October 2020
~OFM.FYI returns after a hiatus during the COVID-19 shutdown~
Dear Brothers, 

Yesterday in Santa Barbara the novices were invested with the habit. Ten men received the habit during the investiture ceremony at the interprovincial novitiate. Congratulations to Brothers Daniel Cruz, Tyler Grudi, Kevin Hamzik, James Kernan and Chukwuma Obadike from the Province of the Holy Name; Daniel Samsel from Province of the Assumption BVM; Philip McCarter and Brian Menezes from Province of St. John the Baptist; and Juan Luis Guerro and Joan Perez Lombera from the Province of St. Barbara. May the Lord bless you as you continue your novitiate year.

Since we could not attend because of the pandemic they were kind to send us this video of the ceremony (click here to watch it). On a personal note I was pleased when I watched the video to see ALL brothers wearing masks. Congratulations to all the novices on receiving the habit. 

Minister Provincial
Mark McPherson takes Solemn Vows
Congratulations to Mark McPherson on his Solemn Profession on September 12, 2020 at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. This Solemn Profession was unique in the fact that it was celebrated taking all the protocols required due to the Covid-19 situation.  

We were able to have it in the Mission Church with about 60 people present. Mark’s family was in attendance and with his other guests. The local friars as well as the friars from the simply professed house in San Diego also attended. 

With masks and social distancing, the profession went smoothly with great music and a timely homily by Fr. David Gaa, our Provincial. After the celebration, a lunch was served outside at the Pavilion. May Mark have a fruitful and long life with the friars!

Here is a video of the ceremony:
St. Anthony's Foundation celebrated its 70th anniversary on October 4th. The day was decreed "St. Anthony Foundation Day" by the city & county of San Francisco. Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Senator Scott Weiner, and SF Supervisor Matt Haney were on hand to mark the occasion during a short, socially distanced press conference.

St. Anthony's Foundation has done a fantastic job with their 70th Anniversary Campaign. Their efforts have seen the installation of 17 murals of hope around the city, along street banners, billboards, and taxi toppers. Several building illuminated the San Francisco Skyline to honor the milestone, including City Hall. They've also put together a website highlight the Foundation's history and impact: www.70yearsofhope.org.
“Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
of You Most High, he bears the likeness.”
(St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of Creatures)

With these words, on August 11, 2020, Fr. Oscar Méndez, OFM, Pastor of Mission San Luis Rey Parish in Oceanside, California, blessed the new solar panels for the parish. It was fitting that this was done on the Feast of St. Clare, whose name in Italian, Chiara, means light. The project from start to finish has taken a little over a year as the plans were developed, submitted to the City of Oceanside and the San Diego Gas and Electric Company for approval, then finally the actual construction. Gratitude to Mr. Don Chadwick, Facilities Manager of the parish, for managing this project from start to finish.

From St. Francis to Pope Francis and San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, all call us to care for our common home. The solar panels will have significant impact on the carbon footprint of the parish. Over the next 25 years the solar panels will save approximately 557,550 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, will reduce greenhouse gasses the equivalent of planting 149 acres of trees, and save 405 barrels of oil in fossil-fuel based energy.

There are of course significant financial savings as well. In the first year, there will be an expected savings between US$20,000 – 25,000, resulting in more than $1.1 million over 25 years. They also provide nice shade in the church parking lot.

Laudato Si’! Praised be you!

Franciscans grapple with colonial legacy of Junípero Serra

In the past months there has been much in the news regarding the legacy of St. Junipero Serra and how he is remembered. A few of Franciscans, including Fr. David Gaa, were interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter to discuss the issue. 

Read the article here.
A vandalized statue of St. Junípero Serra in San Francisco is seen June 19. The Spanish Franciscan founded several missions in what is now California. (CNS/Reuters/David Zandman) 
Mission Church Celebrates 200 Years

On September 24th, Old Mission Santa Barbara celebrated 200 years since the building of the Mission Church with a special COVID-friendly event. Mission staff held a drive-thru movie night as part of a campaign aiming to raise back money the mission had lost during the pandemic. Those who attended received snacks before watching a one-hour short film about the mission's history from the comfort of their own cars.

"We are looking at a potential 1.5 million dollar loss for this year. When we realized we couldn’t do a gala, we thought what can we do that’s really kicking off a campaign and a fundraiser to make sure that we can bring in that revenue we need to sustain a historic building,” said Suzy Plott, Old Mission Santa Barbara Community Development Coordinator.

The mission's latest campaign hopes to raise a total of $4 million dollars to both renovate the mission and replace lost funds.

If you missed Thursday night's event, there will be more opportunities to support the mission in the near future. Learn how you can donate and what the mission has planned on their website at www.santabarbaramission.org/200celebration.

As a part of the celebration, the Mission also created a 200th celebration poster which is now available in the gift shop and online.
Mission San Luis Rey Marketing Director Given the Franciscan Service Award

The Franciscan Friars of Mission San Luis Rey have voted to award Linda Causee, our Mission Marketing Director, with the Franciscan Service Award. The award is given to lay people who have shown continued care and support in our Franciscan way to our Friars. When Br. John Keisler, the Mission Guardian, told me he was nominating Linda I could not have agreed more with their selection.

Linda and her family have been a part of the Parish and Mission for many years. Linda started at the Mission working part-time in the Gift Shop. She became the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director, and then worked her way into her current role as Marketing Director. But the real reason Linda was nominated was for her support to the Friars, in addition to her full-time job at the Mission, and the countless hours she puts in at the Parish. Linda’s Catholic faith is very important to her and she lives that faith every day. She has always found time to help the Friars with so many things, like helping mend their Habits; designing and printing programs for different Friar ceremonies; decorating for those same Friar ceremonies; or just a nice person to talk to. Linda is very deserving of this reward. We are so fortunate to have someone with such dedication and love for the Mission and Friars. Congratulations Linda!
St. Boniface Street Ministry

St. Boniface Friary is located in the heart of the Tenderloin district in downtown San Francisco. In the best of times it is a neighborhood challenged by crime, homelessness & drugs. Not surprisingly, this has worsened during the pandemic.

Twice a week, Father David Gaa and Brother Martin Sanabria take to the streets around the Friary to delivery a small bit of comfort to the souls struggling in the neighborhood. The friars walk a push cart from corner to corner offering cups of coffee from a large insulated urn and individual COVID-safe baggies full of sugar, coffee stirrers, and baked goods. They also hand out rosaries and offer prayers to those they meet along the way.

Javier Alvarez            10/25
David Buer                 10/25
Javier Reyes              10/25
Jorge Hernandez      10/29
Joan Perez 10/30
Anthony Garibaldi      11/1
Bob Brady               11/4
Peter Verheggen       11/5
Ryan Thornton            11/7
James Lockman         11/8
Richard Mcmanus     11/10
Micah Muhlen            11/12
Edward Fronske        11/15
Didacus Clavel          11/19
Mateo Guerrero         11/24
Angelo Cardinalli      11/29


Ponchie Vasquez          10-31
Martin Ibarra                 11-3
Charles Talley               11-4
Melvin Jurisich               11-5
Didacus Clavel              11-7
Jeff Macnab               11-8
Ryan Thornton              11-8
Leo Gonzales              11-10
Michael Lomas             11-22
Edward Fronske           11-29
Andrew Dineger           11-30

OFM.FYI, the newsletter of the Franciscan Friars Province of Saint Barbara.
Relevant submissions of texts, photos, etc., are welcome at any time 
and will be placed in the next appropriate issue
Send submissions to: jledbetter@sbofm.org