Monthly Newsletters


May 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 11:51 AM by Friar Suppliers

              

              May 1, 2018


“HaiL Mary, full of grace!  Blessed are you among women!”


After this cold dreary winter we are all ready for the beautiful month of May; Our Lady’s month. I pray that this month finds you all healthy and happy.

I would like to tell you about our beautiful day of grace; Divine Mercy Sunday which was April 8th.  So many of the Friars and Sisters were able to come this year. It was a powerfully grace filled day with Adoration, prayer,  praise music, witnessing, confessions, and fellowship.

Fr. John Paul  preached a wonderful homily.  He began by telling us how good it is that God has given us this feast.  He said when he was a boy growing up in Reno, Nevada, he would love to go to the library there.  He described it as have a six story spiral staircase in the middle with books on each level. Running up and down the staircase as he would like to do gave him so many different perspectives of the library. The spiral staircase he said helps us to see the same thing from different levels.

He told us that all of us present there in the church are at different levels in the spiritual life.  Some of us were being drawn to the first level for the first time. We were seeking God’s mercy.

Some of us were on various floors in the middle, seeking to integrate mercy into our lives.  We are trying to accept God’s mercy, and apply it ourselves and others.

Some people, present in the church, were seeking to be an “apostle of mercy.”  An “apostle of mercy” is one who offers all their suffering as a form of mercy for the world.

Fr. John Paul explained that even if we don’t know what to say, just by approaching the confessional, mercy will be given.

Fr. John Paul recalled a teaching by Fr. Groeschel.  He said, Fr. Groeschell taught that there are two ways to observe the law of God.  The law of God is to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor. The first way to do this is “perfectly.”  We can love God and neighbor perfectly like the saints do. Take for example, St. Francis, St. Claire, St. Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, St. Faustina.  Each one focused their lives on different elements from scripture; poverty, love, mercy.

The second way to observe the law of God is the way most of us do it; by failing.  Most of us are struggling sinners; falling, repenting, confessing, starting again, falling, repenting, confessing, starting again and again and again.  We often confess the same thing over and over, allowing the mercy of God to develop in our hearts.

Fr. John Paul also quoted from St. Faustina’s Diary # 1158.

“Everyone ought to perform at least one act of mercy a day; at least one, but there can be many more, for such deeds can easily be carried out by anyone, even the very poorest.  For there are three ways of performing an act of mercy: the merciful word, by forgiving and by comforting; secondly, if you can offer no word, then pray. That too is mercy; and thirdly, deeds of mercy.”

Fr. John Paul continued to encourage us with his words of mercy.  He said; “whatever stage we are at, the source of the graces come from our baptismal promises.”  

Here are a few  more words from St. Faustina’s Diary:



                      



          

146. “There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.”

140 “Only one thing is needed to please God:  to do even the smallest things out of great love - love, and always love.”

134 “How good it is to abandon oneself totally to God and so give Him full freedom to act in one’s soul.”

We are so blessed to be Catholic!  We have so many saints and opportunities to grow closer to God.  Sometimes life can seem so hard but just knowing that God is so merciful is such a reassurance and comfort. Having the Franciscan Friars and Sisters so close to us is such encouragement.  They are “Apostles of His mercy.” They are here for us and we are here for them as well. This is what God wants.

It is nice that the weather is finally getting nicer.  We will be able to do alot of our food packing outside again.  This gives us more room, and makes the cleanup easier. We are still shopping, packing, sorting groceries every month for the Friars and Sisters. It’s become a “food packing party” with the help of so many volunteers.  Young and old; we get the job done. Thank you for all the volunteers who come each month. Thank you to all of you who contribute monthly. We couldn’t do this without you. Doing the food shopping for the Franciscans Friars and Sisters is a tremendous help for them.  It relieves them of this obligation both in time and money and gives them more time for prayer and ministry to the poor and people like us. It’s a good thing all around for everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the early Christians had a committee something like “Friar Suppliers. “  For Scripture says: “And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 43-47. Sounds to me like “Friar Suppliers”

Amen, there is cause for rejoicing here:  On Saturday, May 26th @ 9am @ St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC, four of the Franciscan brothers will be ordained to the priesthood.  They are: Br. Marc Mary, Br Pierre Toussaint, Br. Angelus, and Br. Francesco. Please pray for them during the month of May. Congratulations Brothers!  We are so proud of you!

Thank you Friar Suppliers!









                     


April 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 11:42 AM by Friar Suppliers

108 No. Greene Ave. Lindenhurst, NY 11757


               Rejoice, He is risen, Alleluia!!!


Happy Easter everyone!  I hope that you are all filled with joy and hope during this Easter season.  I think the trouble with this world today is we have lost joy and hope. We need a new “experience of God.” God doesn’t usually come down and hit us over the head with a blast of electrifying grace.  That would be nice, but it’s unrealistic. For Jesus says, “an evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.“ Matt 12: 39. And again, in Luke 16: 31 Jesus said, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” So this means is that it is up to us to create an “experience of God.”  God is ever present. He has revealed everything we need. So what is stopping us? We all know that we are too busy gratifying our own desires. We indulge in too much work, too much food, too much entertainment, too much internet. If we want to experience God, we have to go to Him. He’s waiting for us. We need to make time for prayer, silence, Scripture, and serving the poor. I added serving the poor because the Saints all demonstrate to us that we encounter Jesus in the poor.  So then, what stops so many of us from doing this? We are weak human beings. Concupiscence or inclination to sin is ever present in the human condition. The only way to overcome it, is to force ourselves to make the right choices. This takes heroic effort in our lives. God promises to supply us with the grace to do it.  He is always reaching out to us.  We must choose to be an “Easter” people; full of joy, hope, faith.  We must be ambitious towards the things of heaven, not of this earth, because we are only passing through.

