FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist

www.franciscan.org

May 17, 2018

A year of faith and discovery

Provincial Minister Mark Soehner with Matt Ryan and Raphael OzoudeWe asked Matt Ryan and Raphael Ozoude to share highlights from their year in postulancy at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md. They will be received into the interprovincial novitiate in Santa Barbara, Calif., on July 15.

A time of growth

BY RAPHAEL OZOUDE

When I began postulancy, I was full of enthusiasm and joy. I had been looking forward to experiencing the Franciscan way of life for quite a while. I quickly settled into my new life and Raphael at a presentation, top, and during a painting exercisewas very happy to call Holy Name College home.

As the program continued, I gradually began to experience the growing pains of living with other men, all from different backgrounds and life experiences. These growing pains did not deter me because “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24). I believe such times are permitted by God to help a man become more fully who he was created to be. I have been able to form good friendships with many of my classmates. We often eat together, pray the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet or some other prayer, or visit a shrine together, or we may just sit down and talk to each other.

With the aid of a good and experienced spiritual director, I have learned a lot more about prayer and have grown in my prayer life.

I have also enjoyed my ministry. I am a mentor primarily to a 12-year-old boy who has some challenges reading in the English language. I therefore read to him so that he can understand what is written in his textbooks. I also sit beside him in class to assist him in his classwork. During recess or any other spare time, I play soccer with him and some of the other students or I speak with them about the Faith and other related topics. My time in this ministry has helped me to grow in patience, communication and in the practice of encouragement.

Overall it has been a good year, and I am looking forward to the future with trust and joy.

(Before postulancy, 23-year-old Raphael was a student at a medical center in Houston.)

Living for others

BY MATT RYAN

Matt, center, in a D.C. march with FANThank you to all the friars for their prayers, letters, and support. It’s been a powerful postulancy experience and I’m looking forward to seeing you at Chapter. It’s hard to believe that novitiate begins in just a few weeks in Santa Barbara.

I had two wonderful ministry assignments this year: one with the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) and the other with the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C. You can be proud of the work FAN does as they faithfully live their mission of caring for creation. FAN allowed me to advocate, march, and protest on behalf of climate justice, immigrants, and against gun violence. We attended both the March for Life and the March for Our Lives, rallies against torture and racism, and we promoted interfaith dialogue with the distribution of the film, The Sultan and the Saint.

I also worked at the Holy Land Monastery as a docent and outreach volunteer. I was blessed to have gotten to know guardian Fr. Larry Dunham, as well as Fr. Greg Friedman and Fr. Charlie  PHOTOS FROM FRANCISCAN INTERPROVINCIAL POSTULANCYIn April, friars and postulants attended Mass at Our Lady of Vietnam Catholic Church.Smiech. As a bonus, Br. Ed Demyanovich became a resident of Holy Name College (home of the interprovincial postulancy) in March. So many SJB brothers in the D.C. area!

In December my fellow postulant Raphael Ozoude and I visited Detroit. We stayed at St. Moses the Black Friary with Fr. Alex Kratz, Fr. Maynard Tetreault, and Br. Louis Zant. We shared meals and participated in ministries with the friars from St. John XXIII, Transfiguration and Duns Scotus. On June 4, Raphael and I and Fr. Richard Goodin will go to Jamaica with Roger Bacon students on their mission trip. When I return, I will attend the annual meeting of the Kentucky Bar Association in Lexington and spend time with my family, including a vacation to Lake Cumberland.

I am blessed to be with you at this time and am grateful to walk with the poor and reach out to the marginalized. I am blessed to live with so many men who seek to live in community and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ– to live lives for others with brothers.

Peace and all good!

(Matt, 46, was a Public Defender in Kentucky before entering the postulancy program.)

Students turn faith into action

BY TONI CASHNELLI

PHOTOS BY TONI CASHNELLIProject leaders Tyra Jones, Alanee Wright and Lily PetreyToday was the last day of school for seniors at Roger Bacon. And as departing students do, they had mayhem on their minds.

“It’s always a dangerous day,” said school President Tom Burke. But these teens are so well-behaved, “They ask permission before they do pranks.” He’s not kidding.

“They wanted to place random watermelons all over the school,” but Tom decided no good could come from that.

