Volume 3 ~ Issue 21; December, 2018
  • Migrant Caravan

  • Sister Maureen Duignan

  • PM David Gaa at St. Anthony Foundation
  • California Fires: Update

  • Secretaries of Formation Meet

  • ESC Vocations Directors Meet
Brothers, the next issue of OFM.FYI will be released January 15, 2019. Have a wonderful Advent and Christmas!-- Charles
Friars Respond in Arizona and California

Friar David Buer writes:
(November 27) Some of us had heard that there might be a civil disobedience action at some point on Sunday (November 25). So after the very powerful and emotional litany of names of those who had died in the desert or had been tortured or killed by U. S, trained troops, folks began to cross a newly installed fence by the Border Patrol. Very solemnly, prayerfully, those risking arrest began planting marigolds. They each had a little trowel to dig into the rocky soil. They brought bottles of water for the plants. Then they laid down, holding a cross, each with the name of a person who had died. And they laid still, as if they had died.

After about five minutes, I wanted to join them, so I climbed the short fence and knelt to pray. Although I've been volunteering with Samaritans since 2005, putting water out in the Arizona desert, only once have I encountered human remains, about five years ago. But it was shockingly dramatic. There were four of us tired after a long day of putting out gallon jugs of water. I saw the remains first, pointed out to everyone what we had just found and all four of us went right to our knees to pray. That scene came to my mind, kneeling there by the actual border fence.

I decided I would stay there until the authorities told us we had to leave. There was a slight risk of arrest. But as it turned out, the Border Patrol and other authorities left us alone for 20 minutes until our action was concluded. As we got up I was happily surprised to see that the woman to my right, was an old friend of 35 years from the St. Louis Catholic Worker, Loretto Sister Mary Ann McGivern, SL.

Friar Mark Schroeder writes:  
(November 16) At the School of the Americas weekend in Nogales. Our group assembles on both sides of the fence. The two pictures below are taken on the Arizona side.... Your tax dollars have paid for a new fenced in area, so we cannot get right up to the wall. This is new this year. Border Patrol "guarding" us. There is a stage on the Sonora side of the fence. Speakers and music all morning. This afternoon are workshops, presented on both sides. 
For updates and more information, check the Facebook page for Franciscans For Justice. Website:  www.franciscansforjustice.org. Of particular interest to friars is the December 2018 newsletter of FFJ, which contains a valuable reflection guide for each week in Advent. If you have not received it, contact Mark at:
franciscansforjustice@gmail.com. Mark heads the Franciscan for Justice office, a joint project of the O.F.M. Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Province.

Friar Sam Nasada writes:
Brothers, as you know the migrant caravan has started to arrive at the border (this past week), mostly in Tijuana. Since (friars) who are in Oceanside are relatively close to there, you might want to consider donating your time and energy to accompany our brothers and sisters. If you sign on the pledge below, they will send you more detailed information about how you can help.—Sam

Statement from Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Justice and Peace Office 
We have been in touch with Catholic religious men and women in Mexico City. They and other interfaith partners have issued a call for support, both in the form of direct, physical, and pastoral accompaniment and in the form of financial resources. Such support is needed to offer solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers fleeing different forms of violence in Central America. The accompaniment is needed both in Mexico as migrants are walking north to the U.S. border and at the U.S. border when they arrive . . . . There are also additional migrant communities just beginning their journey from central America toward Mexico.

This is a time for courage. This is a time for more completely exposing the mass injustice and violence toward migrants. This is a time for embodying a "nonviolent moment" which unleashes creative energy into the situation. 

Our interfaith immigration coalition is organizing efforts to respond to these calls for support. If you are willing to help in some way, please fill out this form and we will be in touch with details and logistics. Accompaniment can be valuable for 1 or 2 days, or longer. It may entail listening to their stories, connecting them to key resources, protective presence, or even helping to directly de-escalate conflict.

