Volume 3 ~ Issue 15; September 1-15, 2018
  • Welcome New Postulants!

  • Icon Pilgrimage Continues
  • Friar Andrew Dinegar: Desert Experience

  • NEW Fall Convocation Dates!
Interprovincial Postulancy Program
Silver Spring, Maryland

On Thursday, August 30, 12 men entered our interprovincial postulancy program in Silver Spring, Maryland. Two of them:  Adolfo Retes Mercado and Bruce Long Tran are from the Province of St. Barbara. Here is some information about them from our Director of Vocations, Friar Eric Pilarcik:

Adolfo Retes Mercado
Adolfo, 44yo, was born in Carmichael, CA. Before entering the postulancy, he was living in Sacramento, CA. He had been working at the California Charter School Association (CCSA). Our friars in Sacramento have been accompanying Adolfo for the last several years.  
Bruce Long Tran 
Bruce, 29yo,was born in Vietnam. Before entering the postulancy, he was living in Garden Grove, CA. He had been working in business management and product management. Our brothers at Ss. Simon and Jude friary have been accompanying Bruce. 

Welcome and best wishes to our new brothers! And congratulations and good luck to our postulancy team:  Friars John Gutierrez (SB), Rommel Perez (SH), Charley Miller (HNP), and Walter Liss (HNP).

Look for more information about the postulants in the next (September 15) issue of OFM.FYI. 

Photo:  Jacek Orzechowasi, ofm

Postulants Adolfo Mercato (l) and
Bruce Long Tran (r). 

Photo: Adolfo Mercato
From Friar Tom West, Provincial Secretary

Dear Brothers,

The Administration along with the Secretary of Fraternal Life and the 2019 Chapter Steering Committee have decided to add a day of recollection to our upcoming Fall and Spring Convocations. The new dates are:

Fall 2018 Convocation North
Monday October 22nd to Thursday October 25th  
at St. Francis Retreat.

Fall 2018 Convocation South
Monday October 29th to Thursday November 1st
at The Franciscan Renewal Center

Spring 2019 Convocation North
Monday March 11th to Thursday March 14th 
at St. Francis Retreat

Spring 2019 Convocation South
Monday March 25th to Thursday March 28th  
at Old Mission San Luis Rey

As usual they begin with lunch on Monday and end with lunch on Thursday.

These are very important Province gatherings as we prepare together for Chapter. All the friars are encouraged to attend one convocation each cycle. If you can not attend the one in your region either in the Fall or the Spring, please make it to the one held in the other region.

Photo: Tom West OFM. Photo: c. Peter Jordan 
From Provincial Minister Davd Gaa
Dear Brothers, May the Lord give you peace. At the recent gathering of U.S. Provincial administrations in St. Louis, our Minister General, Michael Perry, OFM, again asked for friars to join the new mission to Cuba.

If you have any interest or desire to be part of this new venture either now or perhaps in the future, please get in touch with me. 
Serra Retreat, Malibu, CA
August 7-9, 2018
By Friar Peter Boegel
As planned, Friars Ray Tintle, Oscar Mendez, and I conducted two Chapter Steering Committee sessions at the Guardians & Vicars meeting. Our first session, the guided meditation on the icon, was at the start of the meeting; our second session was at the end. The icon was on display through the entire meeting of the Guardians & Vicars. All the sessions and prayers and masses were held in the Fireside Room. Here is a selection of the 28 responses and impressions we received from friars as part of the journaling process involved. For the full text of comments click here.  

