Volume 3 ~ Issue 7; April 15-30, 2018
  • Board Leadership (Retreat)

  • Ex. Prov. Min. Joe Chinnici
  • ESC: Report to Plenary Council

  • Easter around the Province

  • Updates
The Angels In the Details!
Province Institutional Board & Executive Staff Leadership Retreat
Serra Retreat Center
Malibu, California
April 4-5, 2018
It has often been said that “the devil is in the details.” But if this recent two-day gathering of a number of friars (including the entire Definitorium) and lay administrators is any indication, the angels are in the details as well. Even more so, actually.  The “angels” in this case were the 35-odd participants, representing many of the 19 institutions affiliated with the Province of St. Barbara. The “details” which they were asked to consider are anything but minor adjustments. On the contrary, they represent important efforts to reform our corporate structures, streamline operations, ensure shared responsibilities, and further our Franciscan charism. The Board/Staff were anything but Bored/Stiff.
Organized by the Province’s Board Development Committee (headed by our host, former Provincial Minister Friar Mel Jurisich as well as Board representatives Barry Stenger and Joe Atteridge), this post-Easter meeting at Serra Retreat in Malibu was convened to reflect upon work done to date to meet the strategic goal emerging from Chapter 2016 to “continue to deepen the relationship with the various Boards of Directors of Province ministries and their Trustees.” The agenda focused, then, on the work which has been done to date as well tasks which remain. These efforts include the development of a shared Ministerial Vision Statement; the appointment of a friar trustee delegate to each major institution; and, significantly, the development of the Poverello Initiative to help disseminate the Franciscan charism at every level in our institutions.
In his opening remarks, Mel welcomed participants to Serra Retreat Center as it prepares to celebrate the 75 th anniversary of its foundation. Noting that this gathering was one of several dating from the early 1990s, he stated that “Our original purpose has been to help share our charism with the laity and to maintain our Franciscan identity.” Noting the loss of identity suffered by some Catholic institutions (schools, hospitals, etc.) which had not successfully integrated the charism of their founding religious communities, he stressed that “We are part of a larger mission-- to help each other in bringing about the Kingdom of God. Together we can make one helluva difference in our little corner of God’s green acre.”   (Foreground: Chris Sumpter (l) and Monica Orozco)
An informal check-in followed Mel’s remarks as representatives of each of the participating institutions ( retreat centers, the St. Anthony Foundation, St. Francis Center, the Franciscan Renewal Center, etc.) shared briefly about their major successes as well as challenges. The remarks were candid and to the point. There was a shared recognition of the rapidly shifting landscape of organized religion in the United States: “We are experiencing a real tsunami in (the emergence of) an entire generation of people who do not connect with organized religion,” cited one participant. Coupled with this, several others noted the shifting circumstances of the Franciscan friars themselves as we face the reality of aging members and the decline in vocations. 
Kathleen Flanagan, Executive Director of Old Mission San Luis Rey reflected: “We are working to create an enduring Franciscan culture. Our retreatants and volunteers are aging out. What are the spiritual needs of younger people?”  Former Minister Provincial John Hardin, Guardian at Santa Barbara, stressed the need for renewal as well: “We are in the process of realizing our ‘new mission at the Old Mission,’ recasting it as a center of Franciscan evangelization.” Speaking on behalf of St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista, former Vicar Provincial Ken Laverone reflected that “ We now have a core team to provide our guests with genuine Franciscan hospitality.” He credited Director of Operations and Administration Ed DeGroot for his signal efforts in helping the Center pull through the difficult period of rebuilding and readjustment following the devastating 2006 fire.  (Above: Kathleen Flanagan, OMSB and Friar Anthony Garibaldi, OMSLR)
In the face of these and other real challenges, those present were not slow to emphasize the continuing value and vitality of our institutional presence and activities. “We share a common love and desire to transmit the values and ideals of the Franciscan charism with others, especially in the context of a changing culture, ” as Mel noted. Friars Joe Schwab and Dan Lackie, emphasized this point as well in their presentation on the Poverello Initiative. It is an effort in which they have been deeply involved over the past two years along with lay representatives Stanley Raggio, Tamara Johnston, and others—“to animate in a systematic way our lay partners and the friars themselves.” Following their presentation, there was a spirited discussion about ways in which our institutions might “incorporate opportunities to articulate our Franciscan vision. . . (to) share our stories and apply them to daily practice.” As Joe asked, “’What is Franciscan? What is an order?’ We think people understand this stuff, but they don’t.” Both Joe and Dan indicated, as well, that the forthcoming booklet, Guided by Francis and Clare: An Introduction to Our Province would serve as an important resource in educating our donors, volunteers, employees, and visitors about Franciscan life. (Above: Study Break - Friar Tom West (l) and Peter Wise, SDR)
Other ideas vetted included the development of orientation for new employees and volunteers to educate them about Franciscan life and values; in-service days on an ongoing basis; pilgrimages to Franciscan sites (Rome, Assisi, etc.); values-oriented training sessions for new board members, etc. Charles Talley mentioned that institutions are welcome to take any material on the Province website and adapt it for their own use. On everyone’s mind, of course, was the optimization of technology through outlets such as smart classrooms, Facebook, enhanced websites, blogs, YouTube videos, and the like. As Friar Bill Minkel put it: “Preach the Gospel at all times, using social media when necessary.”
