Volume 4 ~ Issue 2; Release: February 1, 2019
  • Remembering Elías Gálvez OFM

  • Letter from PM David Gaa
  • Casa Construction Continues

  • Jubilees 2019

David Buer and I have gone on water drop trips in the desert of Arizona with people from No More Deaths before. This latest charge is an unjust persecution of people who merely want to save the lives of other human beings. Please consider signing on to the statement and spreading it to other people of good will.

RE: Office of Mission Integration and Ministry Support
January 14, 2019

Dear Brothers, May the Lord Give you peace. 

As you have read the last year or two in the Definitorium notes we in the administration have been working on a plan to enhance and promote our Franciscan charism. As we collaborate more and more with the laity, it is our responsibility to be actively involved in this promotion. What was given to us, we need to give to others, our Franciscan perspective and values are a gift we give to the Church and all of society. To this end at the last Definitorium meeting we approved a job description for an Executive Director of Mission Integration and Ministry Support. Originally our effort was called the "Poverello Initiative" and this initiative is part of the new office. 

I am very pleased to announce that Kathleen Flanagan will become Executive Director in the new Office of Mission Integration and Ministry Support within the Provincial structure effective January 14, 2018. In this new position, Kathleen will report to me as Provincial Minster. 

We determined the need for this important role as we assessed the good work of our many ad hoc committees and the continuing emphasis on our strategic goal of strengthening the relationship between the Province and its sponsored ministries. While all these committees have done excellent work, and progress on our strategic initiative continues, we decided that our ministries would be better supported by a more permanent structure and coordination point within the Provincial office. Please click on the link below for a copy of the job description for the position to better outline the roles and responsibilities of this position.

Helping to strengthen our relationship with our lay colleagues and expanding their exposure to our Franciscan charism, is a role to which Kathleen is ideally suited. She has been extraordinarily effective as the COO and subsequently ED for Mission San Luis Rey, in addition to being a member of the Province Finance Committee. She has a broad view of our ministries, a background as a highly effective executive and a deep love for our Franciscan tradition. Kathleen will continue to serve on the Province Finance Council and Board of Regents of FST. Additionally, she will continue to mentor our leadership team at Mission San Luis Rey.

In light of Kathleen's change of jobs, Gwyn Grimes, currently director of finance at OMSLR, will step in to the role of Executive Director at Old Mission San Luis Rey. Gwyn has been in a leadership role at the mission for eight years. The Mission's succession plan identified and developed Gwyn to be Kathleen's successor.

Please join me in congratulating Kathleen and Gwyn and welcoming them to their new roles.

Photo: Kathleen Flanagan
Memorial: January 3, 2019
By Friar Tommy King

Since Elías Gálvez served the people of Guaymas for 25 years and most people here could not attend his funeral in Tucson, we celebrated his life and shed a few tears for his loss at a Memorial Mass for him on January 3, 2019 at the Mesón de Jesús. Fr. Monse Barragán , our local pastor and long-time friend of Elías, concelebrated with me.  

Our Franciscan brothers Friars Ivo Toneck and  Gerard Saunders, were part of a group of four people who gave powerful personal reflections about this friar who was regarded as a saint by many people here. The Mesón was full with about 100 people who honored this friar priest who was noted for his personal holiness, great pastoral care to all, constant service to the poor, humility and gentle sense of humor.  

Photos: Christmas card (reverse) from friars at Atria care center, Tucson, AZ, showing  Friar Elías Gálvez . Photo: courtesy of Leo Sprietsma OFM.
Tommy King OFM with Father Monse Barragán (l) concelebrating memorial Mass for Elías Gálvez ofm. Photo: Tommy King ofm
Friar Ivo Tomeck giving eulogy at memorial Mass for Elías Gálvez. Photo: Tommy King OFM.
DEADLINE: Finished by Chapter 2019!
From Friar Joe Schwab

Our brother, Friar Joe Schwab writes from the Casa (Tucson, AZ, January 11): Here are some photos of the work in progress on the new Community Life Center. Lumber is arriving for starting framing and support beams. Framing begins on Monday, January 14. Gravel has already arrived for spreading and compacting over some of the floor space in preparation for pouring some of the concrete floor early next week. 

