption Church & pictured here are team members – Adam Eichelberger (Teaching) and Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv. (Pastor), along with friar Joe Krondon, OFM Conv.

Keep up with friar Joe during this Apostolic Year of Formation,
via the Assumption Church Facebook page.

Summer with Our Student Friars

During the Summer Break from studies, the student friars of our province spend time in our varied ministries. In late May, friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv. was welcomed by our friars residing in St. Philip Benizi Friary, in Jonesboro, GA, where he will spend time assisting at the parish, until he returns to his studies. This morning, friar Raad joined Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv. (Pastor – St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church & 2022-2026 Province Definitor) and the parishioners present, in Morning Prayers before Mass. He then presented a reflection on prayer, during Morning Mass.
Keep listening to God’s Voice in your life.”

In 2020, friar Raad spent the Summer Break with our friars in Syracuse, NY.
Learn more about friar Raad’s life and vocation story in Friar Rick’s interview with him featured on a July 2020 “Tau Talks.”


Friar Raad is one of eight currently simply professed student friars of our province.  If you would like more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province, email our Province Vocation Directors, Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. & Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv., at More information can also be found at

Local Friars Attend Air National Guard Clergy Day

Fr. Nicholas Spano, OFM Conv. (Pastoral Associate – Assumption Church, Syracuse, NY & Mall Ministry Chaplain – Franciscan Place Chapel & Gift Shop at Destiny USA) and Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv. (Pastor – Assumption Church) touring the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base facilities.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022: Hosted by the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing, Friar Nick and Friar Rick joined 65 other Syracuse, NY area clergy, to take part in “Clergy Day,” an informational event, including a tour of Hancock Field Air National Guard Base facilities, to learn more about their own military chaplains and about what Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the unit do, led by the wing commander, Col. William McCrink. Chaplain (Major) Matthew Hallenbeck, the wing’s chaplain, hoped to provide participants with a briefing about what military chaplains do and the opportunities for the clergy in attendance, who serve the members of The Wing, to participate as part -time Air or Army National Guard chaplains.

Excerpt from the 174th Attach Wing Facebook Page: “Clergy members from the local community attended Hancock Field Air National Guard Clergy Day. Clergy members from the local community received a welcome briefing and a tour of the base. The purpose of the event was to continue to nurture our base’s partnership with the local Syracuse community and to express our appreciation to civilian clergy members who have shared ministry with our chapel staff in providing spiritual care to our military members and their families.”

Reflection by Fr. Ed Ondrako, OFM Conv.

From Pentecost 2021 to Pentecost 2022, I have undertaken a Franciscan tour of reactions to secular modernity. Beginning with the feast of the Mother of the Church I am offering a Tribute to Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, OFM Conv. by carrying forward what he opened up and had not yet fully articulated…


Mother of God – Mother of the Church
A Tribute to Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, OFM Conv. 20 July 1931 – 8 May 2018

