Volume 4 ~ Issue 3; Release: February 15, 2019
  • Inter-Provincial Retreat: Florida

  • Franciscan School of Theology
  • Medical Mission: Guaymas

  • Clifford Herle & The Birds
February 4-8, 2019

For four days (February 4-8), some 45 Franciscan friars representing the six OFM provinces involved in the R + R (Revitalization + Reconfiguration) process met at the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park, Florida for the annual Inter-Provincial Retreat. Celebrated author and lecturer,  Friar Richard Rohr (OLG), was presenter at both the Florida venue as well as at its “twin” session, previously held (January 14-18) at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Roughly 60 friars participated in the Arizona event.

Rohr spoke of the significance of contemplation in our time and the urgency of adopting a more contemplative, nondualistic stance. “I’m not here to tell you what to think, “ he challenged the assembled friars, “but to show you how to think— using a wide screen. . . . helping you to install new software. ” He observed that “We in the Western world and in the Church suffer from a dualistic mindset. It has kept us from growing and developing in true spirituality. Instead, we have concentrated on rituals and externals. We are living the consequences of this . . . Much of our cultural life is an artificial, passing show taken to be substantial.” Instead, of succumbing to a world of relativism in which “nothing means nothing,” he suggested that “we must learn anew to surrender to the experience of awe.” In this, we become able “to maintain over the long haul what we learn through love and suffering.”

“We use a dualistic approach for the ‘normal’, everyday decisions of life,” Rohr observed. “But one cannot approach issues like love, death, suffering, notions about God, infinity, or sexuality with dualistic thinking.” He observed that, starting with the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, Western (“imperial”) Christianity essentially forfeited this contemplative way of “seeing” – a gift of the early Fathers and Mothers of the Church. The “gift” was entirely lost, however. I was revived for a brief time by St. Francis (“an intuitive genius”) and the early Franciscans. Now, in our contemporary society, the value of the contemplative approach is now being rediscovered and retrieved: “We live in an amazing time—‘a second axial consciousness’ as it’s been described. It’s very exciting. . . . (But) we need to rewire our brains (for it).”

Richard provided retreatants with a copy of his 2017 book,  Just This (CAC Publishing, Albuquerque) as a companion text which helped to reinforce the ideas in his oral presentations. A slim, but dense volume, it afforded retreatants the opportunity to reflect more at length on the content of his talks, which were frequently peppered with wry comments on contemporary culture, politics, the state of the Church and of the Order.

Among the friars present were eight men of our Province:  Bob Valentine, Ken Laverone, Tom West, Charles Talley, Garret Edmunds, Victor Vega, Rusty Shaugnessey, and DT (Dick) Tandy. DT also served as photographer and was on hand to document the event.

Friar Kevin Schroeder (ABVM) has recorded several of the talks by Richard Rohr. The recordings are available at usfran.us/retreat2019

ALL PHOTOS:  Dick Tandy OFM (SB) unless otherwise noted.
Top Banner: Group photo
Top Right: Richard Rohr (OLG) and Tom West (SB)
(l to r): SB Friars Garret Edmunds, Ken Laverone, Tom West, Bob Valentine, Charles Talley, Victor Vega, Rusty Shaughnessy, DT (Dick) Tandy
Liturgy. Presider: Robert Seay (SJB)
Left: Murray Bodo (SJB) and Justin Belitz (SHP): Right
l to r:  Frank Kordek (SHP), Henry Beck (SJB), Ken Laverone (SB)
Photo:  C. Talley OFM
Chapel, San Pedro Center, Winter Park, Florida. Photo:  C. Talley OFM
Friars at FRC session, Inter-Provincial Retreat, Jan 14-18, 2019.
From Provincial Minister David Gaa
February 4, 2019

Dear Brothers and collaborators, 

May the Lord give you peace. After much consultation, dialogue and work I am pleased to announce that the Franciscan School of Theology will be moving to the campus of the University of San Diego. After receiving a positive recommendation by the Board of Regents, the Board of Trustees voted to approve this move. 

First-year introductory classes at USD will begin in the fall semester of 2019. For more information please click here to see the letter FST President Michael J. Higgins, TOR wrote for the students of FST. In his letter, Michael states that “After being here at Mission San Luis Rey for 5.5 years (11 semesters), it has become evident that we cannot attract enough students to Oceanside to be sustainable. . . . Relocating to a more populated area will make it easier for more people to discover and attend FST.” For the official announcement by FST and USD, click here:

Let us continue to pray that this positive development for FST produces abundant fruit.

Top Right: Provincial Minister David Gaa . Photo: C. Talley OFM
FST President Michael J. Higgins, TOR Photo: FST
University of San Diego campus. Photo: USD
Guaymas, Sonora, México
January 14-17, 2019

From January 14--17, Casa Franciscana Guaymas offered its annual Medical Mission in the two neighboring villages of Guásimas and Triunfo de Santa Rosa. Guásimas is an indigenous Yaqui village where our brother, the late Friar Camillus Cavagnero. Historically, the program has been a collaborative project between Casa Franciscana and the friars of St. Barbara Province who are medical professionals. Moreover, funds from the Franciscan Missionary Union (FMU) help to make this project happen. In collaboration with local doctors, dentists, the local public health Department and other medical nonprofits, 1,118 people were served in the four days of our project.  

