Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of the Lord from the Franciscan Friars of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation!

Pope Francis calls upon the members of the Roman Catholic Church to prepare for the 2023 Synod on Synodality. What is the meaning of “Synodality?” Friar Bob Roddy in his article, reflects on the significance of “listening” that Pope Francis is emphasizing in the process of “Synodality.” Friar Thomas Fetz shares the importance of listening to both the poor and the earth. They “go hand in hand with one another.”

Synodality is a process of listening and “journeying together.” Friar Mario Serrano writes about the path forward in this time of the dwindling of religious practice. Who are the “nones” and the “dones” among us, and how shall we accompany them? Friar Mario invites us to pray for the “nones” and “dones” and “all who make room for the Spirit of Hope.”

One of the articles of this newsletter is Angie Donahoe’s reflection on walking “hand in hand” as a participant in the “mission of God’s love.” Being present and listening is a sign of love, God’s love. Friar Alberto Bravo writes of the witness of three Conventual Franciscan Martyrs who walked “hand in hand” among the People of God from Peru and Argentina.

We friars will continue to remember you, our dear friends and companions, in our daily prayers and devotions.

May God bless you and fill you with the Peace of our Lord!

Sincerely in Christ, St. Francis, and St. Anthony,

Fr. John Elmer OFM Conv.
Spiritual Director

Listening: An Act of Love

During my novitiate year, 1980-81, I discovered that the word, “obedience,” comes from a Latin word, obediere, which means, “listen to” or “pay attention to.” Like most people, I understood the vow of obedience to mean ‘do what you are told to do.’ What a revelation! My Initial Formation Directors did their…
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Journeying Together

Journeying Together by friar Mario Serrano, OFM Conv. A path forward does not happen by further marginalizing our sisters and brothers. A path forward comes with consolation and reconciliation. Religious practice is dwindling radically; this is no secret.  Our sisters and brothers who opt out do not look the same, nor do they go by the same name. Some are atheists, explicitly…
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Hand in Hand with the Mission of God’s Love

Walking hand in hand is a sign of love and intimacy. The simplicity of this touch connects directly to the heart, mind, and soul. I recall my grandmother taking me by the hand as we walked together in downtown El Paso, Texas. I remember holding my children’s hands and now my grandchildren’s…
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The Seed of the Church

The Seed of the Chruch friar Alberto Bravo, OFM Conv. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church -Tertullian, 160-220 CE Left to Right: Conventual Franciscan Martyrs, Blessed Michael Tomaszek, Blessed Carlos Muria, and Blessed Zbigniew Strzalkowski On August 9th, friars and the community of Our Lady of Mount…
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Hear Our Earth

Fr. Juan Lopez, OFM Conv. and Fr. Thomas Fetz, OFM Conv., enjoying the garden areas of San Damiano Friary in San Antonio, TX. One of the greatest tricks corporations ever pulled was making environmental impact the customer’s concern. “If you use our product, make sure to recycle it!” Read: focus on getting…
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Trusting the Community of Faith

Trusting the Community of Faith by friar Martin Day, OFM Conv. I did a test question at morning Mass lately, asking the friars “When did you first hear of “synodality?” No one recalled hearing about it growing up and one friar indicated that his first encounter with the term was less than…
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The Power of Prayer – Having Faith

Having Faith A lady from Columbus, OH who was on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, OH was very interested in viewing the display cases that we have in the Lower Basilica. These cases contain items associated with miracles, e.g., crutches, braces, etc., that have happened…
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