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.
Earlier in March 2023, Friar Antonio Moualeu, OFM Conv. met with our Minister Provincial, Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. Upon Friar Michael’s recommendation to the Definitory at the March Meeting, Friar Antonio was approved to Profess Solemn Vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, as a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province. On Aug. 14, 2023, the Feast of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., our confreres will gather in Buffalo, N.Y., to witness and celebrate in community.
More on friar Antonio’s formation journey:
July 2022 Simple Vow Renewal
At the beginning of the 2022/2023 school year, friar Antonio joined our friars living in the St. Frances of Assisi Friary (Hamburg, NY) for his Apostolic Year of Formation, living in community, while serving as the Campus Minister, at our St. Francis High School (SFHS) [Seen at right serving at the December 2022 SFHS Junior Ring Mass, and at lower left during the August 2022 Freshman Retreat].
In May 2022, friar Antonio had received his Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering, from Georgia Institute of Technology. (read more) The following July, in the beautiful SFHS Chapel, at the hands of Fr. Maximilian Avila, OFM Conv. (Friary Guardian and an Instructor at SFHS), friar Antonio renewed his Simple Vows; recommitting his desire to live the Gospel as a Franciscan Friar Conventual. It usually takes a bit longer than the three-year time frame of Simple Vows for the final preparation for Solemn (also known as Perpetual) Vows, so it is most often necessary for a friar to renew his Simple Vows, at least once during his formation journey [as seen above]. Such a Vow Renewal had not taken place in the school’s chapel for a long time, and it was a very joyous occasion.
June 2021 Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ celebration at our pastoral ministry of Holy Cross Catholic Church (Atlanta, GA) included the Eucharistic Procession through the neighborhood, led by friar Antonio
Prior to friar Antonio’s Apostolic Year of Formation with our friars in Hamburg/Athol Springs, NY, while still in study for his doctorate, he lived in a large community with student friars from several provinces, in the Post-Novitiate San Damiano Friary (San Antonio, TX), under the direction of Friar Gary Johnson, OFM Conv. (who now serves the province at Vicar Provincial). The student friars work together, supporting, learning and serving each other, as seen at left where friar Antonio helped prepare the 2019 Thanksgiving meal for the friary community. During this stage of formation, student friars not only engage in furthering their education, but also take the time to participate in active ministry. Over his summer break 2021, friar Antonio lived and served with our friars of Holy Cross Friary, in Atlanta, GA (as seen above). Even during the school year of friar Antonio’s doctoral studies, he was working in service ministries and continuing his Franciscan education. Read more about this time of formation and service in his FranciscanVoice.org December 7, 2020 article, “The Source of Joy.”
Post-Novitiate is the time of formation, after a friar has completed his year and a day in the Novitiate, and he professed Simple Vows. Along with two of his confreres (friar Raad Eshoo, OFM Conv. and friar Joseph Krondon, OFM Conv. seen at left), friar Antonio professed his Simple Vows in July 2019. These vows are also referred to as Temporary or First Vows, since they are for only three years. They most often are renewed at least once by a friar in formation before he professes Solemn Vows, just as friar Antonio renewed in July 2022. Formation usually takes 8-10 years, beginning with the first stage of Formation – the Postulancy.
2017-2018 Postulancy Class
There were five friars in the 2017-2018 Postulancy Class, of whom friars Raad, Joseph and Antonio were postulants of our province. There are many men who discern out of formation between their postulancy year and final profession. Our province is so joyful that these three men have continued to discern that for them, answering God’s Call means living their lives as Franciscan Friars Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province. Continue to keep friar Antonio and all of the friars in formation for our province and around the world, in your continue prayers. They are much appreciated.