In the third century we find references to Theotokos, Mother of God in prayer, but it took until 431 at the Council of Ephesus to define irrevocably Theotokos, Mother of God. In November 1964, as the history-making teaching on the mystery of the Church, Lumen Gentium,[1]was being approved by the Council Fathers, Pope Saint Paul VI solemnly proclaimed Mary as Mother of the Church. On 11 February 2018, Pope Francis issued a decree for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to be celebrated each year on the day after Pentecost. This reflection is on Mary’s Motherhood in a Scotistic key.
First, I honor my teacher, Fr. Fehlner, by carrying forward what he opened up and had not yet fully articulated. Fr. Fehlner taught the language of the Scotistic tradition as a gift and handed it on with the Franciscan tradition that the friars have for developing and elucidating what Bl. John Duns Scotus intended as we take stock of who we are as Church in modernity.
Second, in the exchange of gifts between Jesus and Mary, logically, that one who gives is active and one who receives is passive. “Jesus is active in giving divine grace to his Mother, and is passive in receiving human nature from her; Mary is passive in receiving grace from Jesus (that makes her full of grace), she is active in giving him (perfect) human nature.”[2] Mary as predestined with Christ is a grace conferred on her by her Son, not independently of Him.
Third, according to Duns Scotus, Mary’s maternity, her activity in her Son’s conception, is active, not just a passive principle in the conception and formation of Jesus’ body. Mary is an active principle! Duns Scotus’ thesis of Mary’s natural fecundity was absolutely new and drawn from Galen, a physician. The other theologians of his day aligned with Aristotle, who taught that the father alone was the active principle, while the mother had a purely passive role, offering the material for the formation of a body. The father’s seed alone possessed active power.[3]
Duns Scotus’ firm defense of the woman’s active role in the procreation of offspring is more important than ever in the debate over the sacredness of life and, to many, the overreach of the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. If the Court’s decision is to return jurisdiction to individual states, Duns Scotus’ defense of woman as an active principle remains. The Court makes civil law; the Church, the law of God. “The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.”[4]
Duns Scotus thought as taught by Fr. Fehlner builds upon St. Francis of Assisi and St. Bonaventure. Historically, they are in pre-modernity, and Fr. Fehlner recognized why retrieval of their thought was necessary for modernity. Friars and laity who studied with him witnessed a critical and analytical sense that may not have been appreciated at the time, but has everything to do with the evacuation of doctrines and practices effected by our secular modern age and the drift of the Church towards the secular. Retrieval of the thought of the Franciscan masters is necessary. Vatican II paused to ponder: Who are we? What are we about?
Hitting the pause button is often necessary because the Church, historically, is always in crisis. Candor about the impact of evacuation of doctrines and practices in secular modernity and the drift of the Church towards the secular are needed more than ever. Since he died on 8 May 2018, I realize my duty to cultivate the gifts Fr. Fehlner has left, to plumb deeper, to lead others to critically engage, and to go beyond our discoveries and contributions. In line with the subtle thought of Duns Scotus, Fr. Fehlner discovered Duns Scotus and Newman in Dialogue.[5]
Fr. Fehlner claims Duns Scotus’ Prologue to his Ordinatio to be the most subtle and systematic introduction to dogmatic-systematic theology ever written. The issues for that period of theology have been clearly identified and magisterially expounded. Fr. Fehlner lamented that our times fail to cultivate dogmatic theology, allowing instead for the substitutions of ways of thought other than the metaphysical as the primary instrument of the revelation and study of salvation history. He observed that thinking dogmatically and systematically in theology has seriously decayed. How many view Duns Scotus as one who prophetically anticipated and resolved decisive questions of a “critical” theology that emerged after he died? Duns Scotus anticipated the solution, not the errors of a Franciscan, William of Ockham, and their progression in Luther and Hegel.[6] With the dawn of modernity, Ockham’s errors began to replace and become the fashionable mode of thinking about the divine and about history.
First, Duns Scotus identified the Ockhamist problem of substituting nominalism as a metaphysician logician before it burst on the theological scene. Second, Fr. Fehlner discovered commonalities between Duns Scotus and John Henry Newman. Third, Fr. Fehlner’s genealogical thinking passes through the Greek and Latin Fathers, Augustine and his interpretation as it passes through Anselm, the Victorines, Bonaventure to Duns Scotus and Maximilian Kolbe. He lauds and retrieves the definitive form of the insights in theology and philosophy, East and West, into the structure and content of the term used by Duns Scotus, “our theology,” associated with the work and spirituality of the Poverello of Assisi.
Fr. Fehlner retrieves this “Franciscan thesis,” or opinio minorum, which revolves about the absolute primacy of Jesus Christ or the question of the primary motive of the Incarnation, and about the mystery of the Immaculate Conception or the question of the preservative redemption of Mary and of her joint predestination with Jesus. Duns Scotus does not speak of Mary’s predestination, but his immediate disciples[7] and other friars taught the uniqueness of Mary’s predestination with Christ. To have been so predestined is a grace conferred on her by her Son, not independently of him. The question still debated is: Did Duns Scotus actually teach this? Did Bl. Pius IX and his successors refer directly to the scotistic school or to what Duns Scotus expressly taught? Fr. Fehlner is clear that Duns Scotus taught the predestination of the elect, including Mary, in Christ antecedently to any prevision of sin.
Fr. Fehlner defends the vocabulary of Duns Scotus as vivifying for its exactness i.e. that all of creation is good. Fr. Fehlner sets the right tonality about Duns Scotus: the Franciscan motive of creation aligns with the original plan for Christ to be born even before the fall of Adam. He and the friars who understand the Scotistic motive of the Incarnation prefer the Franciscan School while being open to all Christian and Non-Christian religions. In future entries I will bring forth insights that unlock Duns Scotus when theologizing and Fr. Fehlner for secular modernity.