One of the things that bothers me most about this society we live in today is “Relativism.”  Relativism says: “I follow my own conscience.” “I decide what is good or bad.” Well let’s look at this. In the Catholic Register, Mar 4-17, 2018 edition on Page 11, Msgr Charles Pope writes “What Conscience Is and Is Not”  Here are some key points:

“Conscience is an act of judgement, a decision that directs the will to a particular action in a particular set of circumstances.” “Conscience is not its own law.”  “It is a subjective guide.” “Law is objective.” “Conscience must refer to the law in order to reach proper judgements.” “Conscience is true or false insofar as it agrees with or falls short of natural law and human law that is  just and in conformity with Divine Law.” “A false conscience judges what is unlawful to be lawful or what is lawful to be unlawful.” “One is obliged to form one’s conscience through both study and experience.” “It is not a private inspiration or interpretation.” “The role of conscience is to apply what is taught by God, through natural law, Revelation and the Church, to particular situations.”  “Either a person’s conscience or judgement is in conformity with God’s revealed truth, and is thus correct, or it is not in conformity and is in error (erroneous).” “While we want to respect that some people are sincerely wrong and wish to treat them with dignity, we must continue to insist that those who have erroneous consciences are wrong.” “We must teach both them and others what is true and why.”  “Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts we perform.” Check out the article in “Catholic Register.” I also recommend that you get a subscription to this faithful Catholic Newspaper produced by EWTN.


Divine Mercy Sunday is April 8th.  Please remember to avail yourselves to this wonderful grace from God; His Divine Mercy.  Avail yourselves to confession on or within two weeks of the day. Go to Mass, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and pray for the intentions of the Pope.  Our Lord promises that those who do these things will receive complete remission of sin and all temporal punishment due to sin. It will be like you are baptised for the first time.  


For those who are local, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with the Friars, Sisters and Friar Suppliers at “The Assumption of the BVM Church” on Crown Acres Rd. Centereach from 3-6pm.  There will be a pizza party afterwards. Please bring your family and friends and some non-perishable food for the poor if you can. We hope to see many of you there. Twice a year Friar Suppliers get together; September for our Annual Picnic and Divine Mercy Sunday for a day of grace.  


Families:  Are you looking for a great way to spend some quality time having fun and Eileen & Rich Garbealso nourish yourselves and your family in the Catholic faith?  Look no further than “The Apostolate for Family Consecration” Their summer weekly “Family Fests” are the way to experience true Catholic culture.  Go to www.afc.org or call 1-800-FOR-MARY. Register early!! (they fill up early) I promise you will not be disappointed.


Thank you everyone for your generous donations to Friar Suppliers.  Your commitment and gift enable us to buy the food and groceries for the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal every month.  Your donations to our Haiti mission literally saves lives every month!!! Thank you so much.


Our next food packing day will be Saturday, April 14th from 10am -12pm.  Please call us if you are able to come. 631-682-4298.


Jesus, we trust in you,  

Joan & Charlie Moran


March 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 11:30 AM by Friar Suppliers

March 1, 2018


           “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matt 5: 3


Here we are in Lent again.  It’s always a good time to meditate on our Franciscan charism of poverty.  After all, poverty is what we are all about as Friar Suppliers. CFR Brothers and Sisters actually take a vow of poverty when they make their vows as Franciscans of the Renewal.  They rely totally on Divine Providence who inspires us Friar Suppliers to provide them with their food and groceries. Their ministry is to serve the poor while living poor. We help them live their life of poverty by providing for their needs.  Our ministry to the poor in Haiti is all about poverty as well, as we seek to relieve the suffering of the poorest of the poor in Haiti. It’s easy to understand what this kind of poverty is because we can see it and even measure it in terms of how much or how little someone has.  But there is another kind of poverty as well; the kind Jesus is talking about when he says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matt 5:3. What does it mean for us to be “poor in Spirit?”  A person who is poor in spirit, knows that God is all in all and trusts completely in His will.  St. Peter tells us what our mindset should be when he says; “Conduct yourselves reverently during your sojourn in a strange land.  Realize that you were delivered, not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ’s blood beyond all price: the blood of a spotless, unblemished lamb.”  “Through Him you have confidence in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”  1 Peter 1: 17-21. During Lent, we can all take the time to do a “poverty check.” This has many meanings for our Franciscan Friars and Sisters.  A “poverty check” can be simply going through all our belongings and getting rid of or donating whatever we don’t need; things like clothing, kitchen items, toys, dust collectors, clutter, bad habits, even extra pounds that might need to be shed.  Or it can be meditating on what it means to be poor in spirit. Both types of “poverty checks” are worthy of our time during lent since Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Since our goal is “the kingdom of heaven,” let’s get to work practicing the virtue of “poor in spirit.”

I recently read an article in the “Catholic Register” by Msgr. Charles Pope from Washington DC  about a report that Pope Francis is calling for a change in the words of the “Our Father,” because in the English translation “lead us not into temptation” is not a good one because God does not lead people to sin.  Pope Francis suggested, using “do not let us fall into temptation,” instead. Msgr. Pope tells us that the English translation comes exactly from the Greek. “And to instead render it “do not allow us” is to read into the text an extended meaning that is not there. The effect is to imply that the inspired Greek text in inadequate.” Msgr. Pope says, “ the Holy Father is right in this;  God does not “throw” us into temptation, as if He were wanting us to fall. We cannot blame God for our sins, but we ought not to surrender the truth that God does “lead” us in all things by being the first cause of all that is, including every step we take and and every decision we make.” Msgr Pope concludes that it is his opinion that “we should teach, explain, and remain rooted in the translation of the Lord’s prayer that has sustained and united the English-speaking world for hundreds upon hundreds of years.”  ( Catholic Register Dec 24-Jan 6, 2018 Pg 11)

Well, lent is lent as usual with the Friars and Sisters; fasting, prayer and almsgiving is the rule.  During Lent, the Friars and Sisters do more parish missions and preaching. We local Friar Suppliers are busying ourselves with shopping for the Franciscans groceries and filling barrels for Haiti. We look forward to the warmer weather because it is very cold packing barrels in the garage on the these cold winter days. But that ok; it’s a little extra penance for lent.