Above: Definitive Huddle-Clockwise: Prov. Min. David Gaa (back to camera), Bill Minkel, Garrett Galvin, Vicar Prov. Martin Ibarra, Anthony Garibaldi, Dan Lackie, Joe Schwab)
On just one more “detailed” note, George Dooley, financial consultant to the Provincial Office, announced the rollout of a new template of ‘universal’ bylaws available for adoption/ adaptation by participating institutions.  These are intended to streamline internal norms as well as to clarify inter-institutional relationships. It’s the kind of mind-numbing grunt work that is at the same time vital to an organization. As George remarked, “As I read all of the bylaws for all of our organizations, I started with Cabernet and moved on to tequila!” Sometimes bedeviled, our good angels are, nevertheless, hard at work-- in the details.  
Ultimately, the Provincial Minister, of course, held the proverbial last word: “Our Franciscan charism is a gift we give to the world, “ David Gaa noted in his remarks. “Guided by Francis and Clare, we are learning how to share our treasure in an increasingly secular world. . . Above all, we trust in God’s goodness. We’ve been around for 800 years. I am convinced we will be around in the future, but not in the same way (as we have been in the past).” (At left: Former Provincial Minister Mel Jurisich addresses Retreat)
In closing, David told a story about his conversation with a former vocations director of the Province. “I asked him what he was looking for most in a candidate when he met them. And he told me, ‘I look for the joy in their faces and in their lives. Joy is such an important value to us Franciscans.’” To the list of values already articulated at the meeting, David made sure to remind us to remember that one ‘angelic’ (and consummately Franciscan) detail:   joy !
(All photos: Charles Talley, OFM)
From Joe Chinnici
Excerpts from Remarks
Province Leadership Retreat
Serra Retreat Center
April 4-5, 2018
Former Provincial Minister Joe Chinnici  provided the requisite intellectual ballast and  gravitas  for the event by offering a conceptual framework and process for us to understand more fully the challenges all of us as Franciscans face in a rapidly changing social landscape.  In an overarching “definition of the situation,” he addressed in his April 5 remarks the need for mission integration in the face of actual mission  incoherence in our lives and institutions. “In the United States today, because of its market assumptions and its focus on consumption, religion is publicly muted. The evangelical voice, so coherent with market forces in the Gospel of prosperity and so coherent with consumerism in its focus on individual choice, is the strongest public voice for religion. This is to the society’s advantage. Religion has purposely been commodified and has been privatized for personal uplift:  ‘Looking for peace in a busy world? –Let me go to a Franciscan retreat centers!’ “Looking for healing?” “Let me go to a spiritual place.” We can in this situation speak a social voice, as we do, but the sound is muted and the message privatized, without broader social consequences.  . . .  
Joe continued:  “We have a typology of different institutions in which we relate to each other vertically in administrative terms, often through the provincial administration (in personnel, policies, and financial exchange).   Our vertical relationship in that sense is strong. Yet have a diversity of constituents, clients, and resources; different levels of intensity, even. This means that we can easily strengthen the horizontal relationships between our institutions that have such great affinities with each other. For example a consideration of the dignity of the poor (still) comes out strongly throughout our “system.” . There is a lot of unity there. . . .  Almost all of our (institutional) mission statements aim to create a healing community  in which justice and gratitude provide the horizontal dimension to our shared efforts. Do we share our expertise with each other, our best practices, our resources?”
When asked about when we achieve complete mission integration, Joe responded: “The only true mission coherence is in heaven but ut we need to ‘name’ things”—to identify the fault lines in our efforts and organizations and the ways in which we can overcome them.”  Joe pointed to the lives and work of such friars as  Alfred Boeddeker, Owen DaSilva,  and  Kenan Osborne  as examples of men of both charisma and vision whose efforts, in an atmosphere of ‘mission incoherence’ were initially disavowed, even by the friars themselves.  Our institutions grew up in isolation from each other on a horizontal level. Now we have an opportunity to address this situation. But we will not overcome the incoherence easily. It is so tempting to fall back into old patterns. We have to look at the ‘wavy’ nature of things that can change at any moment and work for a local coherence and a horizontal coherence in relationships that are not subject to the whims of others.”  He went on to stress the importance of institutional leaders learning from each other on an ongoing basis—“We don’t know what each other does.” Joe emphasized the need for a shared Franciscan mission identity with friars and lay people working together. He structured his remarks around the  value of  fraternitas,  remarking that we need “to admit our need for each other, both our gifts and our poverty and thirst together. . . We need to articulate a faith vision, a participation in the Risen Christ that enables us both to share our resources with power and admit together our need for each other. At the center of our mission is the power of Christ.”  For a more complete outline summary of Joe’s remarks,  click here.
Report of the English Speaking Conference
to the Members of the Plenary Council of the Order

