This Happens to People Who Take Things for Granted

Ever notice how we take things for granted? I’ve been unable to walk with my dog for a very long time, because I can’t breathe. I finally got my supplier to give me a portable oxygen bottle, the kind that you carry in a bag over your shoulder. I assure you that it’s lighter than may daughter’s handbag. 😀

I went out with Max, our doggie. I walked the length of two cars. He was so good too. When I became fatigued I said, “Easy.” I have never taught him “Easy”. It just came out, almost as if I was talking to myself. Nonetheless, I noticed that as soon as I said it, he looked at

St. Maximilian (aka.  Max)

St. Maximilian (aka. Max)

me and sat down. He waited patiently for me to recover so we could walk back the length of the two cars and return to the house. My son took over from there for his real walk. I think that I was not the only one who missed being outside together. I used to take things for granted, such as the patience that my dog had toward me. It thought it was I being patient with him and I took for granted the air I breathed. Not any longer. 🙂

Published in: on June 28, 2014 at 12:26 AM  Leave a Comment  

Does “Thinking of You” Equal a Hospital Visit?

I recently saw this in a forum and thought the argument was completely illogical, not to mention morally wrong. For some very valid reasons, the person can’t always make it to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. So far so good . . . this happens. But what follows is not so far so good.

The person admitted that there are several parishes that offer the Ordinary Form of the Mass at times and places where he or she can attend. However, he “was told that he could do a holy hour and a rosary” and that would suffice, because he “won’t go to a Novus Ordo Mass.” Whoever told him this was wrong, even if it was a priest.

Let’s break this down into little pieces. First of all, everyone has a moral obligation to worship God on the Sabbath, which for Catholics and most Christians, that’s Sunday. This is not negotiable. The Commandments do not say that you can replace worship with private devotions. Worship, as it’s understood in the Decalogue means to offer sacrifice in union with the people of God.

Here comes the second problem. The Rosary is not The Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The Rosary is a meditation and a private one at that. It can never replace the sacrifice, especially the Sacrifice at Calvary, which is celebrated at every mass around the world, as long as the mass is valid. Whoever said that this was a good replacement for a mass does not understand the mass.

Next problem, a Holy Hour is not The Sacrifice either. It is a private act of adoration of Christ in the Eucharist. At the mass, Christ makes himself present in the Eucharist and the people of God do adore him, but we adore him as a people, as Church, and as individuals. If we listen to the prayers very carefully, in English, Spanish, Latin or Swahili, the pronoun is always “WE”, not I. All prayers of adoration said at mass are in the plural. The only time that the first person pronoun is used is in professing one’s sinfulness and professing one’s faith.

Now that we have busted the myth that a Holy Hour and a Rosary can replace the Holy Mass, let’s get back to our moral obligation. Unless there is a real impediment that keeps us from attending mass, it is a mortal sin not to do so. The Ordinary Form Mass (Novus Ordo) is as valid as the Extraordinary Form (TLM). It is also as efficacious and it is the normative mass for the Latin Catholic Church. One cannot morally justify writing it off.

Choosing not to attend a mass, because it’s an Ordinary Form Mass and one has issues with the form, is a willful act, not an impediment. An impediment would be something that is outside of your control, something that physically keeps you from attending mass.

One’s personal feelings about the mass are not physical impediments. Unless the feeling can be proven to be psychologically crippling, there is no good reason to miss mass, because of how one feels about either form of the mass. This also applies to someone who willfully misses mass, because the only mass left is the Extraordinary Form and “I don’t like the Latin mass.” Too bad. It’s not there for your pleasure. The Sabbath is to please God, not you.

Published in: on June 26, 2014 at 10:30 PM  Leave a Comment  

Those Who Know Better Must Put Their Knowledge Where It Will Serve the Greater Good

I was watching a video by Sister Cristina Scuccia and someone left a question below that I’d like to answer where others can see it. They asked, “Why doesn’t the Pope excommunicate her?”

