Monthly Newsletters


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


Make For Yourselves a New Heart and a New Spirit

posted Apr 2, 2017, 4:42 PM by Colleen Moran

“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the Lord and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.”      Ez 18:31


We are more than halfway through lent but there is still plenty of time to continue doing the dirty work of cleaning out the garbage in our souls and creating a new heart and spirit for the Lord to dwell in.  To do this spring cleaning in our souls, we need silence.  Spending time in silence, focusing on God, allows Him the time to show us the the garbage in our souls that we need to get rid of.  It gives God the chance to heal us with His mercy especially if we also go to Confession. The best days of Lent are yet to come.  Let’s not waste them.  Holy week is coming shortly.  We can enter into Our Lord’s passion beginning with Palm Sunday. If we enter into ourselves in silence we will experience the love Our Lord has for us as He approaches His death on the cross. On Good Friday, we can begin the nine day Divine Mercy Novena and pray the Chaplet while meditating on the Passion of Christ.  We can rejoice and be glad, Alleluia, on Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection.  But, don’t let it end there!  God’s mercy is waiting for us a week later on Divine Mercy Sunday. We have such an awesome God who loves us unconditionally.  Why would we hesitate to clean out the garbage in our souls and offer Him with a spotless soul to enter into?  


Quote of the month    “If we don’t believe in the reality of the devil, the cross ultimately has no meaning and the Gospel is just a collection of pious advice.  Jesus Christ wasn’t crucified because he was an irritating life coach.  He died because our eternity, which meant breaking the power of Satan, depended on His sacrifice.”  (Archbishop Charles Chaput)


In our society today, one of the biggest obstacles that keep people from accepting the truth,  and by that I mean moral truth, is that they struggle with or simply choose not to try to live up to the demands of the gospel.  When people fall into sin, they often look for a way to justify their sinfulness.  This is why we live in a “state of moral relativism.” We protect and cover ourselves with the philosophy that there is no truth.  “What’s true for you may not be be true for me.”  “We shouldn’t impose our morality on others.”  “I decide what is right for me.”  “You decide what is right for you.”  Does this sound familiar?   Relativism is so entrenched in the mores of our society today that we have become afraid to speak the truth for fear of being shut down by those who cry; “You can’t tell me what to do. I decide!”   

As Catholics, how should we handle the many voices in our lives who shut us down for trying to teach them the “truth?”  First,  we must always stand up for the truth.  Never back down.  But that doesn’t mean “fight.”  We need to give people the the full gospel message which includes both the truth as well as the grace and mercy of God.  St Francis said:  “preach the gospel always; and at times use words.” With some people it is just best to be a good faithful witness.  Jesus never backed down from the truth. However, he was always ready to forgive and to heal.  I don’t know of anyone who was ever turned off by compassion shown to them.  It’s the only way to preach the truth and change hearts. ( inspiration taken from The Catholic Register, March 5-18, 2017  Pg 11 Understanding Relativism with Mercy, by Ted Sri)


With Easter coming the Friars and Sisters are looking forward to all the Holy week Liturgies.  Friar Suppliers will be providing them with their Holy week and Easter meals along with all the flowering plants for the church at St Adelbert’s  We’ve been decorating their church with plants since the very early Friar Supplier days.  As florists, we have an “in” with wholesalers and will continue to provide the CFR’s with plants and flowers for holidays.  Liturgies during Holy week are open to anyone who would like to go and join the CFR’s in prayer.  If you’re interested in attending and need info about time and place call Charlie and he will fill you in.


Fr. Andrew Apostoli celebrated his 5oth Anniversary of his ordination on St. Joseph’s feast day, March 19th.  Fr. Andrew has been hosting “Sunday Night Prime” on EWTN ever since Fr. Benedict Groeschel was unable to continue because of illness and his passing three years ago.

Fr. Andrew is one of the original eight men that started the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  He is credited with writing many books, preaching around the world, leading pilgrimages and retreats, and starting the Franciscan Sisters Community. We are proud to know him and honor him on his anniversary.  Congratulations, much love and prayers, Fr. Andrew.  Thank you for all your years of service to the church, Friars, Sisters, and people of God.