Top right - Friar David Buer from the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch Border Encuentro event in Nogales, AZ November 16-18. Photo courtesy of Sister Judy Bourg, SSND.
 Courtesy, Mark Schroeder
Friars and postulants at the border in Arizona, December 2017
From Friar Tommy King
November 15, 2018

Two days ago, our local media contacts said that thousands of Central Americans heading north in "caravans" would be passing through Guaymas heading to Tijuana at the end of November or early December. Much to our surprise, yesterday two groups of 10 to 12 buses stopped for about an hour at a truck stop near Guaymas to give the folks the chance to use the bathroom an stretch their legs a little. One group came by around 11:00 AM and another around 11:00 PM. Employees from Casa Franciscana and other volunteers rose to the occasion to give out about 800 care packages (tuna, crackers and bottled water) along with diapers and sanitary napkins as needed. In other words, 1600 care packages in one day. Three cheers for the great employees of Casa Franciscana Guaymas!!

According to our sources, thousands more migrants heading north will pass by Guaymas soon. Not all the buses will stop by us, but we will try to offer a little food and water to those who do stop by us. Please keep the great employees of Casa Franciscana Guaymas, Raúl and me in your prayers.

Photos: All photos courtesy, Tommy King OFM.
Top Right - Adriana Murrieta (Director of Administration at Casa Franciscana), a representative of the Mexican government Office of Human Rights, Friars Raúl Diaz and Tommy King looking on as the buses of Central Americans arrive at the truck stop by Guaymas.
Jorge Johnson (Chef of the Culinary School at Casa Franciscana) and Friar Tommy King loading up food bags for the migrants.
Friar Tommy King giving out food bags
to a bus full of Hondurans.
Sister Maureen Duignan OSF
East Bay Sanctuary Covenant 
Featured in NCR Global Sisters Report

Sister Maureen Duignan OSF (a Franciscan Sister of Philadelphia) and her work at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, are the focus of a recent feature article (October 18), by Jamie Manson of the National Catholic Reporter as part of their online project, the Global Sisters Report. As Executive Director since 1982, Sister Maureen has overseen the ecumenical effort to assist undocumented immigrants as well as refugees seeking asylum status in the United States. Since those early days, literally thousands of applicants have streamed through the doors of the basement offices of ESBC. Many friars are quite familiar with Sister Maureen and her extraordinary team, having themselves served as volunteer interns over the past three decades.

At present, the group, which relies upon an extensive network of volunteer legal assistance, has some 5,000 active clients, including more than 1,000 people who are waiting for an interview with an asylum officer. The majority of clients come from Central America, but the organization has served asylum seekers from more than 50 countries around the world. 

On November 9 of this year, the ESBC, with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a federal lawsuit, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump. The suit challenges the asylum ban proclamation signed recently by President Trump. It charges the administration with violating the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the Administrative Procedure Act. Click here for more information:  https://eastbaysanctuary.org/east-bay-sanctuary-covenant-plaintiff-in-lawsuit-challenging-new-trump-ban/

The ESBC has always operated on a shoestring budget. Now it is in search of suitable space for its operations, since the building in which it is housed is now slated for sale and probable demolition. “We are a sanctuary in need of a sanctuary,” Sister Maureen mentioned in the NCR article. If any friars know of anyone who can possible help in this, please contact Sister Maureen directly at the ESBC: info@eastbaysanctuary.org 
Telephone: 510-540-5296

Excerpt with permission of National Catholic Reporter: Global Sisters Project.

Here is the link for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant https://eastbaysanctuary.org

Top Right - At ESBC. Photo: Jamie Manson, NCR
Bottom - Archbishop Romero mural at ESBC. Photo: Jamie Manson, NCR
Fires Over, Friars Home At Serra Retreat
Let the Cleanup begin!
From Tom Anderson, Administrator 

Here are two group photos. The first one of the firefighters who stayed at Serra Retreat during the fires. The second group picture is some of the ServPro folks who were here to help clean the rooms from the smoke smell and soot and ash that covered the retreat center. Great workers. 

