Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of our Good Lord!

Pope Francis’s second encyclical, Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home) critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action.”

This year Pope Francis inaugurates a seven-year plan that calls for action on local, regional, national, and international levels. We friars, faithful to the Church following the example of our Father Francis, are committed to exploring ways in all ministries to care for Mother Earth and care for the most vulnerable. We sacrifice to support the programs which help the disadvantaged improve their lot, protect the environment, or help communities understand these needs.

St. Francis and St. Anthony exemplify for us that our fraternity of brothers accepts the challenge of proclaiming the greatness of the Lord in mission and ministry. We invite you to join us in doing the same.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; May He show His face to you and be merciful to you. May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace. May the Lord bless you! (Blessing of St. Francis)


Fr. John Elmer OFM Conv.
Spiritual Director

On this fifth-anniversary of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis has launched a seven-year Action Platform to implement into practical realities his message to the world. This Action Platform calls for action at all levels – local, regional, national and international – and seeks to engage seven institutions.

This issue of our St. Anthony’s Newsletter focuses on Pope Francis’s platform. As one of the seven institutions called to discern and implement a response to Laudato Si’, we wish to share with you, our readers, efforts around the Province that are working toward an integral ecology. An ecology that is reflected in our daily lives, the messages we spread, and the work that we do.

Laudato Si’ And Our Call to Transformation

While attending a retreat with my wife on Fratelli Tutti at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, I spoke with Fr. Tom Smith, OFM Conv., who was leading the retreat, about a pressing personal discernment issue involving Laudato Si’. The first time that I read Laudato Si’ I had…
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Ministry Spotlight – (JPIC) Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation Commission

The Province Commission on Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation assists individuals and agencies in correcting diverse forms of injustice. The Commission promotes peace, aids the economically and politically oppressed, and safeguards the planet’s ecology. The Commission reviews grant proposals for programs that help the disadvantaged improve their lot, protect the…
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Seeing, Listening, & Attending to The Cry of the Poor

Our call to live the Gospel life as Franciscans, demand that we be in proximity with the poor and be attentive to their cry. It is because we are Christians that we are to live in solidarity with the suffering! Yet, in some way, and somehow, we have allowed ourselves to become…
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A Network of Fragile Balances

The Encyclical Laudato Si’ has become a declaration of values to be rescued. It proposes a new form of relationships with creatures and a profound questioning of how we have structured our societies. Our world is going through a socio-environmental crisis with serious consequences for the future of all forms of life…
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Simple Is Good

No silver spoon, but I was born to advantage as one of twelve brothers and sisters of a farm family. Just about all of my New Riegel, Ohio classmates came from large, farming families of German origin. (When I was studying theology, two of these friends came to visit, and we realized…
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Forming New Agents of Positive Change

The Franciscan educational ministry has more than 70 years of experience in Costa Rica, training children and young people at Saint Francis College. This tireless work has shown the importance of balancing the academic, emotional, and spiritual areas to generate a transforming and multiplying effect in the families and communities in which…
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A New Attitude: One Parish’s Response to “Laudato Si’”

A New Attitude: One Parish’s Response to “Laudato Si’” by Linda Gorrell, OSF, St. Benedict’s Parishioner and Volunteer in Terre Haute, IN As a secular Franciscan called to follow in the footsteps of Christ in the example of St. Francis of Assisi and as a member of the Franciscan Parish of St.…
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