All Photos: Courtesy, Tommy King, OFM
Top Right: Friar Tommy King with one of several volunteers
 Dr. Carmen Villalobos giving dental health instructions to the kids of Guásimas
 Dentist doing a great job-- without electricity of running water!
Friar Mark McPherson with one of many kids who came for free medical attention
Pope Francis Mentions St. Francis
and the Sultan
During Visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAB)
February 4, 2019

From February 3-5, Pope Francis made a first-ever visit by a pontiff to the Arabian peninsula. During the Mass celebrated at Zayed Sports stadium in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, “He recalled that St. Francis gave his brothers instructions about approaching the Saracens and non-Christians and told them “not to get into arguments or disagreements but be subject to every human creature out of love for God and let them profess that they are Christians” and “set out armed only with their humble faith and concrete love.”

Pope Francis in the UAE. For a 60-second video the highlights of the papal visit: h ttps://www.facebook.com/vaticannews/videos/highlights-of-popes-uae-visit/286775008684851/. From SJB News Notes, Toni Cashnelli, Editor.

For more information on the papal visit:  https://uaepapalvisit.org

Quae placuerint Domino/
“That would please God” (RnB 16.8)

On the 800th Anniversary of the Encounter between St. Francis and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil 

My dear brothers of the Order of Friars Minor, all brothers, sisters and friends of our Franciscan Family, and all my Muslim sisters and brothers, 
May the Lord give you all His peace! 

Eight hundred years ago, our Seraphic Father St. Francis set sail for Egypt, finally fulfilling a long-held dream of reaching out to Muslims. He arrived at the camp of the crusading army, among Latin Christians who through years of preaching and the rhetoric of holy war had been taught to scorn Muslims. Those same Muslims had every reason to scorn Francis, assuming that he, like most in the crusader camp, was an enemy and not a bearer of peace. We today celebrate what no one at that moment could have foreseen: that a Spirit-filled man with nothing of his own crossed the battle lines unarmed to request a meeting with the Sultan, was received with grace by that Sultan, enjoyed an extended period of hospitality with the Muslim leader, and emerged from the visit to reflect anew on the mission of the Friars Minor. Francis returned safely to his homeland profoundly moved by the encounter and crafted a new and creative vision for his brothers about how they could go among the Muslims, about the things Friars could do and say “that would please God” ( quae placuerint Domino, RnB 16.8). The anniversary of Francis’s encounter with al-Malik al-Kāmil at Damietta in 1219 beckons us to ask again what deeds and words, amid the pluralism and complexity of the world today, would be pleasing to God. 

For the full text, click here .
Chapter of Mats
Hyatt Regency Tech Center
Denver, Colorado
July 29- August 2, 2018

Deadline for Registration: July 8, 2019
Details on the Chapter of Mats will be forthcoming.

Every morning at 8:00 Clifford spreads seed for the birds, rain or shine. Here they aware, waiting for breakfast!

Right: Clifford Herle OFM. Photo:  C. Talley OFM
Below: Photo: Max Hottle OFM
Video: C. Talley OFM
From The Casa:
Community Life Center Construction
Hums Along!
Scottsdale, Arizona
February 13, 2019

Construction on the new Community Life Center at the Franciscan Renewal Center (The Casa) in Scottsdale, Arizona continues to purr along. According to Friar Joe Schwab, the project is “right on schedule,” which for us friars means that it will be completed in time for our forthcoming Chapter 2019 (June 23-28). Kudos to everyone at the FRC! Good luck and fingers crossed!

Top Left: Chapter Steering Committee members inspecting the new CLC: (l to r):  Friars Charles Talley, Oscar Mendez, Provincial Minister David Gaa, Sam Nasada, Peter Boegel (CSC Chair), and Scott Slattum. Photo: Charles Talley OFM
Below: Community Life Center, Scottsdale, AZ (February 13, 2019). Photo: Charles Talley OFM
P. S. Here Comes the Sun:
Solar Power Project at the Casa

The Here Comes the Sun solar initiative is underway with a goal to place 100 solar panels on the new Community Life Center. To date, the project has already been funded to the 50% level. This will provide both ecological and financial benefits, making the new CLC a net-zero electricity building. For more information, contact Patti Sills-Trausch at 480.355.0348.

Mr. Carl E. Botenhagen, the father of F riar Paul Botenhagen, died Thursday February 7, 2019. Mr. Botenhagen was 98 years old.