Important request   Please do not send us any books.  The CFR’S have more than they have room for.  The people in Haiti do not speak or read english. Thank you.


We always enjoy “food packing day.”  It is fun to visit with the 6 or more friars and sisters who come to help as well as our faithful volunteers.  We couldn’t do this without all of your help.  Br. Gabriel likes to call it the “food packing party.”  It sure is a “party!”  Thank you everyone for all of your help.  Thank you for your generous and faithful donations to help the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal.  The time and funds we spend doing this work frees the CFR’s with more time to serve the poor and enables more vocations to join them.  It’s great work!  Thank you!!


Wishing you all a holy, grace filled, and joyous Easter Season.


“To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.” (Psalm 116)

posted Mar 14, 2017, 6:12 PM by Friar Suppliers

Have you ever heard an evangelical Christian speak about the need to develop a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”  Usually, their personal encounter with Christ was expected to begin when a person “got saved” of “accepted Jesus into their heart as their personal Lord and Savior. Once repented of their sins and praying to “accept Jesus Christ” they are told that they are now “saved,”  bound for heaven, and nothing they can do could ever destroy the decision they have made.  Is this all that is necessary for them to enter eternal life when they die?  Although this might be a wonderful conversion experience at the moment, it doesn’t and shouldn’t stop their.  Our conversion to Christ should be ongoing from that moment on. Our salvation is never guaranteed until we die and God judges us on how we lived our very lives every day that we had here on earth. The bible and our Catholic faith teaches that we are not “saved” by faith alone but also on our works, or how we choose to live our lives.


“If you trust in God, you too shall live;  He has set before you fire and water;  to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.  Before man are life and death, good and evil,  whichever he chooses shall be given him.”  Sirach 15:15-16


Even so, having a “personal relationship” with Jesus is something I very much desire.  But how is this possible?  I can’t see Jesus, or talk to Him in a conversation like I can talk to a real person.  That would be nice and easy, wouldn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Him and interact with Him as He truly is? Someday this will be possible; but not in this life.  So how can we truly encounter Christ?


The Catholic church teaches that there are five objective means through which we can have an encounter with Jesus Christ. These five ways are found in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church and are supported by sacred scripture.


“The Catholic encounter with Christ is therefore, not a vague, personal, emotional experience.  It is a concrete, real, and objective experience.  The experience is objective because it is rooted in the historical events of the Gospel and sacred history of the Church and her saints.  It is an experience that can be guaranteed no matter what our emotions might tell us.”  Quote by:  Fr Dwight Longenecker


First of all, we encounter Christ in Sacred Scripture. If we want to know Christ we need to read scripture. Second, we encounter Christ in the assembly of the faithful.  “Where ever two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst.” The church is not only where we meet our family and friends.  It’s where we meet Christ the Lord. Whether we feel emotional about it or not, Christ is present there to meet us.  The third way we encounter Christ is in the person of the poor, the imprisoned, the sick and dying. (Matthew 25)  Do you want to encounter Christ?  Work with the poor. Our Friars, Sisters and all our volunteer missionaries who go to Haiti will attest to having met Jesus in the poor.  The fourth way we encounter Christ is in the person of the priest. Jesus is hidden in the priest not only in his gifts of love, mercy and administration of the sacraments.  Jesus is also hidden there in his human frailties and weakness.  If we want to see Jesus we should love our priests because even in their humanity they are revealing Jesus to us.  Finally,  and most importantly we encounter Jesus in the sacraments of the church.  Sacraments are not rituals.  They are the objective, physical and historical means through which Jesus comes to us.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, where we encounter the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.


These five ways do not depend on the fickleness of our emotions.  When approached with hearts full of love, devotion and humility, we encounter in a real, powerful and personal way Jesus Christ the Lord.

Thoughts and quotes are taken from Fr. Dwight Longenecker “Five Objective Ways to Encounter Christ”  published in “The Catholic Register” February 5-18, 2017 edition on page 11.