I thought, “How sad that we live in a world where people who claim to be in search of holiness spend time and energy looking to punish those who are different from how they perceive they ought to be.”

This comment is a request for a juridical sentence against a sister who has broken no Church law. She’s simply doing something that some people say nuns shouldn’t do.

Let’s take that in little pieces, because there is a lot of confusion out there about women religious. A nun is a woman religious who lives in a monastery. She rarely leaves the monastery. Her life is about prayer, work and community, all of which takes place in one house and its surrounding property.

A SISTER IS NOT A NUN. A sister, like a nun, makes vows of obedience, poverty and chastity. However, the Church has erected congregations of sisters to live and work in the world. The Church expects them to navigate the world of sin and holiness. They are to take what is good and beautiful in the world and make it better and they are to take what is sinful in the world and transform it, to the best of their abilities, out of love for God. They are to use every gift that God gives them, be it the ability to teach, nurse, do social work, do scientific research, work as administrators, sing, paint, or speak in front of a TV camera.

To be excommunicated you must commit a crime against Church law. The crime must be against the faith, against morals or against a discipline in the Church. Singing on stage is not a crime in the Catholic Church. It is not immoral. It is not against any discipline in the Church and it certainly is not contrary to any article of revealed faith. As far as being in the near occasion of sin, the Church does not consider this any different from any other situation where one has to navigate dangerous waters.

In addition, Canon Law grants religious superiors the power to authorize this kind of activity. If one notices very carefully, one will see two things. First, Sister Cristina is never alone. The major superior of her congregation and the superior of the house in which she lives are at every performance. Second, Sister is always in a habit. What people don’t know is that Mother Superior made a deal with the organization that runs the Voice of Italy. Sister Cristina is only allowed to be absent from her duties for two rehearsals per week and never alone without another sister. J-Ax, her coach agreed to this. He also asked Mother Superior if Mother would allow Sister to teach him about the spiritual life, because he has many questions that he believes Sister can answer. I did not dream this. This was in an interview that he did.

I know for myself that I don’t always know best. I simply walk out into the night holding the Lord’s hand not knowing where he leads. Those of us who are superiors must often walk in the dark holding on the Christ’s hand as we go about the business of leading and serving our brothers and sisters.

I often see too many people out there who want to tell religious what to do, how to do it and what not to do. They seem to know best. But I often ask myself the question, “If they know best how to live religious life, why am I on the inside and they’re on the outside? Shouldn’t they be in religious life putting their knowledge at the service of the Church?”

Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 3:13 AM  Leave a Comment  

How does one become a “Mirror of Perfection?”

A good friend and I were discussing the Mirror of Perfection and how we’re called to be such a mirror. St. Francis of Assisi has often been referred to as the Mirror of Perfection. I believe it may have been St. Bonaventure who started this tradition, which caught on in the Church and has lasted until today.

I’m remembering a few years back when I was a regular poster on Catholic Answers Forums being taken to task for always pointing to St. Francis whenever people complained about this or that. I would always say the same thing. “Look at people like St. Francis. They didn’t live in a perfect world and it certainly was a far from perfect Church.”

Now that I think about it, I’m glad that St. Bonaventure introduced the term, Mirror of Perfection. For centuries that Church has been telling us that we are called to holiness. Vatican II summed it nicely when it said “the universal call to holiness.” I like it because it’s clear that the call is not just for those of a certain religious tradition, but for all people. Everyone is called to holiness, even non-believers. How God leads men to holiness is complicated and parts of it are mysterious to us. We know that no one goes to the Father but through Christ. How Christ brings men to the Father is a whole other issue. We can get into that here, but we won’t. Suffice it to say that Christ does cartwheels to get us to the Father. In other words, he does cartwheels to helps become saints.

This brings me back to the Mirror of Perfection. Christ is perfect. He commands us to be perfect. He speaks to us about how we will be judged on the perfection of charity at the last judgment. “If you did it for one of these the least of my brothers, you did it for me.”

