Friar Deacon Emmanuel Wenke, OFM Conv. administered his first Baptism, on January 28th, as Logan (the son of two FrancisCorps11 volunteer alums: Anthony and Kathy) was baptized, at our Syracuse, NY pastoral ministry ~ The Franciscan Church of the Assumption.
May God bless Logan and his family … and Friar Manny too!
January 27 1945: The Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex’s 7,000 remaining ill and dying prisoners were liberated, a few days after nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced to evacuate the camp, during which many thousands lost their lives. 60 years later – November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 to designate January 27th as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, to mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims. It is estimated that around 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz alone, during the less than 5 years of its existence. As many as 15-20 million people may have been killed in the various 42,500 Nazi camps and ghettoes between 1933 and 1945.
Nazi hatred also included a vast array of religions, ethnicities and cultures. By 1945 at least five million gentiles had also fallen victim to it. Among those who were also killed are the 108 Martyrs of World War II, including the friars known as the Blessed Martyrs of Niepokalanów, who were declared blessed by the Saint Pope John-Paul II, on June 13, 1999, all sharing June 12th as their Feast Day. On August 14th, we honor and remember the most well-known Franciscan Conventual Friar Martyr of the Holocaust is St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., who was canonized in 1982 by Saint Pope John Paul II, and declared a Martyr of Charity.
Loving God, You care for each and every human life.
All people are cherished as Your beloved children,
no matter how ordinary or extraordinary their stories are.
Today we come before You
to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
We lament the loss of the six million Jews
who were killed in the Holocaust,
the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution,
and victims of all genocides.
May our minds be clear and attentive to their memory,
and our hearts be moved to bear witness to their lives.
Help us all to turn away from hatred and division,
and to build a world where genocide is no more.
Strengthen us so that we,
in our own ordinary ways,
may show extraordinary love in the world today.
January 23-25, 2022: Our Minister Provincial, Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. was in attendance at the annual Winter Leadership Gathering for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM). The major superiors in attendance participated in deep conversation around a variety of leadership issues. “CMSM is the national organization representing leaders of Catholic religious institutes for men, monasteries, and societies of apostolic life in the United States. CMSM is both a common voice for male religious and an advocate for their individual charisms.”
Blessed Mother, Protector of Religious ~ Pray for Us.
These linked RESOURCES were jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches
Prayer for each day, taken from the Vatican News Facebook page: Day 1
Lord, You called Your people from slavery into freedom. Give us strength and courage to seek out those who are standing in need of justice. Allow us to see this need and provide help, and through Your Holy Spirit gather us into the one fold of Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Amen Day 2
God, You are the source of our wisdom. We pray for wisdom and courage to do justice, to respond to what is wrong in the world by acting to make it right; we pray for wisdom and courage to grow in the unity of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who with You and the Holy Spirit, reigns forever and ever. Amen Day 3
Gracious and loving God, expand our vision that we might see the mission we share with all of our Christian brothers and sisters, to show forth the justice and loving kindness of Your kingdom. Help us to welcome our neighbours as Your Son welcomed us. Help us to be more generous as we witness to the grace that You freely give us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Day 4
God of justice and grace, remove the scales from our eyes so we can truly see the oppression around us. We pray in the name of Jesus who saw the crowds and had compassion for them. Amen. Day 5
God of the oppressed, open our eyes to the harm that continues to be inflicted on our sisters and brothers in Christ. May Your Spirit give us the courage to sing in unison, and raise our voices with those whose suffering is unheard. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Day 6
God of Love, we thank You for Your unending care and love for us. Help us to sing redemption songs. Open wide our hearts to receive your love and to extend Your compassion to the whole of the human family. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Day 7
God of Hope, help us to remember that You are with us in our suffering. Help us to embody hope for one another when hopelessness is a frequent unwelcomed guest in our hearts. Grant us the gift of being grounded in Your loving Spirit as we work together to eradicate all forms of oppression and injustice. Give us the courage to love what, whom, and how You love, and to express this love in our actions. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. Day 8
God, Creator and Redeemer of all things, teach us to look inward to be grounded in Your loving Spirit, so that we may go outward in wisdom and courage to always choose the path of love and justice. This we pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Ecumenism, from the Pandemic to the Synod: “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is held annually, and is organized by the PCPCU [Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity] which Bishop [Brian] Farrell [Secretary] says, has as its task and mission the promotion of all the efforts of the Catholic Church to reconcile all Christians in the one Church that Christ prayed for “when he asked that we all be one, like he and the Father are one.”