  • Praise be to you Lord for brother fire. It is difficult to let go our own way of life in the Province. It is more difficult when we are divided. Let us ask our good Lord to help us accept the reality of our times in the order. Let us be humble, and obedient to the move of the Spirit and follow God. Always together as brothers. Amen. 
  • Varias meditaciones e imágenes surgieron después de ver el ícono de San Francisco con los frailes: 1. Unificación de la creación de Dios, representada en la pequeña capilla en la parte inferior de la mano derecha: presencia de Dios. 2. Los frailes franciscanos que representan a la humanidad creada; 3. Madre naturaleza, compartiendo en armonía el fuego del amor y la vida de Dios, en la hoguera que ilumina la oscuridad y disipa la oscuridad, da calor y vida.
  • The futures of religious life lies in its mystical and prophetic dimensions. 
  • I hope there is room at the campfire for the older friars, for the future stories that unite us. I hope it’s not passed our bed time. 
  • Even in this time of transition and change, the flame of the Gospel need to b stirred and the flame cannot die. The challenge for me will be made by me to keep stirring the fire with my gifts, and not let the fire die without me. 
  • The home light is all present in the small chapel in the dark forest. The trees seem to be guarding the little group. I relate to this image as a metaphor. We’re in a context of being smaller and in a world that is becoming less interested in commitment to our faith. Logically, we should go along with this. But the warm welcome of the firelight and the starry sky draws the brothers into fraternal life for the sake of others for a mission into this less committed society. Even though it’s small, we’ll always have a home and a mission when we believe in the light of Christ. 
The icon at Old Mission San Luis Rey
August 7-10, 2018
Text by: Friar Jason Welle (ABVM)
Photos by: Friar Dick Tandy (SB)

Thirty-six friars from across the country gathered at Holy Name College August 7-10 for four days of prayer, fraternal fellowship, and ongoing formation. This gathering of SPUTY (Solemnly Professed Under Ten Years) included friars from all seven American OFM provinces. 

The event involved outside speakers to provide input, as well as time for the friars, to discuss on their own, issues in their common life. Dr. Mary Gautier, from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), gave a presentation on changes and trends in American parish life. Quinn Conners, O. Carm, provided friars a self-assessment instrument to evaluate their physical, emotional and spiritual health at this stage in their religious lives. Friar John Aherne facilitated a discussion of the Revitalization and Restructuring process in the American provinces, giving friars a chance to reflect together on what distinctive role they can play in the wake of the historic vote of May 2018. 

Friars also looked forward in anticipation to next summer, when the Minister General, Michael Perry will convene an International Chapter of Mats in Taizé, France. Several friars from the gathering in Silver Spring will travel to Taizé on behalf of their provinces, so our conversations together included time for discussion of the message they would bring on behalf of young friars in the U.S. 

G uardian Walter Liss
and the residents of Holy Name College, were gracious hosts for the event, which enabled friars traveling here for the first time to not only see the home of the national postulancy program, but also get a taste of the dynamic multicultural ministry at St. Camillus Parish and St. Francis International School. 

Friars Jason Welle (ABVM) and Bob Barko (SH) coordinated this year’s SPUTY event. Friars from Santa Barbara Province present include (in un-alphabetical order):  Louis Khoury, Juan-Jose Jauregui, Sam Nasada, Raul Diaz, Scott Slattum, Eric Pilarcik, Victor Vegas, Chris Best, Sebastian Sandoval, and Dick Tandy.

—This report originally appeared in ATP (Around the Province), the weekly newsletter of Sacred Heart Province. Thanks to editor Pepe Martinez OFM . -- ct

Photos: All photos by Dick Tandy OFM
(l to r) Friars Louis Khoury (SB), Raul Diaz (B) , and Roger Lopez (SJB)
SPUTY: Chapter of Plates
SPUTY 2018 group photo

(l to r) Friars Ed Tverdek (SH), Marc Scheckells (SH), and Scott Slattum (SB)
by Friar Andrew Dinegar

Friar Andrew Dinegar, originally from Brooklyn, New York, is a novice with the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Santa Barbara, California. This story originally appeard in the SB vocations blog:  https://sbvocations.blogspot.com/

From June 18 - July 8, 2018, I visited Santa Barbara’s Ite Nuntiate Franciscan Intentional Community, located in Elfrida, Arizona. Elfrida is a very small town, with a population of about 460 people, located 25 miles north of Douglas, Arizona. Douglas itself is a border town.
The Ite Nuntiate Community was started by Friar David Buer in September, 2017. Currently, two other friars live in Community with Brother David. They are Friar Sam Nasada and Friar Luis Runde from the Sacred Heart Province.

