Archive for the ‘Current Event’ Category

Marching and Walking for Life

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

IRONDALE, AL – Snow, rain, wind and freezing temperatures could not stop the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word and thousands of people from marching and walking to support of life.

Friars took the pro-life message to the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, California.  Br. Bernard, Fr. Paschal, Br. John Therese and Br. James Francis attended the Birmingham march on Saturday January 16, 2016.
The threat of severe northern snowstorms did not intimidate Fr. Patrick, Br. Leo, and Br. John Therese from attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C.  As in past years the friars assisted EWTN with their multi-media productions while praying with the crowd.

Fr. Mark and Br. James Francis represented the MFVA Community at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco.  Weather reports of wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures did not disturb or distract the Friars from serving the Lord. Father conducted live EWTN interviews during the walk.  Brother assisted with television production and other support duties.

All Friars returned home from their pro-life travels safe and dry. Like all community members they continue promoting the pro-life message with courage and love in their manner of living, and in their preaching and teaching.

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Friary Epiphany Blessing

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

IRONDALE, Ala. – Friars solemnly and prayerfully processed throughout their Friary motherhouse blessing it with prayer, water, chalk and incense.

Every year on the solemn feast of Epiphany, all Friars assigned to the Annunciation Friary gather in the chapel for the annual Epiphany blessing.  The event began with introductory prayers.  From there they took up holy water, chalk, incense and hymnals.  From the start of the pious procession to the finish, the fathers and brothers sang hymns of adoration and appreciation to the Infant Jesus.  Fr. Anthony, the Community Servant led the ceremony.

During this year’s procession, the friars paused so Fr. Anthony could bless a large beautiful new icon of Christ the Good Shepard.  The image was a Christmas gift.

The joyous Epiphany celebration ended with night prayer in the Friary chapel.  God always nourishes the Community’s fraternal loyalty and fidelity with these types of prayerful events.

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Friars Rejuvenate after Retreat

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

CULLMAN, Ala. – The entire MFVA community departed from their labors for their annual five-day canonical retreat on January 3, 2016.

At the start of every year the Friars head north to St. Bernard’s Abbey Retreat House in Cullman, Alabama.  There they enjoyed the peaceful and prayerful atmosphere enclosed within the monastery property.  The retreat provided the friars with extra time for prayer, rest, recollection and some recreation.  They had daily Mass, attended two conferences a day and ate their meals in silence.  A retreat master gave the talks.  This year’s director was Fr. Frederick Miller, a priest from the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey who currently teaches at Seton Hall Seminary.  On the final evening of the retreat, the MFVA Friars and Monks of St. Bernard’s Abbey pray vespers and have a dinner together.  Like in past years it was a time of blessed worship and brotherly fellowship.

The five-day prayerful respite rejuvenated and refreshed the friars.  Expect God to work powerfully and wonderfully through them.

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Ministering in St. Augustine, Florida

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

ST. AUGSTINE, Fla. –  The New Year for Fr. Patrick and Fr. Leonard began with service to Cenacolo Community, and Secular Franciscans and Carmelites.

While many people spend New Year’s Eve day preparing for evening celebrations, Fr. Leonard and Fr. Patrick spent part of their day at airports en route to St. Augustine, FL.  For several years MFVA priests have opened the New Year by giving retreats to Secular Franciscans and Carmelites from various congregations in Florida.  The one-day event is always held at the Our Lady of La Leche Shrine.  Activities included confessions, Mass, a conference, and a holy hour.  This year’s them was on “The Year of Mercy.”

The fathers also visited the Cenacolo Community houses in St. Augustine.  Cenacolo is a Community that helps young men and women suffering from addictions.  Mother Elvira Petrozzi, an Italian nun, founded the organization in 1983.  This year, Fathers Leonard and Patrick celebrated the beginning of 2016 with the men of Our Lady of Hope and Mary Immaculate houses.  Fr. Patrick also celebrated Mass on New Years Day for the young women at St. Maria Goretti House.

Both priests had a blessed time celebrating and ministering with Cenacolo, the Secular Franciscans and Carmelites.  God did great work through our friars.

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EWTN Employees Receive Friar Christmas Greetings & Blessings

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

IRONDALE, AL – Employees of the Eternal Word Television Network and the Friars exchange Christmas greetings and receive blessings.