All photos: Courtesy, Tom Anderson
San Francisco, California
November 15, 2018

If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.
-- Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

I am grateful to all of you in so many ways, but perhaps mostly I am grateful for your Franciscan hearts. The fact that you are trustees, board members or work at the Foundation is evidence to me of your commitment to the common good and your concern for all people, especially those that are on the margins of society. I see all of you as “Franciscans”, in my mind you are part of a long tradition that goes back over 800 years. The men in brown robes are just one of the many keepers of the Franciscan flame. 
Tonight, I would like to address 3 topics that are very interrelated: Change, Mission Integration, And growth in relation to the strategic plan. First, let me provide some comments on change:

As I travel around the Western part of the United States, the territory that makes up the province of St. Barbara, I am constantly aware of the reality of change.  Change today is the only constant in all of our lives, whether in technology, political interaction or the divisiveness we see in the world today. I see change everywhere throughout the province in all our sponsored ministries. Since, I know the historical founding of these ministries, and their development over the years, I try to understand each place’s special issues and concerns. Some of these changes perhaps we feel are for the better and other changes not so good.

All this has led me to reflect on a quote I am quite fond of: It is from the book The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”  Set in the 1860’s at the time of the unification of Italy, it tells the story of a dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. I would like to use this quote as a starting place for my reflection on the reality of St. Anthony Foundation, and I invite you to ask yourselves along with me to reflect on what needs to “stay the same” and what “needs to change.” 

Top Right Photo - David Gaa OFM, Credit: c. Peter Jordan
OFM Secretaries of Formation Meeting 
Rome - Assisi
October 29, Nov. 9, 2018 
From Vicar Provincial Martín Ibarra

Martín, recently returned from the Secretaries of Formation meeting in Rome and Assisi, and has forwarded this link to the full report of the group’s activities:
Bill Short OFM
Group photo of Secretaries of Formation
ESC Vocations Friars Meet in Dublin 
November 5-8, 2018
From Friars Eric Pilarcik and Sebastian Sandoval

Recently, we were very lucky to attend the ESC Vocations Friars meeting in Dublin. Friars from Canada (from newly merged Holy Spirit Province), Ireland, Malta, England and the US were hosted by the Irish Province at the Adam and Eve friary for the meeting. The group discussed both ESC matters and the US provinces’ voting to merge. There were also discussions about working together for the mutual promotion of vocations; addressing the recent Church scandals; and, connecting with the millenials and Generation Z discerners, etc. It was productive and fraternal, with special speakers Friar Francis Cotter of the Irish Province and Margaret Cartwright, Director of Vocations for Vocations Ireland.   Friars Pat Lynch (the Irish vocations director), Friars Niall O’Connell the guardian, and Aiden McGrath the Provincial Minister-- and even Adrian Peelo-- warmly welcomed us. Also, we were fortunate that Sacred Heart Province Provincial Minister Tom Nairn was there representing the ESC provincial ministers. 

Photo: Group photo, Courtesy:  Eric Pilarcik OFM
The Advent of Hope
A Brief Week by Week Overview
By Friar Charles Talley

We’ve heard it said and we say it ourselves:  Siempre adelante! Keep going! But we’ve also heard it said, quite bluntly:  Don’t get your hopes up! Which message should we listen to? 

Advent, this ultimate season of hope, challenges us to consider some fundamental questions: What gives us hope? What keeps us going in difficult times? How can our faith traditions help us to re-center ourselves as a Christian people, a people of hope?

First a word from an unexpected center of hope. The country of Sweden, tucked away in the northern reaches of Europe, is one of the most affluent and secularized societies in the world. It has only a very small group of observant Christians, including a surprisingly vibrant Catholic community. From Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, we hear these words of tremendous hope: ". . . the dark collective night (of the soul) can even penetrate the Christian heart. We see it in the lack of vocations and in the empty churches in Europe. Nevertheless, we need hope to continue our pilgrimage in this world. Hope helps us see our journey from the perspective of eternity.” Referring to the French author Charles Péguy he continues: "We talk a lot about faith and love, but often forget hope which is, nevertheless, an enormous force—even and especially in our secular society. Hope is the little sister to faith and love. We really need this ‘little sister’ for our continued pilgrimage Because it is hope that determines the direction of the journey in our lives and helps us to survive in the hardest moments of our existence. Hope is always necessary. We must not lose hope that the Lord will help us on our path." 
Arizona friars at memorial service for victims of Pittsburgh killings. Photo: c. Peter Jordan.