We can see Jesus all around us if we are just attentive to His presence.  He is always there, calling us, nudging us, waiting patiently for us to notice Him. He’s in the little miracles that happen throughout the day.  Maybe this can be your Lenten goal this year;  to see Jesus in the miracles of each day and to bring Jesus to at least one person each day during Lent.


Friar Suppliers continues to meet the needs of the Community of Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal who live in the NY area. We purchase their food in large quantities each month and divide it up here at our house with the help of volunteers.  Some of the Friars and Sisters come each month to help as well and to bring their food back to their Friaries and convents. We always enjoy the interaction and it is always a blessing to join them in praying the liturgy of the Hours and having lunch together.  We know that Christ is present in Friar Suppliers because there is no way this could have developed on it’s own or last this long if Christ wasn’t in charge.

We are happy to be His instruments and we are thankful for all of you who have been so faithful to Friar Suppliers over the years. We continue to grow as our Haiti mission continues to present us with ever greater and greater need.  God seems to give us little challenges at a time. Please continue to stay with us; we need your donations to continue.  Please spread the word about Friar Suppliers to your family and friends.  Know that the Friars and Sisters pray for your intentions daily at Mass and Holy Hour.  Your needs are never forgotten.  Thank you so much!


Have a blessed holy Lent. May the peace of Christ be with you all.


Next Friar Supplier packing date:  Sat. March 18th  @ 10am





“To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.” (Psalm 116)

posted Feb 18, 2017, 3:59 AM by Colleen Moran

Have you ever heard an evangelical christian speak about the need to develop a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”  Usually, their personal encounter with Christ was expected to begin when a person “got saved” of “accepted Jesus into their heart as their personal Lord and Savior. Once repented of their sins and praying to “accept Jesus Christ” they are told that they are now “saved,”  bound for heaven, and nothing they can do could ever destroy the decision they have made.  Is this all that is necessary for them to enter eternal life when they die?  Although this might be a wonderful conversion experience at the moment, it doesn’t and shouldn’t stop their.  Our conversion to Christ should be ongoing from that moment on. Our salvation is never guaranteed until we die and God judges us on how we lived our very lives every day that we had here on earth. The bible and our Catholic faith teaches that we are not “saved” by faith alone but also on our works, or how we choose to live our lives.


“If you trust in God, you too shall live;  He has set before you fire and water;  to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.  Before man are life and death, good and evil,  whichever he chooses shall be given him.”  Sirach 15:15-16


Even so, having a “personal relationship” with Jesus is something I very much desire.  But how is this possible?  I can’t see Jesus, or talk to Him in a conversation like I can talk to a real person.  That would be nice and easy, wouldn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Him and interact with Him as He truly is? Someday this will be possible; but not in this life.  So how can we truly encounter Christ?


The Catholic church teaches that there are five objective means through which we can have an encounter with Jesus Christ. These five ways are found in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church and are supported by sacred scripture.


“The Catholic encounter with Christ is therefore, not a vague, personal, emotional experience.  It is a concrete, real, and objective experience.  The experience is objective because it is rooted in the historical events of the Gospel and sacred history of the Church and her saints.  It is an experience that can be guaranteed no matter what our emotions might tell us.”  Quote by:  Fr Dwight Longenecker


First of all, we encounter Christ in Sacred Scripture. If we want to know Christ we need to read scripture. Second, we encounter Christ in the assembly of the faithful.  “Where ever two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst.” The church is not only where we meet our family and friends.  It’s where we meet Christ the Lord. Whether we feel emotional about it or not, Christ is present there to meet us.  The third way we encounter Christ is in the person of the poor, the imprisoned, the sick and dying. (Matthew 25)  Do you want to encounter Christ?  Work with the poor. Our Friars, Sisters and all our volunteer missionaries who go to Haiti will attest to having met Jesus in the poor.  The fourth way we encounter Christ is in the person of the priest. Jesus is hidden in the priest not only in his gifts of love, mercy and administration of the sacraments.  Jesus is also hidden there in his human frailties and weakness.  If we want to see Jesus we should love our priests because even in their humanity they are revealing Jesus to us.  Finally,  and most importantly we encounter Jesus in the sacraments of the church.  Sacraments are not rituals.  They are the objective, physical and historical means through which Jesus comes to us.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, where we encounter the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.