On June 18, Brother Sam and I visited Ajo, Arizona, for two days, staying with his friends, the Weyers, who are involved with the Ajo Samaritans. The Samaritans are a group of religious and lay volunteers who serve in desert ministry. Their work involves groups of folks who drive deep into the Sonoran desert, walking the migrant trails, carrying gallons of drinking water, snacks and other supplies, and placing them along the routes where the migrants could find these life-saving items as they cross the unforgiving desert.

On the morning of June 19, Brother Sam and I woke early. Along with Sister Judy Bourg, a School Sister of Notre Dame, and John Heid, a local volunteer, we started out on a journey which took us 14 miles in to the desert on a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and then walked another mile along a migrant trail to place our supplies. John and Sister Judy are very knowledgeable with the local desert migrant trails.

Ajo Samaritans is an offshoot of Tucson Samaritans ( http://www.tucsonsamaritans.org), a humanitarian aid organization founded in 2002. It is a mission of Southside Presbyterian Church and seeks to help prevent deaths and suffering along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Samaritans are made up of volunteers who drop off food and water in various locations in the Sonoran Desert. They come from various faith traditions or none at all. Using two donated four-wheel-drive vehicles, they carry water, food, emergency medical supplies, communication equipment and maps out to the desert daily to help save the lives of people who are crossing the landscape.

The four of us came upon a few empty water bottles (gallon-sized) and a hoodie sweatshirt, items which had been discarded by migrants walking the trail. I had been thinking of that old adage, “If these walls could talk….” Well, I used that adage in context of, “If these items could talk;” “If these desert floors and trees could talk.” What would they say? What would they speak to me?

Click here to read the complete article.
Available on YouTube

Friar Sam Nasada has just completed the editing of 23-minute video interview with Friar Anthony (Tony) Lavorin. Born on the Feast of St. Anthony (June 13), at age 98 Brother Tony is currently the oldest living friar in our Province. The complete interview was done earlier this year with Friars Eric Pilarcik and Zeno Im. This edited version is now available on YouTube with the following link:  https://youtu.be/BCmZSwOgltg

Interviewer: Friar Eric Pilarcik . Camera: Friar Zeno Im . Editing: Friar Sam Nasada .
Photo:  Anthony (Tony) Lavorin OFM . Photo: c. Peter Jordan
Friar Evan Howard’s 70th Jubilee 
San Damiano Retreat, Danville, CA
July 8, 2018

The following photos by Friar Dick (DT) Tandy are from our brother Evan Howard ’s 70th jubilee of profession celebration held at San Damiano Retreat, Danville, California on July 8, 2018. As of this writing (8/29), Evan is in the process of moving to Mercy Center, Oakland.
Friar Evan Howard (l) renews his vows. 
Provincial Minister David Gaa ( r )
Friars in background. Foreground (l) Provincial Minister David Gaa and Friar Evan Howard (r)
SDR staff and volunteers prepare luncheon. (l) Ron Roncarati, Kitchen and Facilities Supervisor. Barbara Bucher, admin. support to Hospitality Coordinator (far right)
Alexian Brother John Howard, Evan’s brother, proclaims the Word
Provincial Minister David Gaa (l) and Friar Evan Howard (r)

Friar Evan Howard addresses guests at jubilee luncheon. To the left of Evan, standing, Peter Wise, Executive Director, SDR

Friar Evan Howard

Congratulations and best wishes to our brother, Friar Eugene Burnett, who celebrated his 93rd birthday on July 13 at Mercy Center. He is shown here with Friar Freddy Rodriguez.

Photo credit: Henri Djojo
From Friar Max Hottle

Our brother Clifford Herle celebrated his 90th birthday on August 23 in style at the Little Mexico restaurant in Tucson. Ad multos annos, Cliff!

A Memorial Mass in honor of Friar Marty Gates was celebrated at the Asilo de Ancianos in Guaymas. Friar Tommy King, Executive Director of Casa Franciscana, is pictured with employees of Casa Franciscana and a photo of Marty.  Marty died on July 27, 2000.
August 1, 2018
From Friar Henri Djojo

Here are some additional photos provided by our brother, Henri, from the First Profession of Vows by Friar Pat Groves on August 1, 2018 at St. Elizabeth Friary, Oakland, CA.  We were not able to publish them in our last issue. --ct

All photos:  Friar Henri Djojo
Friar Pat Groves kneels before
Provincial Minister David Gaa. (l to r in background):  Friars John Gutierrez, Martín Ibarra (seated), and Ray Bucher.  
Friar Pat Groves signing the book.  Provincial Minister David Gaa (l) with Friars Martín Ibarra and John Gutierrez at the altar looking on.