If we’re all called to holiness, to the perfection of charity, to be perfect as Christ is perfect, then aren’t we all called to be Mirrors of Perfection? How can one be like Christ and not reflect Christ to those around us? It’s an oxymoron. “I must decrease so that he can increase.” Those are the words of John the Baptist. The less of us and the more of Christ that people see when they come into contact with us, the better mirrors we become.

St. Francis was not the only man called to be the Mirror of Perfection. Rather, like St. Bonaventure says, he was probably the best mirror in Christian history. This introduces another concept. We can’t just reflect back an image of Christ. If you have ever been into a house of mirrors, some images are distorted. The key is to reflect an image of Christ that is as close to Christ as possible. That requires work. We don’t accomplish it over night.

We are sinners. We try to do what is right, but we make bad choices and we have to begin again. The secret that St. Francis discovered was that he recognized when he sinned and stopped the sinful action. He did penance for his sins and tried as hard as he could to do better. It was not always easy. Very often, the temptations came back over and over again. Over and over again, he put his hands into the hand of Christ, through prayer and penance. Christ guided him. Gradually, he reflected Christ better and better.

There is no great secret on how to become mirrors of perfection, nor are some called and others excluded. The call to holiness is universal. The key is to try over and over again, letting Christ teach us and not being afraid. As long as we journey with Christ, we have nothing to fear. He knows what we need to reflect him to the world. The first step to being a mirror of perfection is to learn to be sorry for our sins, to do penance and to try very hard not to sin again; but if we do, don’t panic. Christ does cartwheels to save us. Go back to him. Ask for forgiveness and try again. Always trust that each day he will bring you closer to being a perfect reflection of His love.

Published in: on June 22, 2014 at 1:35 AM  Leave a Comment  

La Aventura Conjunta de Franciscanos de Vida y Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami en el Apostolado de Vida.

En nuestra primera empresa conjunta, los Franciscanos de Vida y la Oficina de Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami presentó una mañana de formación para hombres que sirven en el Proyecto José, un apostolado de alcance y formación dirigido a padres que enfrentan embarazos en crisis. El Proyecto José se dirige directamente a los padres, mas incluye a las madres y a la familia a través de sesiones individuales y familiares.

Aunque no todo Franciscano de Vida es asignado al Proyecto José, a todo hermano (seglar y consagrado) se le requiere conocer todos los aspecto del trabajo pro-vida llevado a cabo por la Sociedad.

El hermano Jay, Superior de los Franciscanos de Vida y Director del Proyecto José, Arquidiócesis de Miami, dio comienzo a la mañana con una reflexión sobre la escuela franciscana de espiritualidad cristiana. Subrayó los elementos clave de nuestra espiritualidad, que la rinden el modelo más apropiado para llevar el Evangelio de la Vida a nuestros padres en nuestras circunstancias particulares: minoría, hermandad, expiación, la Cruz, Encarnación, la Trinidad, y empatía.

El hermano Chris siguió con una meditación sobre la vida y herencia de San Maximiliano Kolbe, subrayando la contribución que San Max ofreció en toda s vida al Evangelio de la Vida a través de la Inmaculada, lo que llevaría eventualmente a su martirio voluntario para salvar a un padre y mantener a una familia unida.

El padre Alfred Cioffi, profesor de biología y bioética en la Universidad St. Thomas, miembro de la Junta de Asesores de Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami, y gran amigo de los Franciscanos de Vida, ofreció una presentación sobre asuntos de final de la vida, presentación hermosa sobre los principios que todo Católico debe de tener a la mano para poder tomar decisiones morales apropiadas al lidiar con enfermedades terminales propias o de familiares.

En conclusión, la Sra. Joan Marie Crown, Directora Ejecutiva de Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami, le habló al grupo sobre los planes futuros del ministerio. Estos incluyen la inauguración de un nuevo edificio que hospedará un Centro de Embarazo, las oficinas diocesanas de Respeto a la Vida, y la oficina del hermano Jay para el Proyecto José.