Mr. Ron Noyes, the brother of our confrere Arturo Noyes, died on Friday November 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. Funeral services were held on Friday, November 23, at Holy Cross Chapel, San Diego. Condolence messages to the family may be sent through this link:

Recent OFM Friar Deaths in the United States 

Friar Carl Graczyk, OFM (Assumption Province)
Father John Reiss (Former member of the Immaculate Conception Province) 
Priest of the Diocese of Youngstown. October 5
Friar Bede Fitzpatrick, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Jeremiah McGinley, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Christian Reuter, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Bishop Fiachra O'Ceallaigh, OFM (Province of Ireland) 
Former Provincial and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin
Friar Gordon Hayes, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar Larry Nickels, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar David Moczulski, OFM (Saint John Baptist Province)

Listing courtesy of Friar Joseph F. Lorenzo, IC Province
Thanksgiving 2018
Table setting at friary, San Damiano Retreat. Photo:  C. Talley OFM
November 21, 2018

In the runup to the Thanksgiving holiday, US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), volunteered along with several of her grandchildren, to serve in the St. Anthony Dining Room, San Francisco.  

Photo:  Dick Tandy OFM
From Friar Jeff Haller (SH)

On October 27, friars joined in prayer with Sufi (Whirling) dervishes from the Islamic community of Istanbul to celebrate the “Spirit of Assisi” initiated by Pope John Paul II on October 27, 1986. This dance/prayer ceremony of the dervishes, called a sama, dates roughly from the time of St. Francis. The first part of our evening together was guided by the friars, using prayers and songs in several languages. After that, our Muslim brothers extended the prayer time as they performed their own ritual. At the conclusion of the evening, we filed into two lines and processed in silence out of the church, each friar shoulder-to-shoulder with a member of the dervish group. 

Excerpt from ATP (Around the Province) newsletter of Sacred Heart Province. Pepe Martinez OFM, Editor.
Stop Smoking!

Friar Mark McPherson demonstrates one of the popular N95 Military Grade Anti Air Dust and Smoke Pollution Mask with Adjustable Straps and a Washable Respirator that has been one of the hottest fashion items in California this past month. Thankfully, the fires are now 100% controlled.

Photo credit:  Dick Tandy OFM
Br. Roland Rovere - December 1        
Fr. Rigoberto Caloca Rivas - December 1
Br. Ivo Toneck - December 5        
Fr. Barnabas Hughes - December 7       
Fr. Garrett Galvin - December 7       
Fr. Francisco Alejo - December 15       
Fr. Andres Rivero - December 18      
Br. Regan Chapman - December 20      
Br. Hajime Okuhara - December 21      
Fr. Stephen Kain - December 25       
Br. Nicholas Ronalter - December 26      
Br. Juan Jose Jauregui - December 27
Fr. Javier Alvarez - December 3
Fr. Javier Reyes - December 3
Br. Javier Tito Garcia - December 3
Br. Samuel Nasada - December 3
Br. Nicholas Ronalter - December 6
Br. Victor Vega - December 9
Br. Brian Trawick - December 10
Br. Arturo Noyes - December 11
Fr. Finian McGinn - December 12
Fr. Arturo Lopez - December 15
Fr. Thomas Herbst - December 21
Fr. Stephen Barnufsky - December 26
Fr. Stephen Kain - December 26  
Br. Stephen Gillis - December 26
Fr. Oscar Mendez - December 27
Br. John Summers - December 27
Fr. Luat John Nguyen - December 27
Br. David Paz - December 29
Br. David Buer - December 29
Br. David Cobian - December 29
Fr. David Gaa - December 29
2018 Calendar
~ From Lara Hansen ~

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 11–14, 2019 ~ St. Francis Retreat, San Juan Bautista, CA
March 25–28, 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