I always like to remind everyone that it is a good time to read the “Diary of St. Faustina”  or “33 Days to Divine Mercy” by Fr. Michael Gaitley in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday.


Divine Mercy Sunday will again be the Sunday after Easter on April 8th.  We will hold our annual “Day of Grace” at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church on Crown Acres Rd. Centereach from 3pm-6pm followed by a pizza and salad social for all.  Fr. John Paul CFR who is the CFR’s Community Servant will be our main preacher and presider along with other Friars and Sisters. Enclosed is a flyer. Please hang it on your refrigerator so you remember.  We hope to see many of you there.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for being Friar Suppliers and contributing each month.  There is always such great need. Here is a list of items we always need for Haiti:


Shoes, sandals, sneakers, (any size, new or gently worn and clean) (no winter boots, high heels or bedroom slippers)

Summer clothing (new or gently used, freshly laundered)

Multi-vitamins

Towels, sheets, pillow cases, light weight blankets

Small hand-held toys for kids: balls, matchbox cars, McDonalds toys( No stuffed animals)

Non-perishable food

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant

Tylenol, Tums, Visine


We always need donations to ship it all that we collect to Haiti.  We fill the barrel with free stuff but it cost $165 a barrel to ship it!!!  Everything we ship goes directly to the poor. For every item we hand out, theirs hundreds more in need.


Please tell your family and friends about Friar Suppliers and encourage them to be Friar Suppliers.  This is such a worthy cause. Our only overhead is this Newsletter which we send out to fundraise and to most importantly to say Thank you.  Thank you again and again. God Bless you all with a blessed Lent and Holy Week.


Our next packing date will be Saturday, March 17th.  Please call us if you are coming. 631-682-4298.


Charlie, Here is the March Newsletter for Friar Suppliers that needs to put into a readable format.  Let me know how you make out with this. Joan 631-682-7759


February 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 11:25 AM by Friar Suppliers

“The Lord is great and worthy to be praised.”


Greetings to all of you.  So much has happened since I typed the last Newsletter.  I hope I can squeeze it all into one letter. I want to begin by telling you all (if you haven’t heard) that Fr. Andrew Apostoli passed away peacefully on Dec. 13th after battling cancer for the past year.  He was a true icon of Christ and a faithful servant of the Church. He will be greatly missed.

Our mission trip to Haiti was very exciting, rewarding, successful, and fun.  We were a large group of 35 missionaries. Everyone was on different teams.

We had 3 priests: Fr. Innocent, Fr John Mary, and Fr. Terry ministering to all of our sacramental needs which included Mass every day, holy hour and Rosary.  Fr. Innocent Baptized a Haitian baby of one of our workers and did a funeral rite for a 3 year old orphan named Donnelson who died at the orphanage while we were in Haiti.  This was so sad. He was all alone in this world but we were all there for him to pray and give him a his final blessings. All of us were greatly moved by this experience. Thank you Fathers for being with us.  You brought Jesus to us all.

We also had 9 CFR brothers with us: Br Benjamin, Br Juniper, Br. Joseph, Br. John David, Br. Lawrence, Br. Shawn, Br. Oisin, Br. Pier Georgio, and Br. Francois who worked on all the different teams. Thank you brothers for giving the gift of yourselves to all of us.  Each of you contributed your own unique talents, gifts, and spirit to all of us.

We had 4 CFR Sisters with us who did alot of evangelization; Sr. Jacinta, Sr. Mae, Sr. Josephine, and Sr. Kolbe. They visited homes and classrooms, taught the children songs and skits, held and cuddled orphans, listened to countless tales of woe, and offered lots of prayer and encouragement to everyone. Thank you sisters for adding the feminine, maternal touch to all of us.  You were mothers to us all.

The rest of us lay people had plenty of jobs to do.  Nineteen of us bagged rice, beans, and cornmeal, sorted and gave out clothing and shoes and food.  People in Haiti are so needy that they don’t care what it is. Color, style, male, female or size, if they can get it on, it works for them. The lay people were a “mixed bag of young and old” from various places, with various skills and talents. Everyone worked hard and gave selflessly of themselves.  Thank you for being missionaries.

Two members of our group had special jobs.  One was Rodney from New Mexico. We met him in New Mexico last May and invited him to come with us.   He invented and patented a water purifying system. He came, tested all the water in all the various places, set up his purifying system and taught key Haitian people how to test and monitor the system.  There is now clean purified water in the entire village which serves thousands of people. He then moved on to other parts of Haiti to do the same. We were all in awe of this man’s kindness, generosity and skill.  Thank you Rodney for being such an gift to the people of Haiti and our team.

The other member was Mike from Pittsburg, Pa.  Mike is an electrician. Mike installed ceiling fans in every room at the Mission where we stayed.  It was hard work and confusing outdated wiring. He did a great job and made such a difference in the comfort of everyone living and working at the mission.  His generosity, cheerfulness, and spirit made him an irreplaceable member of our team. Thank you, MIke

Everyday in Haiti was busy and exciting.  There was work going on all day long. Ten Haitian women cooked all day long to feed all of us.   They cooked 3 hot meals a day for about 100 people. Cooking was done as always outside on charcoal.  Chickens, goats, and other mystery meat was slaughtered right there and prepared. Eggs were gathered from the coups. Dishes were washed by hand in bowls of water.  These women worked so hard for fifteen hours each day. All of our tee shirts were washed by hand each day. One young 16 year old Haitian girl, Anne Marie, was amazing.  She worked tirelessly and joined with us in every activity. She was full of spirit and love was for everyone she met. Everyone loved Anne Marie.

