Dear Friends,

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

The holy Season of Christmas that we recently celebrated is the celebration of an encounter with God becoming one with all of humanity in the flesh. God is one with us in the messiness of life, lifting all people to the rightful dignity as a Child of God, made in the image of God. Let us seek daily to encounter the God of Love.

Pope Francis encourages the Church members to live in a spirit of synodality. In the article (Coffee Shop Synodality), Friar Martin Day shares that synodality is an everyday encounter.

In the article, The Hope of Laudato Si, St. Francis’s life has a deep reverence and compassion toward the universe. St. Francis encounters God, contemplating God and the splendor of God’s grace in the extensive wealth of creation, the great sacrament of God and Christ.

Friar Bob Roddy (Gather Us In) reflects on the difference an encounter can make in people’s lives! How dramatically hearts and minds change when we know, listen to, and welcome one another.

Leo Contreras (Peace in the New Normal) shares the story of his dying mother and his friendship with friar Andy Martinez, OFM Conv. during the pandemic of Covid. Leo shares how his encounter with friar Andy during the stressful time of not being physically present with his dying mother brought him comfort and peace.

Erin Wiegand (A Journey Home) shares that her journey back to the Catholic Church was not straightforward but came unexpectedly through a series of events where the Holy Spirit urged her to reconnect with God and the church.

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

May God bless you and fill you with the Peace of Christ!

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

Fr. John Elmer OFM Conv.
Spiritual Director

Coffee Shop Synodality

When I was a teenager, my uncle, who worked in the circulation department of a morning newspaper, asked me to cover a route for him temporarily. The route was more toward downtown than the one I usually covered and had some businesses on it. One business was a local diner. The first…
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Ecological Transformation – The Hope of Laudato Si’!

In 2018 the Vatican held an international conference to celebrate the third anniversary of the publication of the encyclical Laudato Si’!  Many ecological experts and theologians from various parts of the world were present. Toward the end of the conference an indigenous elder from Greenland, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq spoke for seven minutes, with…
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Gather Us In

Encounters often lead to relationships, and sometimes these relationships are life-changing. In 1977 I had a Franciscan friar, Daniel Manger, as a student in my English Composition class and from that relationship I met the Conventual Franciscan Friars in St. Louis. I went to the friary to check out the Conventuals as…
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Peace In The New Normal

2022 is the year when everything changed. Some are calling it the “New Normal,” but there is nothing normal about social distancing from your own mother. It was May 2022, Mother’s Day, when I learned just how serious my mom’s pulmonary fibrosis had progressed. The medication she was taking had led to…
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A Journey Home

My journey back to the Catholic Church was not straightforward but came unexpectedly through a series of events where the Holy Spirit urged me to reconnect with God and the church. Top photo: Erin Roddy Wiegand with her nephew, Sullivan Roddy. (Erin is Br. Bob’s niece.)Bottom photo: Kim York, Br. Bob Roddy,…
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Handprint On Our Hearts

I live in a city named after one of the great Franciscan saints, Saint Anthony. San Antonio was named after Saint Anthony over 300 years ago when the Franciscans made their way to South Texas in the 1700s. San Antonio is a diverse city that attempts to honor the beauty, goodness, and…
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Donor Story – Deacon Don Kunkel

Br. Bob Roddy, OFM Conv. and Mary Ann Reuther pose by a bench dedicated to the memory of the late Deacon Don Kunkel, a longtime retreatant at Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake. Deacon Don was instrumental in Mary Ann coming to Prior Lake. Donor Story – Deacon Don Kunkel…
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The Power of Prayer

At Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, MN, the Sacrament of the Sick is usually celebrated in the context of one of the Eucharistic Liturgies, and most of our retreatants take advantage of this opportunity. After a Men’s Retreat, one of the men wrote Br. Bob, the Retreat Director at…
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