A lot of good has come from other student deeds, however, and those were recognized as the Bacon community gathered this morning for its 2018 Awards in Holiness and Learning. That is, of course, the mission statement of the school: “In Sanctitate et Doctrina”. Obviously, they take it seriously.

During the program dozens of kids – not just the usual high-achievers – were honored with plaques, certificates or applause because they are generous and compassionate, not to mention smart.

Everyone helps

But before that, Principal Steve Schad had an announcement. “Is Fr. Mark [Hudak] here?” he asked the audience at the Carol Dauwe Fine Arts Center. There was no sign of faculty member Mark. “Today is the 26th anniversary of his being a friar,” Steve said. “When you have an opportunity, if you find him today, I want 480 congratulations” directed his way. That’s the whole school. But Steve expects no less.

Her family congratulates volunteer Tori White, who logged 514 hours with Friars Club.Last week, for example, Bacon was part of the faith-based GO Local campaign to beautify neighborhoods and help those less fortunate improve their property. All the students plus the entire faculty and staff showed up to work throughout the neighborhood in St. Bernard. (See thecatholictelegraph.com.)

This morning after a couple scholarships were announced, Mark arrived and was greeted with a standing ovation. Then it was back to business. If it seemed almost every student was called forward for one reason or another, that was the plan. At this inclusive event there were ovations for honor society students, artists, those who excel in Latin, science, math and technology. Scholarships honored the memories of people like Joe Corcoran, longtime Athletic Director, and Bacon grads Maria Olberding, tragically killed while running, and Patrick Wolterman, a firefighter who died in the line of duty.

Outreach Director Roger Lopez was introduced to announce service awards, but students spoke for themselves, telling how volunteering changed their lives. Ava Caldwell said she learned “the true meaning of service” during a mission trip to Louisiana. “The people of New Orleans helped me find my light,” she said, “and I hope you can find yours, too.”

Service superstars

Project leaders recapped the first-ever St. Francis Day of Giving (to create a St. Francis of Assisi Scholarship Fund), the Hairless Heroes campaign (to conquer childhood cancer), and the Laptop Revolution (collecting computers for orphans in Mexico).

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLIDanielle Fiore accepts the Br. Conrad Rebmann Service Award from Roger Lopez.Reps for Bacon Buddies, founded by the late friar Conrad Rebmann, described their work with kids at Holy Family, St. Clement and St. Francis Seraph Elementary schools. Teens from each class outlined Service Days working at soup kitchens, visiting the elderly and studying issues like immigration, homelessness, violence, drugs and hunger.

In all, they logged an impressive 5,655 hours of community service. Junior Tori White, one of the school’s top volunteers, gave 514 hours to Friars Club last year. “I started there as a coach as a freshman and fell in love with the kids,” she said.

Roger thanked his Community Outreach Board “for putting up with me, all my emails and text messages, and knowing how to spot when I’m stressed.” Presenting the Br. Conrad Rebmann Service Award, he noted the passing of its namesake. “Our Lord took him home this year,” Roger said of Conrad, who died March 12. “This award is presented to an outstanding student of service who has followed in his footsteps.”  The ovation for recipient Danielle Fiore was loud and long.

As the program ended, President Burke warned visiting adults of the stampede that would ensue when students were dismissed.

In other words, they may be exceptional, but they’re still teen-agers.

Is decline caused by age or disorder?

We all know that many things change as we age.  In normal aging, our bodies and brains slow down, though intelligence remains stable.  We are less physically and mentally flexible, and we take more time to process information.  Memory changes occur as well, and it’s common to have greater difficulty remembering names of people, places and other things as we age.

In Mild Cognitive Impairment, a person has problems with memory or another core brain function.   These problems are severe enough to be noticeable to other people and show up on tests of mental function, but not serious enough to interfere with daily life.

Dementia is not a disease.  It is a general term that describes a set of symptoms that may be caused by a number of different brain disorders.  These symptoms involve mental decline severe enough to disrupt daily life that affects more than one of the following core brain functions:

  • Recent memory (the ability to learn and recall information)
  • Language (the ability to write or speak, or to understand written or spoken words)
  • Visuospatial function (the ability to understand and use symbols, maps, etc.)
  • Executive function (the ability to plan, reason, solve problems and focus on a task)

Some impairment or loss of memory is a normal part of aging. Below are some of the symptoms that could signal the onset of dementia.