In the lumber yard, teams of men built and pre-assembled houses, latrines and chicken coups.  Then other teams transported them to the sites, where other teams assembled them. Some of these sites were in very difficult places to reach; up and down steep mountainous terrain, often carrying on their backs the lumber, tools, generator and water. It’s a beautiful thing to watch the precision, cooperation, and comradery that goes with all the men; Haitians and Americans all working together.  What a beautiful sight to see.

I wish I could describe to you what it “feels” like to be on a mission trip in Haiti.  We’ve told you stories and shown you pictures and videos. Our senses take in so much; the different sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch all add to our experience which we can’t give you unless you are there. What we feel in our hearts and emotions has to be experienced.   Let me tell you about Son-son (nickname). Son-son is about 14 years old and paralyzed on the left side of his body caused by a fever when he was too young to remember. He lives with his sister not much older than him. He can walk somehow with great effort. He is sad to look at.  He speaks little and rarely smiles. Son-son showed up one morning in our compound. Of course, we were all over him with assistance; clothing, shoes, food, physical therapy and lots of tender loving care. He followed us everywhere and did his best to be apart of our group. It was obvious to us that he was an outcast, alone and lonely. We all did our best to love him.  When it came time for us to leave, he was there to say goodbye. The tears were rolling down his sad face. If we came to Haiti to make a difference, it was in this one poor soul. It was worth the trip if even just for him.

We can’t thank you enough for for generosity to help make all this possible.  We couldn’t have done any of this without your financial assistance, encouragement and prayers.  All of us who went feel very humbled by the experience. We are so grateful to all of you who helped make this happen and for the opportunity to bring Jesus to the poorest of the poor.  Thank you!





January 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 11:22 AM by Friar Suppliers

January 1, 2018


“Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; for the praise is fitting for loyal hearts.”  Psalm 33


Merry Christmas to all of you.  We are still in the christmas season which is such a joyful time of year when we contemplate that God sent His Son to take on human flesh and live amongst us.  Don’t you wish you lived in Bethlehem at that time and had the opportunity to go to the manger and adore our Lord? I love to imagine myself there. I love newborn babies and I imagine myself asking Mary and Joseph if I can hold Him.  I imagine myself picking Him up and holding Him in my arms; putting His soft fuzzy little head next to my cheek; smelling His newborn fragrance and kissing His sweet little face. We forget that we can do this every time we receive communion or spend time with Him in Adoration.  The Eucharist is Jesus’ body and soul in all His humanness and Divinity alive today like He was on that first Christmas Day. Come let us adore Him!

The following is a scripture verse that has always puzzled me:   “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings for the sake of His body, that is, the church.”  Col 1: 24

If Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was enough to redeem us from our sins and it truly was, then what was lacking???  I finally got the answer from Blessed Fulton Sheen in His book: “St Therese - A treasured Love Story.” I will quote him.

“Well, the answer is this:  When our Lord was on the cross, the body He suffered in was the body He took from Mary.”  The body to which St. Paul is referring is His Mystical Body, the church. “In other words, Christ is glorified in heaven in the body He took from Mary, but He is living in His body on earth, and He is suffering many indignities now just as He suffered indignities then.”  “So our Lord’s sufferings were finished in the physical body, but His sufferings are not finished in the Mystical Body; the Church. In other words, St Paul is saying that there is a quota of suffering reserved for the Church which is not yet filled up.” “What we saw on Calvary was the greatest moment of the Passion of Christ in history. To Christ it was all at once, but to us it is worked out successively.” ( or as I would say, It’s a work in progress.) “But” Says Blessed Sheen, “there are sinners that have to be redeemed.  The work of the cross has to go on. Jesus asks us, will you give me your human nature so that I can suffer in you?” This is what Jesus asks of all of us. I’ll say it again. “Will you give me your human nature so that I can suffer in you?”

Now, for all of you who perhaps are suffering this Christmas season;  it may be difficult for you to be joyful. Blessed Fulton Sheen says, “All of you people who are suffering in any way, Christ is in you.  He’s even in those who have not the faith.” “The one lesson you want to understand is that Christ is using you. He’s using you for others.  We have to save the Church. We have to save some priests. We have to save the faithful. We have to save the communists (and I add, our family members, neighbors, politicians, unbelievers, etc)  “We have to save our country, make it peaceful. All the sufferings combined can do that.”

We have a choice. “We are either on the cross or underneath it, says Blessed Sheen.  “On it by discipline, mortification, faith, sharing the Passion of Christ, or underneath it with clenched fists and hatred, begging the Lord to come down from that cross.”

This made great sense to me.  I now understand and hope that this is helpful catechesis for you as well. I pray that these simple newsletters will help to deepen your love for God and the Catholic faith.


By the time you get this newsletter,  Charlie and I and our team of Friars Sisters and other lay volunteers will be in Haiti on another yearly mission.  Please pray for all of us; for our safety, and our strength to complete the work we are going to do with love and compassion.

Please pray for Fr Andrew Apostoli CFR.  As of today 12/5 I am writing to tell you that sadly, He is very sick and and nearing his final journey to God.  Please pray for a happy death for him.


The St. Joseph Friary is in great need of a reliable strong dryer.  A commercial style dryer would be the best. If you have one to donate or would like to contribute towards one please help us out.


I want to thank my sweet daughter-in-law Colleen for formating this newsletter each month.  I don’t have the computer skills to do it. So I type it plain, and she formates it into the the newsletter form that you get and puts it on our web site as well.  She is able to do it from her computer at home by somehow taking it off of mine in my house. I haven’t a clue. Anyway, Colleen has three little ones, a dog and a part time job. She is feel ing very overburdened.  I am asking for someone to please step forward and volunteer to do this for Friar Suppliers. It only takes about an hour a month for someone with computer skills. Please consider helping in this huge way. Call me (Joan) @ 631-682-7759.