These five ways do not depend on the fickleness of our emotions.  When approached with hearts full of love, devotion and humility, we encounter in a real, powerful and personal way Jesus Christ the Lord.

Thoughts and quotes are taken from Fr. Dwight Longenecker “Five Objective Ways to Encounter Christ”  published in “The Catholic Register” February 5-18, 2017 edition on page 11.


We can see Jesus all around us if we are just attentive to His presence.  He is always there, calling us, nudging us, waiting patiently for us to notice Him. He’s in the little miracles that happen throughout the day.  Maybe this can be your Lenten goal this year;  to see Jesus in the miracles of each day and to bring Jesus to at least one person each day during Lent.


Friar Suppliers continues to meet the needs of the Community of Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal who live in the NY area. We purchase their food in large quantities each month and divide it up here at our house with the help of volunteers.  Some of the Friars and Sisters come each month to help as well and to bring their food back to their Friaries and convents. We always enjoy the interaction and it is always a blessing to join them in praying the liturgy of the Hours and having lunch together.  We know that Christ is present in Friar Suppliers because there is no way this could have developed on it’s own or last this long if Christ wasn’t in charge.

We are happy to be His instruments and we are thankful for all of you who have been so faithful to Friar Suppliers over the years. We continue to grow as our Haiti mission continues to present us with ever greater and greater need.  God seems to give us little challenges at a time. Please continue to stay with us; we need your donations to continue.  Please spread the word about Friar Suppliers to your family and friends.  Know that the Friars and Sisters pray for your intentions daily at Mass and Holy Hour.  Your needs are never forgotten.  Thank you so much!


Have a blessed holy Lent. May the peace of Christ be with you all.


Next Friar Supplier packing date:  Sat. March 18th  @ 10am


"O Come Divine Messiah, the World awaits..."

posted Nov 30, 2016, 9:14 AM by Colleen Moran

Advent!  It’s the season of waiting.  Waiting for what exactly?  Didn’t Christ already come 2,016 years ago? What are we still waiting for? Jesus came to bring us salvation from our sins, peace, joy, love.  So where is it visible in this chaotic world we live in?  Did He come as a human child only to suffer and die?  For what? To be rejected by so many?  This is the great mystery of the Incarnation.  Out of His love for us He did what love compelled Him to do.  So great a mystery is His love for us.  He did it for me.  He did it for you.  This is a mystery worth contemplating during Advent. How have I responded?  How have you responded?  Are we waiting for Jesus to fix the mess in this world? He showed us by his example how to fix it. We need to imitate His humility and poverty of His birth; His obedience of His early life; His mercy and compassion toward others during His ministry; His trust in His Father during His passion; His continuous sacrificing of Himself for us in the Eucharist. We need to become like Jesus.  What are WE waiting for?  


Advent is always an extremely busy time for everyone.  It is unfortunate that our social customs have over-powered our spiritual celebration of Advent.  We can look to the Friars and Sisters here for some guidance.  They spend their Advent, faithful to their prayers and spiritual exercises and formation and they increase their works of charity for those less fortunate.  We Friar Suppliers can do the same individually simply by organizing our priorities a little better.


An Advent and Christmas Concert performed by our “Seminary Schola” will be performed on four different occasions and places to raise money for their Tour in France next summer.  Please try to support our Seminarians by coming to their concert. $50 reserved VIP seating, or $25 general admission.  Purchase tickets in advance at: www.DunwoodieMusic.org or 914-968-6200  or purchase at a concert site in advance or at the door.