The following report, made available March 8, 2018, has been released by the ESC in anticipation of the forthcoming Plenary Council meeting of the Order in Nairobi, Kenya (June 11-12, 2018). Friar Keith Warner will serve as on for two Moderators (chairs) for the event. In addition, representatives of the ESC are meeting in London, England April 7-13, 2018. Details of that meeting will be forthcoming. -ct

With 15 entities, 11 in the U.S. and Canada, and 4 in Europe (Ireland, Lithuania, Malta & the U.K.), the ESC is the only conference organized by language and not geography. This report speaks of broad trends in the 6 ESC countries, noting distinct realities in some of them.
A. Changes in Society – Accelerating social change, for worse and better, frames our cultural reality. Like Francis of Assisi in his time, we are in the midst of enormous cultural, demographic, economic, political, technological and religious changes. These changes are often manipulated by ever more powerful groups of “ majores” overpowering “ minores” who include women, people of color, immigrants, and many simply labeled “other.” Social values once foundational to our sense of identity and community are slipping away, if not being deliberately eroded. Some social norms are growing more enlightened; e.g., the gender-determined worth of human beings is being replaced by greater gender equality; while other norms are capriciously manipulated by means of mass communication previously unimagined and with unforeseeable results. Altogether, these dynamics create a sense that society’s institutions and structures are straining to hold us together. Responses range from fear and suspicion to narcissistic individualism by some, while others of good will rededicate themselves to work for a more inclusive, socially just and sustainable society.
Immigration and Cultural Diversity – Our societies grapple with increasing cultural diversity, largely driven by immigration from the Global South. Generally, older, more conservative groups resist growing cultural diversity from fear of change or the loss of social dominance, while younger, urban social groups support this change. Approximately 60 million people in the US are immigrants (almost 20% of the population), of whom 10 million have no official documents allowing them to be in the country. Powerful, entrenched forces actively seek to undermine the human rights of all immigrants spreading fear among them with a set of nativist, racist initiatives using deportation to break apart families and foster fear among communities of color, and especially among the young.