Marjorie Edmunds
Mrs. Marjorie Edmunds, the mother of Friar Garret Edmunds, died Friday August 24, 2018 in Chula Vista, CA. She was 92 years old. Funeral Arrangements: The Mass of the Resurrection will be at 11 AM, Saturday September 15, 2018 in the Parish Chapel of San Luis Rey Parish, Oceanside, CA. Inurnment at San Luis Rey Cemetery following the Mass.

Lunch in the Parish Dining Room after the services. Please keep Marjorie and Father Garret and their family in your prayers in this time of loss.

Recent Friar Deaths in US
Friar Robert Artman (IC), Friar Albert McMahon (IC), Friar Gordon Hayes (SH),Friar Larry Nickels (SH), Friar David Moczulski (SJB), Friar William Scully (HN),Friar Walter Dolan (SH).
Friar Sam Nasada Diaconate Ordination Set
For October 20, 2018
From Provincial Secretary Tom West

Friar Sam Nasada's diaconate ordination has been scheduled. Please made note of it:

The Conventual Church of 
Our Lady of the Angels
The Franciscan Renewal Center
5802 E. Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85253-4124
Saturday October 20, 2018
10 AM
Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix, presiding

Photo:  Sam Nasada OFM. Photo: c. Peter Jordan
Secular Franciscans Sponsor:
Francis, Sign of Hope   
San Jose, California
October 27, 2018

Secular Franciscans of the St. Junipero Serra Region are sponsoring a day-long “all Franciscan family” event on October 27, 2018 (9-4) in San Jose, CA. The event will include speakers Joe Chinnici OFM and Donna Foley, OFS on the subject of “ Celebrate your Franciscan Vocation”. Cost: $30.00, including breakfast & lunch. Have questions? Email Fran Tom at fran0849@yahoo.com

To see the entire flyer, click here.
2019 Inter-Provincial Retreat
" And The Lord Gave Me Brothers... "
Presenter: Friar Richard Rohr, OFM

January 14-18, 2019 
Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale Arizona

February 4-8, 2019
San Pedro Retreat Center, Winter Park FL

For full information, click here: Retreat Brochure PDF
Photo: Center for Action and Contemplation
Mother Earth Network to Roll out
Green Churches Initiative
From Friar Hermann Borg, Director

Mother Earth, a Franciscan based care for creation network, is set to launch a Green Churches Initiative program, the program is aimed at mobilizing and engaging all the faith-based institutions such as Churches, Mosques, Temples, Synagogues among others to embrace Green Culture and Values, focusing on various green initiatives within the interfaith institutions, thus providing a platform for experience sharing on best practices as well as establishing a faith-based sustainable Greening Model.
The Green Churches Program will embrace practical activities such as; Tree growing on interfaith institutions such as Churches, Schools, Hospitals. Tree growing focusing on value-based trees such as medicinal trees, fruit trees. Awareness creation and capacity building through workshops targeting interfaith youths, women and leaders. Climate smart agriculture through promotion of Farming God's Way/ Islamic Farming and production of publications materials to inform the interfaith on emerging environmental issues.
The program is strongly anchored on the message of the encyclical Laudato Si’ that motivates the global world to embrace care for Mother Earth by practicing sustainable production and consumption, water conservation, and prevention of biodiversity loss. 

Mother Earth would therefore wish to invite all of you to join hands in supporting this campaign. You can support by letting us know what you are doing to care for creation, contribute financially towards the success of this initiative or partner with us for the implementation of the program.