Thank you for all your contributions, prayers, and volunteer help for Friar Suppliers.  Know that we will be praying for you and all your intentions while we are in Haiti. Please pray for us.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


December 2017

posted May 11, 2018, 11:18 AM by Friar Suppliers

December 2017


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  (John 1:5.)


The shortest day of the year is December 21, what we call the “winter Solstice.” It is the day with the least amount of light.  It’s the beginning of winter. It’s cold, dark and dreary. Even the solar panels on our roofs are not able to collect enough sunlight to generate enough electricity.  It is dark!

“Darkness covers the earth, thick clouds covers it’s people.”  These are words to an Advent Hymn by the St. Louis Jesuits. Darkness!  Isn’t our world covered in the darkness of sin as well? Since the fall of Adam and Eve, has it not always been a world of darkness and sin?  And yet, an infinite God from all eternity, chooses to enter into time and history.

Try to imagine this scene in heaven;  God the Father, in union with His son and the Holy Spirit living in harmony and peace for all eternity, looks down upon His creation on a little speck in the universe that He created, called Earth.  Consider how, this tiny earth is His pride and Joy. This speck called earth, He put all His greatest effort into it when He created it. He gave it His best of everything that He is. All His love and everything of Himself that was so good.  Then on this little island in the universe, He created man and woman in His own image. A being with a body that could reason and choose. He created man and woman in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. He gave them a conscience.  He created them for fellowship which would reflect God’s triune nature and His love. And then, what happened? We all know the story… Darkness fell on the earth when sin entered. God did not create the sin, but man freely chose it. Death had entered the world.

Now consider the Triune God looking down at His creation which He loves so much.  Who can imagine it? Who can imagine what He saw? Who can imagine what He thought?  Who could possibly restore His creation without destroying the image of Himself which was man and woman?  Imagine, a timeless God in love with a world so full of sin and death. “I will go there”, said His Son, “send me.”  And so, God sent His only Beloved Son, a part of Himself, to become incarnate. “ For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross”  ( Col 1: 19-20). He was willing to endure suffering and death caused by man’s sins. God sent Him naked and helpless to a tiny manger, in a little town called Bethlehem. This is the miracle of Christmas. Could anyone have made up such a story? It is inconceivable!   

Our world today is no better.  It is still steeped in sin and death.  There is darkness and suffering everywhere we look. And yet, in this Christmas story we rejoice because God has united humanity with His Divinity.  Can anything be more humbling, more incredible, more unfathomable, more hopeful, more comforting? Is the Christmas story still relevant today? It is timeless, just like God Himself.  For, “ He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him” ( Col 1: 15-16). Humanity will always need a savior and wise men will continue to seek Him, because a light shines in the darkness.


December is always a busy time for everyone.  You all know how hectic and stressful it can become.  A wonderful time of year can be drudge for so many. That is why, anyone who is able, should stretch themselves to do a little more for those who are less fortunate or suffering. Here are just a few ideas to you can put into practice during Advent:  A gift for someone less fortunate, a home cooked meal or baked goodies, a visit to a nursing home, a letter or Christmas card to someone who needs cheering up, caroling at the door of someone homebound, help someone with shopping, shovel a neighbor’s walk when it snows, donate a turkey dinner, donate to your favorite charity  :) like Friar Suppliers :).

The Franciscan Friars are also very busy at this time of year with turkey handouts to the poor, visits to the sick and homebound, parish missions and liturgical celebrations.  They too celebrate Christmas themselves as a community. That means they’ll need extra food from us Friar Suppliers, so please be as generous as you can. Often family members will come.  The postulants and candidates who arrived in early September, will have the opportunity to go home and visit their families. It is always a good opportunity for them to further discern if God is calling them to the CFRs.

Okay, now it’s time for some Christmas humor.  Here is the Friar’s grocery list for December, sung to the last verse of “ On the Twelve Days of Christmas.”


On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Friars asked of me:

20 frozen turkeys

11 bags of onions

100 tubes of toothpaste

90 peanut butters

80 cans of coffee

70 lbs of chop meat

60 heads of broccoli


5 DOZEN EGGS


40 bags of rice

3 crates of apples

10 lbs of butter


AND 150 ROLLS OF T.P. !


January 2nd-10th, 2018 will be our next mission trip to Haiti.  By now you should have received the DVD that was made last June.  It is amazing! I hope you all take the time to watch it and share it with family and friends. You should all be so proud because if it wasn’t for you none of this would be possible. Please send your donation for the trip in today!

Any time you want to talk to us about our work with the Friars or in Haiti, we would be happy to talk to you.  We are even willing to speak at church or organization meetings. Just call us. 631-682-4298 for Charlie.

Have a Holy Advent and a Merry Christmas.  God bless you all.


November 2017 Newsletter

posted Nov 8, 2017, 6:13 PM by Colleen Moran

  “Blessed are they that hope in the Lord.”


    May the peace of Christ be with you this day and all through the month.  I have to tell you that in October, Charlie and I were very fortunate and blessed to be able to go on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal and to Poland with a group of 12 other pilgrims, including Fr. Luke Fletcher, CFR as our spiritual guide and Donna Marie Cooper-O’Boyle host from EWTN.  I carried all your written intention cards with us and we prayed for your intentions at every shrine and church we visited along the way.  We laid your intentions at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Czestochowa, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Faustina, The Divine Mercy Shrine, St. John Paul 11 and many other shrines and churches. Maybe you have never had the opportunity to go to these holy places, but you can believe that you, your intentions and your loved ones were there praying with us.