 

NORMAL AGING

Not being able to remember details of a conversation  or event that took place a year ago

Not being able to remember the name of an acquaintance

Forgetting things and events occasionally

Occasionally have difficulty finding words

You are worried about your memory but your relatives are not

 

DEMENTIA

Not being able to recall details of recent events or conversations

Not recognizing or knowing the names of family members

Forgetting things or events more frequently

Frequent pauses and substitutions

Your relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not

 

(NEXT MONTH:  Causes of dementia, and coping with age-related memory loss.)

Michelle Viacava, RN

Province Nurse

  •  It was founded in 1893 to promote St. Francis of Assisi, strong family life and good citizenship and has evolved along with our ever-changing Church, government, society and culture. This month St. Anthony Messenger celebrates its 125th anniversary with a retrospective by Franciscan Editor Pat McCloskey, who follows SAM through wars, immigration’s impact on Catholicism, Vatican II, and the massive social and political upheaval of the past century. Read Pat’s thought-provoking piece – “125 Years and Still Going Strong” – at franciscanmedia.org
  • Brian Friedman was one of Fr. Warren Zeisler’s many students at Roger Bacon High School in the 1970s. Hearing of Warren’s passing, he shared a remembrance with his brother, friar Greg Friedman. Brian writes of his former teacher: “He had that way of standing in front of the classroom -- feet spread apart, well-balanced, like he was playing basketball and awaiting a strong pass at the top of the key. He would push up the sleeves of his habit, too. He would run through the exercises from the Latin book and Warren Zeisler, OFMstart at the first row, first seat, then go down the row, up the second, down the third, etc. And we all would count ahead in the exercise book and figure out the right answer to which question we would be asked. Until one of the lousy students got it wrong and then he would skip to the next student, causing a flurry of activity -- we would suddenly have to recalculate which question we would get.”
  • The May-June issue of The Saturday Evening Post includes a tribute to Executive Editor Patrick Perry on his upcoming 40th anniversary with the magazine. It traces the Perry family’s journey from Galway to Indianapolis at the turn of the last century and their struggles to create a better life for their children. One of their descendants is Patrick’s brother, Michael Perry, Minister General of the OFM Franciscans. According to the article, “In high  school Patrick, too, considered the priesthood but then decided to attend Indiana University, majoring in literature and creative writing.” Thanks to Br. Dominic Lococo for sharing the column.
  • May 7, the Monastery of the Holy Land broke ground on a project to restore its 100-plus-year-old greenhouse, which has been largely unused for the past 38 years. A working greenhouse will help the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild harvest produce year-round and double its annual food donations to needy people in the Washington, D.C. area. “We are prepared to turn an albatross into a really beautiful thing” that will “serve the mission of the monastery in serving others,” said Guardian Larry Dunham. Read more at: Greenhouse-restoration-project
  • “My picture, Surfer Dude, was accepted into a juried exhibition at the Kruglak Gallery at MiraCosta College” in Oceanside, Calif., reports sabbatical student-friar Frank Jasper. Frank’s final project for his Frank Jasper’s surfer photo on display.photography course was a book of images of Mission San Luis Rey. Frank was really impressed by the creativity of his fellow students, some of whom are teen-agers. Among the final projects they made were scrapbooks, pictures hung on a clothesline, giant photos 3-by-5 feet, a formal website and photos accompanied by music.
  • First of several reminders: From June 12-28, 2018, the Order will gather for its Plenary Council (PCO) in Nairobi, Kenya, to reflect on what’s happening in the world, the Church and the Order. According to OFM Communications Director Alvin Te, “We will spend time in prayer, study, and discussion and hope to make decisions that will make us more effective in spreading the Gospel in a world in desperate need of it.” Sign up to receive updates during the PCO at ofm.org.
  • Michael Perry, center, in Pakistan; Custos Yusuf Bagh is at rightAnd speaking of Michael Perry, the Order’s website features highlights of an April visit by the Minister General and Greg Redoblado, Definitor General, to the Custody of St. John the Baptist in Pakistan. Read about it (and see some familiar faces) at: Pakistan