I am including a view from the corner of the building looking southeast toward the new church. Sewer lines have been installed, inspected and are being backfilled, as well as various locations of new plumbing. A new backflow prevention device has been installed. All passed inspection today! We are on schedule for all aspects of construction and ahead of schedule on plumbing/trenching.

All photos: Courtesy, Joe Schwab OFM

I received Franciscan Habit on June 21 1989. I made my final vows on August 14 1993.

Then, I was ordained to the priesthood at St. Boniface Church, San Francisco on January 29, 1994 by Bishop Patrick J. MacGrath. I do not remember how many people came to my ordination-- many our friars, of course. And St. Boniface Church was filled with Vietnamese parishioners, as well as with many of my friends who came from across the US to attend. Thanks to Friar Sam Nasada for help with ordination photo.
Friar John Luat Nguyen: Ordination photo.
Friar John Luat Nguyen: Ordination photo.

Betty Montejo, the younger sister of Luis Alberto Guzman, OFM, died on Saturday January 12, 2019 in Mexico. The funeral will be in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Friar Fabian Grifone, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province)
Friar Fred Radke, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar Method Wilson, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)
Friar Elias Galves, OFM (St. Barbara Province)
Friar Carl Graczyk, OFM (Assumption Province)
Father John Reiss (Former member of the province) 
Friar Bede Fitzpatrick, OFM (Holy Name Province)
Friar Jeremiah McGinley, OFM (Holy Name Province)
May 27 – June 7, 2019

Prof. Gilberto Cavazos -González, OFM will be leading a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi this spring, an event sponsored by Franciscan Pilgrimages.  Click here for brochure.

Fray Gilberto Cavazos -González is a Franciscan with a Doctorate in Spirituality from the Pontifical University Antonianum (Rome). A former parish priest and youth evangelizer in San Antonio, Texas, Gilberto taught Spirituality Studies for over 15 years at the Catholic Theological Union (Chicago) and is full professor of spirituality. He is the director of Educational Technology at the Antonianum and developing in an online program in Christian and Franciscan Life. Presently he is writing a book on the Marian spirituality of Sr. Juana de la Cruz Vasquez Gutierrez, Spanish Franciscan sister who was a mystic, a pastor and a prolific preacher in the early 1500s. E-mail: cavazos@antonianum.eu.

Photo: Gilberto Cavazos -González, OFM
2019 Religious Education Congress:  
Register Online!
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
March 22-24m 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
California Governor Gavin Newsom
Visits St. Anthony Foundation
San Francisco

Two days after easily being elected California's next governor, Newsom, former San Francisco mayor, spoke at the St. Anthony's Foundation, where he and his wife, incoming first lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom, later served meals in the foundation's Golden Gate Avenue dining room.

Photo: Courtesy, St. Anthony Foundation
By Friar Mark McPherson

Feliz Navidad!! Merry Christmas!! Buon Natale!! 
These are the last days of the Christmas season coming up soon so I can still say “Merry Christmas” to you all!! All is good here in Guaymas!! I was Santa Claus for more than 500 kids here!! Around 350 were in a single place! It was a blessing from God to be able to put a smile on their faces!! Only a handful of them cried! I am praying for all of you here and I ask that you pray for me and all of us here too! 

All photos: Courtesy, Mark McPherson OFM
From Adolfo R. Mercado, Postulant

The two postulants from St. Barbara Province at the inter-provincial postulancy in Maryland travelled to Graymoor (Friars of the Atonement) in Garrison, NY in early November for a gathering of Franciscan postulants and novices on the East Coast, with their formators. There were almost 80 participants representing all three orders. Graymoor is about 70 miles up the Hudson River from New York City; it’s across the Hudson River from West Point. The two SB Province postulants, seen here with Friar John Guttierez, are (l) Bruce Tran of Los Angeles, California and (r ) Adolfo R. Mercado of Sacramento, California.  Thanks and mea culpa! to Adolfo for this story, which, indavertantly, got buried in an avalanche of holiday email. 

Photo: Courtesy, Adolfo R. Mercado
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 2
2019 Calendar
~ From Lara Hansen ~

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

Meeting of US-6 Provincials
January 27-31, Albuquerque, NM

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