Contact: Mother Earth Network, P. O. Box 15155-00509, Nairobi, Kenya. Email: motherearthnet@gmail.com Tel: +254 (0) 734 905 292
RECongress 2019

RECongress Dates
March 21 (Youth Day) & March 22-24, 2019

MARCH 2019

The Religious Education (RE) Congress 2019 will take place during March 21 (Youth Day) and March 22-24 at the Anaheim Convention Center (CA). The theme for Youth Day 2019 (Thursday, March 21) is " Trust! God’s Gotchu" and the theme for the adult days is " Thirsting for Justice” | “ Sed de Justicia” | “Khát Khao Công Lý.” The logo for the event has been designed by artist Valerie MacRae. For mailings and ongoing information about the Congress, see:  www.RECongress.org 

Photo: Artwork: Logo by Valerie MacRae.

USFranciscans.org , a website which has news from all the USA Franciscan OFM Provinces, has recently added a YOUTUBE channel to post videos from various events of the US Franciscan Provinces. USFranciscans.org also posts the newsletters of all the Provinces. To view the USFranciscans YOUTUBE channel, go to: http://usfran.us/youtube

US Franciscans is also featuring a calendar of upcoming US OFM events displayed on the friars-only portion of their website. You can see a summary of events at https://friars.usfranciscans.org/ and the events with more detail at https://friars.usfranciscans.org/calendar/.

From Friar Rodrigo Ortiz Re: St. Louis meeting reports: “Thanks. It is good to get the right information and care.

From Tom Anderson: Re: Vol.3, No. 3:  
On the very last picture of the novices by individual provinces, you did not name Matt Ryan in the picture of St. John the Baptist. You only named Rafael. – Thanks, Tom. Will correct our archival copy on that one. After I have executed that task, I will see to it that our executive director (moi?) is executed.

From Friar Ed Arambasich: Re: recent Aug visit to SB Province: I was blessed to be with the Friars this past week at St. Boniface Friary in the Tenderloin. The fraternity at St. Boniface is such a wonderful home filled with hospitality, they truly are heroes of the poor! I was so blessed to be part of that fraternity before I got sick! My hope is that one day I can return to the West Coast and help the Friars in some way. My health is great, I am cancer free so far! God has been good! Thank you again for all that you do for the Friars!
Timothy Arthur - September 1          
John Gibbons - September 3  
Vincent Nguyen - September 3         
Stephen Gillis - September 4            
William Minkel - September 8            
Nevin Ford - September 9
Mark Schroeder - September 9
James Seiffert - September 11
Richard Tandy - September 12
Philip Garcia - September 13
Ben Innes - September 14
Rusty Shayghnessy - September 21 
Emerito Gomez - September 22
Michael Dallmeier - September 24
Victor Vega - September 24
Tom Herbst - September 27
Michael Dallmeier - September 9
Richard Juzix - September 12
Roland Rovere - September 15
Mateo Guerrero - September 21
Emerito Gomez - September 22
Raul Diaz - September 23
Barry Brunsman - September 25
Jeffrey Shackletono - September 25
Vincent Mesi - September 27
Robert Valentine - September 27
Michael Guinan - September 29
Michael Doherty - September 29 
William Haney - September 29
Michael Weldon - September 29
Michael Blackburn - September 29
Miguel Obregon - September 29
Michael Harvey - September 29
Tran Nguyen - September 29
2018 Calendar
~ From Lara Hansen ~

Zeno Im Solemn Profession
September 8 ~ Holy Trinity Church, Los Angeles, CA, 11am

Fall 2018 Convocations (2 sessions)
October 22–25 ~ St. Francis Retreat, San Juan Bautista, CA
October 29–November 1 ~ Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ

Chapter Agenda Assembly
January 7–10, 2019 ~ San Damiano Retreat, Danville, CA 

Inter-Provincial Retreat (2 sessions)
January 14-18, 2019, Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ
February 4-8, 2019, San Pedro Retreat Center, Winter Park, FL

Spring Convocations (2 sessions)
March 12–14, 2019 ~ St. Francis Retreat, San Juan Bautista, CA
March 26–28, 2019 ~ Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, CA

Chapter 2019
June 23–28, 2019 ~ Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ

OFM.FYI, the bi-weekly newsletter of the Franciscan Friars Province of Saint Barbara, is published on the 1st and 15th of each month. Editor: Charles Talley, ofm. 
Relevant submissions of texts, photos, etc., are welcome at any time 
and will be placed in the next appropriate issue. 
 Send submissions to: ofm.fyi@gmail.com