The Alpha & Omega

See, I am coming soon!
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
The beginning and the end!
Rev. 22:12-13

Friar Alberto Bravo, OFM Conv. (right), enjoys mass with friar Camillus Gott, OFM Conv. (left).

Dear Friends,

Jesus spoke of himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the mystery of faith contained in his fully human, divine person.

Our Lord transcends the literal and overwhelms the logical. Jesus holds together the opposites in his Divine Person, God and man, Alpha and Omega, the beginning of all that is and the end, the culmination and fulfillment of all that will be.

In our Franciscan community, united in Christ, the friars hold together the tension of “Alpha and Omega.” As individual friars, we hold together the reality of our beginning and our approaching end. And yet, our individual lives are caught up in the 800-year Franciscan charism and tradition. The Alpha and the Omega represent a deeper reality of our religious vocations.

As many of our friars grow old and approach the “Omega” moments of their lives, they are nearing the end of their decades of faithful service and need specialized care and medical treatment. On the other end of the spectrum, young men join our community and begin their lives of ministry, prayer, and service, “Alpha” moments in their journeys of faith.

Today, we have five men at different stages of their seminary education and Franciscan formation. We also have three men, two in our postulancy program in Chicago and another man doing his postulancy at Mount Saint Francis Friary in Southern Indiana. Postulancy is the initial year of discerning to see if God is calling the individual to the Franciscan way of life. Sadly, the number of senior friars exceeds the number of young men following in their faithful footsteps. Today, 26 of our brothers have attained 75 years or more. Together, they represent nearly 2,000 years of ministry and religious commitment.

We are asking for your generous support of our Alpha and Omega Appeal. 

On one end, to help us cover the annual cost of formation, education, room and board, and housing for each candidate and young friar, a cost of approximately $58,000 annually per young man. And on the other end, caring for our senior members is the largest item in our annual Provincial budget, over $1,100,000. That breaks down to over $43,000 per friar. Will you help us care for them?

P.S. Thank you for reading my appeal and considering our needs. If you have already donated, thank you.

Our senior friars, in their “Omega” years, join with our younger friars, in their “Alpha” years, in thanking God for you and your faithful, impactful support.