Have you ever wondered what Jesus looks like?  Recently I was on a quest to find the right image or picture Jesus that would satisfy my imagination.  Throughout history there have been numerous portrayals in paintings, statues, and even photographs.  I started my hunt for a true image of Christ in Poland.  I wanted a Divine Mercy image,  but was unsatisfied with the forlorn face of Christ, but then I found a statue of Him suffering with the crown of thorns and I loved it.  So how do I explain this contradiction???  A week later, I came across a plaque with a modern day photo image of Christ as a young strong man wading through water.  I loved this image as well. Beautiful!  So many different representations of Jesus!  Finally, I thought, “What am I doing?  The images that appeal to me are just a representation of my love for Him.  It doesn’t matter what He really looks like.  It only matters what my heart sees.


“The Catechism of the Catholic Church says there are five faces of Christ.  The first face is through the community of believers within and through the church.  It is in my fellow believers and in our worship together that Christ is known. Our own personal subjective experience of Christ must be validated by the corporate reality of Christ in the Church.”


“The second face is through the Eucharistic Species.  We know Jesus Christ through Communion and through Eucharistic adoration made present in and through His body, the church.”


“The third face is joined with the first two.  We see Christ in the person of the priest.  For Jesus said,  “ Those who hear you, hear me, and those who hear me, hear the one who sent me.” and “as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” We see Christ when that frail human priest is celebrating Mass, hearing confessions and doing what only a priest can do.”


“The fourth way we see Jesus is through the Sacred Scriptures.  For He is the word made flesh. We come to know Christ through the study of the Scripture and the hearing of the word of God.  God speaks to us through meditating on His word.” (even if we can’t see Him)


“The fifth way we see Jesus is in the face of the poor.  For Jesus said,  “ inasmuch as you did this for the least of my brethren, you did it for me.” If this is true, and it is because Jesus said so, than we realize that Jesus has many faces. ( Quotes from Fr. Dwight Longenecker, The Catholic Register, Oct 15-28, 2017 Pg 11. “These are the Five Faces of Christ.”)


You might want to ask me; did I see Christ in Fatima and Poland?  I can say I did.  Not in the flesh and blood way that St. Faustina saw Him in a vision.  I saw Him in the love represented in the artist’s interpretation of the beautiful artistic structures, statues, images, pictures, legends, stories, and history.  I saw Him in the thousands of pilgrims who came to the the shrines with their love, faith and hope in Christ. I saw Him in my own heart as I received Him in Holy Communion and adored Him in Adoration.   I saw Him in the poverty of the cultures. First in the poverty of the shepherd children of Fatima and again in Poland, as I came to understand the great suffering the Polish people experienced during WWll and communism. The Polish people are ALIVE with Christ.  You can’t go to Poland and not see Christ.  I also saw Him in the lives and hearts of all of you as I prayed for all of you and your intentions.  I realized that Holy pictures and statues are as realistic as is our love for Christ.  Our homes, churches and entire country need to proclaim Him with icons everywhere. A culture devoid of religious images is a culture devoid of the love of Christ. So if you love Christ and your faith, don’t be afraid to decorated your home with sacramentals.  Make it a shrine!


Charlie and I came back from our pilgrimage elated to find our garage and porch packed solid with donations of food, clothing, shoes, school supplies and ceiling fans for Haiti. Yikes!  Where do we begin?  Fortunately,  Charlie, Rich Garbe and Bill Michel were able to pack most of it into barrels.  More barrels are on the way.  Thank You, Charlie, Rich and Bill.


Charlie has been dedicating one or two days a week to helping Fr. Andrew Apostoli.  They spend hours together praying, talking and going through piles of backed up mail.  Pray for Fr. Andrew.  He needs your prayers for strength in his old age and poor health.


Our food shopping and packing continues once each month for the Friars and Sisters needs. We thank all our many volunteers and all of you who so generously donate to make this possible.


Charlie is beginning to work on plans and funding for our next Mission trip to Haiti, January 2-10.  I will let him tell you all about it.


Thank you everyone for being a part of Friar Suppliers.  Every little bit helps.  Please know that on behalf of the Friars, Sisters, Rich, Eileen, Charlie and I we love you all with the love that come from Christ and we are so grateful for all you do.


PS.  Help support Friar Suppliers at no cost to you with “AMAZON SMILE”

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July Newsletter - Haiti Reflection from Joan

posted Jun 14, 2017, 12:27 PM by Colleen Moran

“Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;  give glory to His holy name.”   Psalm 97

 

I want to tell you all about my trip to Haiti.  But before I do, I want to thank you all for your continued support for Friar Suppliers.  It is definitely God who runs and propels this little organization.  We could never have thought of doing any of this on our own.  We are only the hands He uses.  We are so grateful for all of your help, because none of this work would be possible if God didn’t inspire you to help the way you do.  Your prayers, your donations and your hours of participation are an inspiration for us to keep on giving.

 

June was a very busy month for the Friars.  They ordained 6 men to the Priesthood.  So that means six first Masses and six celebrations as well.  They ordained 4 men to the diaconate. They held their week long General Chapter.  All the Friars who are in final profession from the various missions in England, Ireland, Honduras, and Nicaragua had to fly home to NY for the “big meeting.”  It was decided that Fr. John Paul will remain the Community Servant and Fr. John Anthony will be the Vicar for the next six years.  The Friars I spoke too said it was a very enjoyable week of fraternity where they shared about the different ways they are ministering.  They talked about what was working and what was not.  They encouraged one another.  Everyone I spoke to seemed to have had a very enjoyable time.  Then just last week, the Friars celebrated the newly received “Pontifical Recognition” with a Mass and a block party that followed.  Charlie and I attended.  It was a lot of fun.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, balloons, cotton candy, face painting for the kids and of course live music by the talented Friars.  I am sure they are looking forward to a slower pace in July.  Many will take there time to visit their families.  The CFR Sisters, of course participated in all of the events in June as well as their own ministries and activities. Busy, busy, busy!