Pope Francis presided over Vespers for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, to mark the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv., Fr. Maximilian Martin, OFM Conv., Fr. David Blowey, OFM Conv. and Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv. attended the January 16-20 first round of the Order’s “Midway” Meeting, held at the Seraphicum College in Rome.
If you live in the USA or Canada and want more information
on life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual,
visit FranciscanVoice.org, or
email our Province Vocation Office at email@example.com. If you are not living in the USA or Canada, but want contact or vocation information on a Province, Custody, Delegation or Mission nearest to you, visit the Curia’s Website.
January 9-12, 2023: This year marks the 800th Anniversary of the 1223 Rule of Saint Francis. Theologian, professor, speaker, and author – including contributing editor of “The Francis Trilogy,” Friar Bill Short, OFM (of the St. Barbara Province – USA, Order of Friars Minor [OFM]***), presented a conference on the histories and developments of the Rule of 1221 (Regula non bullata) and the Rule of 1223 (Regula bullata), to the Novices of the First Order Franciscan USA Novitiates. The participating Novices, including our own province’s friar Marvin Paul Fernandez, OFM Conv. (4th row – 4th from left) and friar Connor J. Ouly, OFM Conv. (2nd row – 2nd right from center), will profess their Simple Vows, at the end of this Novitiate Year. Also pictured above far right is Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv., a friar of our province who serves the Novices of our St. Francis of Assisi Friary Novitiate, in Arroyo Grande, CA, as Assistant Novice Director.
Friar Bill and friar Marvin demonstrate how a friar professes his obedience to his ordinary, in the same way that our Seraphic Father ~ Saint Francis of Assisi vowed an obedience to Pope Innocent III and his successors.
***NOTE: Just as our province
one of the Order of Franciscan Friars Conventual [OFM Conv.],
the friars of the St. Barbara Province OFMs are also
one of the three First Orders of Franciscans,
which includes the Capuchin friars [OFM Cap.].
On Thursday, January 12th, participating friars traveled to the General Curia for a practicum day and some free time to explore the Eternal City, before celebrating Mass in our Order’s Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli (The Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles aka Santi Apostoli), presided over by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, OFM Conv., who formerly served as Guardian of the Sacro Convento of the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi.
Our Friar Max and Friar Michael while visiting St. Peter’s Tomb, guided by Friar Agnello Stoia, OFM Conv., the pastor of the parish of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Vatican. Pope Francis named Friar Stoia pastor in 2021, after he had served eight years as pastor of our Curia’s Santi Apostoli. The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter houses the sacred tomb of St. Peter, the 1st Pope of the Catholic Church, in the depths of the Vatican Necropolis.
Many of the pastoral ministries of our province, include a parish or parochialschool. In addition, fifteen more of our friars also serve as educators, chaplains, scholars and administrators in high school and university level ministry.
In the Holy Father’s January 2023 “The Pope Video,” Pope Francis proposes that educators “add new content to their teaching: fraternity.” Fraternity is already at the heart of our Order. This fraternal charism is central to all of our ministries, and it is visibly evident in our parish schools and other education ministries. As the Holy Father stated in his January 2023 video reflection, “Education is an act of love that illuminates the path for us to recover a sense of fraternity, so we will not ignore those who are most vulnerable.”
If you do not already, prayerfully consider becoming a part of our education ministries, by enrolling your family in a school near you, praying for our friars serving in education ministries, or financially contributing to one of these ministries most in need.
Featured Ministry: St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ At left, 8th & 2nd grade Prayer Partners attended Mass together, at St. Peter School, the parish school of our pastoral ministry ~ St. Peter Catholic Church. These 8th graders work together to help guide their 2nd grade Prayer Partners through the correct prayers and responses, during the Liturgy. St. Peter School, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742 (732-892-1260), is celebrating aCentennial Jubileethis year. Start off your support, by joining them on January 29, 2023, for their Catholic Schools Week Kickoff, including a student led Mass and an Open House. Come back for more celebrations throughout the year, in support of our friars’ 100-year-old school, founded by our own +Fr. Peter Jachetti, OFM Conv., and “Anchored in Faith.” (Donate)
Along with the January intention of Pope Francis,
“Let us pray that educators may be credible witnesses,
teaching fraternity rather than confrontation
and helping especially the youngest and most vulnerable above all.”
Visit our province website’s Location Page to find a ministry nearest to you.