Ha sido una mañana interesante. El hermano Jay recién salía del hospital después de una pelea con la neumonía, mas trajo su concentrador de oxigeno portátil e hizo lo suyo. Luego tuvo la oportunidad de pasar un tiempo junto a algunos de los hermanos y varios jóvenes que están discerniendo la vocación de hermanos consagrados en Franciscanos de Vida.

Ha sido maravilloso ver un grupo integrado de hombres que están respondiendo a la llamada de Cristo a servirle en el padre sin voz y en su hijo prenacido, ya sea como mentores laicos, como hermanos seglares, o como hermanos consagrados. Algo quedó demostrado: estos hombres son claramente hermanos los unos con los otros y con aquellos quienes Cristo les envía.

En conclusión, queremos agradecer a Mary Tate, la directora del Centro de Ayuda de Embarazo North Dade de la Arquidiócesis de Miami, por acoger el evento esta mañana. Mary dedicó el tiempo libre de su Sábado para pasar la mañana con nosotros. Como siempre, el amor de Mary para quienes no tienen voz, para el ministerio, y para los hermanos, se transmite a través del brillo de sus ojos, de su cariño, de su sentido del humor, y de su paciencia con todos nosotros. Ella es como la mamá que los Franciscanos de Vida necesitan.

Algunas fotos para que nuestros lectores pueda saborear algo del día.

El hermano Superior necesitaba recuperar el aliento - aspirantes y hermanos le hacen compañía - esta es hermandad.

El hermano Superior necesitaba recuperar el aliento – aspirantes y hermanos le hacen compañía – esta es hermandad.

Alberto está a punto de comenzar el discernimiento

Alberto está a punto de comenzar el discernimiento

Luis funge de mentor al discernimiento de Alberto

Luis funge de mentor al discernimiento de Alberto

El discernimiento requiere de muchas rosquillas

El discernimiento requiere de muchas rosquillas

¿Sigues en discernimento? :)

¿Sigues en discernimento? 🙂

Joseph King y José también hacen un poco de discernimiento personal

Joseph King y José también hacen un poco de discernimiento personal

Raul Camarca y Mary Tate emergen de la cocina. ¿Mas discernimiento?

Raul Camarca y Mary Tate emergen de la cocina. ¿Mas discernimiento?

El hermano Chris y Raul van para allá.

El hermano Chris y Raul van para allá.

Tiempo de volver al trabajo.

Tiempo de volver al trabajo.

Pero Hermano, ¡estamos tan cansados luego de todo ese discernimiento!

Pero Hermano, ¡estamos tan cansados luego de todo ese discernimiento!

El Dr. James Dugard y la Sra. Joan Crown en una discusión profunda durante la pausa. No tenemos idea de que estuviesen discerniendo.

El Dr. James Dugard y la Sra. Joan Crown en una discusión profunda durante la pausa. No tenemos idea de que estuviesen discerniendo.

Padre Alfred Cioffi ofrece una sobresaliente presentación sobre principios morales para decisiones de final de la vida. No, Joan no se quedó dormida. Simplemente no alcanzó a las rosquillas. Los hermanos se las comieron. :O

Padre Alfred Cioffi ofrece una sobresaliente presentación sobre principios morales para decisiones de final de la vida. No, Joan no se quedó dormida. Simplemente no alcanzó a las rosquillas. Los hermanos se las comieron. :O

Para más información sobre este importante asunto, visiten: (en español: )

Ahí encontraran todo lo que se necesita para preparar una Declaración Católica sobre la Vida y la Muerte – Directiva Anticipada (Designación de Sustituto para Cuidado de la Salud, Testamento Viviente)

Los Franciscanos de Vida desean agradecer la Oficina del Ministerio Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami para esta oportunidad de reunirnos como hermanos y hermanas para reflexionar sobre el Evangelio de la Vida y nuestra vocación común a la santidad.

Gracias a Raul Camarca por la traducción al castellano.

Recovering Evangelical Excellence

I was talking with one of our postulants tonight and recalling when I was a boy how the brothers who taught us were more than teachers. To be in the presence of a brother was almost awe inspiring. I can only speak to what inspired me about the brothers. I can’t speak for others.