Canada has the largest proportion of immigrants in the G-8 economic group, well above that of the US, with Asians forming the largest group of current immigrants to Canada. Canadians generally see immigration as necessary and beneficial, though with concern for the strain on the infrastructure of cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Canada and Australia are the Western nations most receptive to immigration. The official bilingualism (English and French) of Canada, the presence of the predominantly French-speaking province of Québec, and of aboriginal Canadians all across the country contribute to a Canadian identity which embraces cultural and linguistic diversity. The European approach to the immigration crisis will surely be dealt with by other Conferences, but here we note that one of the core issues behind Brexit is that of control of borders and immigration — the impact of the departure of the U.K. from the E.U. is sure to be profound. Please click here to read entire article. (Below, the ESC members)
Mrs. Joan Boegel , the mother of Brother Peter Boegel OFM , died peacefully Monday, April 2, 2018 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She was surrounded by her family. She was 89 years old.
  OMSLR . Friar Francisco Alejo with parishioners at. Photo: Julian Sarmiento
St. Elizabeth, Oakland.  Friars Nghia Phan (c), Luis Guzman (r ).
OMSLR.  Pastor Vince Mesi with parishioners.
St. Elizabeth, Oakland. Easter Vigil, 2018.
OMSLR. (l to r) Friars Henri Djojo, Mark McPherson, James Swan, Bradley Tuel, Michael Dallmeier.
Silver Spring, MD.  Postulants Salvador Majia (l) and Joshua Tagoyio (r ) 
Silver Spring, MD.  Friars John Gutierrez (l) and Freddy Rodriguez (r ).  
“Beautiful City” Musical at
Sts. Simon & Jude Parish
Huntington Beach, California
May 18-19, 2018
Sts Simon & Jude Parish in Huntington Beach is having a Festival of the Arts on the weekend of Pentecost. The grand event will be a musical on the conversions of Francis and Clare, set in modern downtown LA. The production is called “Beautiful City” and will tell the story using contemporary music. It will be held on Friday and Saturday nights, May 18 and 19 in the parish church. Friars wearing habits will be admitted free (ticket sales are made to benefit parish renovation projects). Just let Daniel Barica know when you might be coming at  dbarica@ssj.org . Thursday night, May 17, will be a dress rehearsal with no charge for admission so that might be another opportunity.
 Photo: “Beautiful City” musical. Photo: Courtesy, SSJ Parish.
As usual— great job covering our Franciscan news! (April 1, 2018 issue).  Here I sit in retired comfort at Saint Simon and Jude Friary in Huntington Beach reading about all the great work the friars are doing in the Province and around the world, grateful to be alive and still able to help a little in this fairly large flourishing parish. Happy Easter to you and your community.
 Photo:  Friar Christian Mondor. Credit: c. Peter Jordan
Anaheim, California
March 16-18, 2018
Rise Up! / ¡Levántate! / Hãy Đứng Lên! . . . was the theme of the 2018 Religious Education Congress in Anaheim which took place March 16-18 at the Convention Center. Once again it was well-attended by approximately 33,000 people, including 243 exhibitors and 334 workshops/speakers. The Franciscan School of Theology (FST) and St. Barbara Province Vocations shared a double booth space.  
Friar Garrett Galvin, along with Christine Avella and Gigi Betancourt were present at the FST booth, and Friars Oscar Mendez, Zeno Im and myself were at the vocations table with fantastic help from Friars Sam Nasada, Juan Jose Jauregui, Ivan Cortez (J. Serra Prov.), Tony Luevano, novice; Luis Rosales HNP novice; Michael Lomas, novice; Vincent Nguyen and many other friars.  (Above: Friars James Seiffert, Jose Luis Peralta (OLG) Sam Nasada. Photo: Frank Jasper, OFM-SJB Province).
The Saturday night Vietnamese Mass included Friar Rufino Zaragoza as the music director with Father Thinh Pham as the presider. The Casa (FRC, Scottsdale) had an excellent double booth which included a local coffee company which was hugely popular as they were giving out free fresh-brewed samples! 
Left: Friars Antonio Leuvano, Zeno Im, James Seiffert- Photo: Frank Jasper, OFM-SJB Province). 
Friar Dan Horan (HNP) gave three talks and Friar William Burton (SHP) gave two talks as well.  Many friars, former friars, friends of the friars, discerners and potential grad students stopped by. Next year's dates are March 22-24, 2019.
(Right: Friars Larry Gosselin, James Seiffert, Jason Damon (HNP), Zeno Im, Juan Jose Jauregui. Photo: Frank Jasper, OFM-SJB Province).
Above: Gigi Betancourt (FST Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator), Garrett Galvin (FST Dean), Christine Avella (FST Recruiter). Photo: Frank Jasper, OFM-SJB Province).
Above: Friars Scott Slattum and Zeno Im. Photo: Frank Jasper, OFM-SJB Province)
April 5, 2018
Last night (April 4), we had about 300 people of the neighborhood come to St Boniface Auditorium to hear the mayoral candidates talk about their ways they would lead the city if elected. This event was organized by the neighborhood social service agencies that wanted to highlight the concerns and needs of the Tenderloin area. Check the link:   http://www.ktvu.com/news/we-feel-overlooked-candidates-forum-takes-on-tenderloins-concerns
April 5, 2018
We celebrated Tom’s 87 th birthday at the Life Care Center, Tucson. There was lunch with cake for everyone in dining room.

Photos: Courtesy, Friar Max Hottle.
2018 Calendar
~ From Lara Hansen ~

Discernment Dinner/Prayer/Discussion
April 18 ~ Old Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA - 5PM

Come and See Discernment Weekend Retreat
April 20-23 ~ Old Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Come and See Discernment Weekend Retreat
April 20-23 ~ St. Elizabeth Friary, Oakland, CA

Vocation Day
April 23 ~ Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach, CA

Youth Vocation Day
April 23 ~ Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ

Discernment Dinner/Prayer/Discussion
May 4 ~ St. Elizabeth Friary, Oakland, CA - 5PM
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