Fr. Edward J. Ondrako, OFM Conv., Tribute to Fr. P. D. Fehlner,


[1] At Vatican II, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.
[2] R. Rosini, trans. P.D. Fehlner, Mariology of John Duns Scotus (New Bedford,MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2008), 26.
[3] Rosini, 26-27. See fn. 48 re Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Richard of Middleton, and Giles of Rome.
[4] Dignitatis Humanae, The Declaration on Religious Freedom, 7 December 1965, no. 1. The best way to understand this is via Newman on development of doctrine. In 1973 I was with the New York State Catholic Conference where the senior attorney opined that Roe would be overturned within 10 years.
[5] P. D. Fehlner, “Scotus and Newman in Dialogue,” in The Newman-Scotus Reader, ed. E. Ondrako (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2015, rpt. Canonization issue, 2019), chapter 7.
[6] I will return to Duns Scotus anticipating the solution, not the errors of Ockham, Luther and Hegel.
[7] Beginning with Bartholomew of Pisa, St. Bernardine of Siena, and later Vulpes and Moral.

Fr. Edward J. Ondrako, OFM Conventual
Research Fellow Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure, Rome
Visiting Scholar, McGrath Institute for Church Life
University of Notre Dame
June 6, 2022

Reflection by Fr. Ed Ondrako, OFM Conv.

Pentecost (1615-1620) Oil on canvas, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, by Juan Bautista Mayno

The Scattering of Stars: From Francis of Assisi
to Newman, Kolbe, and the Church of Vatican II

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
… heirs of God and heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him
so that we may be glorified with him.(Rom 8:17)