Bl. John Duns Scotus

Bl. John Duns Scotus

But I believe that they radiated an air of excellence. Let’s not confuse excellence with perfection. They’re not the same thing. Perfection is always excellent, but excellence does not always imply perfection. These men were sinners like everyone else. Nonetheless, their demeanor, work, prayer life, sacrifice, joy without silliness, knowledge of their discipline and personal discipline spoke of excellence.

You were expected to learn to read, write and to math and do it well. Mediocrity was not an option. I still remember the brothers in their habits. I don’t think I ever saw a brother in a t-shirt and jeans except when he was doing grunge work in the backyard. Just as they dressed appropriately for school, the students were expected to do the same. Every piece of the uniform had to be in place. You didn’t dare show up at school without a belt. The expectations were high.

Every brother had a pen that he would pull out of some secret pocket in his habit. It was kind of funny, because the habits looked seamless. But the brothers managed to pull out pens, pencils, rulers, breviaries, rosary beads, and even a piece of candy or two. It was not until I started wearing a habit that I realized that the pockets to the habit are like saddle bags. Good gravy! You can put your laundry in there.

But there was more to these brothers than externals. There was an interior quest for excellence. Very often people unfairly characterize them as mean, cold, aloof, or even abusive. Not all of them were saints. The truth is that brothers did not fall out of heaven. They were born into real families. They came from the culture of the time. When they entered religious life, they came with what they had. We tend to forget that they were human beings. Even human beings who are committed to the perfection of charity have GOD IS HIDDEN WITHINweaknesses and always have areas where they need to improve. Yet, the brothers were gentlemen in every sense of the word. Those who were engaged in the outside apostolate were well prepared for their work. They were excellent teachers, nurses, social workers, counselors, artists and more. Those who lived a more cloistered life, such as friars and monks, were talented with their hands. Whatever was broken, they could fix it. They could turn a strip mine into a garden. Their carpentry and the care that they put into their sacristies was outstanding.

Then it happened. The Church went through some difficult times beginning just before Vatican II until recently. The Church also exists in a cultural context. Those who would want her to exist in a bubble are in for a disappointment. The Church is made up of real human beings and we are products of our times. We don’t come to the Church with a blank slate.

These are times of compromise, political correctness and even relativism. I’m not saying this is the right way to function. I’m just stating a fact. It’s been a tough time for many religious communities, especially communities of brothers. Fr. Ratzinger at Vat II

One mistake in religious life has been to accommodate the formation of young religious to their context instead of helping them accommodate to the vision and mission that the founder gave the religious institute, in other words, rise above their cultural context. As a result, some religious institutes are so secular that they are no longer recognizable as communities of consecrated life. Other institutes have over compensated and are so legalistic and rigid that they are no longer comparable to the original community.

We must accept the fact that every religious community has to grow and evolve. Let’s remember the Parable of the Talents. God gives us our talents and expects us to do something with them. It does not please Him when we hide them under the mattress.

In our Franciscan tradition, we do not expect Franciscan communities to look exactly like the first Franciscan community that appeared before Pope Innocent III in 1209. If we looked like that, it would mean that we have done nothing with our talents during the last 800 years. The Holy Spirit gave St. Francis a vision of the Gospel and a mission to fulfill for the good of the Church. That vision and mission cannot change. It is absolute. The day that it changes, you may have a religious family, but it’s not Franciscan. This is where excellence comes into the picture. Excellence commands us to preserve the gift and use it well.

Today’s Franciscan of Life, be he a secular brother or a consecrated brother, embraces the vision of the Gospel that God gave to St. Francis. He makes Francis’ mission his own, to be carried out in today’s Church. The circumstances change, but not the essence. Every Franciscan Brother of Life commits to the Gospel and mission as Francis handed it down to us. Our commitment is come to know and live the Gospel inspired by St. Francis and to serve the Church as he served blessing of st francisher, as a faithful son.