The Friars decked the halls through the halls of EWTN’s main campus with a large basket and bag full of candy.  Br. Leo and Br. John carried the treats while Br. Matthew helped distribute them.  Fr. Leonard and Fr. Patrick gave early Christmas blessings.

Every year before Christmas the priests and brothers walk through the Network with candy, good tidings and cheer.  In past years friars sang Christmas carols. This time they were without their power singers.

The dedication and devotion employees have for EWTN’s mission is inspiring and encouraging.  Many of them make great sacrifices by leaving higher paying jobs and moving from long distances to work at the Network.

The Friars take pleasure in serving them and expressing appreciation for their service to God and the Church.  Please join the MFVA Community in praying our beloved employees have a blessed Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.

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Celebrating Serving

Monday, December 21st, 2015

IRONDALE, AL – Our Friars show appreciation to EWTN altar servers with Christmas party and gifts.

The EWTN altar servers and their families gathered with the Friars for the first annual server appreciation party Sunday afternoon.  They enjoyed pizza, holiday sweets and received gifts.  Br. James Francis entertained the crowd with playing his guitar.

A few young men and Boys from the community piously assist the brothers at the 7:00AM televised and Sunday 11:30AM Masses. Br. John Therese coordinates the server training and scheduling.  He also organized the party.

The Friars are truly grateful for the service of our young friends.  May God reward them abundantly.

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Year of Mercy Holy Door Opens at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

HANCEVILLE, AL – God’s merciful grace touches the hearts of hundreds of people at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament as Bishop Robert Baker opens its holy door for the Year of Mercy.

The hour long ceremony commenced with the Bishop and the crowd at the statue of the Divine Child Jesus in the piazza. Litanies of Saints were chanted while they solemnly procession to the holy door.  Prayers were recited by Fr. John Paul, Fr. Miguel and the Bishop before the opening.  He was first to walk through the door.  Priests and lay people piously followed him in.

At the pulpit Baker preached on the meaning of a Plenary Indulgence and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  Fr Joseph, Fr Miguel and Fr John Paul assisted in the ceremony and heard Confessions after.  Over 500 people were in attendance.  It was standing room only in the Shrine.

The Friars will be involved in more Year of Mercy events throughout the coming months.  We’ll keep you updated.

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Jubilee Year of Mercy Pilgrimage to Poland and Prague

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Walk in the footsteps of Saints Faustina, Maxmillian Kolbe and St. John Paul II. Join Fr. Miguel Mary, MFVA on a Jubilee Year of Mercy pilgrimage to Poland & Prague, April 21-May 1, 2016. Visit the church where St. Faustina prayed before entering the convent, the Franciscan Monastery founded by St. Maximillian Kolbe, and the “Have No Fear” that carries the relics of St. John Paul II. For more information, contact Visitation Pilgrimage & Tours at 1-800-535-9803, or visit their website at:

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Preparing for Christmas: EWTN Advent Retreat

Monday, December 7th, 2015

This past Friday, EWTN’s employees and friars gathered at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, AL for their annual ‪‎Advent‬ retreat. The retreat presented an opportunity for employees of the network to prepare for the coming of Our Lord at Christmas.

This year’s retreat master was Fr. Paschal Morlino, OSB, a ‪‎Benedictine‬ from St. Vincent’s Abbey in Latrobe, PA. He has led Saint Benedict Church in Baltimore‬, MD as pastor for the past 30 years. He is also the founder of Adelphoi Village, a non-profit child care agency that provides a continuum of care to over 2,500 youth per year through group homes, foster care/adoptive services, education, mental health services, in-home services and aftercare. Fr. Paschal carries the honorary title of Archimandrite of Akka. This title, bestowed by the Melkite‬ Catholic‬ Church, recognizes Fr. Paschal’s support of the work by the Archdiocese of Galilee, Israel.

It was a grace-filled time for all participants including those friars who attended.

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The Investiture of Br. James Francis

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

On August 2nd, the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Angels, our community held its annual ‪Profession‬ and ‪Investiture‬ ceremonies. Clark, our former postulant, now Br. James Francis of Mary, Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast was invested with the ‪Franciscan‬ Habit and was received into the Novitiate. He will be under the direction of Fr. Miguel. Br. John Therese renewed his vows of ‪poverty‬, ‪chastity‬, and ‪obedience‬ for another year.

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