Dec 1st     St. Aidan’s, Williston Park 7:30 PM

Dec 2nd St. Sebastian’s, Woodside 7:30 PM

Dec 3rd St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC 7:30 PM

Dec 4th St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers 7:30 PM


Continuing our formation taken from “Amoris Lettitia” (The Joy of Love), we are up to Chapter 8 Titled: Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness.  Don’t be scared away!  This chapter is directed mainly at Bishops, pastors, and priests. No, it won’t put you to sleep! I will quote some of the important highlights that can help all of us.  And I quote:


“Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life.”  “We are called to show mercy because mercy was first shown to us.”   (para 310 pg 241) “Mercy does not exclude justice and truth, but first and foremost we have to say mercy is the fullness of justice and the most radiant manifestation of God’s truth.” ( para 3123, pg 242)

“The Church is a place for everyone, with all their problems.” (para 310, pg 241)

“Christian marriage, as a reflection of the union between Christ and His Church, is fully realized in the union between a man and a woman who give themselves to each other in a free, faithful and exclusive love, who belong to each other until death and are open to the transmission of life, and are consecrated by the sacrament, which grants them the grace to become a domestic church and a leaven of new life for society.”  (para 292, pg 222)

“The Church realizes that any breach of the marriage bond “is against the will of God,” she is also “conscious of the frailty of many of her children.”  (para 291, pg 221)

“Although she constantly holds up the call to perfection and asks for a fuller response to God, :the Church must accompany with attention and care the weakest of her children to enlighten those who have lost their way.”  (para 291,pg 221)

“In considering a pastoral approach towards people who have contracted a civil marriage, who are divorced and remarried, or simply living together, the Church has the responsibility of helping them understand the divine pedagogy (teaching) of grace in their lives and offering them assistance so they can reach the fullness of God’s plan for them, something which is always possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (para 297, pg 227)

“What we are speaking of is a process of accompaniment and discernment which guides the faithful to an awareness of their situation before God.”  (para 300, pg 231)

For this discernment to happen, the following conditions must necessarily be present (in the faithful):  humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for god’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it.” (para 300, pg 231)

“In no way must the Church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur.”  (para 307,pg 238)

“Today, more important than the pastoral care of failures (failed marriages) is the pastoral effort to strengthen marriages and thus to prevent their breakdown.”  (para 307, pg 239)

“Jesus expects us to stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom (turmoil) of human misfortune, and instead to enter into the reality of other people’s lives and to know the power of tenderness.  Whenever we do so, our lives become wonderfully complicated.”  (para 308, pg 240)

I encourage you all to read this document; “Amoris Lettia” (The Joy of Love) in it’s entirety.  The final chapter will be reviewed in January.


Our monthly food shopping, packing and pick up is going well.  We have a lot more room here at our house, now that the store is empty and we can use it for Friar Suppliers.  Sorting and packing is easier.  We are pleased and thankful for your donations that enable us to supply the CFR’s Friars and Sisters with their grocery needs.  Thank you so much!!

Charlie is in “HAITI MISSION” mode BIG TIME!!!!  Pray for him, he has a lot going on as he prepares for the January Mission trip to Haiti. I’ll let him tell you all about it in the letter attached.


O Let the Saints Come Marching In

posted Nov 2, 2016, 1:18 PM by Friar Suppliers   [ updated Nov 2, 2016, 1:18 PM ]

Hello Friars, Sisters and Friar Suppliers!  Aren’t we all Saints under construction? Absolutely.


With just a few days until Election Day We pray that all the “saints” will come marching into vote. We encourage everyone to get out there and vote with a well formed Catholic conscience.  Our future depends on it!


Are you striving to be a Saint?  Did you know that all of us have the capacity to become great saints? We don’t have to be canonized and turned into relics to become a saint.  St. Therese of Liseaux found her “little way.”  We can find our way also. God has a destiny planned for each of us.  We each have a quest or mission to accomplish.  St. Therese tells us we must do three things:  (1) recognize our darkness in our littleness, i.e., acknowledge our nothingness compared to God.  (2) Keep trying to grow in holiness, and (3) keep trusting in His mercy.  