Emmanuel Reyes, the nephew of Friar Javier Reyes, died on Saturday January 26, 2019 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. His funeral was scheduled to be held at Guadalupe Church in Aguascalientes on Thursday January 31, 2019.
2019 Religious Education Congress:  
Register Online!
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
March 22-24, 2019 (Adult Days)

The Registration Guidebook (either online or in print) is your key to registering for RECongress 2019, with all workshop and speaker descriptions, entertainment and liturgy options, and all events during the weekend. Registration Guidebooks will go into the mail this week.

The Guidebook is available in four different formats:
PDF: The 2019 Registration Guidebook is available online in the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Using their free Reader, you can view the complete Guidebook or specific sections. Link: http://www.recongress.org/2019nav.htm
August 3- 23, 2019

The Franciscan School of Theology, affiliated with the University of San Diego, is offering four classes this summer. For more information, check the FST website or contact the registrar at 760-547-1800 ext. 200. Courses offered include:
  • “Francis of Assisi: Life and Times,” Friar Joe Chinnici
  • “Writings of Francis of Assisi,” Friar Bill Short
  • “The Book of Genesis and the Spiritual Formation of God’s People,” taught by Friar Garrett Galvin
  • “The Franciscan Spirituality of Presence with the Dying: Spiritual Practices that Cultivate Awareness for Caregivers and the Dying,” Darleen Pryds.
Registration starting NOW!

The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University has scheduled the following master classes, programs and conferences for the summer of 2019. 

*Registration will begin on February 1, 2019

Adapting to a New World: Franciscan Men and Women in 19th & 20th Century America
June 24-28, 2019

Making Sense of a Forgotten Past: Lay Franciscans as Co-Creators of the Franciscan Spiritual Tradition
July 8-12, 2019

Enduring Presence: Franciscan Laity, Their Relevance Today
July 12-14, 2019

Quidam enim dicunt: Mendicant Thrologies before Aquinas and Bonaventure
July 15-18, 2019

Insights into Clare's Unique Personality and Strong Leadership Style
July 8-12, 2019

For Further information on all of our programming, please contact Jill M. Smith, Business Operations Manager, jmsmith@sbu.edu or 716-375-2062

In Western New York, the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University has scheduled a range of programs for June and July. The schedule includes P rofessor Catherine Mooney, who will explore her latest book on Clare of Assisi; Darleen Pryds, who will present research on lay-Franciscan women and men whose stories have been suppressed for centuries, and Dominic Monti, OFM, who will offer insight into American Franciscanism from its early beginnings. The class taught by historian Dominic, who served as Provincial Vicar from 2005 to 2014, is entitled “Adapting to a New World: Franciscan Men in 19th and 20th Century America.” It runs from June 24 to 28.
Other programs being offered this summer at the Franciscan Institute include:
  • “Making Sense of a Forgotten Past: Lay Franciscans as Co-Creators” – taught by Darleen Pryds of FST , who is a recently named member of the Franciscan Institute Research Advisory Council.
  • Secular Franciscan Conference (July 12 to 14) titled “Enduring Presence: Franciscan Laity, Their Relevance Today.”
  • “Insights into Clare: Her Relationships, Spirituality and Transformation,” (July 8 to 12).
  • “Quidam enim dicunt: “Mendicant Theologies Before Aquinas and Bonaventure,” an academic SBU Conference (July 15 to 18).

Jocelyn Thomas is Director of Communications for the Holy Name Province.—ed.

Most is well in rural Ethiopia. Peace may be affirmed in about 8-10 days. I very much hope so for these wonderful and poor people, they have and will suffer most if the political strife is revived. If a strong peace happens we'll be able to stay and finish our projects, if not a long slow ride back to a clean air starved and semi-chaotic Addis Abbaba. Picture of the day below pending the internet - the man working on this stump has been at for four days with another 3-4 to go. And didn't want my help. 

Peter, along with his wife Patrice , spends part of each year traveling to Ethiopia to assist in rural development projects.

Photo: Peter Wise (l) with worker. Photo: Peter Wise
Fr. Mel Bucher - February 1 
Br. Sung Wook Im - February 4
Fr. Joseph Zermeno - February 5 
Fr. Rodrigo Ortiz - February 8  
Br. John Gutierrez - February 20
Fr. Stephen Barnufsky - February 23
Fr. Raymond Bucher - February 27
Br. Anthony Lavorin - February 28  
Fr. Warren Rouse - February 6
Br. Juan Jose Jauregui - February 6
Br. Robert Brady - February 22
Fr. Gary Swirczynski,- February 27
2019 Calendar
~ From Lara Hansen ~

Come and See Experience
February 22-24 ~ Old Mission San Luis Rey, CA

Spring Convocations (2 sessions)
March 11–14, 2019 ~ St. Francis Retreat, San Juan Bautista, CA
March 25–28, 2019 ~ Old Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, CA

Discernment Dinner 
March 15 ~ St. Elizabeth, Oakland, CA

March 18-22 ~ Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ

Institutional Boards Retreat
April 10 ~ Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ

Renewal of Profession Day
April 16

May 20-24 ~ Old Mission Santa Barbara, 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