 

And now my reflection about Haiti.  There is so much I want to tell you.

Misery.  There is no other word to describe Haiti.  Misery is everywhere in Haiti.  I thought to myself;  Where is the merciful heart of God in this forsaken country?  What am I doing here?  Why did I ever agree to come to Haiti?  Was I crazy?  These were my thoughts as I sat cramped in the truck on a narrow bench, with my knees under my chin in need of a bathroom, with nine other people, all sweaty and hot.  It would take 31/2 hours to travel 15 miles along  congested, bumpy, filthy, unpaved roads.  People were rushing everywhere.  Motorcycles carried 3 or 4 persons on them.  Colorful painted “tap-taps” (taxis), were stuffed with people inside and hanging on the top and sides.  There were dogs, chickens, goats, pigs roaming freely through the streets in search of a morsel of food.  Every inch of sidewalk space in front of the decrepit buildings was covered with garbage, rotting food, old clothing, bottled drinks and snack foods, and people trying to sell anything they could.  There was garbage and filth everywhere.  Inch by inch, we crawled along in the unbearable heat and traffic while my need to use a bathroom became more and more urgent. Then suddenly, we heard POW, POW, POW, POW.  What was that?  It sounded like gunshots.  Where?  What was happening? Then, I saw on our right about twenty feet away, a man laying on his side on the street.  He was alive.  There was a cop standing over him.  He aimed his gun and purposefully shot him twice in the head.  I hid my eyes and cried;  my God, have mercy on them.  It was a horrific scene!

Misery, there is no other word for Haiti.  Where is the merciful heart of God in this forsaken country?

We finally arrive at our destination, shaken, exhausted and dehydrated.  It seemed like we literally “fell” out of the truck into the arms of our hosts, who greeted us cheerfully and immediately took care of all our needs; bathroom, beverages, rooms, dinner.  Before long we were relaxed, comfortable and secure;  ready of the week ahead of us.

Each day would begin with Mass in Creole at 5:30 am.  That’s right, 5:30 AM!  And we’d go non stop until 9 or 10 pm.  Each day would be a new experience, a new encounter, another adventure.

I fell in love with the people.  Most are warm, friendly, affectionate, sociable, intelligent and eager and willing to please, to help and to work.  For their part, their lives are very boring.  There is nothing to do except their daily chores of carrying water, washing clothes in the river or a bucket for water, and trying to sell something to get a few “goudes” (Haitian currency) to buy some rice and beans to feed their hungry children.  There is no lack of children to play with.  Little children are playing everywhere.  They seem to belong to everyone.

Everyday, we worked in the orphanage.  I found that my english language was not an obstacle for the children there.  We played circle games, sang songs and fingerplays, shared crackers, fruit snacks, lollipops and water.  Kids understand hugs and kisses, tickles and giggles.  There was plenty of love to go around.  

One afternoon, we were invited to visit three High school classrooms of students who were studying english.  They wanted to practice conversation. It was an amazing two hours.  I was so impressed with these young students.  They asked all kinds of questions about ourselves.  We talked about the USA and Haiti.  We talked about history, government, law, politics, love and their dreams for the future.  We did some grammar. (They knew english grammar better than I did.) And, we talked about how they can improve their lives and their country.  I was so deeply impressed by their english, their intelligence and understanding.  My admiration and respect for the Haitian people was growing as I began to meet more and more people who are working so hard to better themselves and their communities.  They are hungry for knowledge.

One young man named Johnny came to me after class and asked me to simply be his friend or mentor to encourage him and give him advice from time to time so that he doesn’t lose hope.  He is trying so hard to improve his life for himself, his family and his country.  He feels an overwhelming responsibility as the oldest of 5 brothers to care for his aging parents and younger siblings.  He asked me only for encouragement and prayers.  How could I refuse?  We now communicate daily on Facebook.

Another highlight was a conversation I had with one of our interpreters named Emmanuel.  We talked of hours one night about religion.  Emmanuel is an evangelical protestant and had many misunderstandings about Catholicism.  I was able to help him understand our Catholic teaching on Mary, confession, saints and statues in our churches.  And, NO!  Catholics do not practice Voodoo!  Unfortunately, the culture in Haiti is filled with Voodoo and witchcraft, from the history as African slaves.  Many Catholic Haitians have confused the two and therefore practice both.  It’s a terrible problem for the church.  Emmanuel explained to me that good people who understand the dangers of witchcraft are leaving the Catholic church to be protestants and to get away from those practicing Voodoo.  Apparently, the many different protestant denominations who come to help in Haiti are very successful at evangelizing.  We Catholic need to do a better job of evangelizing in Haiti. This was an eye-opener for me.

Amidst all the ugliness and misery of poverty that I saw in Haiti, I also saw a lot of signs of hope and good work going on.  The Little Brothers and Sisters of St.Therese are doing wonderful work, running schools, clinics, and teaching skills.  We are proud as Friar Suppliers to be helping them.  Our contributions are helping them to expand their work.   Their schools are growing.  The children are learning, reading, writing, math, history, religion.  They also learn carpentry, sewing, cooking, music, art, and a foreign language, usually french.  Because of the fund raising efforts of Marylou Connors (one of our dedicated missionaries) the children are receiving lunches three days a week.  That’s close to 3,000 meals a week!

I met a Haitian man named Dr. Jimmy who is studying to be a doctor.  He started an organization to help his fellow Haitians.  He and his volunteers teach seminars on health and environmental issues such as, Zika, HIV, nutrition, sanitation, prenatal care, and protecting the environment.  He and his cohorts also teach agriculture to farmers and jewelry making to youth so they can sell something rather than beg. What a beautiful soul.

The energy that it takes just to survive daily in Haiti is exhausting, discouraging and debilitating. And yet, I see most people making heroic efforts to help themselves and others.  There is a real community spirit there.  Everyone helps each other.