We are up to Chapter seven of nine chapters of “Amoris Letitia” by Pope Francis.  Chapter seven is titled “Towards a Better Education of Children.”  For conscientious parents, this chapter will affirm them in their efforts. It will also greatly help those who are in ministry to families, especially those families who struggle with the many difficulties that can come along in family life.


Pope Francis says the following immediately in the second paragraph:  “ Parents need to consider what they want their children to be exposed to; who is providing their entertainment, who is entering their rooms through television and electronic devices, and with whom they are spending their free time.” ( para 260, pg 197)  “In any event, we cannot ignore the risks that these new forms of communication pose for the children and adolescents; at times they can foster apathy and disconnect from the real world.” (para 278, pg 209) Parents have to help prepare children and adolescents to confront risks, for example, of aggression, abuse or drug addiction. (Para 260,pg 198) Some television programs or forms of advertising often negatively influence and undercuts the values inculcated in family life. (para 274,pg 206)


“The real question we should be asking ourselves is where our children stand in terms of their convictions, goals, desires and dreams.  Do we know where their soul is?  Although most parents rely on schools to ensure the basic instruction of their children, they can never completely delegate the moral formation of their children to others.”  (Para 263, pg 199)


“Parents are responsible for shaping the will of their childre, fostering good habits and a natural inclination to goodness.”  ((para 264, pg 200)


“A good ethical education includes showing a person that it is in his own interest to do what is right.” “Good habits need to be developed, practiced and reinforced. Without strengthening of the will and repetition of specific actions, moral education does not take place. (para 265-66, pg 201)


“Children who are lovingly corrected feel cared for.”  “Children need to to learn that misbehavior has consequences; to ask for forgiveness and repair for harm done; and to not get carried away by anger.”  “They should be taught to postpone some things until the right moment, so that they learn self-mastery and detachment from their impulses.” (para 268, 269. Pg 203)


“A sexual education that fosters a healthy sense of modesty has immense value.”  “The important thing is to teach tem sensitivity to differents expressions of love, mutual concern and care, loving respect and deeply moving communication.”  (para 282, 283. Pg 212-213)


Finally, at the end of the chapter Pope Francis addresses Passing on the faith.  He says, “ the home must continue to be the place where we learn to appreciate the meaning and beauty of the faith, to pray and to serve our neighbor.” (para 287, pg 216)  And most importantly,  “Family catechesis is of great assistance as an effective method in training young parents to be aware of their mission as evangelizers of their own family.” (para 287, pg 217)  “Moments of family prayer and acts of devotion can be more powerful for evangelization than any catechism class or sermon.” (para 288, pg 218)


I end my review of Chapter seven with this last quote from Pope Francis:  “Children who grew up in missionary families often become missionaries themselves; growing up in warm and friendly families, they learn to relate to the world in this way, without giving up their faith or their convictions.”  Thank you Pope Francis for guiding words on the education of children.


We send out a big thank you to an anonymous donor who donated a refrigerator to St. Joseph’s Friary.  They were in desperate need of one.  The frig they had held at 55 degrees. Yipes!   


The picnic in September was probably on of the best picnics we ever had;  great crowd, delicious food, fantastic entertainment.  I still have a lot of lost and found items accumulated here:  A large aluminum tray that held a beautiful fruit assortment,  a pyrex dish belonging to the Scarpa family, a pretty basket, a few plastic containers and one white ladies jacket with navy trim.  Please claim what is yours or Charlie will ship it to Haiti!!!


We are looking for a VOLUNTEER who can help us with social media to spread Friar Suppliers and our Haiti mission work.  We can’t pay you but we promise you time out of purgatory!!  Call Charlie if you can help:  631-682-4298


You have all received our Haiti DVD by now featuring last January’s mission trip.  We are now fundraising again for the next trip in January 2017.  Please watch the DVD and share it with your family and friends.