We consecrate our lives to the service of Excellence found in the Gospel that the Church proclaims. Whether we’re at play, work, prayer or rest, we are ever conscious that we must do what we do with the same passion for excellence as Francis. We have been called to holiness through the perfection of charity. There is no room for mediocrity, compromise, political correctness, secularism or relativism. Our Catholic faith does not change. God has called each brother to be as Catholic as was Francis of Assisi. He has called each brother to rebuild the Church. The Church deserves excellence in everything we do.

To be a Franciscan of Life today is to embark on a journey to recover Archbishop Thomas Wenski celebrates Mass for Nascent Lifeevangelical excellence. Evangelical excellence is not an abstract concept. What we do, how we do it, what we say and how we say it must convey the excellence of the Gospel of Life.

Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 12:17 AM  Leave a Comment  

Thank You Father Walker

The Franciscans of Life raise our voices in prayer to our Heavenly Father for the soul of Rev. Kenneth Walker, FSSP. We thank God for the gifts that Father brought to the people of God and for having sent him to serve us. May he celebrate eternal joy and peace with Christ the Eternal Priest.

We also pray for his family, especially his parents and for his confreres in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. May Our Lady, Mother of All Consolation, be with you at this time and always.

Finally, we pray for the conversion of those capable of such violence.

Rest in peace, good and faithful servant.

Rev. Kenneth Walker, FSSP

Rev. Kenneth Walker, FSSP

Published in: on June 17, 2014 at 4:42 AM  Leave a Comment  

Franciscans of Life and Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami Joint Adventure in the Apostolate of Life

In our first joint venture, the Franciscans of Life and the Office for Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami held a formation morning for men serving in Project Joseph, an outreach and formation apostolate to dads in crisis pregnancies. Project Joseph deals directly with the fathers, but includes the mothers and extended family thorugh individual and family sessions.

While every Franciscan of Life is not assigned to Project Joseph, every brother (secular and consecrated) is required to know every aspect of all pro-life work done by the Society.

Brother Jay, Superior of Franciscans of Life and Director of Project Joseph, Archdiocese of Miami, opened the morning with a reflection on the Franciscan School in Christian Spirituality. He focused the key elements of our spirituality which makes it the most appropriate delivery model for the Gospel of Life to our dads in our particular circumstances: minority, fraternity, atonement, the Cross, Incarnation, the Trinity, and empathy.

Brother Chris followed with a meditation on the life and legacy of St. Maximilian Kolbe, stressing St. Max’s lifelong contribution to the Gospel of Life through the Immaculate, which would eventually lead to his voluntary martyrdom to save a father and keep a family united.

Father Alfred Cioffi, Professor of biology and bioethics at St. Thomas University, member of the Board of Advisors of Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami, and long friend of the Franciscans of Life presented on the end of life issues. Father gave a wonderful presentation on the principles that every Catholic must have in hand in order to make appropriate moral decisions when facing terminal illness, be it one’s own or that of a loved one.

Finally, Mrs. Joan Marie Crown, Executive Director of Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami addressed the group on future plans for the ministry. These include the opening of a new facility that will house a pregnancy help center, the diocesan offices of Respect Life and Brother Jay’s office for Project Joseph.

It was an interesting morning. Brother Jay was recently released from the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. But he dragged along his oxygen concentrator and did his thing. After, Brother had the opportunity to spend time with some of the brothers and several young men who are discerning a vocation to the Franciscans of Life as consecrated brothers.

It was wonderful to see an integrated group of men who are responding to Christ’s call to serve him in the voiceless father and his preborn child either as a lay mentor, a secular brother or a consecrated brother. But one thing is clear; these men are clearly brothers to each other and to those to whom Christ sends them.

Finally, we want to thank Mary Tate, the director of the North Dade Pregnancy Help Center of the Archdiocese of Miami for hosting the morning’s event. Mary took time from her free Saturday morning to spend with us. As usual, Mary’s love for the voiceless, the ministry and the brothers comes through the twinkle in her eyes, her warmth, her sense of humor and her patience with all of us. She’s like the mom that Franciscans of Life need.