Secular modernity as dis-aster is the emergent mentality which finds baffling the aggregate of Christian beliefs and its practices arcane. On Pentecost, the birth of the Church, the metaphor of the scattering of stars as dis-aster[1] is remindful of the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. In the etymological sense of stars (aster) scattering and going from one alignment to another, ponder the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God. …Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast….”[2]
In pre-modernity, Francis of Assisi refers to the Mother of God as “Spouse of the Holy Spirit.” The nature of the collaboration between Mary and the Holy Spirit is in the subtle logic of Bl. John Duns Scotus. In modernity, a constant prayer of John Henry Newman was: come Holy Spirit! Maximilian Kolbe’s theology of the Holy Spirit[3] is part of a treatise on the Trinity and study of mariology. At Vatican II, the Blessed Virgin was predestined from eternity to be the Mother of God and our mother in the order of grace.[4]  Vatican II “paused” to take time to be introspective in the crucial definition of Church as mystery. Together with Gaudium et Spes, the Church engages the World in dialogue and encounters everyone.
St. Paul’s full sense of theology of the heart or charity of Jesus which surpasses all understanding (Eph 3:19) inspires the contemplative theology of the saints from the less academic as Francis of Assisi to the more academic as John Henry Newman. Paul’s spiritualia spiritualibus comparantes (1 Cor 2:12,13), “we impart this [not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God] in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit,” play a crucial role in the development of doctrine from antiquity, theology in the fullest sense of the word. Newman’s masterful historical study is a crowning tribute to the Holy Spirit.
Since Pentecost 2021, my golden jubilee year of Franciscan priesthood, I have “paused” to reflect on a lived theology of the heart that is the gift of grace of “the Spirit who comes to the aid of our weakness … and who searches hearts” (Rom. 8). Secular modernity as dis-aster, stars (aster) scattering and going from one alignment to another, describes accurately: the immoral invasion of Ukraine; the wanton slaughter of innocent civilians; the charged division and ignorance about the sacredness of life; and, most sadly, the meaning of awe and respect due for worthy reception of the Eucharist. Prophets of lamentation offer more than a critique of the past, and prophets of jubilation offer more than a ray predicting the future.
Newman as a prophet of lamentation and jubilation aligns with Fr. Kolbe as a prophet of lamentation in the death camp to prophet of jubilation who altered the bitter sufferings of prisoners in a death camp to hope by his love. The writings of the Franciscan ‘martyr of charity,’ Kolbe, reveal that theologians have barely begun to probe the mystery of the Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit.[5] An example is Kolbe’s conference just before his final arrest:[6]
The third Person of the Most Holy Trinity did not become incarnate. Yet the expression: “Spouse of the Holy Spirit” is far profounder than this title bears in earthly affairs. We may also affirm the Immaculate in a certain way [“quasi”] is the incarnation of the Holy Spirit [as the personification]. In her we love the Holy Spirit, through her we love the Son. How little the Holy Spirit is known!
Another is a prisoner’s notes on Kolbe’s final sermon in the Auschwitz concentration camp, inspired by the Marian antiphon of Francis of Assisi:[7] “Holy Virgin Mary, among women, there is no one like you born into the world: you are the daughter and the servant of the most high and supreme King, and Father of heaven, you are the Mother of the most holy Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.” Kolbe’s pulpit, the prisoner recalled, was a pile of stones; his alb and stole, a prisoner’s uniform full of lice; his words a sword opening the prisoners’ hearts about the Immaculate in relation to the three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.
In reply to the commandant: who are you? “I am a Catholic priest,” is prophetic and apocalyptic. In 47 years Fr. Kolbe remade himself in the image of God without lifting up his heart to himself rather than to God in sacrifice for others. To Augustine, mercy is the true worship of God. Compare to Adam, whose heart had already begun to be evil even before accepting the fruit from Eve. Adam is a self-pleaser, lacks imagination, is careless, complacent and proud. He could have sacrificed himself to save Eve from the lie of the devil and her own pride. He sacrificed their companionship due to his own pride.[8] In contrast, Kolbe’s  prophetic and apocalyptic emphasis is guided by Christian faith and principles, not measurement for utility.
On Pentecost, Newman’s all-abiding concern and defense against liberal or rational religion in his pre-conversion period was the defining feature of his work. Kierkegaard, a Lutheran contemporary, confronted the break in Lutheran continuity in Denmark about engaging the current worldly state of human beings, their rebellion and alienation from God. Catholics and Lutherans overlap on sin and sinfulness, which is prophetic in substance and in tone.
On Pentecost, let us pray with Fr. Kolbe and his lodestar, Francis of Assisi: “Mother of God, Mother of our Advocate before the Father, and Spouse of the ‘other Paraclete’ or Advocate sent to the Church on Pentecost, pray for us!”

Fr. Edward J. Ondrako, OFM Conv., Remembering Forward # 10


[1] C. O’Regan defines dis-aster as the scattering of stars (aster) from one alignment to another.
[2] Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur.”
[3] P. D. Fehlner, Kolbe, Pneumatologist, His Theology of the Holy Spirit (New Bedford, MA: 2004).
[4] Lumen Gentium no. 61, repeats Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.
[5] Maximilian M. Kolbe, Writings in English (Rome, Lugano: Nerbini Int’l, 2016), KW 647, 1305, 1306.9,
[6] Kolbe Conference, 5 Feb. 1941; KW 1318 and Conference, 26 November 1938.
[7] Marian Antiphon in St. Francis Office of the Passion.
[8] Augustine, City of God, Bk 10:4-6. See J.C.Cavadini, Visioning Augustine (Oxford: Wiley, 2019), ch 10.


Fr. Edward J. Ondrako, OFM Conventual
Research Fellow Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure, Rome
Visiting Scholar, McGrath Institute for Church Life
University of Notre Dame
June 5, 2022