Our food packing day went well in September and October.  Would you believe all our volunteers showed up and did a fine job without Charlie and I being here.  Thank you everyone for carrying on without us when we couldn’t be here. In September we went to The Family Conference at EWTN in Alabama.  In October, we babysit our granddaughter in Delaware so our son and daughter-in-law could attend a wedding.  It’s so nice to know that Friar Suppliers can continue when we are out or town.


The Transitus of St. Francis celebrated on Oct 3rd was a beautiful and solemn day.  One, because it is the feast of the CFR’s founder and second because it’s the second anniversary of the passing of Fr. Benedict Groeschel.  The Friars and Sisters celebrate this night every year.  This year was Fr Stan Fortuna on guitar and percussion, Fr. Louis on Sax, and Sr Cecelia on Cello provided deeply moving music in the dimly candle lit church of St. Adelberts in the Bronx.

In between the music, Fr. Stan read beautiful passages about St. Francis and Fr. Benedict.  It was very moving.  The more I think about the life of Fr. Benedict the more grateful I am that God gave him to us.  Though we never had the privilege of knowing St. Francis, we had an icon of him living in our midst for many years; that being Fr. Benedict.  St. Francis pray for us.  Fr. Benedict Groeschel pray for us.

Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid - Can You Help?!

posted Oct 18, 2016, 6:52 AM by Colleen Moran   [ updated Oct 18, 2016, 6:52 AM by Friar Suppliers ]

Friar Suppliers is doing a special emergency collection of the items listed below to send down to Haiti to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew.  Please be as generous as your means allow.  God Bless!

MEDICAL

Tylenol – regular strength

Adult vitamins – not gummy

Children’s vitamins – not gummy

Dial antibacterial soap

CLOTHING

New or gently used sneakers or sandals

FOOD ITEMS (no glass)

Peanut butter

Canned tuna

Spam

Bags of rice

Beans (dry or canned)

Canned vegetables

Canned fruits

Can openers

“O God be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us.” Psalm 67

posted Oct 2, 2016, 4:10 PM by Colleen Moran   [ updated Oct 2, 2016, 4:10 PM by Friar Suppliers ]

I suppose by now you are all back into the swing of things as the new school and church year of activities have begun.  We are off to an exciting new season.  Now that Charlie and I are retired, we have a lot more energy for ministries.  Charlie is busy making plans and fund raising for the next Haiti mission in January.  The Friars and sisters each have 5 or 6 new postulants or candidates who entered last month.  Everyone has been busy moving around from friary to friary and convent to convent to make room.  I think the dust is finally settling.


For the past five months I’ve been sharing a synopsis of Pope Francis’s “Joy of Love.”  We are up to Chapter six, titled “Some Pastoral Perspectives.”  MMMM sounds boring, right?  Not really!  In fact, it’s probably the most controversial and talked about chapter among the bishops and media. Pope Francis starts out by warning us that he is only touching on the need for some new pastoral methods in a general way.  In other words, he is just proposing and “throwing out there” some ideas that came from the Synod on the Family last year.  What makes it controversial and open for attack by the media is that he is leaving it up to different communities (or dioceses) to come up with practical and effective initiatives that respect both the Church’s teaching and the local problems and needs.   Ok Holy Father, that‘s arguably good or bad. He is clearly not going to tell us how to “fix” the family.  That’s up to us here in the families, parishes and dioceses. However in this chapter he chooses to reflect on some “significant pastoral challenges.”  Is he just speaking to Bishops, Pastors and priests?  No, he is speaking to all of us.  He, you might say, is giving us a pep talk with some ideas on how to get started to help marriages and families.  (Chapter 6, para 199)


Throughout Chapter 6, Pope Francis clearly identifies the problems that today’s families are having.  He hits on the usual stresses of family life, such as; financial difficulties, unemployment, poverty, sickness, death.  The normal marriage stresses of communication, getting along with each other, raising children, work.  The more difficult family problems such as separation, divorce, remarriage, same sex marriage. The Church and our Holy father are not sitting in the dark in the Vatican.  They know what is going on in families. We, who are out here in the world, living and experiencing many of these problems in our families, are not alone.  Families are suffering greatly and the Church knows it.