A few pictures to give our readers a TASTE of the day.


Brother Superior needed to catch his breadth — Aspirants and brothers keep him company — This is fraternity

Alberto is about to begin discernment

Alberto is about to begin discernment

Luis mentors Alberto's disccernment

Luis mentors Alberto’s disccernment

Discernment requires a lot of donuts

Discernment requires a lot of donuts

Are you still discerning?  :)

Are you still discerning? 🙂

Joseph King and Jose are doing a little discerning of their own.

Joseph King and Jose are doing a little discerning of their own.

Raul Camarca and Mary Tate emerge out of the kitchen.  More discernment?

Raul Camarca and Mary Tate emerge from the kitchen. More discernment?

Brother Chris and Raul are going for it now.

Brother Chris and Raul are going for it now.

Time to get back to work

Time to get back to work

But Brother, we're so tired from all that discernment.

But Brother, we’re so tired from all that discernment.

Dr. James Dugart and Mrs. Joan Crown in deep discussion during the break.  We have no idea what they were discerning.

Dr. James Dugard and Mrs. Joan Crown in deep discussion during the break. We have no idea what they were discerning.

Father Alfred Cioffi delivers an outstanding presentation on end of life moral principles.

Father Alfred Cioffi delivers an outstanding presentation on moral principles for end of life decisions. No, Joan is not asleep. She didn’t get enough donuts. The brothers ate them. 😮

For more information on this important subject visit:


You’ll find everything you need to prepare a Catholic Declaration on Life and Death – Advance Directive
(Health Surrogate Designation / Living Will)

The Franciscans of Life want to thank the Office of Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami for this opportunity to come together as brothers and sisters to reflect on the Gospel of Life and our common vocation to holiness.

The Gentle Side to Suffering

I’ve been thinking about Redemptive Suffering for a very long time. I can certainly explain it in light of the Cross, no problem there. How sad manto explain it to a non-Christian is a bit of a challenge. This morning it hit me. I warn you; be patient here. This is a seminal thought that came to me while meditating today. We’ll see where the Spirit leads.

Poor health has been my normal state of affairs for over five-years. I can’t say whether the chicken or the egg came first. It just seems that as the body gets weaker, the temptation to give up intensifies. At the same time, as we struggle to stay in the fight, the body weakens. There we have it, the proverbial chicken and egg thing. The only thing that helps get one from this hour to the next is faith, a belief that God has a plan.

Having said this, I have begun to meditate a lot on this idea. “God has a plan.” I’m not really meditating on the plan itself, because I don’t know the whole of it. I’m meditating on the fact that He has one. But today something hit me like a bolt of lightning. Maybe this is part of God’s plan for me or for all of us who struggle with suffering of some kind. Looking back on the past five-years of struggling with poor health all the way around, I have noticed that people are very kind. Everyone from fellow Franciscans to strangers in a doctor’s office has been very kind to me. It dawned on me that I’m more open to the kindness of others. I appreciate it. I’m not embarrassed to accept it or even ask for it. It doesn’t make me feel weaker than others. On the contrary, it makes me feel special, because God loves me in a special way. Suffering can be medicinal in some very surprising ways. There may be areas in our lives that need more healing than a cancer.

Published in: on June 12, 2014 at 9:34 AM  Leave a Comment  

Update on urgent prayer request

At 10:30 PM, Jun 10, 2014, I received news from Postulant Jerry that our young friend is breathing on his own using ordinary oxygen. The ventilator has been removed. We have put his care in the hands of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. We ask the everyone implore Bl. Teresa to pray for him and if it be God’s will that there be a complete recovery.

In the meantime, thank you and keep praying with the Franciscans of Mother TeresaLife. Let us unite as the living voice of Christ who calls out to the most vulnerable. Remember the motto of the Franciscans of Life. “Life calls out to life.”

Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Published in: on June 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM  Leave a Comment