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The March for Life before the Blizzard

2016 March14 SMOn Friday, January 22, right before the big snow arrived in Washington DC, friars and friends joined the thousands gathered for the Annual March for LifePer usual, the day began with a Mass in the crypt church of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The day began, as usual, with a Mass offered in the crypt church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, down the road from our Capuchin friary. The celebrant was Vocation Director Tom Betz, OFM Cap., and the homily was offered by fellow friar John Pavlik, OFM Cap., who works in DC as the Executive Secretary for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM).


Br. Thomas' New Beginnings in PNG

Br. Thomas Choi, OFM Cap.       Our brother Thomas Choi, OFM Cap., has begun 2016 with a fresh start and a new adventure. He arrived in Papua New Guinea in December, 2015, to take up his new assignment among the friars and people there. In the following article, Thomas shares his thoughts with us as he embarks on this new dimension of service in his life.

       I left my home in Korea back in 2006 on a mission to embrace my sense that God was calling me to be a Capuchin friar in the Province of St. Augustine Province—in this faraway place called the United States of America.

       In a real sense, I felt like a missionary from the first day I stepped foot on American soil and began living in the predominantly Spanish-speaking Sacred Heart Friary of Washington DC: it was a new language (indeed, two languages: English and Spanish), new food, new customs, new people — a totally new and somewhat foreign life.


Friars' White (House) Christmas in DC

Brs. André, Paul, Akolla and Matt

    It looks like dreams of a 'White Christmas' came true for some of the friars at Capuchin College in DC, despite the warm winter temperatures. They got a chance to see the White House all decorated for the Christmas season.


Friar Students reflect on Advent & Us

The friar students at Capuchin College in Washington, DC, added a series of videos on their YouTube site from reflections made during Advent.  The brothers led the reflections on various themes for the sake of the other brothers in the house in order to enrich their experience of the Advent / Christmas season.

Here, Br. André tries to "Pump it Up" ("Read More" below)


Br. Tommy's Experience in Service

Piolata3Editor’s Note: As part of the Franciscan Mission Service blog series “Comfort and Joy” for Advent/Christmas, our Br. Thomas Piolata, OFM Cap., shared how he sees the face of Christ in the people that he serves.

Every Sunday morning, I have the great privilege of serving food to those experiencing homelessness with the Missionaries of Charity and some of my Capuchin colleagues. We drive to two locations, open up the back of our van, take out a table, and place a couple of trays of food on it with a large jug of coffee.


+Emil Fischer & the Cumberland "Monastery"

       +Fr. Emil Fischer, OFM Cap. (1941-2001), narrates this 1988 video exploring SS. Peter & Paul Monastery in Cumberland MD. The video is 'historic' for us: we get a chance to see our brother Emil prior to his untimely passing from us, while we get a look inside of an edifice long-since lost to the wrecking ball. The 'Monastery', as it was called, in Cumberland, MD, was the home of many of our past & present Capuchins in the Province of St. Augustine.

        It's a rare opportunity to enter its walls again. The video quality is not always ideal, but what a treat for those who remember both our brother Emil and some important roots of our provincial life.


A Capuchin in Georgetown's Lab

       Our brother Diogo Escudero, OFM Cap., spent his summer as a researcher for the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. He certainly has the credentials, but, as the article describes, he appears to got along really well because of his "calming, disarming demeanor—plus he is respectful, humble and funny." OK.  That's quite a resume. Oh, he also has a few degrees too, but that's another story.  What follows is an excerpt of the article that recently appeared on the Center's website. We're proud that they highlighted his seldom recognized expertise - and the faith that we share with him.

Faith in the Lab

Most of the research happening at Georgetown University on any given day is taking place at the Medical Center. With more than 400 scientists and 300 active clinical trials, GUMC is home to the university's largest research enterprise. How does the Jesuit, Catholic tradition impact the pursuit of biomedical research on campus? Do religious values overly limit academic freedoms that researchers would have at other secular institutions?


PCO8: The Grace of Working

PCO8 2Brs. Dennis, Michael, Rudolph,
Mark Schennk and Urbano

       Since Monday, October 26, our International Capuchin Brotherhood has been holding the Eighth Plenary Council of the Order (#PCO8) at our International College (San Lorenzo da Brindisi) in Rome.  Our own brothers Dennis Klemash, OFM Cap., and Urbano Vazquez, OFM Cap., have been serving as delegates sent from the North American & Pacific Capuchin Conference (NAPCC).  They're  joined by Rudolph Pieretti, OFM Cap., of the Stigmata Province (photo left), and they're also blessed to be with our brother Michael Thom, OFM Cap., from Papua New Guinea. .  The Plenary Council continues until November 22.

        The topic chosen by our Capuchin General Minister, Mauro Johri, OFM Cap., is "The Grace of Working." By choosing this topic, Br. Mauro and his council have asked the delegates and representatives to consider our vocation of evangelical brotherhood in relation to the work which such a vocation calls us to share.


"Ready to Give It All"

SpCivWar     Our Capuchin Minister General, Br. Mauro Jöhri, OFM Cap., has issued this Circular Letter to the Order as we celebrate the coming Beatification of our Brothers who were Martyred in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

Dear Brothers and Sisters.

      News of Christians being killed reaches us almost daily, especially from the Middle East, just because of their belonging to the Christian religion. These events horrify us. We ask ourselves how it is possible that such things still happen in our days.

      It is something truly unacceptable, but perhaps we forget too easily that something similar happened, for example, in Spain, less than one hundred years ago and that among the victims of that persecution many Capuchin friars also figured . . .



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Capuchin Friars  ♦  Province of St. Augustine  ♦  220—37th Street  ♦  Pittsburgh, PA 15201  ♦  (412) 682-6011