Pope Francis states; “ The Church wishes, with humility and compassion, to reach out to families and to help each family to discover the best way to overcome any obstacles it encounters.”  (para 200, pg 152)  So, who in the Church is he saying should do this?  Well, since we all are the Church, he must mean all of us.  The main source of pastoral care of families takes place in the parish.  Pope Francis stresses the need for pastoral outreach aimed specifically at families. Priest, deacons, religious, catechists and other pastoral workers need more adequate formation to train them to deal with the complex problems occurring in families.  He also suggests that lay leaders need to be trained to assist in the pastoral care of families with the help of professionals; doctors, social workers, psychologists etc.  However this in no way diminishes the value of spiritual direction, and sacramental reconciliation as a rich spiritual treasure of the church.


In paragraphs 205-230 Pope Francis talks about the need for Marriage Preparation (Pre-Cana), the sacrament of marriage and the pastoral care of newly weds. Aimed at giving couples a genuine experience of participation in ecclesial life and a complete introduction to various aspects of family life.  He says, we do not need to teach them the entire catechism.  “It is not great knowledge, but rather the ability to feel and relish interiorly that contents and satisfies the soul.”  (Para 207, pg 157)  Pope Francis gives many helpful insights into marriage preparation.  This is an important chapter for anyone especially those contemplating marriage or involved in marriage prep in the parish.  Pope Francis says:  “Nowadays, pastoral care for families has to be fundamentally missionary, going out to where people are.  We can no longer be like a factory, churning our courses that for the most part are poorly attended.”  (para 230, pg 175)


Next, Our Holy father turns his attention to marriages that are in crises.  He states;  “ what is urgently needed today is a ministry to care for those whose marital relationship has broken down.” (para 238, pg 180)  He states further:  “separation must be considered as a last resort, after all other reasonable attempts at reconciliation have proved vain.”  At this point, he encourages “divorced people who have not remarried and often bear witness to marital fidelity, ought to be encouraged to find in the Eucharist the nourishment they need to sustain them in their present state of life.”  (para 242, pg 183)  “For those who have divorced and entered a new union should be made to feel part of the church.”  “They are not excommunicated.”  (para 242, pg 185)   The controversy that arises in these statements is that Pope Francis doesn’t address the issue of divorced and remarried civilly receiving communion.  The teaching of the church stands the same. Without an annulment, a married person can only receive communion if they are living chastely. Pope Francis emphasizes the need for a free of charge, more accessible and less time-consuming nullity process.  He deputizes the local Bishop as the appointed shepherd to judge these cases. (para 244, pg 185)  Christian communities must not abandon divorced couples and parents who have entered a new union, but should include them and support them within the community.


Further on in the chapter, Pope Francis states that “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” He is very clear on that!  (para 251, pg 190)


The final six paragraphs deal with the pastoral support for grieving families who have lost a loved one or one who is about to die.


Having read and studied Chapter six thoroughly, I think the confusion is not in what Pope Francis says, because he is very clear.  He’s a very loving Holy Father.  The confusion comes from those bishops, priests, lay people and media who are trying to put their own twist on the document. Pope Francis is expecting the church (all of us) to implement ways of ministering to families.  The trouble I see, is that everyone has different opinions on how to do it.  Every bishop, priest, lay-person and public voice has what I call “therapeutic” suggestions.  These are merely “painkillers” that help a little but do not cure the disease. It gets down to this:  What would Jesus do?  Pray, love, forgive, and sacrifice. This is what we all need to teach, preach and do to cure the family ills of today. Read Chapter six if you can; there’s so much to learn.


A message from Eileen Garbe:   “God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good.  Thank you all for your prayers, support and good wishes these past few months.  Treatments are over and all looks good.” Thank you.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for being faithful supporters of Friar Suppliers and our Haiti Mission.  Please know that each and everyone of you is important to us.  You are each a part of our community family.  We can all pray for each other.  Feel free to call us any time with your questions, suggestions, and prayer requests.


Next food packing date Oct 8th.

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