Anyone ages 13-18 can participate! Each person should be associated with a parish, school, or campus ministry group. Each ministry needs to send chaperones to accompany its group: one adult for every 12 young people. The retreat is limited to 150 participants, so register early! What can I expect? This retreat is intended for young men and women, who would like to grow in their faith, learn more about the Franciscan tradition, connect with other young people, and have a fun weekend away on retreat.
On the ninth anniversary of the founding of Our Lady of the Angels Province (May 5, 2014), our former minister provincial, Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., offers a Marian reflection and reminisces about a simple prayer he developed at the request of St. Mother Teresa.
From April 18-20, 2023, the leadership of the Conventual Franciscan Federation met for their Spring Assembly in St. Bonaventure Friary in Chicago.
By Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.
Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv., minister provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province, was among the attendees at the Conventual Franciscan Federations Spring Assembly in Chicago. Among the topics discussed was further collaboration among the jurisdictions, initial and continuing formation issues, and justice and peace initiatives. The spiritual service of the friars to the Secular Franciscans (OFS) and the Militia of the Immaculata (M.I.) were also considered.
Procurator General Friar Maurizio DiPaolo, OFM Conv., was present for a workshop on questions concerning the abuse crisis in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia. The Most Reverend John Stowe, Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, participated via Zoom, as did Dr. Paul Ashton, an expert who works with religious communities and dioceses on these issues.
On Apr. 20, the friars visited the nearby Conventual Franciscan Parish of Mary, Mother of God, which is the combination of three parishes: St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Ida, and St. Gregory the Great. The Parish of Mary, Mother of God has the largest number of different ethnicities in the Archdiocese of Chicago, more than thirty. The staff and parishioners are greatly committed to serving the poor, the new evangelization, and fostering culture.
The next CFF assembly will take place next November in Florida. It will be followed by a joint assembly with the friars of the Federación América Latina Conventuales in Bogota, Columbia, in January of 2024.
As a deeply spiritual and environmentally conscious individual, Francis of Assisi would likely have a profound appreciation for Earth Day and its focus on promoting environmental sustainability protection of our natural planet and world. If he were alive today, Francis might speak about Earth Day, by emphasizing the importance of respecting and caring for all of God’s creation, including the earth and all of its ecosystems.
He might encourage people to see the interconnectedness of all living things and recognize that our individual and communal actions do have a significant impact on the health of this planet, this planet that is God’s gift to us all. Francis might also call for a return to a simplicity into a deeper connection to nature. He believed in living a simple life and practicing sustainability long before it become a popular concept, he might remind us that by reducing our consumption and our waste that we can live in harmony with earth and preserve its resources for future generations.
Overall, Francis of Assis’s message about Earth Day 2023 would likely be one of love, respect, and gratitude to God for the earth in all its inhabitants. He would inspire us to work together towards a more sustainable and just future for all God’s people, all of our brothers and sisters. Guided by our faith, our hope, and a deep reverence to the natural world as a gift from God, to you, to me, and to us all.
Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv., is director of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of Our Lady of the Angels Province.
FrancisCorps, based in Syracuse, N.Y., has been awarded a $2,000 grant from “CNY Tuesday’s” in Syracuse, N.Y., for motivating young people to serve others. Founded in 1998, on average, 10 volunteers provide 380 hours to approximately 1,200 men, women and children, each week of service. FrancisCorps is an official ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars.
As we prepare for Earth Day (Sat., Apr. 22), we reflect on God’s vision for an abundant life. How do the teachings of Jesus and of the Catholic Church lead us to a deeper unstanding of how we can live more simply?
On behalf of the Friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province, I wish you a very joyful blessed Easter. I think it was St. Augustine who coined the phrase, “We are Easter people and Hallelujah is our song. Our prayer for you is that hallelujah will be on your lips every day. But we know that sometimes we live like Good Friday, that our lives are difficult, but we always have to remember that Jesus’ journey did not end on calvary but was celebrated in the Garden of the Resurrection. The tomb is empty, but no longer our hearts need to be empty for Jesus risen from the dead remains among us. As we renew our baptism through these Easter waters, may God continue to shower his love upon us as he continues to promise to be with us always until the end of time.