Where is the merciful heart of God in this forsaken country?

I discovered His merciful heart present in the hearts of many Haitian individuals who are trying to live good lives and in the many volunteers and donors who live the virtues of mercy; to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, instruct the ignorant and to save souls.  

 

 


June Newsletter - Better late than never!

posted Jun 14, 2017, 12:25 PM by Colleen Moran

“May the body and blood of Christ bring us to everlasting life.”

 

I love June!  It’s the most beautiful time of year. Besides weddings, graduations, and dance recitals, we as Catholics celebrate the beautiful feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Corpus Christi.  In the year 1952, I was born on Corpus Christi which is a movable feast that depends on when Easter falls.  I feel a special devotion to the Eucharistic feast of Corpus Christi because of my birthday..

 

The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is what I would call an earlier devotion to the Divine Mercy.  Both feasts honor the heart of Jesus. In April we celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy one week after Easter.  We had a beautiful day of grace for everyone who attended the devotion in Centereach.  I was unable to attend this year because we Baptized our grandson on Divine Mercy Sunday.  Bill and Eileen Keck and Connell and Laura Friel pulled it all together and kept great notes of Fr. Juniper’s sermon.  I would like to share the sermon notes with all of you since many of you are too far away to attend.  Fr. Juniper began with a story…...

 

“An Eagle was captured and placed in captivity with other eagles.  Suddenly, he found that his world shrunk.  The other eagles always remained solemn and discouraged.  The eagles were depressed because of their imprisonment.  One day,, there was a terrible storm which tore a hole in their prison cage.  The one eagle had a chance to escape to freedom.  He was so excited to find he had the opportunity to be free again.  He called the other eagles to fly out with him.  Sadly none of them would leave with him.   They had grown so use to their imprisonment that they were afraid to go free.  Sadly, they remained behind in their captivity while only the one eagle had the courage to fly away to freedom.”

 

Fr. Juniper went on to tell those present that; “ we need not get use to the imprisonment of sin.  We should look into the face of Jesus, “our homeland” look to the freedom that was created for us.  We no longer need to be abandoned in the dark cage of imprisonment of sin.  Father Juniper encourages;  choose the freedom of God’s hidden merciful gaze that calls us home to His undying home.  Begin with the unfathomable fount of Mercy.  The priest imparts and receives Jesus in the penitent who comes with his anguish and sorrow.  The priest encourages the sinner to release himself of the chains of darkness and sin to his homeland (heaven). Every priest awaits the penitent who waits at the gate for the mercy of God.  All the angels rejoice for even the one who comes.  We are irreplaceable; never, ever to be forgotten, always passionately sought after.  Even that one last sheep is ever so important to our Lord Jesus.  The Father is delighted; for He never stops thinking of or loving us no matter how far away we feel from Him.  He is all the more, deeply, closely, lovingly awaiting us.”

 

Fr Juniper then reflected briefly on the Upper Room and the thoughts of the Apostles after Jesus’ crucifixion. He spoke of the their regrets and Peter’s denial. “ But then Jesus becomes present to them with his wounds that now glow with light and simply breathes the gift of the Holy spirit with forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit.  The confessional is like the Upper Room;  the door to freedom to live and to be who we are meant to be in the heart of Jesus.”

 

“When Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me.”  He did receive an answer indeed…...It came perhaps from the penitent thief who said “ Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Truly, this was the affirmation Jesus needed to hear at this time;  He was going to the kingdom of His Father.  The penitent and priest, going back and forth receives the grace of God as Jesus did from the thief, the thief from Jesus;  a sacred exchange that is intimately connected.  Every act of remembrance is a gift to Jesus.”

 

“Healing is given to us as healing and is at the same time given to the whole world.  Satan trembles every time we kneel in confession because Satan’s defeat is manifested.  Christ’s victory is ever present within us waiting for us to change our ways.  The door to confession is our door to freedom.  So go in peace, forgiveness has saved you.  The time has come.  Change your ways.  The kingdom awaits you.”  Sermon by:  Fr. Juniper CFR

 

This was such a beautiful sermon. Thank you Fr. Juniper

 

We’ve done a lot of renovations in our home since we retired last June.  We’ve created a lot more room for Friars, Sisters and Friar suppliers on packing day.  We will be testing it out on Saturday.  There should be far fewer traffic jams now.  We will take some pictures this week and put them up on our website for all of you to see.  All I can say is it’s a good thing we didn’t sell the florist and move. We never would have found a place as suitable as this for Friar Suppliers.  So now we can continue for as long as God continues to give us life.  Thank you everyone who helps us each month for our “Friar food packing party”.

 

Our CRF Sisters want you all to know that they offered Masses and prayers for all your intentions when they visited the “Blessed Solonus Casey Shrine” in Michigan and “Our Lady of Good Help Shrine” in Wisconsin during April.  In fact, Fr. Benedict Groeschel met Fr. Solonus  when was a young Friar.  He is on track for sainthood.  He died in 1957.  Also, google “Our Lady of Good Help” in Wisconsin.  It’s the only approved apparition site in the USA.  Its an extraordinary Marian apparition that took place right here in America in 1859. Pay close attention to the many miracles that took place there, especially during the worst fire storm in the history of America which took place Oct 8, 1871. You will be amazed!

 

Please do not send us books or pamphlets.  The Friars and Sisters have too much already and the people in Haiti speak Creole, not English. Sorry!

 

Thank you again for all you do for Friar Suppliers.  We could never be able to do this work without you. June 1-10 we will be in Haiti.  It’s a small mission trip compared to our January Mission.  Charlie will tell you all about it.  Please pray for us and we’ll pray for you.


Divine Mercy Sunday Information

posted Apr 20, 2017, 7:33 AM by Friar Suppliers


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