A Message from the Vocations Office

Our Lady of the AngelsWe are blessed to have this weekend to pray with grateful hearts for the vocations which we have and for the men who wish to share our way of life. Today, May 1st is the National Day Commemorating Religious Brothers and Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday.
We pray today for our friar-brothers who continue to witness to the joy of the Gospel by their consecration and service to the Church and Order. On Sunday, we pray for our friar-priests who witness to the shepherding of God’s people as followers of St. Francis.
May Our Lady, during this month of May, intercede for all of us that we may be joyful in the vocations we have received. May She intercede that men may join us as friars……Religious Brothers and Priests……journeying with God and God’s people.
Have a great day and month of May.
Fraternally,
F
r. Russell Governale, OFM Conv.
Vocation Director
Franciscan Friars Conventual
718-510-5822
vocations@olaprovince.org

 

JPIC Farm Focus

Fifty years ago we celebrated the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Perhaps not coincidentally, this period of increased awareness of the finitude of Earth’s resources was around the same time astronauts were leaving our atmosphere and giving us the opportunity to see our home from afar, such as in the famous “Earthrise” photograph. At the sight of the blue planet rising above the horizon, Jim Lovell, one of the astronauts on that Apollo 8 mission, said “The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.” While most people will never have the chance to see our common home from this perspective, I hope you are able to catch a glimpse of that wonder today by contemplating life in all its uniqueness. 

May 1- Video Consecration to Mary

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Friday May 1st, the bishops of the United States and Canada are going to reconsecrate our countries to Mary, Mother of The Church. Here at the shine will be doing the same. First, we will be praying the Rosary together with each of the five decades in a different language, reflecting the cultural diversity of our fraternity and public ministry. Secondly, we will pray together the consecration prayer, lifting up our country, our states, counties, cities, and all our people to Mary, Mother of the Church. Please join us. The video will be posted on the front page of our website on Friday, May 1st for on-demand viewing.
Change the narrative! Stay close to the Lord and his holy Mother…  and St. Anthony!
We continue to pray for all of you. Please send us your prayer intentions or light a candle by going to the “worship” tab on our website.
May the Lord give you peace.

A Message from Fr. Angelo Geiger, OFM Conv.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Long periods of isolation or, on the other hand, weeks with a lack of privacy can wear us thin. Times like these can negatively shape our perspective of what is happening around us, especially if our contact with “the outside world,” is largely filtered to us through news coverage. We need to be in control of our perspective, or better, we would benefit a great deal if we were to allow the Lord to shape our thinking.
That is why the friars and Companions at The Shrine of St. Anthony are here for you in every way we’re able. We want to facilitate bringing about the conditions that are helpful for you to encounter the Lord in your extraordinary daily circumstances. Our celebration of the Mass is live-streamed from our Companions of St. Anthony Face Book Page every morning at 8:30 a.m., and then is available for on-demand viewing.
The friars are also producing various video presentations intended to help you spiritually in the here and now.
On Friday May 1st, the bishops of the United States and Canada are going to reconsecrate our countries to Mary, Mother of The Church.
Here at the Shine, we will be doing the same. At 11:00 a.m., we will be praying the Rosary together with each of the five decades in a different language, reflecting the cultural diversity of our fraternity and public ministry. Secondly, we will pray together the consecration prayer, lifting up our country, our states, counties, cities, and all our people to Mary, Mother of the Church. Please join us. The link to the video below will also be posted on the Home Page of our Shrine website, on Friday, May 1st and remain there for on-demand viewing.
Change the narrative! Stay close to the Lord and His holy Mother…  and St. Anthony!
We continue to pray for all of you. Please send us your prayer intentions or light a candle by going to the “Worship” Tab on our website.
May the Lord give you peace.

Live-Streamed Daily Mass
Prayer Petitions

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The Holy Father has asked all Catholic to intercede for vocations, on Sunday, May 3, 2020. Will you make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life?

  • Pray for the priests who have ministered to you throughout your life, both living and dead.
  • Keep our parish priests and deacons in prayer throughout the week.
  • Encourage your children or grandchildren to consider a vocation as a priest or religious brother or sister.
  • Pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.

____________________________

In a special way, we ask for prayers for each of our friars in formation.

  • Our Postulants, who plan to be Invested in the Habit of our Order ~ July 13, 2020
    • Bram De Backer
    • Jonathan Garcia Zenteno
    • Edgar Ivan Varela
    • Michael Murphy Boes
  • Our Novice, who plans to be Sent Forth to the Post Novitiate stage of Formation ~ July 13, 2020, Professing Simple/Temporary Vows ~ July 16, 2020
    • br. Cristofer M. Fernández

For more information on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province, visit our Vocations Page or email our Vocations Director at vocations@olaprovince.org.

Infertility Awareness Week ~ Power of Hopeful Prayer

Our friars were given enthusiastic permission to share the following testimonial referencing the current National Infertility Awareness Week (April 19-25, 2020)

I’ve been feeling called lately to share our story. And then I learned it was Infertility Awareness Week…so I thought no better time than now…when we all need hope!
Many people didn’t know that Sean and I struggled with infertility for 4 years before miraculously getting pregnant with Sonia. I have Endometriosis and had Polycystic Ovaries, with blocked Fallopian Tubes, from scar tissue. My doctor at the Caritas Women’s Care practices NaPro Technology – a practice that helps to naturally restore the body to its intended function, treating a variety of gynecological issues and, if necessary, does surgery to remove lesions and scar tissue.
We anticipated getting pregnant shortly after the surgery (May 2017) because everything was clear, but it still wasn’t happening. We knew we had to trust that if it were meant to be, it would happen. I resigned to the fact that maybe we would never have children; a painful realization. But, I knew that God’s Will for our family was perfect and I had to trust that whatever He intended would bring us the greatest joy and peace.
In June of 2018, I met friar Franck Lino Sokpolie, OFM Conv., a student friar of Our Lady of the Angels Province, at a Youth Ministry conference in AZ. I was drawn to his infectious joy and felt compelled to share with him our struggle. He then began to tell me about his sister, Sonia, who was having the same struggles as I, had the same surgery as I, and bore the cross of infertility. In that same conversation, he assured me so confidently that we would have a baby one day, that we must never lose hope, and that he knew in the depths of his heart that it would happen. He promised to pray for us every day and he knew God would perform a miracle. I felt moved by the Spirit in that moment and told him that if we ever had a child who was a girl that I would name her Sonia, after his sister. Seven months later, Sean and I did a 33 Day Prayer Consecration to the Blessed Mother. It was during this time that I became pregnant. With a scare in the beginning and thinking we were having a miscarriage, brother Franck continued to reassure us of the hope that was in God’s plan.
Now, looking at our beautiful baby girl, I can’t believe it was almost 2 years ago that I met this man (well, more like kid because he is 10 years younger than I am 😂) who spoke so much life and hope into our hearts. Never once did he waiver in his confidence of Jesus and His Mother to provide grace upon grace. To be honest, his confidence and faith is what got me through those tough times because I was lacking in my own.
We pray that baby Sonia Frances (Frances after my Great Aunt who suffered many miscarriages and also the middle name of my Grandmother and Godmother) inspires hope and faith in others. God desires our joy and while things may not always work out how we hope or pray, we can be sure that miracles are constantly unfolding in our lives and that God’s plan is ALWAYS better than ours, no matter how rough the road may be.