Jubilarians make us proud

Warren Zeisler, OFM It is difficult to believe that our Chapter will be happening in less than two weeks.  On May 29, the night before Chapter, we will be celebrating the Jubilees of brothers who have been friars for 25 years, 50 years, 60 years, 65 years, 70 years and 75 years.  There are also Jubilees for friar priests who have sacramentally ministered to us and God’s people for similar time frames.  I am grateful to God for raising up men who heard the call of God many years ago, but for whom this call is still fresh and vibrant.  Sure, it looks different than what you may have imagined when you first said “yes” to this surprising God!  St. Francis called this “holy newness”, according to his biographer, Celano.  Psalm 92 says: “Planted in the house of the Lord they will flourish in the courts of our God, still bearing fruit when they are old, still full of sap, still green, to proclaim that the Lord is just. In him, my rock, there is no wrong.”

John Paul Flajole is a 60-year Jubilarian.Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, says: “God is eternal newness. He impels us constantly to set out anew, to pass beyond what is familiar, to the fringes and beyond. He takes us to where humanity is most wounded, where men and women, beneath the appearance of a shallow conformity, continue to seek an answer to the question of life’s meaning. God is not afraid! He is fearless! He is always greater than our plans and schemes. Unafraid of the fringes, he himself became a fringe (cf. Phil 2:6-8; Jn 1:14). So if we dare to go to the fringes, we will find him there; indeed, he is already there. Jesus is already there, in the hearts of our brothers and sisters, in their wounded flesh, in their troubles and in their profound desolation. He is already there.” #135

I know that our brother Jubilarians have done just that over the many years, discovering over and over again what it means to be a Lesser Brother and where God is in our lives and world.  May God continue to make us new, revitalize us, re-energize us, breathing on us God’s Holy Spirit that emboldens us to be Messengers of the Great King.

 

– Mark Soehner, OFM

 

Send comments or questions to: sjbfco@franciscan.org

ARCHIVES

When I began postulancy, I was full of enthusiasm and joy. I had been looking forward to experiencing the Franciscan way of life for quite a while. I quickly settled into my new life and Raphael at a presentation, top, and during a painting exercisewas very happy to call Holy Name College home.

Matt, center, in a D.C. march with FANThank you to all the friars for their prayers, letters, and support. It’s been a powerful postulancy experience and I’m looking forward to seeing you at Chapter. It’s hard to believe that novitiate begins in just a few weeks in Santa Barbara.

PHOTOS BY TONI CASHNELLIProject leaders Tyra Jones, Alanee Wright and Lily PetreyToday was the last day of school for seniors at Roger Bacon. And as departing students do, they had mayhem on their minds.

Her family congratulates volunteer Tori White, who logged 514 hours with Friars Club.Last week, for example, Bacon was part of the faith-based GO Local campaign to beautify neighborhoods and help those less fortunate improve their property. All the students plus the entire faculty and staff showed up to work throughout the neighborhood in St. Bernard. (See thecatholictelegraph.com.)

PHOTO BY TONI CASHNELLIDanielle Fiore accepts the Br. Conrad Rebmann Service Award from Roger Lopez.Reps for Bacon Buddies, founded by the late friar Conrad Rebmann, described their work with kids at Holy Family, St. Clement and St. Francis Seraph Elementary schools. Teens from each class outlined Service Days working at soup kitchens, visiting the elderly and studying issues like immigration, homelessness, violence, drugs and hunger.

  • “My picture, Surfer Dude, was accepted into a juried exhibition at the Kruglak Gallery at MiraCosta College” in Oceanside, Calif., reports sabbatical student-friar Frank Jasper. Frank’s final project for his Frank Jasper’s surfer photo on display.photography course was a book of images of Mission San Luis Rey. Frank was really impressed by the creativity of his fellow students, some of whom are teen-agers. Among the final projects they made were scrapbooks, pictures hung on a clothesline, giant photos 3-by-5 feet, a formal website and photos accompanied by music.
FRANCISCAN FRIARS Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist
FRANCISCAN FRIARS
Office of Communications Province of St. John the Baptist